It can trace its roots right back to the Hyundai Scoupe from 1990, but by the time the second generation Hyundai Coupe arrived in 2001 it was a much more sophisticated beast. This time it was not only better looking, with many comparing it to a junior Ferrari, but much more robust as well. It even drove pretty well and came with a choice of engines, though the firm stopped making them back in 2009 so don’t expect anything newer.
There hasn’t yet been a convertible Hyundai and, until the recently unveiled Veloster, the Coupe held the crown of the firm’s sportiest model. It’s a handsome thing, with a pleasing mix of curves and sharp details and the second generation model went on to become particularly popular.
Two engines were offered, both petrol - a 1.6-litre four-cylinder unit with 105hp and a 2.0-litre four-cylinder with a healthy 140hp. Despite its lowly output the 1.6 still managed 183km/h and a 0-100km/h time of 11.4 seconds thanks to the Coupe’s compact dimensions and relatively low weight.
It was no dynamic delight though, the front-wheel drive chassis proving to be capable rather than a benchmark for the sector. Still, both a four-speed auto and a five- or six-speed manual gearbox were offered, and there was the choice of the standard model or plusher FX trim.
Values of the Hyundai Coupe aren’t especially good, so we’d search out a higher spec FX model, which often came with leather seats and larger alloy wheels. We’d also try and find a manual 2.0-litre (the automatics are rare anyway) as the jump in performance more than makes up for the slight difference in economy and emissions. Try and find a later car too, as the upgraded interior is a bit hardier than that found on the early models.
2.0-litre petrol (140hp)
Engines: 1,975cc four-cylinder petrol
Maximum speed: 207km/h
0-100km/h: 8.7 seconds
Fuel consumption: 8.1 litres/100km
Euro NCAP: N/A
• Great looks
• Good reliability
• Low used values
• Firm suspension
• High emissions for performance
• Limited choice
If you want a fun front-wheel drive coupé then best look towards the talented Ford Puma. Otherwise the Hyundai Coupe is a sensible choice - the cabin and boot are spacious enough to be usable for a young family. It’s also pretty good looking, and thanks to low values on the used market something of a bargain too.