Over the years things have really changed for this Korean automaker. I remember being in high-school back in 1986 when Hyundai first entered the American market. They showed up with one car, the Excel and thus began their master plan of taking over the automotive world. Back then people were very skeptical of this new automaker as they really didn’t know what to make of them. Some thought they were an offshoot of Honda, others thought they were owned by Toyota and yet others thought that Hyundai didn’t have a snowballs chance in hell of making it here in the United States. In 1986 the Excel had 86 hp and ran 0-60 mph in 12.9 seconds, but that was 24 years ago.
Today Hyundai makes some wonderful automobiles. They’re stylish, dead reliable and pretty frickin’ fast. For example the new 2010 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 hits 60 mph in 5.4 seconds and has a limited top speed of 137 mph and their new beautifully styled 2011 Sonata hits 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds and gets 34 mpg on the hwy. For a car that’s considered a mid-sized 5-passenger people mover those numbers are very impressive. Obviously Hyundai is a company that is here to stay and once more they are producing cars that Americans want. They’re reasonably priced, reliable with a great warranty, get great fuel economy and lets face it, are pretty damn quick. Now, I wouldn’t go so far as to say they’re ready to take on the likes of BMW or Mercedes-Benz, but other auto manufacturers like Honda and Toyota should be constantly checking their rear-view mirrors.