Toyota’s reputation is kaput, so what’s next? Hyundai of course, bear with me on this one.
Firstly, let’s face the fact that Toyota has gone down the crapper. Sure, the FT-86 gives a glimmer of hope to the company, but the FT-86 will be no good if it slams itself into a wall every time you try to drive it. The selling point of Toyota has always been reliability and sensibleness, they are inconspicuous and unintimidating, somewhat boring, if you will. If you are a father and don’t get your son a Civic, you very probably got him a Corolla.
Toyota started importing Toyopets to North America in 1958 and it didn’t go well. Toyopets failed miserably, so Toyota sold Land Cruisers, this was back when they were proper off-roaders. In fairness, if you lived in 1950’s America would you rather buy a Toyopet than a Bel-Air. When Hyundai first started it was pretty much selling rebadged Ford Cortinas, not a bad thing per se, but there is only so much profit to be done in selling a rebadged product. Ask GM.
Enter George Turnbull. He was an executive at British Leyland. Yes, that British Leyland, that guy went to Korea with two Morris Marinas. Presumably without the piano magnet that causes so much trouble whenever it’s parked near an aerial piano removal company.
That went to the eventual creation of the Hyundai Pony and then the Excel (I’ll wrap this for you), which they hated them in the US, but the Yugo was worse so they didn’t die. They eventually built better products and now they have the Genesis. This is where it gets interesting.
The Genesis sedan is a luxury car form a company you never saw it coming, it’s cheaper than its main competition, the trim is a little worse than average but it’s still superbly refined. Sounds familiar?
The quality of a modern Hyundai is comparable to the best the Japanese can throw at it, they have an unbeatable warranty should things go wrong and, so far as I can tell, the only thing regrettable on any of their models is the crappy seats they put on their Accent.
To conclude, Top Gear’s Richard Hammond is credited with saying when referring to the Marina: ¨I’ll guarantee that nothing exciting, vibrant, dynamic, new, creative, hopeful or beneficial in any way to humanity has ever been done, thought of or driven to in that drab, dreary, entirely beige, willfully awful pile of misery.¨
I rest my case.
Source: www.sniffpetrol.com for the crashed Toyota picture
I agree with most of what you’ve said, but the Accent is much worse that you might think. Had a look at one at the CIAS, and the interior was the worst place I have ever been in. It felt so cheap and horrible. However, the Accent is probably due for an update thanks to Hyundai’s new design language, so hopefully that will be fixed.