Having featured quite a handful of exotic vehicles, I figured that I should not ignore the usual bread-and-butter cars that would have played a more visible role in one's life. I'm not sure if any of you or your parents have owned this 1998 Hyundai Accent X3 before though....
The Accent model was first introduced in 1994 as a replacement for the Excel. It was the 1st Korean car to be developed with 100% proprietary technology as Hyundai seeked to solve the inconvenience of giving royalties to Mitsubishi, with whom they had a long-standing relationship. Its name means "to emphasise" and also happened to be the abbreviation of the decidedly less cooler "Advanced Compact Car of Epochmaking New Technology".
It was released in sedan, coupe and 3/5-door hatchback form, and underwent a facelift in 1997 with modifications to the front end and the taillights. For the first time in a Korean small car, it featured Anti-lock Braking System and a driver's airbag, although they were still considered as add-on options. Surprisingly, the Accent was quite popular overseas such as in Australia, where it was the most successful imported vehicle in the country's history. The car was powered by a 1495 cc G4HK DOHC 16V i4 engine, allowing it to reach a top speed of 180 km/h with an acceleration of 10.8 seconds [0-100 km/h]. It was 4115 mm long and weighed 987 kg, with a fuel consumption of 6.8 litres/100 km.
Production of the Accent X3 ended in 1999, where it was replaced by the LC generation. The Accent was first sold here in 1994 by Komoco Auto, which is still our local Hyundai dealer today. The facelifted Accent was retailing at a price of S$69,990 in 1998, which would be S$93,881 in today's money. This particular unit could very well be the last one left here as plenty were scrapped for newer cars. Compounded with the reality that Korean cars are not seen as being collectible, it really shows how much the owner treasures this classic. What is more amazing is that it is in stock condition, down to the original hubcaps.
While it may not necessarily attract much attention compared to other well-established brands, it deserves to hold its head up high for being an absolute survivor. As I have always intended to adopt an egalitarian approach in my features, I hope that this has been an eye-opener if you were not aware of this previously. Now hopefully, you will be able to see past its drab appearance and appreciate the overall package!