Rejected in the U.S., the Hyundai Pony became Canada’s dark horse


You’d never guess it, but Hyundai’s story in Canada—beginning more than three decades ago—all started with a pony car. OK, not exactly a pony car. More like a car named Pony.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2017/10/27/hyundai-pony


In 1986 myself and two other recent college grads got jobs in Toronto. In 87 my two friends went out an bought brand new Ponys. I told them they were junk. They laughed at me for buying a two year old used 86 Honda CRX that winter. The Pony’s were literally falling apart within 18 months. Both of them got rid of them within 2 years. Depreciation was massive. I drove my CRX for 9 years. Then sold it to a friend who drove it for 2 more, before selling it to someone they knew. It’s probably still running.

Hyundai sales didn’t drop off due to pressure from Ford and GM. Canadians soon figure out; slight more expensive cars were more reliable and affordable over the long run. It took me a long time to think of Hyundai’s as ‘good’ cars after that.


I bought an 84Pony GL with 30k on the odo in 1992. I drove it for about 4 years. I replaced the ignition with a Crane Hi-6 unit and that helped the power and economy a bit. I drove it from Sault Ste Marie Mich. to Nipigon on 9 gallons of gas averaging about 50mpg. It was not a great car but not a bad car either. The usual plastic heater control valve beside the gas pedal broke suddenly and sprayed hot anti freeze on my right foot though. The rear floor rusted through which I fibreglased and sold it to a young lady ho drove it for at least two more years before the rust got it but it still ran well to the end. It was probably no more trouble prone than the BMW I am driving today.