Rewind back to 1986. Music stars like Madonna and Lionel Richie are setting the world on fire with their songs “Papa Don’t Preach” and “Say You, Say Me.” Ronald Reagan was president of the United States and Top Gun was the highest grossing movie of the year. In the automotive landscape however, things were much different than how we know them today. Japanese cars were beginning to dominate the American car market with vehicles such as the Accord and Prelude from Honda and the MR2 from Toyota, all being named on Car & Drivers Top 10 list. You also had other more famous cars such as the Acura Integra and Legend, Mazda RX-7, Nissan 300ZX and Toyota Supra there were beginning to make their mark on the automotive landscape. It was a tough time to get into the American car market during this period of time. And oh boy, was America in for a real treat. Little did anyone expect a little South Korean auto manufacture to come out of the wood work and begin selling cheap and inexpensive cars.
In this list, I’m going to be covering the 5 best or most important Hyundai’s ever to come out of the Korean auto giant. I’m only including ICE vehicles on this list and only vehicles from Hyundai and not the other brands it currently owns (Kia, Genesis, Ioniq) since that deserves another list of its own. Hold on to your seats because I bet some of these are going to surprise you.