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When Did Korean Cars Become Cool?

By Steven S. Brooks Published: March 23, 2012

It wasn't too long ago when the only reason to buy a Korean made car was the fact that you couldn't afford anything else. They weren't well built, they weren't that attractive and they weren't even that fuel efficient. They were cheap to buy and, even though you didn't brag about what you drove, they did a decent job of getting you from point A to point B within a modest budget.

 Recently, almost overnight, it seems like almost all the cool cars from Asian manufacturers are coming from Korea. The latest larger sedans from Hyundai and Kia are loaded with style and features that make similar offerings from Honda and Toyota seem old-hat. The Kia Soul is a runaway hit across all demographic lines (gotta' love the dancing hamster commercials) and the Hyundai Veloster is the new shining star of the hot hatch category. Hyundai's super-premium Equus line is receiving accolades from around the world for its quality and value. Even the entry level offerings from Hyundai and Kia have developed an excellent reputation for quality with their 100,000 mile/10 year warranties.

Five years ago, I would have laughed if someone suggested that I should buy a Korean car. Today, I would be tempted to buy several. Have do you feel about Korean cars?

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