The 1988 E30 was a fine car, but 24 grand for the base 325 coupe? The Hyundai Excel did everything just as well as the E30- everything Hyundai felt was important, that is- and its price tag was $5,499.
Plush interior, European styling, and room for five… sure, the E30 has all those things, but where's the front wheel drive? Aside from the fact that the Excel had just 68 horsepower (versus 127, 168, or 192 for the E30, depending on whether you got the 325e, 325i, or M3) and build quality that just barely beat the Yugo, there was no doubt about which was the superior car.
All this great marketing work was undone a few years later, sadly, with Alec Baldwin's famous "You drove a Hyundai to get here tonight. I drove an $80,000 BMW. That's my name!" line.