By on August 21, 2010

It’s come to my attention that many TTAC readers are extremely disturbed by my willingness to share the lurid details of my Technicolor lifestyle with all of you. Some of you don’t believe anything I say; others believe it all and are simply horrified. After some quiet counseling with my spiritual advisor, I’ve decided to confine myself to traditional auto-writing for a while. Unfortunately, I made this decision after completing the review you’re about to read. For your comfort, I’ve redacted the ridiculous jargon, shocking sexual audacity and repulsive images of the ghetto. Whenever you see a word in brackets, like this –> [Wildflower] < -- it means that I've changed the text from the original. Please read on in total bliss, knowing you will not be offended - JB

As previously discussed, I’m a little short on cars at the moment. Therefore, when I heard that there was a spot open for the 2011 Ford Edge preview, just 403 miles away in Nashville, TN, I didn’t know how I was going to get there. Luckily, I know a [fellow] who was more than willing to help. [He] is a former exotic [animal trainer] who now works as a hair-[spring winder at a major Swiss-watch company]. Somehow [he] escaped from [his] last relationship with a free 2005 Hyundai Accent GL automatic. I’m not sure how [he] got it; when I asked [he] said something about a particularly vigorous reverse [cowboy]. No matter. We decided to head down to Nashville for some auto reviewing and an all-night [recording] session.

If you’re really interested in what a 2005 Accent is like, I can answer in one sentence: it’s what the Chevrolet Aveo was supposed to be. Want more? Sure. It’s no-nonsense, competent Korean transportation. The paint is very thin and it’s not unusual to see these cars begin to rust before their fifth birthdays. They are reliable but not particularly durable, if you understand the distinction. This 50,200-mile example had noticeable surface wear everywhere the owner touches the car in normal operation. The dashboard and door panels have faded to different shades of grey. The driver’s seat fabric is very well-worn and the carpet is unraveling. I’ve observed this particular Accent simply wear out over the past 35,000 miles, and I’ve also performed all the required maintenance, which has consisted of nothing more than front brakes, oil changes, and swapping out the original garbage tires for Goodyear Integrity no-seasons.

Rolling down Interstate 71, the little Hyundai floated pretty well up to eighty miles per hour, which placed the tach needle squarely on the halfway point to the 6500-rpm redline. Every car has a “comfortable” freeway velocity range, at which it feels neither particularly stressed nor particularly underworked, and for the Accent that’s between about 70 and 82mph. You can run it past ninety on the speedo — I did, just to see what would happen — but it doesn’t want to be up there and neither do you. To begin with, the brakes are mushy at best, even with decent pads installed, and the suspension is amazingly soft. As a consequence, the Accent actually rides well on an American interstate. In terms of vibration isolation and pothole resistance, it’s easily on par with a modern Chevy Cruze, although the NVH situation is much more like that of an ’83 Honda Civic.

Did I mention that it’s loud? Oh yes, enough so to more or less drown out the aftermarket stereo. On the plus side, even on the “2″ fan speed the HVAC system could actually make us cold in the ninety-one-degree, ninety-percent humidity heat. “God, this is a long ride,” my passenger said. “Let’s pull over at that dark rest stop and you can run your hands all over [the roadside marker welcoming us to the state of Tennessee]. I hope the people in the room next to us at the hotel tonight don’t mind hearing us [discuss the novels of Orson Scott Card] for a solid hour.”

“Seriously,” I replied, “I can’t wait to rip your [bag of cheddar Bugles open], toss you up against [a velcro wall at a local gymnasium] and bang [out the intro to "Four Sticks" with a pair of carbon-fiber Montblanc pens].” More than that, however, I really wished that Hyundai had specified cruise control in the “GL” trim level. It’s been a long time since I had any useful cartilage in my right knee. Add in the relatively cramped driving position and narrow footwell, and I was in agony long before we actually rolled into Music City.

The combination of a small four-cylinder engine, a torque-converter transmission, and blocky styling rarely results in fuel-economy headlines, and for that reason I wasn’t surprised to see that we’d averaged just 32.5 miles per gallon on the way down. On the other hand, that’s apparently what Civic Hybrids get, and we’d made the 403-mile drive in just five hours and twenty-two minutes including two fuel stops.

Honestly, I was impressed by the little Accent. It’s solid basic transportation, and if it’s only a 100,000-mile car, it’s an extremely affordable one. I would take it over the current Aveo in a heartbeat, for the same money. If you’re shopping new, the current Accent is noticeably nicer than our 2005-model tester. For the same money, however, you can have a Nissan Versa, and most people would probably agree that’s a better idea.

After a long day of driving free cars, eating fabulous meals, attending a Larry Carlton trio show at the Belcourt Theatre, and sending the bartender back to the stockroom for a second bottle of Ketel One Citroen, I was pleased as punch to see my friend had brought one of [his] friends back to the hotel. [He] is reliable like that. A whispered aside in my ear informed me that the three of us were good to go for a three-way [game of Magic: The Gathering]. I excused myself to head upstairs and prepare for their arrival. My Godin 5th Avenue archtop guitar had been laid on the bed by the hotel staff. I began playing “Harvest Moon” and passed out somewhere during the second verse.

When I awoke, I had two annoyed-looking [dudes] staring at me. “Don’t worry,” I said, “we are still totally going to [play this card game] despite the fact that I feel like throwing [most of the 'Fallen Empires' expansion set directly in the trash].” I opened up my [card case] and summoned my ["Sengir Vampire" card] into action. Unfortunately for me, I was so loaded I couldn’t even get the [counters which symbolize the expected +1/+1 boost from killing opposing creatures] on. “Uh, I think the two of you are going to have to [use carefully constructed decks of cards to cast magic spells on] eachother,” I opined, and fell into the couch with sufficient velocity to knock it over.

The next day I learned that the interior of the 2005 Hyundai Accent resonates at exactly the same frequency as the blood vessels in my aching, aching head. THE END.

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59 Comments on “Capsule Review: 2005 Hyundai Accent GL A/T — Now Redacted For Your Comfort...”


  • avatar
    Detroit-Iron

    Nice Ice-T reference.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    “If you’re really interested in what a 2005 Accent is like, I can answer in one sentence: it’s what the Chevrolet Aveo was supposed to be. Want more? Sure. It’s no-nonsense, competent Korean transportation.”

    And GM even [shoveled] that up. That’s why I do want to see them succeed now that my tax dollars have been put into them, but why I’m [going outside to mow the lawn] about them being given my tax money. Or maybe the 2005 Accent is really what the Caliber was supposed to be.

    @Jack, this is the most “Baruthian” review you’ve ever written. Kudos to you, you old [racecar driver] for making it more salacious by deleting the swear words.

  • avatar
    JimC

    You can say that again about the brakes, durability, and noise. But yep, it’s basic transportation.

    You left out something important- it also has a ridiculously tight turn radius for a modern U.S. market car! (This coming from a former Volvo 240 driver.)

  • avatar
    Stingray

    I couldn’t understand [excrement] this time.

    Living in this PC times sucks.

  • avatar
    BMWfan

    I don’t know Jack!

  • avatar
    obbop

    Too many similarities with the “New Math” forced upon my tender young mind back in the 1960s by “instructors” who had not be educated via that instructional method and no assistance available at home from parents sub-par with math to begin with and so much for the long-time dream of becoming a nuclear physicist and being able to live a life akin to what the venerable Heinlein wrote about.

  • avatar
    twotone

    Too [go forth and multiply] funny! Keep up the [better than average] work.

    Twotone

  • avatar
    EChid

    My co-worker has one of these, as does one of my friends. They both like them.

    Its the type of car that makes you supremely aware that its cheap and basic, but not regretful about it.

  • avatar
    tuckerdawg

    thanks for saving my virgin eyes. too bad that game of magic didn’t work out lol

  • avatar
    John Horner

    [ouch] = hard to read! Technicolor, please.

  • avatar
    mad scientist

    Very creative, Jack. Kinda’ reminds me of those “Mad Libs” games we used to play as kids. Fill in your favorite description or expletive, and now you have own Baruth-based literary work.

    We’re (most of us, anyway) are adults here, don’t let the proverbial little old ladies and bible-humpers bring you down. After the GM Death Watch ended, I needed a reason to keep reading TTAC- keep up the great work!

  • avatar
    ihatetrees

    Epic.

    The only question is, will the Urban Dictionary eventually define “Baruthian” as:
    A) a type of driving while, at times, wikipedia reading
    B) a type of writing
    C) a type of [horizontal interaction with other(s)]

  • avatar
    troonbop

    I don’t find the material shocking or technicolor, I just stop reading them when I find the “aren’t I a scamp!” tone annoying.
    Seriously, Jack, it ain’t that much.

  • avatar
    gottacook

    It seems clear you’ve read (or, if not, you should read) the much-anthologized Theodore Sturgeon 1950s novella “The [Widget], the [Wadget], and Boff.”

    I thought the phrase “swapping out the original garbage tires for Goodyear Integrity no-seasons” was amusing – Goodyear Integritys WERE the [inadequate] tires that came with our 1999 Chevy Prizm when purchased new.

  • avatar
    iNeon

    I love the circle-jerk tone. Now lets all take our [male fowls] out, and flog them together so we can all share in this fantastic [happy] experience.

    Seriously. I don’t want to know you guys. I don’t care what makes you tick, what gets you off or how you feel about politics. I only care about how you feel about the cars.

    More: cars. Less: Charts, Bragging, Slandering, Agendas and Pretending.

  • avatar
    CanuckGreg

    I love cheddar Bugles. That is all.

  • avatar
    Cole Trickle

    I’m going to go the other direction. I read JB because he is funny, he actually races cars, he writes intersting things about cars that often aren’t even interesting, he has the balls to at least go for what he wants, and he spends his money on things that make him happy even if they seem like a waste to others.

    I can read a car review anywhere. I like TTAC because I know something about the people who write here. I would submit that anybody reading a review about a 5 year old Korean pos is doing so because there is something interesting about TTAC and its staff.

    Jack has a car-lover’s dream job(s). He’s not Shakespeare, Unser, Shelby, Dr. J., Slash, Seinfeld, or Maddox. But he’s pretty good at several things because he has some talent, a strong work ethic, and balls.

    When it comes to women, it doesn’t take good looks, money, or fame to rack up the numbers. It takes confidence. That’s it. All the things that helped Jack get the life he has help him close the deal with women. So says this average Joe who bagged more than his fair share over the last decade, to the shock and awe of better looking, richer, funnier, and more talented friends.

    Jack, keep it coming. I’ll still be reading you.

  • avatar
    daviel

    How was Larry Carlton – do you remember?

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      I was disappointed. He’s a better sideman than a bandleader, and he insisted on playing about 50% stuff he had no business doing — blues, solo-line guitar by himself.

    • 0 avatar
      Domestic Hearse

      That’s rather surprising, Jack.

      Larry’s “Sapphire Blue” album is quite an excellent piece of blues guitar playing. Granted, his style drifts into a more angular, theoretical jazz solos than bending, soulful blues, but he is, still, Larry Carlton.

  • avatar
    Boff

    I enjoyed this story immensely, because my brain is (by a narrow margin) my biggest sexual organ.

  • avatar
    Travis

    I really hope you’re not serious about cutting down on the extraneous articles. I personally find your writing style to show lots of emotion. When a writer fervently feels what he’s writing it becomes far more interesting, believable, and…alive? I don’t know quite what I want to say there, but I think you get it. The only articles of yours that I really just flat out did not like were the multi-part bits about how to drive like a maniac on public roads. Your reviews, deadly Porsche sins, and in general just describing your past/capsule reviews are fantastic. Please don’t tone it down :(

    edit – Also, the Versa is just a hateful automobile. I’d take an equal priced accent any day over one.

  • avatar
    SomeDude

    The redacting and euphemisms aside, the Accent is a small, crappy car. The Aveo is also a small, crappy car. So we’ve got two kinds of crap. I don’t know how to differentiate the two.

    However, there is a difference between being unapologetically cheap and unpretentious. I can sense it in the comments that the posters seem to like the Accent’s unpretentiousness. As Educator (of teachers) Dan puts it, “There’s something honest about a car that doesn’t try to be anything it’s not.” I disagree. Giving your car a nice exterior will never hurt even if the car is rock-bottom priced. Style doesn’t cost any extra. And it has benefits. Firstly, it may bring additional customers, those who don’t want theirs to proclaim proudly, “Look, I’m an econobox.” Secondly, it makes the model’s name to be more than just a meaningless handle. Look at Fiat. Why do people (in Europe) buy Fiats and Alfas? Those are poorly built cars, not especially cheap, and, driving-wise, there are better alternatives available for the same money. So, why do people still buy Fiats and Alfas?

    • 0 avatar

      Italians buy Fiats and Alfas (Fiats especially) for the same reason we buy Chevys and Dodges. They identify Fiat as being a home-grown brand they have reason to be proud of, and they want to support it. As a result, the Italians buy cars like the Grande Punto in massive numbers (quality of said vehicle notwithstanding.) Go to Italy, and you’ll see Fiats beyond counting. The rest of Europe I can’t account for.

      Alfas are a different story. I think they make a lot of sales based on their image, which is of course that of a company that makes stylish “driver’s cars” full of character. And reliability. Oh wait…

    • 0 avatar

      Why? How about styling. A little Italian flair in your little ho-hum car and different from most of the other options. How about ride. Sharp reflexes in curves without feeling like you’re sitting on hard board. How about ergonomics and interior space? Whenever you sit in a Fiat or Alfa, instruments are delicately oriented to the driver and everything falls preety naturally to hands. And unlike most German, Japanese and American cars when you go inside, usually you’re surepreised by just how much space they got out of a car whose exterior dimensions would make you think were much smaller inside.

      As to quality, I’ll just repeat ad nauseum : This ain’t the 70s no more. Go refresh your “pre”conceptions.

      As to nationality, they don’t sell just in Italy. FYI they are market leaders in our little unimportant market (4th largest in the world this year). And will be so with a greater advantage over the by now perennial runner up than ever. Hope some of the goodness gets into Chrysler cars. Then they’ll stand a chance.

    • 0 avatar
      Stingray

      Ah Marcelo, thankfully we can both speak from a Fiat-owner (in my case 7 years driver) point of view.

      The Siena my mom has, was until the appearance of the Logan, the car in its segment with the biggest and more comfortable interior.

      I wouldn’t go that far with the interior appointments, but yes, everything is within hand reach and very ergonomic.

      You forgot to mention that even having underpowered engines, the gearbox ratio selection is one of the best you can find on ANY car. Acceleration is usually peppy.

      Suspension is on the soft side (Siena) but handling is very good. As was braking (when new).

      To those claiming you see an overwhelming amount of Fiats in Italy, go over there and see there are more cars of the other brands in the mix. In 1996, most of the cars I saw were Fiat or Opel. In 2010, I saw many brands on the streets.

      By the way, I’d buy an Alfa 159 if I could. The thing simply looks GORGEOUS. I don’t care if it’s WWD.

    • 0 avatar

      Hola Stingray,

      Ain’t it true? The gear ratio does render the cars (Palio, Siena and Weekend) a pleasure to drive. It really allows the engine to shine, in other words, though the engine is durable, economic and peppy, it’s made that much better by the gear ratios! Couldn’t agree more. Agree totally on the suspension, too. Well, it just suits me fine. As I get older the suspension being a little “soft” gives me a modicum of confort, but doesn’t really compromise the sportiness when I want to “go fast”.

      And it’s good to hear from you, who we all know is not particularly a Fiat-lover, but keeps an open and honest mind about the cars and is able to see through the preconceptions and prejudices and is able to enjoy a variety of cars.

      And maybe you can help me, but I’ve heard it’s the French that don’t really buy foreign makes (except for the usual larger German cars). Specially in small cars they only buy French (though I’ve heard Smart is a resounding success there, maybe they console themselves by noting the smart is fabriquè en France)and ignore Opel, Fiat, Seat, Skoda, Vw and others. Is it true?

    • 0 avatar
      SomeDude

      The only point I was trying to make is that people buy Fiats/Alfas because these cars look good. The Accent doesn’t. I don’t really care whether the Accent is going to last longer than your stereotypical Fiat (or SEAT, or Skoda), but what good does it make when a budget car also has a budget look? Like, look at me – I’m about penny-pinching all the way…

  • avatar

    @iNeon: I kind of agree.
    Funny! -esp. the creative subs like “Magic: the gathering”.
    But also, little self-impressed.
    Like, abit on the road toward “Hot Chicks with Douchebags”-content self-impressed.

    But whatever, the creativity & variety is still good;
    he’s ~kind of telling [the truth],
    and if all TTAC posts were uniform, statistical and dry,
    it’d be like listening to @psarninja giving a 4-hour lecture about the various degrees of Kierkegaardian strife being a modern socialist who’s constantly mistaken for a Rosa-Luxemburgian-Communist and the…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

  • avatar
    JMII

    While I would be scared to death to be on the same road as JB I do love his stories. This is seriously funny stuff. If written any other way this review would have been as dull as the car itself.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    Fun read. Few things in life are as satisfying as telling one’s critics to go [educate] themselves by giving them exactly what they asked for.

  • avatar

    I thought it was pretty darn funny WITH the redactions. Do you guys really need the redacted words to figure out what he’s talking about? Use the right side of your brain a little, folks!

    • 0 avatar

      Most definitely not. I don’t think anyone does.
      They were easily the most [muggerfudging] roflcopter part of the entire post.

      The same way the South Park guys make up [subs] that are timezones funnier than the actual thing; ‘snuke’ ‘snizz’, etc.

  • avatar
    qfrog

    2D2F.

  • avatar
    thebeelzebubtrigger

    Hilarious, JB. I do hope you won’t tone it down though, your posts are too fun to read as they are!

  • avatar
    Toyondai92

    This is one of those cars that gets away with being a cheap car, because it presents itself as a cheap, basic car.

    And only Jack could make a review of a Hyundai Accent this good.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Jeebus. 30+ comments about the style of the article. Let’s talk about the [redacted] car.

    I had a 2000 Accent for a good chunk of the ’00s (first year for the LC platform; 2005 was the last year for the LC2 refresh). Mine was a 5-speed manual instead of the buggy automatic. The shifter was pretty mushy with notoriously long throws, but the short-throw shifter for a Tiburon will fit in these. I figure the shifter, suspension, and hydraulic clutch were designed for short Korean ladies.

    The interior in mine held up through 120k. Perhaps mine had an easier life, or cost optimizations for the refresh had some unforeseen consequences. I usually got somewhere in the mid-upper 30s for fuel economy, but I didn’t go banzaiing down the road at 80mph either.

    One thing that doesn’t get nearly enough publicity is that someone at Hyundai REALLY pays attention to the ergonomics of repair and general maintenance. They do all kinds of little things to facilitate oil changes, cabin filter swaps, bulbs in the cluster, etc. Some cars screw these things up so badly you want to hunt down the engineers and stage a passion play.

    • 0 avatar
      rmwill

      Not sure the ergonomics for repairs are any different, but replacement parts are expensive and the aftermarket supplies relatively few less expensive options.

      Having recently replaced an AC compressor and timing belt on a 2003 4cyl Santa Fe, I have some experience with these vehicles. Also, Hyundai tries very hard to deny claims on their much ballyhooed warranty. On this same vehicle, 2 local dealers made my friend pay up front for warranty parts (catalyst and TPS) saying that Hyndai charges them UP FRONT for the parts until they are satisfied that the claim is legit.

      Ford GM Chrysler Toyota Honda Nissan would be villified for these practices.

  • avatar
    niky

    “If you’re really interested in what a 2005 Accent is like, I can answer in one sentence: it’s what the Chevrolet Aveo was supposed to be.”

    Absolutely spot-on. Chevrolet can load up the interior with all the gimcracks and gimmicks they want… but at the end of the day, the lowly Accent has the better build-quality, the better chassis, and the better engines. It’s amazing to me how anyone can still build, in this day and age, a 1.5 liter engine that drinks gas like it’s still 1972.

  • avatar
    Ben

    Don’t sanitise the articles Jack, we want the truth. If they can’t handle the Baruth, they can exercise their right not to click on your stories.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      I agree, don’t sanitize. Then again, the redaction thing is just brilliant!

      BTW, in Massachusetts there are certain places at certain times where you can legally drive in the breakdown lane. I always think of you and your article on that subject when I’m driving there!

      However, as I discovered yesterday, some individuals either miss the signs (in this case they said “form three lanes – use breakdown lane) or can’t read and will deliberately block your progress by putting half of their vehicle into the breakdown lane thinking you are doing something illegal.

      As with your writing, you just put two wheels up over the curb and blow right past them. Don’t let [unenlightened] [people] get in your way.

  • avatar
    Monty

    Jack:

    Loved the review! The redacted version is funnier than the original text, in my opinion.

    As to the car itself? Mrs. Monty and I rented one in Phoenix this past Christmas. We couldn’t get a Ford Escape (and weren’t interested in the choice of a Rav4 or a Tuscon) so we grudgingly accepted a 2010 Accent. And were exceedingly pleased with it. After 8 days of driving almost 1,200 miles (nothing in Phoenix is close, let me tell you!) we averaged almost 36 mpg in a 25/75 mix of city and highway driving. It was quiet, had enough power to merge and was well equipped and comfortable.

    My son’s girlfriend has a 2004 base model 2-door, and everything Jack says about the car is true, but it’s friggin’ unbelievably reliable and durable, even with almost 130,000 kilometers on the odo.

    These cars are one of the reason Hyundai has earned a good reputation – the value proposition is unsurpassed by even Toyota and Honda. You don’t get any better for a $10K car.

    • 0 avatar
      iNeon

      Except, they don’t cost $10,000.00. These cars list for $16,500.00. With no radio.

    • 0 avatar

      As to [the car itself]? Mrs. Monty and I [rented one] in Phoenix this past Christmas. We couldn’t get a [Ford Escape] (and weren’t interested in the choice of [a Rav4 or a Tuscon]) so we grudgingly accepted a [2010 Accent]. And were exceedingly pleased with [it]. After 8 days of [driving] almost [1,200 miles]] ([nothing] in Phoenix is [close], let me tell you!) we [averaged] almost [36 mpg] in a [25/75 mix of city and highway driving]. [It] was [quiet], had enough power to [merge] and was well [equipped and comfortable].

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    “Except, they don’t cost $10,000.00. These cars list for $16,500.00. With no radio.”

    Where? In Canada? http://www.hyundaiusa.com/build-your-hyundai/ We’re talking about the base model right?

    • 0 avatar
      iNeon

      Oxford, Alabama. It’s true this was the ‘marked-up’ second sticker, but it still floored me. And for a car with only “radio prep group 11a,” too. Auto, A/C and hubcaps. No power optioning, no headunit.

      It made me laugh out loud.

    • 0 avatar
      Monty

      Uh, no, in Canada the base model of the 2010 Accent is still available at dealers for $9,995.00 – the 2011 starts at $13,599.00 (but there’s always cash on the hood, making the price somewhere south of $12,000.00)

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    Baruth! Baruth! Baruth is on fire!

    Seriously, that was fantastic. Those of you complaining that his work is self-aggrandizing fail to recognize that they’re actually self-deprecating. My guess is that for Mr. Baruth, everything else really is just waiting – even an exhausting, marathon Magic session.

  • avatar
    blau

    Nice.

    All the same, you know that the gratuitousness of the BS doesn’t depend entirely on the language used to express it. (And that the BSness of the BS doesn’t depend entirely on its truth.)

  • avatar
    WetWilly

    I’d read an interview with John Krafcik (IMHO the most underrated auto CEO in America) who mentioned that before he was promoted to president of Hyundai USA his company car was an Accent SE. He spoke rather fondly of the Accent and said he enjoyed driving it. Krafcik also said that once he became president, Hyundai forced him into a Genesis.

  • avatar

    kudos for including my two nerdy obsessions in the same article.

    cars, and

    …yeah, MTG. I have freeform constructed decks floating around my room in massive numbers. Yes I’m too old. No I don’t care. It’s fun.

    Sengir Vampire, LOL

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Great review.

    I’ve owned an 01 Elantra for the past year – as a 3rd “beater” car for the family – and it matches your description of the [newer] Accent. Except that it has 148k miles. It’s good, economical transportation, and easy to drive.


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