By on June 8, 2011

The Hyundai Accent has never been a “gotta have it” sort of car. Instead, it’s been a “what’s the cheapest thing you got?” sort of car. The 2011 started at just $9,985 (plus shipping and handling). That’s “started,” as in past tense, because the 2011 is history. The 2012, now arriving at dealers, starts at $12,445 plus $760 for destination. Add an automatic transmission, A/C, the $1,300 Premium Package (fog lights, cruise, remote keyless, Bluetooth, upgraded interior trim, 16” alloy wheels in place of 14” steelies), and floor mats, and you’re looking at a $17,350 sticker. Clearly Hyundai thinks they’ve developed a much more desirable car. Have they?

Hyundai couldn’t get a new Accent to me before an upcoming vacation, and reviews based on press cars are embargoed until June 22nd regardless, so in the interest of reporting on the car early I dropped by the dealer. At first they didn’t appear to have a 2012 Accent. Then I noticed that the fog lights on one of the Elantras wasn’t quite like the others—because it wasn’t an Elantra. From the front the cars aren’t easy to tell apart. From the side, the Accent sedan has the same highly styled shape as the Elantra, with swept back headlights, a strong character line rising through the door handles, and an arching roofline that terminates over yet another, even larger black plastic triangle. But this shape is compressed into a 172-inch length, a half-foot less than the Elantra. So, like the previous-generation Elantra, the new Accent sedan appears thick through the midsection. As with the Ford Fiesta, the new hatchback (which isn’t yet at dealers) is considerably more attractive.


Inside the new Accent, Hyundai’s designers weren’t permitted to indulge themselves as much as they were with the Elantra. So there are no wavy curves, just a clean, straightforward design with easy-to-use controls—including three separate knobs for the HVAC. The surfaces are primarily hard plastic, but they are attractively textured and feel solid. The Premium Package’s piano black trim adds an upscale touch; the silver trim that remains on the doors, not so much. Some piano black would be welcome there as well. This being a GLS sedan with the Premium Package, the tan cloth aspires to look and feel luxurious. I’d personally prefer a heftier, sportier fabric, but perhaps such is fitted to the SE hatchback. In terms of materials, you might be able to do a little better in this segment; you can certainly do much worse.

There are benefits to the Accent’s stubbier length: the windshield couldn’t be laid back so far, so the instrument panel isn’t as deep and the driving position is much better than that in the Elantra. The forward view is very open, inspiring confidence. Unfortunately, the manual tilt front seat adjustment standard in past Accents is gone, as it is from most cars these days. The steering wheel tilts, but does not telescope.

The Accent’s front seats are comfortably shaped, moderately firm, and provide a decent amount of lateral support. Those of you who always ask if a tall person can fit (you know who you are) might actually be able to fit—the driver’s seat has quite a bit of travel. When the front seat is positioned for the average adult male, there’s easily enough room in the back seat for another such male—and so far more than in the Mazda2 or the Fiesta. The Elantra offers a couple inches more legroom than the new Accent, but its rear seat is positioned lower (and even then doesn’t have allow quite as much headroom), so I actually find the Accent’s rear seat more comfortable. Trunk volume of 13.7 cubic feet is just a single cube shy of the Elantra, and quite good for such a small car.

The Accent GLS automatic weighs in at 2,463 pounds, so about 100 pounds heavier than a Mazda2 or Toyota Yaris but nearly 200 lighter than a Chevrolet Sonic or Ford Fiesta and nearly 300 lighter than the larger Elantra. Despite this relatively low weight, the car feels more solid than most in the class and even the Elantra. Factor in a direct-injected 1.6-liter engine that, with 138 peak horsepower, checks in only ten short of the conventionally injected 1.8 in the Elantra (and well above any others in the segment—the Fiesta’s 120 is next best), and even with the six-speed automatic the Accent never feels slow. With the manual transmission it might even feel quick. Even a strong 1.6 in a relatively light car must work fairly hard, so it’s a good thing that this engine likes to rev and sounds good (if not quiet) while doing so. The transmission can be manually shifted, but generally selects the appropriate gear when left to itself and lets the engine do what it needs to do, with shifts in the low 3000s in casual driving. In normal mode (there’s also an “Eco” mode) the transmission doesn’t lug the engine the ways it sometimes does in the Elantra, Sonata, and Tuscon.

Perhaps because the transmission isn’t tuned to be a killjoy, the EPA ratings are nearly identical to those of the heavier, port-injected Elantra, 30/40 instead of 29/40. Not quite the cause for celebration such numbers would have been just a year ago, but who’s doing to complain about “just” 30/40? Especially when the car is much roomier than competitors who fare no better (and who often fare worse) on the EPA’s rollers.

So here’s the part where I tell you that the car functions well, but isn’t any fun to drive. Except it actually is. The aforementioned driving position certainly contributes. The electric motor-assisted steering does feel artificial, even a bit gummy on center, but does have a satisfying firmness and loads up progressively when turned. Understeer and body lean are minimal, and the chassis remains composed and thoroughly predictable up to the limits of the front tires. The suspension is tuned much better than that in the Elantra (whose ride continually irritated me). Thanks to firmer damping, body motions are better controlled over uneven road surfaces. Some people might find the ride a little too firm, but for anyone who cares about driving it’s about as good as it gets with a 101-inch wheelbase. A Ford Fiesta does feel cushier, but also feels soggier when exercised. A Mazda2 feels lighter and more agile, and so is more fun to drive on a twisty road, but also looks and feels much cheaper. As in the Ford, wind and road noise are surprisingly low even at highway speeds—unlike the subcompacts of years past, the Accent is a car that could comfortably be driven for long distances.


I haven’t yet input pricing for the 2012 Accent into TrueDelta’s car price comparison tool–but should before the end of the month. For now, a less precise comparison will have to do. You cannot load up an Accent the way you can a Ford Fiesta. Features like leather upholstery, seat heaters, sunroof, and keyless ignition simply aren’t available. A leather-wrapped steering wheel can only be found in the Accent SE hatchback (MSRP with automatic: $17,555). So the midlevel Fiesta SE sedan seems to match up most closely with the $17,350 car I drove. Similarly equipped, one lists for $17,060, so a few hundred dollars less. Similarly outfit a Nissan Versa and a Toyota Yaris, and they list for $18,180 and $18,630, respectively, well above the Ford and Hyundai. So while the Accent certainly isn’t in the bargain basement, it continues to check in at the low end of the segment’s price range. A similarly-equipped Hyundai Elantra: $18,445, just over $1,000 more than the Accent.


The 2012 Hyundai Accent has a surprising number of strengths, including the best combination of power, fuel economy, handling, ride, room, driving position, interior materials, and overall refinement you’ll find in the segment. Some competitors are ahead in one or two of these areas, but not by much, and then lag severely in others. In hatchback form the new Accent is even attractive (and the sedan isn’t bad looking). This combination of attributes is so compelling that it’s not only easy to see why many people will desire the Accent more than other B-segment cars. Many will also find that it’s a better car than the Hyundai Elantra. The only significant advantage of the larger, more expensive car: you can get it with heated leather seats, sunroof, and nav. Don’t want these? Then the better-driving Accent is the way to go—even if you can’t get one for anywhere near ten grand anymore.

Glassman Hyundai in Southfield, MI, generously provided the car. They can be reached at 248-354-3300.

Michael Karesh operates TrueDelta, an online source of automotive pricing and reliability data.


Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

106 Comments on “Review: 2012 Hyundai Accent GLS Sedan...”


  • avatar
    Philosophil

    Another helpful review, Michael. I had heard that the new Accent was going to be a little bit lower than the previous version. Is it as easy to get in and out of as the Fit?

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      I’ll chime in because I just did that a week ago. It’s easier than the current Fit in that the steering wheel and dash are less of an obstruction; Honda did something stupid with the current model.

      It’s not as roomy as the 2008 and earlier Fit vertically, but it’s got better footspace.

  • avatar
    ppxhbqt

    What I don’t get is that many of the things missing from the Accent (though not all) WILL be available on its corp. cousin, the Kia Rio. Not that this is a new thing, but I don’t get it.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Those of you who always ask if a tall person can fit (you know who you are) might actually be able to fit—the driver’s seat has quite a bit of travel.

    That would be me, and yes, I noticed that this is actually a little roomierm vertically, than the Elantra. For one, the sunroof doesn’t seem to be an omnipresent option; for another, I can see out the front window without craning down and forwards.

  • avatar
    Bytor

    Nice review. Should be pretty sweet with a 6 spd MT.

    Looks are in the eye of the beholder.

    I actually think the Sedan looks better, but I would still get the Hatch for the additional practicality.

  • avatar

    Reliability is of course unknown since the first cars are just now reaching dealers. Hyundai has had a few glitchy launches, but usually for their more complicated products (i.e. Genesis). The new Sonata has been better than average in its first year, based on responses to TrueDelta’s Car Reliability Survey. (Though there have been a few lemons in a generally good bunch, including a couple bad engines.) Based on very early data, the new Elantra seems even more reliable than the Sonata. So the prognosis is good for the new Accent.

    To help with the survey, with just about any car:

    http://www.truedelta.com/reliability.php

  • avatar
    moorewr

    I never gave Hyundai much thought till we bought my wife an Elantra Touring. The ET and Accent follow my rule (don’t buy unless it’s the same car in Europe). The ET has – no fooling – a pretty nice chassis. It’s fun to hoon if you don’t mind the lack of power and the buzz from the engine. The interior is great – the thing is what Honda would be making if it was still the Honda of the 1980s…

    If I go down-market from my current car I think I’ll have to test drive an Accent SE hatchback…

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I agree with you 100% on the Touring – the spirit’s willing but the engine really lets the car down. Neat car, though.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      @moorewr:

      Love that avatar! I just watched “The Longest Day” again last week, so that shot has to be from that movie! Good job!

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      Can I say thank you for referring to your wife as “my wife,” instead of the very common phrase, “the wife”? I don’t know why, but when I read the latter I get annoyed.

      Back to the car, I’d be curious to know what it’s spinning at on the freeway. I rented a 2011 awhile ago and at 70 I believe the engine was spinning at 3500 RPM. I remember that I could very familiar with every inch of the tachometer with that little bugger. Nice enough car though?

    • 0 avatar
      MrRams27

      One correction to your article. You said the Fiesta was the next most powerful car in its segment but the Chevrolet Sonic uses the exact same engines as the Cruze. The 1.8L has 136 hp (2 hp less than the Accent) and an identical 123 lb-ft of torque at a much lower rpm. The 1.4L turbo has 138 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque at 1850 rpm. Those numbers make the Sonic the most powerful car in its class, not the Accent.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I used to mentally mock this car until I drove one – my significant other owns a ’09 four-door, and it’s actually a nice little piece. It’s roomy enough for my (ample) backside, handles decently, has enough power to get around with (if you don’t mind thrashing the engine, that is), and it’s even a passable highway cruiser.

    This one looks even nicer, of course.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    @ Michael Karesh:

    Yes, you could get a $10,000 Accent last year, but it was a three door hatchback, not a sedan. Looks like they priced the new sedan within a couple hundred bucks of the old one.

    Progress marches on.

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    Looking forward to a comparo of the 2, Accent, Fiesta, Fit, Rio, Sonic, and Yaris.

  • avatar
    cRacK hEaD aLLeY

    Great review. Sounds like a great little commuter car…

  • avatar
    almprin06

    Fine review of the 2012 Accent.

    I am disappointed that a telescopic-steering-wheel is not available and I am disappointed the car lost height.

    I might have to get a 2012 Kia Soul after all.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    It is interesting that a subcompact now has a 101 inch wheelbase. The wheelbase of my BMW E30 was 101.2 inches, as were they all. The Sonic reviews I’ve seen quote a curb weight of 2,800 lbs for the hatchback, which has the same dreadful 1.4 liter turbo from the Cruze. This car should be much quicker than the Sonic by having the same power while not weighing as much as a loaded Civic. Too bad it has DI, as I’d much rather have the Accent’s engine and not have to worry about taking the head off more often than I change spark plugs to clean the valves and intake ports.

    • 0 avatar
      colin42

      but you wouldn’t have to worry about the engine as Hyundai has a 10 year powertrain warranty!

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        I’ve been down the long warranty road with a flawed car before. There are always deductables, usually clauses that allow the manufacturer to escape culpability, never loaners available, and far more frustration is involved than in simply buying a better car in the first place. It wouldn’t surprise me if pulling the head to clean the intakes is simply maintenance or wear and tear. Four figure maintenance, but maintenance nonetheless.

      • 0 avatar
        Philosophil

        Their warranty is only five years in Canada. Go figure!

        The engine option is one of the reasons I’m leaning towards the Soul. The 2.0 on the 2012 has no DI (I also like that I can just slide into the Soul’s seats–perfect height for my sometimes troublesome back).

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      I should be designing an aftermarket Sea Foam port-injection system – it should sell like hotcakes in a few years!

      • 0 avatar
        johnxyz

        shaker – Michael, This is not the first time I’ve read of direct injection DI engines being a real maintenance timebomb regarding carbon build-up. Many on the Audi forums discuss issues with carbon build-up in new Audi’s. Huge repair bills to have the dealer clean the throttle bodies and heads. Sounds similar to the sludging in Toyotas and VW’s from late ’90′s – early 2000′s.

        QuestionS: If more and more manufacturer’s models come with DI engines – do you think this carbon build-up can be designed/engineered away?

        Would you recommend avoiding a DI -engined car now? I need a new (Japanese/Korean) car – should I stick with a non-DI Honda or Toyota? Thanks

      • 0 avatar
        shaker

        Don’t know about the carbon problems with DI “gasser” engines, but diesels have had DI forever, and they don’t seem to have issues.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      Have you driven the 1.4L turbo in the Cruze? It isn’t bad at all. Real world mileage from it has been quite impressive as well.

      You can judge how quick a car is by horsepower numbers and weight. The power curve is very important as well.

      • 0 avatar
        Bytor

        Every comparo I have see, had the Cruze doing quite poorly, being not that quick, and delivering less real world Fuel Economy than the field. The engine seems to be the worse thing about the car.

        The Focus is faster and delivers significantly better fuel economy.

        In the MT test:
        Focus 0-60: 8.3 sec, Test MPG: 27.9
        Cruze 0-60: 9.0 sec, Test MPG: 23.8 (Worse FE of 8 tested)

        http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/sedans/1107_best_selling_compact_sedan_comparison/chevrolet_cruze_ltz_rs.html

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        I haven’t seen any source that knows how to calculate fuel consumption and has achieved better than 25 mpg with the turbo Cruze. Car and driver had a first drive with 25 mpg, a comparison test where it returned 18 mpg. Eighteen miles per gallon, not a type. Motor Trend just compared all the major players in the class. The new Civic returned 29.4 mpg. A couple others were in the 27s. The diesel Jetta was 32.3 mpg. The Cruze 1.4t, which was no faster than any of the other cars? 23.8 mpg. It really is that bad compared to the best car in its class. It can’t help that it weighs as much as an intermediate from a competent carmaker.

    • 0 avatar
      MrRams27

      The Accent doesn’t have as much power as the Sonic does. The turbo has the same hp figures as the Accent, but has 25 lb-ft more torque that comes 3000 rpms sooner than in the Accent. Expect a more lively experience in the Sonic thanks to its more low-end power that will come especially handy in the hills and turns. The hatch weighs 2650 which is the same as the SE Accent. The Sonic is looking like a good candidate for class BEST.

  • avatar
    anchke

    And say, didn’t correspondent Karesh report on this car last month under the banner of ’12 Honda Civic EX? No? How can you tell?

  • avatar
    SV

    In terms of looks I’m not a huge fan; it’s like a Fiesta, executed less appealingly. The Ford in hatchback form at least has more appealing proportions, IMO; in sedan form the Accent is a bit less awkward. In practical matters though this Hyundai has the Ford beat obviously, but there’s still the aesthetics issue for me.

    I still don’t get where the “soggy” comments in regards to the Fiesta’s handling are coming from; I’ve driven two of them and both times found the suspension to be reasonably firm. The only thing I didn’t like was that the steering felt too heavy for such a small car. Maybe if I pressed it harder I would have discovered some of that squishiness, I suppose. If the Accent really is more fun, that’s a shocker.

  • avatar
    ToyotaSlave

    Michael, thanks for the review. With the higher price accompanying the new Accent, which one do you think deserves our $$?
    The Accent, or the Elantra?
    This somewhat reminds me of the Fit vs. Civic dilemma..

  • avatar
    dwford

    You neglect the best part: You can get a 2012 Accent GLS sedan without the Premium Package for only $16,000!! You still have the 1.6 GDI motor, 6 speed automatic, ABS, ESC, traction control, power windows, locks, and mirrors, CD stereo with XM and iPod jack, and air conditioning. The only things the Premium Package gets you are keyless remote, fog lights, Bluetooth and the 16″ wheels. Now how does it compare to the competition?

    With the Elantra at a 3 days supply, and these just getting to the dealer, don’t expect a discount. At this price, you don’t need one anyway.

    FYI: the driver’s seat is height adjustable, its the big lever on the side of the seat bottom – clearly visible in the photos…

    • 0 avatar

      That’s height, not tilt. The spec sheet mentions a dual height adjustment–i.e. front and rear separately–but the car I drove wasn’t so equipped.

      • 0 avatar
        shaker

        I’m looking forward to your review of the hatchback, but to be viable for me, it would have to be equipped with a telescoping wheel and a tilt adjustment for the driver’s seat, as it probably has about 40″ of leg room to the gas pedal (like my 2008 Elantra sedan). (My requirements of my next car: Auto, hatch, more leg room than my current car).
        I’m also looking forward to your review of the Veloster – early word is that it’s a hoot to drive.

    • 0 avatar
      Mike

      Exactly! We are in the market for a new compact commuter car. We went and looked at a new 2012 Accent sedan last weekend. We loved the new design and how roomy the car was for a compact. We weren’t able to test drive it as the only model they had on the floor had sold before we arrived at the dealership. The MSRP on the model we looked at was $16,100. We decided that paying an extra $1,200 for the few added features wasn’t worth it. We are going back to test drive one this weekend.

      We went and looked at a Ford Fiesta yesterday and took it for a test drive. We liked the feel of the car, but I think the Accent has more room and seems to be a better value dollar for dollar. Even with my discounted pricing I get through my employer on the Fiesta it’s still about $1,500-2,000 more than the Accent. The only thing we preferred on the Fiesta was having the SYNC system.

      I wish the new 2012 Kia Rio sedan was coming out sooner to compare. It won’t be available until January of 2012 and we are looking to buy in August.

  • avatar
    pleiter

    $1,000 for floor mats ? If AT and AC are a kilo-buck each, that leaves a kilo-buck for floor mats. Or, you mean out the door for $17.5k ?

  • avatar
    colin42

    I was looking at this car earlier today on the website (in hatch form) before Michael’s review and thought “This looks promising, I wonder what Karesh has to say?”

    Well now I know! Although I’d like to understand what equipment levels change between the sedan & hatch back that cost justifies >$2000 premium (GLS vs GS)

  • avatar
    tparkit

    More cars should come without a sunroof — including the upscale trim packages. A sunroof just adds weight in exactly the wrong place (high up), up-front expense, plus another electrical system to malfunction, and reduces headroom. I never open the damn things.

    • 0 avatar
      ZekeToronto

      Different strokes. I’m a fresh air fiend, but convertibles just aren’t practical in my climate. So I’ve had an electric tilt/slide sunroof in every car I’ve owned for the past two and a half decades (mostly European with a few Japanese). Used them every day, weather permitting … and never had a leak or malfunction of any kind.

      Caveats: I trade before my cars accrue very high mileage and I’m of average height.

    • 0 avatar
      segfault

      I don’t like convertibles but I do like a sunroof.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Standard rear discs handy for that hwy panic braking… Mr Karesh did you get chance to eye the rpm’s @ 70 with this auto?

    The Fiesta has no rear knee room. The Fit manual is abuzz on the highway. The Fit & Versa lack rear discs.

    Some markets the 2012 Accent has available door mirror blinkers – say there Cadillac and Mercedes el cheapo just caught up.

    Yeah I give a gull pooh about the sunroof too. Give me a back up camera option – the screen’s in.

    • 0 avatar
      colin42

      Why do you need rear disc? Braking systems have a pressure limiter to the rear wheels to prevent lockup (although I’m not sure they still do with ABS). Rear discs are more about style that function on a standard passenger car!

  • avatar
    Buckshot

    This is the car to get!
    The competitors in the class should be worried.
    It´s just a pity that you don´t get the 128 bhp 1.6 Diesel.

  • avatar
    windswords

    “… and an arching roofline that terminates over yet another, even larger black plastic triangle.”

    Waiting for all the design critics to blast Hyundai for doing the same thing that Chrysler did on it’s Sebring. … still — waiting … Oh, that’s right, this is Hyundai. The new Honda. They can do no wrong. My bad.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s not just the pieces, but how they form a whole, or fail to. The aesthetic problems with the Sebring extended well beyond a triangle of black plastic.

      • 0 avatar
        windswords

        OK. Well let’s try this one. The Sebring was criticized on this site by a writer (it may have been you but I don’t remember) for side body character lines that did not run parallel to each other. As I look at the new Accent I see 3 lines. One at the bottom of the doors, one starting at the front bumpber running thru the door handles to the rear qtr, and one from the top of the headlight/hood thru the top of the doors to the deck. None of them are parallel.

        It’s not that I think the Sebring was attractive (when I first saw one ahead of me in traffic I thought it was a new model Toyota). It’s that I like little consistency. Don’t say a car is ugly because of X and then say that X is just fine on another car. That’s why I like your True Delta site – CR will say model X is trash and unreliable but model Y is ok – and they are same vehicle being made on the same assembly line. TD just looks at the numbers irregardless of who makes it.

        Lack of consistency is why Time (or Newsweek I can’t remember which) did less than 200 words on Anthony Weiner but a couple years a ago did multiple pages on Mark Foley (and why I don’t read them anymore).

  • avatar
    Bytor

    I think this car might hurt Veloster Sales. It has the same drivetrain and should have similar straight line performance and I assume it will be less expensive as well.

    It will definitely be the performance leader in the subcompact class. In fact it will likely be fastest and have the best fuel economy.

    The 6 spd MT is nice for those of us who want to go on the highways with decent RPMs (Honda go sit in the corner on this one).

    Shame about the Hatch styling though. I have also seen it in Video ads on TV and it really is awkward, the Fiesta looks much better.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      You can’t get the GLS sedan 6 speed manual loaded like this one, it only comes in the base package – 14″ steelies, no keyless remote, no fogs, no bluetooth. On the plus side, the GLS 6MT is only $15k. If you want the Accent loaded with a stick, you need the SE 5 door for about $16,500.

      I think you are right about the Veloster. The Veloster will come much better equipped though. Since the SE auto tops out at about $17,500, I bet the Veloster starts at $17,995 and goes to $23k.

      • 0 avatar

        The Veloster is based on the Elantra platform, so I hadn’t realized until you pointed it out that it shares powertrains with the Accent. This must be a first–for the sports coupe to have a smaller engine than the sedan it’s based on. Seems Hyundai agrees that the 1.6 is a sweeter engine than the 1.8.

        Note: Ed informs me that the Veloster is based on the Accent, but by many accounts it’s actually most closely based on neither the Accent nor the Elantra but on the European-market i30. So the picture is murky. All of these cars might be loosely based on the same evolving platform. Dimensionally the Veloster is closest to the Elantra and larger than the Accent.

      • 0 avatar
        shaker

        The Veloster has the same engine, but the auto is a 6-Speed DCT, instead of the 6-speed “slushbox” of the Accent.
        Even if I like the Veloster, the DCT scares me a bit; even Ford is having problems with theirs (which I believe have been in Euro models for some time), and I think this DCT is Hyundai’s first(?)

      • 0 avatar
        dwford

        Per the Insideline first drive video with John Krafcik – Hyundai CEO: he says the Veloster is a mix of parts but is “really more Elantra than Accent.”

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Okay, okay, right here and now, I am declaring an end to ALL plastic triangles. Herewith, ALL cars that currently have them must be immediately redesigned!

    Anyone listening? No, I didn’t think so…oh, well…

    The style of this car along with the Fiesta and Focus and others just doesn’t turn me on – maybe it’s an age thing. Our rental Kia Forte we had in Florida last month was about the same size, I’m guessing, but was a much more appealing car to my styling sense – it looked more like what I think a car should look like.

    I’ll probably stick with a Chevy, though.

    • 0 avatar
      windswords

      “Okay, okay, right here and now, I am declaring an end to ALL plastic triangles.”

      Or, just an end to ALL criticism of said plastic triangles. Or, we could declare North America a PTF (Plastic Triangle Free) zone.

    • 0 avatar

      Because they’ll go away if we don’t mention them?

      The Forte is a larger car, similar to the Elantra. The Rio is Kia’s equivalent to the Accent, and many commenters have noted that it’s more attractive.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        Generally, I’m finding Kia’s styling much more attractive and coherent than Hyundai’s overall, and Kia is supposed to be the poor, ugly sister? Well, I’ll quote an old song lyric: “If you wanna be happy for the rest of your life, never make a pretty woman your wife”!

        Kia works for me!

      • 0 avatar
        Bytor

        For the 2012 hatchback, I think the Kia Rio is better proportioned from the A pillar back, but the front end is way overdone to the point that I would take the Hyundai.

        Is the Kia getting the same drive train?

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        @Zackman, you can thank Peter Schreyer (ex VW and Audi) for Kia’s clean new design direction. I agree that he’s doing an excellent job there …

      • 0 avatar
        tankinbeans

        Are the Forte and Elantra based on the same platform or do they share a number of the same bits? I have one, like it, and have wondered for quite some time.

        I don’t have the SX because I didn’t have the money to spend on the trim. Instead I have the base LX with the only option that I feel I need (A/C, power locks got on my nerves because I’ve had issues with them in other cars, same with power windows that randomly went up or decided not to follow my commands), oh, and it’s a stick – which I’m still working on learning how to drive better. I can get around handily now, but I know there are things I’m missing.

        I read that they are platform sisters, but the Elantra is compact according to EPA, while the Forte is midsize according to EPA. The Elantra gets better mileage (according to EPA), I’m guessing because of a smaller engine and perhaps lighter packaging. Or is this last bit more about gaming the system as is so often discussed?

    • 0 avatar

      My understanding is that the Elantra and Forte are loosely related, with the Hyundai based on a more recent iteration of the evolving platform.

  • avatar
    mtymsi

    For those of us that want a factory installed sunroof the 5 door Kia Rio is shown with one on Kia’s website. Seems odd Hyundai doesn’t offer a sunroof on either the sedan or hatchback.

    • 0 avatar

      Kia tends to offer more features on its cars. To give another example, the Optima offers a cooled driver’s seat. I don’t think you can get one on the Sonata. And you can get the turbo four in the Sportage (driven but not yet reviewed), but not in the Tucson.

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      But Kia tends to get a somewhat dated interior and dash layout (with red backlighting), while Hyundai gets a more “modern” look with blue backlighting. The new Optima’s dash is quite reminiscent of my previous ride (1997 Camaro).

    • 0 avatar
      Mike

      I found a review of the new Accent 4-door sedan dated the end of last year from Korea. It shows the Accent with more options available. I guess they decided not to include these options in the U.S. version. The version they reviewed has a push start ignition, navigation system, and back-up camera.

      Here is the link to that review http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/11/the-2012-hyundai-accent/

      While Kia seems to offer more features on their vehicles, I still tend to feel that the Hyundai has a better quality interior design. I have a few friends with Kia vehicles and the interiors don’t seem to be built to the same quality or design as the new Hyundai models. As Shaker mentioned below the Kia interior design also seems dated.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Colin42:

    You keep the no show rear drums. I’ll take the all discs and lets see who can stop faster in the rain.

  • avatar
    tubacity

    Does Accent have a spare tire and jack? Newest Elantra did not. Not always easy to find spare and jack for a new car. Many found that out when de paxing from PAX tires on 2005-8 Odyssey Touring. Parts often not available at a junkyard for new car. Yes, even miniature spare can be useful. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-epw8Ej6-U
    http://news.consumerreports.org/cars/2011/05/hyundai-elantra-leaves-me-flat-tire.html

  • avatar
    Mike

    Thanks for the review Michael! When the new Elantra came out I was really impressed with the new design. Then I saw the new redesigned Accent and I thought to myself that may be the car we end up buying. We are in the market for a compact commuter car. So far we have looked at the Fiesta, Fit, Soul, and Corolla. We have liked the new Accent better than all of the other vehicles we have looked at. Right now they are sparse on the lots, so we haven’t been able to take one for a test drive. We are planning on driving one tomorrow.

    I read a few comments on here about long-term concerns with the DFI. Is this something I should be concerned with? I’m not as familiar with a DFI engine.

    • 0 avatar

      There have been forum reports about carbon deposits with DI. Every DI engine? I’ve had few if any such reports through TrueDelta’s Car Reliability Survey. So I think they’re far less common than forum reports suggest.

      • 0 avatar
        Sam P

        http://www.audizine.com/forum/showthread.php/298455-Carbon-Buildup

        VW/Audi has lots of carbon buildup issues with their DI engines – especially the 2.0T that makes it into a huge portion of their product portfolio.

        http://www.clublexus.com/forums/is-second-generation/528842-is250-carbon-buildup-poll.html

        Even the DI Lexus 2.5 V6s are having issues

      • 0 avatar
        Bytor

        The problem I have read about is carbon deposits on the intake valves.

        Really the build up seems to be from EGR oil contamination from what I have read. You need garbage in to coat your intake valves, which would just normally contain clean air if it weren’t for EGR/contamination.

        VW seems to suffer most from this. It may be different for each manufacturer depending how contaminated the EGR mix is.

      • 0 avatar
        Mike

        Thanks for the comments on carbon deposits with DFI engines. From the research I could find online I don’t feel too concerned about it. As long as you keep up with the vehicle maintenance it shouldn’t be a concern.

        I was finally able to find an Accent sedan on the lot at my local Hyundai dealership for a drive. I was very impressed with how the car handled, the power of the car, and the smoothness of the transmission. The car was also very quiet as far as road noise.

        When I finished with test driving the new Accent sedan I test drove an Elantra for comparison sake. I will have to say I agree with this review that the new Accent seemed like a smoother ride. I could definitely tell a difference in the throttle response and shifting of the transmission. All in all my wife and I both agreed that the new Accent sedan will be our next car.

  • avatar
    shaker

    Thanks for the links to the forums regarding carbon build-up in DI engines – I had to get an education so this post would be less ignorant than my last one…

    The problem seems to be caused by a “perfect storm” of technologies now being utilized in engines together most recently: PCV (which has been around since the late 50′s), EGR (most notable, the “internal” type that relies on intake/exhaust open valve overlap) and DI (which bypasses the intake valves entirely, thus no gasoline (or cleaning additives in the gasoline) can flow over the valves to help cleanse them of carbon buildup.

    It seems that in gas engines, blow-by gases (that contain unburned fuel) over time, will dilute the engine oil and lower its flash point, thus more oil breakdown products will be suspended in the crankcase gases. These will be pulled into the over the intake valve into the cylinder during the induction phase, leaving a thin coating on the valve. During the exhaust phase, the Internal EGR allows some exhaust gases to flow back past the intake valve, and this heat (with insufficient oxygen to cause burning) solidifies a minute layer of the crankcase gases on the intake valve. The exhaust valve closes, and the piston draws in plain air (mixed with the aforementioned crankcase vapors) onto the valve – the injection occurs directly into the cylinder after the intake closes, thus no “cleaning” of these deposits happens.

    The solutions appear to be: VERY frequent oil changes (to prevent gasoline-diluted engine oil from migrating through the PCV system to the intake valves); a “catch can” in the PCV system to do the same; a yearly 3-step “treatment” (which “treats” the consumer’s wallet very badly, but is said to help remove the deposits; allegedly.

    This almost requires investigation by the consumer to determine the most likely engines to develop this problem; a big “dirty” secret is that these engines will work perfectly when new, but intake valve deposits will build up over time (even with “normal” oil changes) with the idle getting rougher, performance and gas mileage degrading to the point where the intake valves have to be cleaned by some measure of engine disassembly. This could be the mother of all class-action suits, and the value of cars with 80-100k miles on them would plummet, with the knowledge that a major valve-cleaning job awaits.

    EDIT: This would be a GREAT opportunity for TTAC to start a conversation about this issue – bring the manufacturers, consumers and (yes) the government (who has considerable responsibility for the adoption of DI, due to CAFE regulations) into this conversation.

    • 0 avatar
      GaryBeacon

      I own a 2007 Mazdaspeed3 with DI and I can’t say that I’ve experienced this. My car has only gotten better with age actually increasing in average fuel economy from 27 MPG to 30.5 MPG. My commuting is 90% highway and I use only synthetic oil so perhaps this plays a part. I have noticed a lot of carbon buildup on my tailpipe and a ton of carbon in my EGR pipe which I cleaned out about 3 weeks ago but I have to say that this doesn’t seem to effect fuel economy at all on my vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        shaker

        Maybe the “internal” type of EGR (valve overlap) is more prone to this (potential) problem.
        At least if DI becomes commonplace, we won’t have those stupidly-named gasoline additives anymore… maybe.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    We made the same mistake of blowing right past a brand new Accent and mistaking it for an Elantra this past weekend. The 30/40 mileage rating drew my eyes to the windows sticker and the lower price before we realized what it was.

  • avatar
    GaryBeacon

    Thanks for the review… I’ve been looking for a good review on this car for a while. Usually his type of car doesn’t get me excited but I have an unusual excitement over this car and have to congratulate Hyundai for maturing so quickly with their vehicles. I still remember when my brother bought a brand new 1986 Hyundai Excel (what a POS). Now just 25 years later Hyundai is churning out world class vehicles that compete with the best on the market! Kudos to Hyundai!

  • avatar
    sbailey

    Due to health issues, I need an exceptional air conditioning system in a car. How would you rate the A/C in the Accent?

    • 0 avatar
      Mike

      When I test drove the car last weekend the outside temperature in Texas was over 100F. I actually had to turn the a/c down as I was getting a little chilly. Both the Accent and Elantra seemed to have good a/c systems.

  • avatar
    sbailey

    Thank you. Do you have any experience with earlier models in this regard?

  • avatar
    CV

    Michael, do you know when the 2012 Accent hatchback will go on sale? I’ve been reading car reviews of that model so I assumed it was out. But I dropped by a local Hyundai dealership today and the sales manager said he won’t be getting the hatchback model for 4-6 months! That just sounds a little crazy.

    • 0 avatar
      averan

      I bought mine at the end of July, but found out that they are pretty rare and hard to get! For some reason they just aren’t cranking out enough of these. The upside is, that if you manage to get one, you can be sure you will be the only one on the road!

      BTW, the Accent SE is where it’s at. Forget the ugly stupid sedan!

      I’ve never loved a car like I love my Clearwater Blue SE! It is the first car I’ve owned that I didn’t feel like I had to compromise on anything: high mpg, seamlessly smooth auto transmission, sporty yet supple suspension, just enough interior room for an American adult, near-luxury interior in a compact package and perfectly modulated brake/gas pedals make for a well-tuned and even sophisticated ride!

  • avatar
    Hondai

    As an 2003 Accent GS owner, I’d totally get this car in about five years — used. Our current Accent has around 146,000 miles with the original clutch, cold air. It’s been a beater and a half: scuffed up on the outside but still running strong. And just got a 2007 Sonata 5-speed M/T…I must be boring ’cause I really like the way the car looks and drives. Reliability is sexy to me. And if I want to haul ass, I jump on the Honda Blackbird on nice days to hit 100+plus in under 7 seconds.

    But I really do like the sedan…it does look like a Civic ripoff but I don’t care.

  • avatar
    djsega305

    I recently bought the 2012 accent gls base model. It has 138 hp I was thinking about doing a couple mods to it any suggestions? Thanks in advanced!


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India