So, what’s your checklist? If you read this site regularly, you have one: the characteristics of your ideal next car. Perhaps more than one, if you have the need or desire for more than one type of car. One of my checklists concerns my ideal compact hatch. The latest contestant: the 2012 Hyundai Accent SE.
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 has received a lot of attention recently for improvements in its product lineup, but as TTAC has proved, it’s actually the brand’s non-product innovations that can be most closely tied to its recent success. Hyundai’s biggest sales growth in the US market has come on the heels of its 100k mile warranty and its Assurance buy-back program, rather than the introduction of any new car. And so, although Hyundai has revealed its new Accent (which we already showed you), the big Hyundai news coming out of New York is the brand’s latest Assurance feat: a trade-in value guarantee. The program rolls out in May, and Hyundai USA CEO John Krafcik tells the DetN that
Depreciation is a big unknown. It’s like giving one of the big benefits of leasing, but you’re still owning the car. We’re already one of the highest brands in loyalty, and we think this will help.
It certainly can’t hurt.
Hyundai’s Sonata overhaul has been well-received by critics and customers, and the next-gen Elantra looks set to move the magic to the C-segment. But what of the Accent? If there’s a vehicle left in Hyundai’s lineup that recalls the bad old days of Hyundai’s bargain-basement past, it’s the current sub-$10k base price Accent. Of course, that’s all about to change, as a new Accent is hitting the roads in Korea… and like most of Hyundai’s new product, it looks like a huge step up from its predecessor. TTAC’s man in Korea, Walter Foreman, was kind enough to send in this mega-dump of over 80 images of the new Accent, noting
The car is 172 inches in length with a 101.2 inch wheelbase and a height of 57.3 inches. No news on the claimed curb weight yet.The 1.4 liter engine is rated at 108 hp and 37.8 mpg with the 5-speed auto and 42.3 with the 6-speed manual [all mpg numbers on Korean test cycle].The 1.6 liter engine is rated at 140 hp and 39.3 mpg with the 6-speed auto and 42.8 with the 6-speed manual.
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.
Several Chinese sites have caught shots of the next-generation Hyundai Accent [via autoincar.com] just prior to its reveal at the Beijing Auto Show. Styling-wise, the Accent appears to combine equal parts Y20 Sonata and Genesis Coupe, in a compact four-door package. The coupe-like profile looks to limit visibility somewhat, but no more so than other examples of the current trend towards bunker-like interiors. Otherwise, we’re looking at a fairly stylish little sedan that should help Hyundai keep its momentum building in the US market. And what of the long-available three-door Accent? Hyundai will likely be replacing both that budget hatch and the Tiburon sports coupe with the Accent-based Veloster sporty hatch.
Puerto Vallarta is a lovely vacation spot for fans of beauty and tranquility mixed with unique Pistonhead sightseeing opportunities. Take the Chrysler K-car: a stateside rarity, but not an uncommon vehicle in a country known for taking our tired, neglected automobiles, giving them a new lease on life. But I never saw a Dodge Caliber or Neon on the roads of Puerto Vallarta. Ever. While Iacocca’s turnaround machine never died in Mexico, the rest of Chrysler’s small car lineup drifted away. For good reason? Cue the Dodge Boyz’ rebadged Hyundai Accent: the Dodge Attitude.