By on January 15, 2007

accent1.jpgThe Yugo and Excel are automotive nameplates synonymous with pistonhead schadenfreude. Yet both models sold well (at least initially). Their success proves two things: 1) you can flog just about anything if the price is low enough and 2) building a car for the lowest possible price does nothing to elevate the automotive arts. While the Yugo has gone to the place where forgettable cars are eventually forgotten (save by those who endured them), Hyundai’s successor to the Excel, the Accent, still strives for, um, sales. After twenty years of evolution, is the Accent still a contender for a Forbes’ best product?

There are few visual cues that the Accent is a cut-rate ride. Black plastic bulges fill the spot “reserved” for fog lights. Tiny wheels with plastic hubcaps “fill” the wheel wells. The Accent’s wide-eyed mug and rounded haunches border on cute: a reflection of the current “let’s mask cheap with charm” routine. Although it errs on the side of inoffensiveness, the Accent’s free from the more blatant automotive plagiarism afflicting its stable mates. Strangely, Hyundai decided to go its own way with the door count. Offering a two door hatch in a market lousy with five door models hinders the wee beastie from the get-go.

asset_upload_file688_1281.jpgSitting in the Accent’s interior is like being trapped inside a die-cast model. From the high effort HVAC switches to the spindly turn signal, the Accent’s switchgear feels like it was bulk ordered from Corgi’s Chinese suppliers. Unless Goth floats your boat, the all-black color scheme is claustrophobic– although you need sunglasses to dim the glare reflected off the low grade plastics. Still, the dash design is simple and attractive; a mixture of organic curves that leaves all the major controls within easy reach (How great is that?). And unlike many cars in this class, slamming the glove box doesn’t send shudders through the dash.

The base Accent comes complete with an AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo. Literally. You want air conditioning, remote entry, power locks and power windows, you’re gonna have to pay. The front seats are roomy enough, with plenty of travel fore and “watch out for your feet back there” aft. While the Accent isn’t lacking in headroom, a little more height would make entry in the rear quarters easier, especially as the doors are short on length.

accent2.jpgDue to these shrunken portholes, rear seat passengers must Pilates their way in and out of the designated compartment. Once there, the accommodations are suitable for two adults. For passengers worried about wearing an SUV as a hat, the space between the Accent’s rear seats and the hatch is generous for the class.

The Accent’s 1.6-liter inline four boasts the highest output of its peers: 110hp @ 6000rpm. Unfortunately, the manual windows have more twist.  The engine’s 106 ft.-lbs. of torque (@ 4500 rpm) are pitted against one of the highest curb weights in its class. With 2500 pounds to schlep, the Accent’s little engine that could has trouble carrying anything heavier than a Playstation to the good little girls and boys on the other side of the mountain.

The hatchback’s acceleration redefines the word; zero to 60 times extend somewhere deep into the double-digits. The Alzheimer automatic doesn’t help; the transmission gets confused when you floor the throttle, pauses for what seems like an eternity and then finally drops down a gear. When it eventually finds a lower cog, the engine groans like an arthritic octogenarian reaching for a quarter.

acccent4.jpgThe Accent’s ride is best described as plush, or, more accurately, nauseating. Bumps are greeted (and greeted and greeted) by endless rebound. When I drove the Accent over train tracks, the car crashed and wallowed like my old man’s old Buick. As speeds increase, the Accent’s body roll becomes, um, “exaggerated.” Hustling this little car is about as exciting as racing turtles, and a lot less safe. Twenty years of evolution have failed to elevate handling to anything above the automotive equivalent of your appendix.

Obviously, the Hyundai Accent is a less punishing econobox than the old Excel. While the overall experience puts the “base” in “basic,” there’s no question that the Accent will get from A to B without threatening an extended diversion to repair shop C or, for that matter, racing rust to the warranty’s expiration. If you take into account inflation, the Accent’s $10k sticker makes a mockery of the 1986 Excel’s $5k entry price. Equally important, the Accent offers exponentially better passive safety: side airbags (both front and rear), seatbelt pretensioners, ABS and enough structural rigidity to earn a five-star frontal crash protection.

Unfortunately for Hyundai, the Fit, Yaris and Versa have arrived to do battle at the bottom of the barrel. Aside from the warranty and a grand or so, the Accent can’t compete with it foes’ style, performance, comfort and practicality.

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89 Comments on “Hyundai Accent Review...”


  • avatar
    bestertester

    it seems the war in this segment is pretty strongly won or lost by the weight battle.

    overweight cars such as the accent, the corsa, the 207 and the clio are fated to do so-so in the market; they are too sluggish and uneconomical.

    those however that are cleverly engineered to be both strong in crashes yet still within the vincinity of 1,000kg (such as the yaris and the fit/jazz), are destined to succeed.

  • avatar
    HEATHROI

    Just when you thought Hyundai was becoming a decent brand – Sonata – Azera then they dive back into automotive excrement. The interior looks like GM’s cheapness department got to it.

  • avatar
    Sir Fatty

    I guess I look at these cars as transportation only. Point A (work) to Point B (home), Rinse, repeat.

    So, this is kind of like the The Quarterly Review of Wines reviewing the latest Thunderbird or Boone’s Farm offering.

  • avatar
    jazbo123

    I predict that we will have a new champion of cheapness as soon as China imports hit our shores. I just can’t wait for those reviews, they should be side-splitters.

  • avatar

    I will give my personal opinion about the Accent. I am currently in the small car market(mid-20s college student needing to reduce my expenses) and the Accent is in my top 3 choices. I have considered either the Accent, Fit or Yaris. I can stand the Yaris’ looks, but not the Fit. The Fit gives me everything I desire for a good price but it is just…weird looking. The Accent on the other hand is appealling to the eyes in its best trim. All 3 provide a decent ride, adequate power and quality, but only 2 I would consider easy to look at it.

    In the end I’ll take the Yaris probably…but I’m unsure if I can tolerate having the dials in the middle. Eh…

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    I thought Excel was a spreadsheet program.

  • avatar
    Glenn A.

    Isn’t it high irony that Hyundai are having problems pricing their lowest line cars in the states due to the Won/Dollar exchange rate, in addition to the “British” type union efforts in South Korea to kill the goose that laid the golden egg?

    Perhaps Hyundai will have to find a low-wage nation to build the Accent in, and then they can upgrade the suspension and interior AND reduce the price.

    All in all, I have to say the car is probably “eh, not bad” as is,
    but having driven a Yaris, I’d have to say Toyota wins until Hyundai can get the price down.

    As for Chinese cars, I saw some photos of a German test of a Chinese “mid-class” sedan (about the size of a Sonata in fact) and when the did the emergency high-speed brake test, the front disc brakes were RED HOT. Needless to say, had I been able to read German, I’d have been laughing my @ss off with their review of this peerless POS. (Peerless, of course, unless you compare it to a 1989 Hyundai Sonata).

    Just goes to show how far Hyundai has come, eh?

  • avatar

    Let’s not beat too hard on black interiors–they make lower grade plastics seem higher in quality than they are!

    Is there too much glass area here for claustrophobia to be a problem, anyway?

    Interested in how the price truly compares? My site’s page for the Accent, with quick links ot the most popular price comparisons:

    http://www.truedelta.com/models/Accent.php

  • avatar
    bfg9k

    I have never understood the value proposition of a $10k car, when there are vast number of much better used cars to be had for $10k. For the same money here in eastern MA you could get an ’06 Taurus, an ’05 Focus ZX3, or an ’05 Cobalt, all with 25k miles or less (using cars.com). I just don’t get it.

  • avatar
    mikey

    You just can’t fault bfg9ks logic here.However some folks just hafta to have a new car.
    But for 10 grand 12 in Canada you can’t expect much.
    Myself I’ll buy a year old and get twice the car for the money.

  • avatar
    bestertester

    Glenn A: interesting point! can you point me to some evidence about this?

    another thing (without wanting to open a pandora’s box…) it used to be that the korean domestic market was all but closed to foreign car makers. has this (possibly highly unfair) situation changed at all?

  • avatar
    NICKNICK

    Without having touched the plastics, I think the interior looks decent. I prefer all-black to “metal look” plastics like the garbage on the HVAC controls. I don’t mind so much if the plastics feel cheap as long as they don’t rattle.

    As far as I can tell, the only ways to judge the plastics are softness, slickness, smell, and shininess.
    If I can’t smell it, good. After the first day of ownership, I don’t touch the dash. Shininess is a huge problem with today’s raked windshields.

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    It looks like a better car than my Tercel was, except in steering feel. And it has the greenhouse of an Alfasud! That has to count for something!

    Anyway, you can’t get a Fit for anywhere as cheap as one of these, so that’s hardly fair. How is it compared to a used Focus?

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    Robert: “I thought Excel was a spreadsheet program”

    You’re thinking of Quattro!

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    You just can’t fault bfg9ks logic here.However some folks just hafta to have a new car.

    Yeah, and new car financing is usually pretty attractive too.

    Still, if that 10yr/100k warranty is transferrable, the Accent looks like a better value as a used car beater. I’d rather spend a little more for a Yaris, or about the same for one of the “loss leader” Foci (Focuses?) I see advertised in the paper most weekends.

    Nice review!

  • avatar
    Brendan McAleer

    Well written review, Craig!

  • avatar

    I just can’t get past the fact that someone actually buys this sort of car with an autobox.

  • avatar

    Thanks Craig!

    I just did some side by side comparisons – Fit, Yaris, Accent, and which ever way you slice it, the Accent will save you significant change in this segment. Suitably equipped T and H cars will take you close to $14K and up – which to me is ludicrous for any B-segment car. The main negative I see is in the area of fuel economy, where the Accent comes up short to the Fit and Yaris by a few digits.

    I could be wrong but I am not real sure performance and handling are key variables for someone looking for a car in this price range and segment. The 3-door Accent SE, with its industry leading warranty, should be a great choice for first time drivers, urban scramblers, students, second car shoppers, and anyone looking for affordable, reliable transportation.

  • avatar
    bfg9k

    # Aatos:
    January 15th, 2007 at 11:58 am

    I just can’t get past the fact that someone actually buys this sort of car with an autobox.

    My first car was an ’85 Nissan Sentra wagon, 69 hp, with a 3 speed auto transmission, which was probably around 2500 lbs like this car. Prayer was a major part of highway merges.

    It was a family hand-me-down, who was I to argue? :)

  • avatar

    I’ll chime in for an opinion from someone who’s owned an Accent since new, a 2003 bought new in 2004. Yes, a car guy with a Hyundai Accent, and an automatic even. I’ve got 55k miles on it, and have had not a single problem at all.

    Why’d I buy it? I actually traded in a Subaru Wagon for it — I needed better gas mileage as I was driving a lot in those days. I also like small cars, and require a hatchback for my evening work as a musician (upright bass). There weren’t that many options around then for small cheap hatches, with the only real competition being the Focus (not as deeply discounted back then, either, and the gas mileage isn’t as good). I traded the Subie w/ 75k miles pretty much straight across for it.

    I’ve had poor luck with used cars, so it was worth the extra cost to have something new with a warranty. I don’t regret my decision at all — it’s reasonably comfortable, holds an enormous amount of stuff, and gets consistently around 35 – 38 mpg. And those piddly little wheels make for cheap tire replacement (those ultra cheep “starting at” prices in the tire ads, those are your Accent tires). Put some snow tires on it and it’s a great winter car.

    Interior is a bland expanse of grey, but also simple and well thought out. In many ways, I prefer it to many of the more expensive cars out there. They went cheap by going simple, not a bad choice in my opinion. Squeaks and rattles, sure, but nothing I can’t live with.

    It’s a great car when all you need is a car; park it anywhere, it will fit and no one will steal it. Don’t care if it lives outside in the winter, so I have room in the garage for my motorcycle and Bugeye Sprite, and can afford them to boot. When I load it up with my music gear, I probably double it’s value. But it gets me to work every day with no worry at all, and does it cheaply.

    My only real complaint is that the 3-door layout is not ideal for loading a lot of gear — gear fits fine, but my back isn’t thanking me. I’ll probably replace it once the loan is up, but only for that reason. If it was a 5-door, I’d be keeping it for years to come.

    And it reply to Aatos, mine is an auto since my wife can’t drive a stick. In real life driving, even here in the mountains (I live at 5550′ in the Rockies) it works just fine. Boring, but fine.

    To sum up: A perfectly adequate workhorse that handles the everyday driving tasks so I can afford my passion car/bike. I can’t ask more than that.

  • avatar
    nweaver

    CarNut: The fit is the most expensive in this segment, but it also has the best standard equipment: Standard ABS, airbags, power windows, AC, etc… THe fit doesn’t come stripped, it comes fully equipped in Honda’s standard way.

    Once you bring a Yaris up to fit equipment level, it gets to be the same price.

    The other advantage of the Fit (and teh Versa) is the 5-door design. Its much better for being able to haul peopel or things, and teh Fit in particular has such a well-thought-out cargo storage area and that counts for a lot.

    If anything happened to my Mazda6 Hatch-bardge, I’d replace it with a Fit in about .002 seconds.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Mr. Altoids:

    Buy the Fit.

    Or, the Suzuki SX4

  • avatar
    rodster205

    The interior looks FAR better than the Saturn Ion I unfortunately rented a few months ago. And with the fog lights and decent wheels in the photo above it actually doesn’t look that bad.

    But I still would not buy one of course, but not bad for this segment.

  • avatar
    NickR

    Where do people who design solid black interiors live? In the summer in Toronto having a black interior is misery. Get in the car after an hour in the sun and likes being broiled, and the plastic gets searing hot.

    Pity that it is so sluggish. My old Nissan Pulsar had a similar problem, and even with a manual it was a pain in the ass, downshifting every time I had to pass or climb a hill. Ugh, not thanks.

  • avatar

    drooartz, I wasn’t referring to the lack of ‘sportiness’ but the considerably worse fuel economy you get with autobox. On a car whose primary idea is to be as cost-efficient transportation as possible.

  • avatar
    yournamehere

    here is something i have had on my mind lately…how much horsepower can you actually use on the street? Here is my thought process. i purchased a Scion xB in march 06…and im in love! i was 20 at the time and nearly bought an RX8 and the new GTI (insurance premiums took them out of the picture) then Scion released a special edition xB (i always had a thing for the xB) and i jumped on it. I have driven the car 15,000 miles and i love every mile of it!!! I have put on a few parts (exhaust, intake, suspension) and the car is just a blast to drive! Sure 200hp, 300h, 400hp would be fun every now and then but you would never be able to unleash it on the streets so really, whats the point. I think one reason im so in love with this car is that i can drive it hard and still be with in reasonable speeds. Example, highway on ramps. everyone knows and loves them…lets say you take your new Corvette Z06 out…realistically how fast can you go before you have to merge? you will be in what 3rd gear? now see my car, i can blast threw every gear and take it right up the RPM range…and when i get there im going with the flow of traffic. I have no problem keeping pace with other cars and passing isn’t a chore. I got to drive my car at 9/10s where as the Corvette hardly broke a sweat. Most are surprised at how well my box can take the twisty stuff. Everyone has there favorite back road they like to play on…but again…you cant truly commit to a corner unless you can see what’s coming. My girlfriend lives in a pretty well to do area, the road leading to her housing development is about 4miles of winding mountain road. I regularly get behind mustangs, corvettes, BMWs, ect and i have no problem keeping pace with them even through some have nearly 3x the power. I even had one Z4 owner flag me down and ask me about my car, he didn’t understand how I was able to keep up. I am no Michael Schumacher. This is why I think the small car segment is growing so fast…people are realizing you don’t need tons of power to have fun. (had I waited 3 more months I would have picked up a Fit) what are everyone’s thoughts on the subject.

  • avatar
    NICKNICK

    yournamehere:
    after owning a GTI and driving an RX8 (and subsequently lusting after it), i’m amazed that you’re happy in your XB. I’ve never driven one, but I just can’t picture loving it–maybe I’ll have to try one out.

    As for on ramps–I’ll bet the Corvette would be in 2nd. My GTI will do 80 in 3rd easily.

    How much power can you use on the street? I use all 180hp every day. I’m at WOT approaching redline at least four times a day–sometimes more. I wish I had 300+hp.

    And as for how your XB could keep up with greater cars–I’d say 95% of that is driver’s willingness to push it combined with tires. If you’ve got your OEM tires, you probably just have more guts than they do.

    Just my personal opinion–I enjoy my GTI at half-throttle way more than driving my old and slow 4Runner at 9/10.

    I totally agree with not being able to commit to a corner without seeing what’s around it. Where I live, the views are often blocked by hills and trees, so I have to make careful choices. I’ve always said that I can only drive as fast as I can see far.

  • avatar
    yournamehere

    i considered selling a kidney on ebay to get the GTI. but i decided to save the organ for a better cause.

    Go drive an xB…so many ppl knock it and they never were in one before. Its a ton of fun to drive. The gear ratios are perfect for the car, it loves to rev high and its just a fun car to drive…plus the aftermarket is HUGE. which was one of the selling points. i knew i wanted to mod what ever i ended up buying…lots of options is really nice. Not to mention the scion community. Scion corporate sets up hospitality tents at major car shows or scion owners with free lunch, couches, big screen tvs, tons of free tshirts, key chains and gives away parts. A close friend won a 42in flat screen TV at a Scion event over the summer.

    little known fact…the xB is more aero dynamic then a New VW Bug and a Lamborghini Diablo. and has more rear leg room then a BMW 7.

  • avatar
    acx

    Fit sales hardly would suggest it has been warmly received albeit near and dear to reviewers hearts who need to do little more than beat the piss out of a car for 4 days then walk away..

    Yaris may well be the catfish to beat, but with aggressive pricing and a solid warranty I would expect the accent will go over fine.

  • avatar
    Craig Pitman

    Thanks for all the comments…

    Just a couple facts regarding Toyota and the Accent. I’m based in Canada, and for some unknown reason Toyota has chosen not to bring up the Scion brand. Which is strange, as most car buyers jump at offering small cars in Canada before the US of A. Just look at the Acura EL/CSX (Acura Civic), wider cloning of the GM Daewoos, the Smart ForTwo, and the fact that they brought us the Echo hatch (effectively the last generation Yaris). In fact even Hyundai entered the Canadian market before the US market, selling the Pony here.

    Speaking of the Yaris, I found the Accent a better car if you can believe it. For one it’s expensive, has less storage, and has the infuriating centre mounted guage cluster. Fit and finish was not up to Toyota speak either I found. Case in point was the fact that the windshield visors were installed wrong and one popped out of the roof as I tried to adjust it.

    Adding to this is the fact that it didn’t drive all that differently, at least not enough to make up for it’s short-comings.

    The Honda Fit on the other hand… It’s a remarkable little car. The dashboard felt flimsy though – my only fault in the short time spent in the car. Compared to other car’s it’s size at least – it’s still tiny and gutless. But much less so than the others.

  • avatar

    I’ve had a rental Kia Rio for the last week (my M Coupe getting some strengthening done on the rear subframe). the interior is a disaster. the thing rolls and leans like crazy. but still, it seems like if it had a manual it’d be mildly entertaining. the auto is so awful, it’s always doing the wrong thing at the wrong time. with a manual it seems like it’d have a little zip. but the most disappointing thing — by my very approximate estimation, I’m barely doing better in mileage than my M. the hell?

  • avatar
    bborrman

    yourname here —

    Thank you for singing the praises of the xB. I bought an ’04 in LA and drove it back to Denver through the mountains when they first came out. That two-day drive was more fun than I’ve ever had in cars costing 4x as much.

    It is the ideal city car — efficient, compact and capable of hauling anything. And friends love riding in the back seat after a night about.

    But it is the drive that’s the most surprising. Reminds me of the original VW Rabbits I learned to drive in. It just wants to be pushed, and the engine loves hitting the red line. I live in Chicago now and love darting in and out in between the lumbering SUVs in traffic.

    A fantastic, fantastic vehicle. And the ownership experience — especially Scion’s constant support and contact, has been ideal.

  • avatar
    Craig Pitman

    Sidenote – when I drove the Accent, the last manual rolled off the lot with someone who had driven a Yaris a couple days before and didn’t like it. The salesman said that happens quite a bit, as the Toyota dealership is just up the street and they’re both owned by the same umbrella of dealerships and are usually referred to Hyundai after visiting Toyota.

    However, a lot of people shopping in this range probably shop by pricepoint, so that might make sense. The Honda dealerships in my area are stand-alone dealers and located away from the dealer strip.

  • avatar
    Busbodger

    I drive a '97 VW Cabrio (115HP). Rarely I wish I had 200 HP to zoom down the streets of our town but really, the max legal speed of my commute is 45 mph and lasts 15 mins. The Hyundai or any of it's low powered cousins would be just fine. In fact my wife and I have agreed to keep two city cars as our daily commuters with something larger and more comofrtable (powerful) for out of town commutes. Buying used that means a minimum cost of purchase and ownership since we are used car buyers and keep cars to 200K when possible. We would like to have a Passat wagon TDI or a Eurovan Weekender on standby for out of town trips. That vehicle would last decades since it would get only a couple thousand miles of use per year. We see this as a low cost method to haul ourselves and our family around (more money for their college educations, retirement for us, payoff the mortgage early – which helps the other topics), we save some gas (good for the environment), and we like the idea of city cars for the city, and larger vehicles for trips or when there is a reason to drive larger cars (hauling, towing, large passenger list). We've got so many OTHER things we want to do with our money (vintage cars we own, travel, restaurants, etc) than pay $25K for a commuter vehicle worth a small percentage after just a few short years. Chris in Cookeville, TN

  • avatar
    bborrman

    bfg9k —

    By the way, have you driven an ’05 Cobalt? I had one as a rental — with a mere 300 miles on it — a week ago. Look, I think GM has come a long way in many segments, but the Cobalt is proof positive that they still don’t get the value end of the world.

  • avatar
    yournamehere

    bborrman: keep on rocking the box! I even talked a freind out of his Dodge Ram and into an xB and he loves his also! I own the RS3 Envy Green (#646) and i get so many looks and questions at gas stations i have to makre sure i leave 15min early for work or else i will be late.

    Busbodger: i had a 97 Cabby and until my xB that was my favorite car i have owned. everything is better topless.

  • avatar
    Paul Niedermeyer

    Craig: I’m not sure I understand your line “if you take into account inflation, the Accents $10k price makes a mockery of the 1985’s Excel’s $5k price”

    5,000 1985 dollars inflation adjusted equals $9,322 today.

  • avatar
    Craig Pitman

    Another sidenote about the Accent vs. Fit:

    I found the Accent to decrease in value as features went up. Depending on options, price can increase pretty quick. And ABS is typically only available in pricier packages. The Fit however offers A/C and ABS in the base model, with better packaging and handling. It also drives so much better. I drove an Accent SE as well and it was worlds better handling wise, but it’s a top of the line Accent and costs more than the base Fit. It was the only Accent model I could stand driving on a daily basis… And that particular suspension is only available on the 3-door SE, and I’m partial to cars with more doors.

    Oh, and in Canada Hyundai only offers a middle-of-the-road 5 year warranty across the board. I don’t know why…

  • avatar
    confused1096

    I’ve seen a lot of comparisons to the Fit or Yaris. How does this car compare with the Aveo.? The Aveo is also in its price class, maybe cheaper after dealer incentives.

  • avatar
    UnclePete

    Craig Pitman said:

    I’m based in Canada, and for some unknown reason Toyota has chosen not to bring up the Scion brand. […] the fact that they brought us the Echo hatch (effectively the last generation Yaris).

    If I remember correctly from seeing them around Montreal I believe the Toyota Echo in Canada is the Scion xA in the US.

  • avatar
    yournamehere

    i know of a handful of ppl that had there scions imported to canada. its pretty common and only needs day time running lights from what i understand.

  • avatar
    chanman

    The Scion xA and xB are based on the Echo platform, but they aren’t (exactly) the same car.

    The likely reason the xA isn’t available in Canada and the Yaris 5 door isn’t sold in the US is that they overlap – I’m betting Toyota figures one subcompact 5-door hatch is enough for each market.

    Speaking of xB’s, I’ve seen them up here. A Nissan dealer I talked to told me they bought them in the US, imported them and then resold them for hefty pennies. Sticker was 20k Canadian, well into the well equipped Corolla/Civic range.

  • avatar
    dolo54

    I drove an elantra for a bit. the suspension was very springy like described for the accent and felt extremely unsafe above 65. 70mph was the max I felt at all in control of the car. pretty sad… also all the airbags in the world would not protect you in a car like this. if this is your ride, do not get in an accident at speed. this car will be crushed like a bug.

  • avatar
    Craig Pitman

    There’s some imported Scions, but I don’t think it’s worth the whole process, especially considering it’s such a cheap car. Although we border each other, there are different laws that avoid cars being driven… I’m not exactly sure what they are though. There was a story I saw in spring about somewhere in Nova Scotia where a new Range Rover Sport was CRUSHED because it wasn’t properly imported from the States (although I think something was lacking from the story – it seemed kind of extreme). DRLs is one law, and I believe there are also laws about the displays being in kilometers instead of miles.

    As for the Scion Xa, it’s different than the Yaris (first or second generation) although they look similar and I believe they’re on the same platform.

    There’s one Scion Xb in Halifax, and that’s it I think. It’s for sale actually – I’m not sure what they want for it.

  • avatar
    bfg9k

    # bborrman:
    January 15th, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    bfg9k –

    By the way, have you driven an ‘05 Cobalt? I had one as a rental — with a mere 300 miles on it — a week ago. Look, I think GM has come a long way in many segments, but the Cobalt is proof positive that they still don’t get the value end of the world.

    Yes, I had one as a loaner once when my Saab was getting some warranty work (the dealer uses Enterprise for loaners). I thought it was a pretty decent small car, but the new Civics and latest Corolla clearly outclass it. It’s as if GM set out to beat the Civic from two generations ago.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    SherbornSean:
    January 15th, 2007 at 11:19 am
    Robert: “I thought Excel was a spreadsheet program”

    You’re thinking of Quattro!

    Quattro was an AWD spreadsheet program.

  • avatar
    bborrman

    Yes, exactly. I really had hi hopes for the Cobalt, but it falls short in nearly all areas. Though, once whipped, the engine can get it going.

    What bugs me the most, and the reason I wouldn’t buy a used one let alone a new one — it’s not just outclassed by the Civic, Corolla, et al. It’s beaten by cars a segment smaller and cheaper.

  • avatar
    rtz

    No matter how good a Hyundai may be; anyone who remembers what Hyundai’s were in the 1980’s still thinks of the current Hyundai’s as being “those cars”. When I think of Hyundai, I think of their cars from the 1980’s because that is what I remember the most. Not the new ones that still don’t do anything for me or wow me or make me desire one.

    When I see someone driving a Hyundai down the highway, I think “why?”. Out of all the cars, why did you buy a Hyundai?

    The word Hyundai at a glance always brings to mind the word Hindu. I think “some piece of crap car from India”.

    As long as Hyundai never has a performance car, they will never be anything. I guess they are happy with where they are and the amount of cars they sell. They just don’t have the drive or desire to be number one. They lack that American gusto and bravado. Suzuki is in the exact same boat. How can they build a motorcycle that runs high 9’s in the 1/4 mile, yet make such lame cars? Suzuki and Hyundai cars are everything I don’t want to be(weak). I’m really surprised they even import those vehicles here. If it doesn’t have a turbo or a V8; don’t even bother.

    1990–1994 turbo Eclipse? Now we’re talking…
    Mid `90’s 300Z, RX7, Supra and to a lesser extent, 3000GT? That’s where it’s at. All other imports are lame crap.

    It’s hard to see things from a non performance point of view. I don’t even dare to imagine what it would be like to be “one of those other types of people”.

    When your ready, come play with the big boys: http://www.turbomustangs.com/smf/

  • avatar

    Aatos — I would have gotten the manual myself, but was restricted by my wife’s inability to shift. Next car I get, I’ll teach her to shift. :-) On the economy side, I’m lucky in that my commute is just about all freeway driving, so the economy hit isn’t as big as it might be.

    rtz — I may disagree with the rest of your post, but I with you on Suzuki. My motorcycle is a Suzuki, and is an amazing value and performer. Their sportbikes are amazing. Most of the cars they sell here are forgettable. They need to send some of their bike guys over to the car side.

  • avatar
    Terry Parkhurst

    The KIA Rio5 is essentially the same car – Hyundai bought KIA during a bad time for the South Korean economy a few years back – with some differences that ensure the KIA handles better: 10.4 inch less length, different tires and a tighter suspension. The exterior design of the Accent has improved a lot since it first appeared in 1995; both cars aren't bad to look at, if admittedly not inspired. We enthusiasts can beat up on both these cars, endlessly. Thing is, unlike wines, you can modify automobiles to improve them. Order either car with a manual transmission, and tune the suspension and engine to suit you, and forget worrying about snob appeal; just enjoy the ride. The proverbial bottom line is that these cars are now decent enough, they no longer deserve to be lumped in with the late, unlamented Yugo. Which leads to a joke: why did the Yugo have a rear window defogger? To give you some place to warm your hands when you pushed it.

  • avatar
    nweaver

    On the Fit’s sales, I think its mostly that Honda is keeping the supply low.

    In many cases, they are only bringing in a few at a time to each dealer, probably because tehy are selling so many world wide and they don’t make em in the states.

    Additionalyl, with gas back down (temporarily), a lot of the small car urgency has failed.

  • avatar
    dwillms

    Anyone else see just a touch of 96-2000 Civic hatchback looks in this car?

    Sorry, this is the closest pic I could come up with:

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v210/slambedcivic/Picture027.jpg

    https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/01/accent2.jpg

  • avatar
    wsn

    Replying to Paul Niedermeyer:

    Craig: I’m not sure I understand your line “if you take into account inflation, the Accents $10k price makes a mockery of the 1985’s Excel’s $5k price”

    5,000 1985 dollars inflation adjusted equals $9,322 today.

    That is, if you firmly believe in government posted inflation rates.

    I think the real number should be about 2% higher than the published number.

  • avatar
    macarose

    Okay, I’m going to chime in here.

    I’ve driven all of the vehicles mentioned… and at this point the Fit would obviously be the leader in the segment.

    But that’s the problem. It’s not really in the segment. When a Fit is properly outifitted it comes to a price point that is headlong into compact territory, and when it comes to the Koreans the Fit is virtually a price competitor to the Kia (just beat the Camry) Optima.

    The only redeeming characteristics of the Yaris are that it is A) A Toyota and B) Gets similar mileage to the late model Echo. Only drones who know nothing about cars would consider a Yaris to be a leader. It remains underpowered (as is the case with every Toyota subcompact), the fit and finish are highly inconsistent, and the overall quirkiness of the interior and bulbous exterior make it a better fit as a stablemate for the Subaru XT Coupe. Again, I’ve driven it many times and for the life of me I don’t see what’s appealing to the public other than the Toyota insignia up front.

    One interesting side note… the PT Cruiser is rapidly becoming a competitor in this price range. I’ve seen base models sell for $11,900 in Atlanta and although it hasn’t yet gone fully under the 10k knife, it may very well do so in the times to come.

    I like the Cobalt. Is it better than a Civic in base trim? Nope. But to me the one thing that’s really lacking in all these reviews is the importance of real-world use in evaluating a vehicle’s qualities. The Versa, Cobalt, Focus and Mazda3 (which remains the bonaifde class leader) have better value quotients when they are outfitted in the higher end. On the lower end, the Focus and Mazda3 are still more fun to drive than the Yaris/Accent/Rio/Aveo group and with proper incentives they are actually competitive with the first two.

    Oh well… some folks dedicate their monies toward world travel and the finer things in life. The rest read what the media tells them is the good life and proceed accordingly.

  • avatar

    rtz : “As long as Hyundai never has a performance car, they will never be anything.”

    Hyundai Tiburon. It may not be that much of a performance car, but it is their “sports car.”

  • avatar
    rtz

    RE: PT Cruiser

    This place sells them brand new for $8988!

    http://www.normannobody.com/

    They advertise them every Sunday in the paper.

    RE: Tiburon

    At a glance, or from a distance or from certain angles, it does look kinda Supra`ish.. I wouldn’t mind a name change though. That name just doesn’t sit well with me for some reason.

    Needs a turbo, then it will have more potential. That car really could be something. As it is though, it is what it is and no more. It can’t be and won’t be.

    I propose that Hyundai study the Buick Grand National:

    http://www.turbobuicks.com/

    RE: Scion

    XB is the box, XA is the fugly one.

  • avatar
    cheezeweggie

    Nice review, and I’m sure your observations are accurate. Regardless, I see a Sh**load of Accents and Elantras on the road around here. They’re cheap and reliable enough and you cant beat the warranty. An entry level Hyundai is still a car that someone in the Sub 30K salary range can afford. I’d consider an Elantra (I must admit, the accent is too small) since I commute a long distance and a car to me is a throwaway item. Hyundai kinda reminds me of Honda, Toyota and Datsun of the 70’s.

  • avatar

    yournamehere: I purchased an Xb in Dec 05 and I agree that most people that knock the the Xb have never driven one. By coincidence I also talked a friend who had a Dodge Ram pickup into buying an Xb. I have some rental houses that I have to maintain and I find that I can get lawnmowers, Airconditioners etc into the Xb with no problem. I once spent an hour in the parking lot of Home depot trying to get an AC into my Honda accord. I just installed some 8 ft fenceing and was able to get it in the Xb. The car also reminds me of a VW Rabbit that I drove 25 years ago. The car is a blast to drive and is an absolute bargain and does not scream cheap on the interior.

  • avatar
    blue adidas

    Pardon my candor, but Hyundai still really stinks. I know, I know, magazines just loved the latest Sonata when it came out… since Hyundai bought three pages of advertising each month and the CEO provided the proper bribes. But now they’ve been on the roads for a couple years now, and they sound like they have marbles in their engines. This car suggests that I have no reason to believe Hyundai is any better today than they were when they engineered one of the crappiest cars of all time, the 1997 Excel. Just because it’s Asian doesn’t mean it’s nearly as good as a Japanese car.

  • avatar
    Arragonis

    Here in the UK where these small cars are a huge part of the market we don’t get a 1.6 litre Accent – only a 95 bhp 1.4 instead, and you can have it with an auto if you really really want to. I suspect this latter option is aimed at the “Motability” market, a government scheme to provide cars for people with limited mobility, usually automatics.

    The prices are a joke though – $10K equates to about £6k, but the base UK price is just under £9k with a smaller engine – Did I move to “Treasure Island” again ?

    It is quite interesting that the higher oil prices of last year seem to have opened up quite a small car market in the US. These cars are pretty much a mainstay in Europe where fuel prices have always been higher and in some countries our cars are taxed by engine size and/or CO2 output.

    The choice here is much wider though as you would expect. As well as entries from Japan and Korea we make quite a few ourselves – the big names in this sector being Peugeot/Citroen, Renault, Fiat, SEAT, Skoda and VW. There are even smaller cars like the Toyota Aygo/Citroen C1/Peugeot 107 which are made in the same factory, and the Fiat 500 (or whatever the newer one is called).

    Performance in this sector can be aimed at the “nippy” end of the market rather than “punchy”. My own preference is for Diesel and most are turbos which makes motorways, overtaking and hill climbing very easy and relaxed compared with “peppy” petrol models which in practice just aren’t.

    How much power do you need ? How much space ?

    When purchasing his first car in 1972 my dad had a choice of a VW Beetle 1300 or a 1200 one with a radio. *Sigh. Still his choice meant he had a lot of time to enjoy the music and I had lots of time to enjoy sticking to the plastic seat covers. He even towed a caravan around Scotland with it. As for space we moved house, landscaped (or gardened at least), decorated, went to school and work in it for nearly a decade – and then replaced it with a smaller Mini (the original one) – the first of 6.

    My first car had 46hp and I remember it being reasonably fast then but the figures tell a different story, 0-60 in 18 seconds and a top speed of 82. I upgraded to the “Sports” version (0-60 in 11, top speed 100) which seemed almost too fast – for a while at least.

    The next Petrol car I had seemed too slow but being a Daewoo Matiz (800cc) it really was. In fact it felt slower than my first car despite having 10hp more. It was a wretched experience.

    My current small car (Fabia VRS) has excellent performance (0-60 in 9 seconds, top speed 130+) and excellent economy (50 mpg+ imperial) thanks to the superb formula of a small car with a much bigger engine, in this case the 1.9 TDi 130hp engine and 6 speed gearbox from an Audi A6. 265 lb/ft torque means hills and overtaking are not issues. Its about the same size as this Hyundai but 99% of the time it has just me or Arragonis Jnr in it so it really doesn’t need to be any bigger. I’m even thinking of stripping out the back seat to save weight and go faster.

    Power needs control though – this morning’s driving lesson is that Edinburgh rain makes traction control not work properly.

  • avatar
    ash78

    Arragonis
    Uh-oh, the dreaded attempt to use exchange rates to equate purchasing power between the US and UK…run away, run away! (I jest. But you can’t compare the two because of an infinite number of factors.) My best guess is that you have to take the GBP price and reduce it by about 20% before you do the USD conversion; relative earnings power and other things are not exactly equal, plus the weak dollar right now is nearly down to 50p! But you are still right in that things over there are relatively expensive compared to most of the world.

    My two UK motoring experiences have been in a Corsa 1.4, which did just fine on country lanes and B-roads. Small, light, and nimble, but far from fast. On a different trip, we hired a 1.9tdi Ford Galaxie (VW Touaran) with an automatic, which did suprisingly well even when fully loaded. For its size, it was also FAR more nimble than comparably sized US vehicles. I was already a diesel fan “on paper,” but that just drove it home. Full load of people and baggage, Air-con running, 30+mpg all the time. I can’t wait until Audi begins to offer the tdi/Bluetec diesels here next year.

  • avatar
    John Williams

    blue adidas:

    From what I’ve seen, the vast majority of used Hyundais and Kias tend to look like they’ve been rode hard and put away wet after 5 years’ time. When browsing around for used cars, I tend to avoid them like the plague, seeing as they’ve been bashed to bits by college students and those in the low income bracket.

  • avatar
    newaccent

    I don’t understand what it is with people always having bad things to say about the Korean built car. The interior isn’t all that bad, and frankly, if you are willing to spend a little money for Cold Air Intake, the engine gets a little more punch to it. I know, I own a 2007 Hyundai Accent Hatch. Better Tires and wheels, Cold Air Intake, Cruise Control, and a little time on your hands, makes for an attractive little ride, that still costs less than 14,000 dollars and has CD player and A/C. I have had it long enough to put 17000 miles on it. I drive it everywhere (literally), and it still runs like new I love the little car. Hey can’t argue with 35mpg at 70-75mph either!

  • avatar
    sardini

    I disagree with the review.

    I’ve been wearing my shoes out looking for a new car and think this one is worth consideration at least, the Accent 3dr hatch [top of the line sport]. I tested the Yaris, Fit and Focus and all three are thousands more expensive [at least for me in Canada] with less dealer incentives, options and warranty. Ok Hyundai doesn’t have the pedigree of Honda or Toyota but this little car has some nice features like sport handling, a seemingly decent heater [I’m in Canada, it’s important!], good fuel economy and power moonroof for well under the other guys [you can’t even get a moonroof in the Yaris/Fit and the Yaris has an electric heater which I don’t think will cut it at -35]. The Focus is fine but expensive too with similar options, has a rep for rattles and is kind of dated for 07.

    The gl sport interior is good [nicer than the Yaris though not as ornate as the Fit] and the exterior has an upscale look with nice rims that reminds me of the civic hatches from the 90’s that I always really liked but with some panache and nicer curves and lines. The Yaris I test drove had a lot of non-inspiring body roll, less passing power and looking over at the centre console all the time is too distracting when driving. The Fit was neat but is a lot more money in a sport model plus I don’t need/want a 4 door.

    My favorite feature on the car is the euro style lockout reverse on the 5spd man. You move the stick to the left and up to put it in R. I’m a die hard stick driver and thought it a really nice little touch to set it apart from the crowd. It has the most legroom by far, I’m 6’0 with long legs and was comfy in it! It has a nice 8 way adjustable seat w/ armrest so you can really adjust your seat position too, for a commuter like me who spends 1.5 hr a day driving it’s a +++. Both the Yaris and Fit didn’t even have an armrest! All in all I think it’s a very nice little economy car and has some good value to it.

  • avatar
    smokefreak2006

    The Accent is the 3rd highest selling subcompact in America behind Aveo and Yaris for some reason. It beats the Fit and Versa by the way. The main reaosn is quality and size for the money. The Accent is larger than the Yaris yet costs less, and has that warranty. The 3 door Accent is the same size as the 5 door Fit. The Accent does have more horsepower except the SX-4 and Versa, however at a price. Who wants to buy a Suzuki? Have you ever driven a Versa? The Versa sounds louder than a 1990’s era Accent with a cold air intake on the highway at speeds of 80MPH(The 1990’s era Accents were loud as hell, I used to own one). Also, a Versa is quite useless of speeds over 85 MPH. Meaning, it does not want to go faster, that has never happend in an Accent. Plus, who wants to buy a rebadged Daewoo in the Case of the Suzuki, or a rebadged Renault in the case of the Versa. For as much as it is to get a Versa or Fit with the same options as an Accent where I live at, you can get a New Elantra, or a used luxury sports sedan. Where I live at you are better off getting New, due to the low depreciation of cars here. The Yaris is smaller yet $1000 more, and when I tested it out I just felt like, “Hey Iam paying the $1000 extra becuase of the Toyota emblems on the car.” Not to mention that Toyota has had many recalls on thier last gen Yaris; The Echo. The Fit is a 7 Year old dated European market design, and on the New Fit that is coming out next year the door handles are still dated looking. Did I forget to mention that the Accent can handle the snow, or climb up mountains at a fast pace? What about the fact that the Accent has not had a recall in 6 years? You can not say that about the Accent’s competition, check the National Traffic Highway Safety Website if you think Iam BSing you.

  • avatar
    smokefreak2006

    Also, you can buy Aftermarket dress ups and garnishes for the interior on the 2007 Accent. I own a 2007 Accent with an Aftermarket inferior, and I think it looks better than the stock interiors of the competition. newaccent is correct about a cold air intake. A cold air intake sets this car free. That is the point of the Accent, to provide a basic car so you can do aftermarket mods, that provide more comfort than the higher priced competition can offer.

  • avatar
    Cliff

    Seems like more and more often professional reviewers are loosing touch with reality. Honestly, why do they continually expect $17k features and performance from $12k cars? Sure, it’s nice when the odd ball pops up and surpasses your expectations, but to expect it is absurd. It’s almost like they need someone to practice their snide, witty remarks on, and cheaper cars make easy targets.

    I myself have researched the Accent and the Yaris extensively, and test driven both on more than one occasion. The Accent hatch in the SE trim is very impressive for the price. I found the ride and acceleration to be more than adequate, and honestly a lot of fun. It was quieter than my 2003 Toyota, felt very solid for its size, and was very comfortable. The only thing it doesn’t come with standard is a sun roof. Hyundai did a fantastic job on it, and if I was still looking at economy cars, the Accent would be my car of choice, no question. I drive a 2008 Mustang GT, and I still find the Accent a very competent vehicle, so take that as you will.

  • avatar
    ptahmusm

    RE:
    smokefreak2006 :
    January 2nd, 2008 at 4:47 am “…A cold air intake sets this car free….”

    Thanks for the input. I’ve been thinking about something stealthily to do with my automatic without calling too much attention to it. We have speed traps (cameras) and a lot of roaming police here who -it seems- can’t wait to stop and give you a ticket for speeding. Just wanted something that would help when merging with uncurteous and careless drivers. Did you notice immediate improvement? Any lag when (if) you stomp on accelerator?

  • avatar

    My Accent sedan is made for EU, and thus has a decent trim level. It has light / dark-gray combination of shades of gray interior. It doesn’t have silver but black central console. The only silver details are rims of the ‘meters’. The floor is made of decent quality, thick carpet. The seats are higher-class, with decorative stitches. There’s no leather on the steering wheel or gear handle, but both are way better than GM/Daewoo, FIAT or Renault offerings in the same class. I bought it without the stereo to install SONY piece. The speakers are load and punchy, but lacking the tweeters in the doors is my only complaint. My Accent has the panorama roof light at the back and map-reading spotlights at front, coupled with sunglasses drop-down compartment. It has power windows, electrical or manual inside locks for children safety, isofix, nice seatbelts, 2/3 foldable rear seats, a huge trunk with nice carpet, lights and a divider net, full size spear wheel (steel). I miss the telescopic steering wheel, but the height adjustable seats were helpful to put myself into comfortable seating position.
    On the outside it has a chrome grill, nice foglamps, black mud protectors behind wheels, front lower black rubber spoiler, a detachable short rubber antenna, big side mirrors in the color of the car, a side strip to protect doors (also in the color of the car). The rear bumper goes deep and hides the suspension, exhaust, etc.
    The car has all disc brakes with ABS, EBD, gas shock absorbers, Pirelli 14-in tyres. It lacks ESP (in the trim I’ve selected), and the vented seats with electrical controls (memory for different drivers). The aircon is standard (manual), but adequate and economical (you choose when you use it).
    Given the small 1.4l (97 bhp) engine capacity, performance is rather good for a compact sedan of its size and weight, especially when used for city driving and exurban scenarios. It’s a bit of slow/loud at higher speeds (the manual shifter lacks the 6th speed), but if you want to save fuel like me, you could easily drive it at 100 km/h (60 mph) at low 3000 rpm and slow down to 65 km/h and accelerate again with no gear changing.

  • avatar
    smokefreak2006

    Nikolas,

    The US Sedan has 13 more horse, to a sacrifice to MPG. Those 13 more horses translate into 2100 RPM at 60 MPH as opposed to your scary 3000 RPM at 60 MPH. You should try a cold air intake or a short ram. That will eliminate any feelings of slow. Well, at least it does in the US variant.

    The only thing I agree with TTAC on this car is that they should have had a 5 door version. Sedans are baby boomermoblies. Very impractical machines.

    TTAC,

    There might have been something wrong with your tester. I have tested every last one of these B segment cars.

    Yaris= a smaller, more underpowered, overpriced car with the same Hyundai Accent type plastic just painted gray in some areas, plus the Toyota name to justify the price. An inferior Warranty, in a world where Toyota products have been declining in quality over the past 5 years. Did I mention that the Yaris is quite loud too?

    Fit= Great car, same size as the Accent 3 door, same type of low grade plastics just painted Gray in some areas like the Toyota to Justify the price. Less power, plus the old outgoing Fit was a 6 year old European Variant. The Door Handles on the Fit are so 2001 also, and that includes the New One for 2009-2014 about to come out. The FIT is fun to drive, but the Accent is just as fun to drive yet a lot cheaper. What can I say, it is a Honda, but that still does not justify the price premium you have to pay to get into one.

    Versa= Very Dissappointing car. The Interior is far and beyond the best on the market. However, it all goes downhill from there. The 5 door Versa is almost the same size as a 3 door Accent except the nose is 3 inches longer, in order to fit those crude 122 horsepower Renault engines in there. Speaking about crude, the Versa’s engine did 4000 RPM at 80 MPH, when in the Accent 80MPH is only 3200 RPM. The Versa sounded louder than an Accent with a Cold Air or Short RAM intake on it, and that is with the radios in both cars blasting. The Versa is like the ugly girl with the nice body and great personality. If you like that kind of thing, hey go ahead. However, I would not trust a car brought over here that is a rebadged variant of a car from an Automaker (Renault) that could not even make it in the US market. Plus Nissans have too many engine fire and other mechanical problems as of late. It seems as if Nissan actually needs the 10 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty. Not Hyundai.

    My Whole Point here is The Accent is not for people who solely want to drive a basic car everyday. It is a Lightweight Tuner car, and is marketed fot that reason. The Accent is a great car for Tuners, I tune mines a lot.

    Plus, The Accent has not had a recall in 6 years. You can not say that about the Fit, Versa, or last Gen Toyota Yarises (called Echos) in the US. It was also given an award recently for being the most relable B-Segment subcompact car for period 2000-2005 by Consumer Reports.

    But hey, most of you are going to go out and waste your money on a GM/Daewoo Aveo, or an overpriced Yaris. Since those 2 cars are the 2 best selling cars in the class behind the Accent. Finally, if you do not want an Accent I recommend the Honda Fit or Kia Rio, and only the Fit or Rio.

  • avatar

    smokefreak2006:
    Mine is 1.4 liter 16V, with the same manual transmission as the 1.6 liter. It gets loud after 3500 rpm (little over 120 km/h). I think that it has something to do with the ECU mapping.
    I drove it up to 160 km/h (no road to test it safely) and it goes smoothly. I think that the steering wheel servo should provide more resistance at speed over 140 km/h in order to make me feel safer. Some servos in cars I’ve driven do that stiffening, but my Accent doesn’t.

    Regarding the Short RAM / CAI, I’ve thought of it, but the car is still less than a year old and that intervention may void warranty I guess.

    I’ve seen short RAM factory fitted on the new Mazda 2. I considered buying that one, first day it arrived, but it was too small overall (esp. rear seats), and trunk capacity was undersized. Still I would rather choose Mazda 2 (1.3l, 5dr) than a odd-looking Yaris 3dr with the basic 1.0l VVTi engine.

  • avatar
    smokefreak2006

    But hey, most of you are going to go out and waste your money on a GM/Daewoo Aveo based on misguided and ignorant patriotism by a carmaker who ships jobs out of the US, as opposed to Automaers like Hyundai/Kia, Honda, or Toyota that are bringing moe jobs to the US. Or an overpriced Yaris with resale and initial cost values based upon Toyota reliablity folklore from 10-20 years ago be my guest. Since those 2 cars are the 2 best selling cars in the class behind the Accent. Finally, if you do not want an Accent I recommend the Honda Fit or Kia Rio, and only the Fit or Rio.

    Too add, the rear head room could use a little work, but is not inferior to the B-Segment competition nor cars from the larger C-Segment I.e. Civic, Colbalt, etc…. The Rear seats in the 3 Door have more space than the 4 door version. Enough space in fact, that someone my height (6ft 2in) can sit in the backseats without the driver or front seat passenger having to sacrifice comfort. Now, if you have Mc Donalds fatty thighs, well that situation might change. My point is the car provides ample room for males weighing less than 280 pounds and under 6ft 4 in height. The back seat room was ample enough that it closed the deal more than Accent: reliablity, door handles, Price, Warranty, Tuneablity Potential, and Hyundai Owner Loyalty.

    By the way, as an Accent driver, the Accent gets markedly better each generation. I wish they had a 5 door and canceled the Sedans though. The 2012-2017 Accent will hopefully shut the remaining doubters up. Then again the new Refresh for 2009 will be quite signifcant with increases in almost everything, new head and taillight, new interior garnishes, new front fascia, and possibly bringing the hybrid version sold overseas here as well. If not 2009 the Hybrid will be here in 2010.

  • avatar
    smokefreak2006

    Regarding the Short RAM / CAI, I’ve thought of it, but the car is still less than a year old and that intervention may void warranty I guess.

    I’ve seen short RAM factory fitted on the new Mazda 2. I considered buying that one, first day it arrived, but it was too small overall (esp. rear seats), and trunk capacity was undersized. Still I would rather choose Mazda 2 (1.3l, 5dr) than a odd-looking Yaris 3dr with the basic 1.0l VVTi engine.

    The Mazda 2 is coming over here to the US as a Ford B-Segment car named either Fiesta or Escort. From the side it looks like they took stlying cues from the Accent. They have RAMs for the Accent made by Iceman Intakes you can buy from the dealer, well at least for the NA market. I think they are overpriced. They also have intakes for the Accent at http://www.globalautoshop.com/accessories/automotive/hyundai_index.htm which are a lot cheaper. You could also just buy a filter for your stock intake while using the tubing for the stock intake, and get breather filters instead of using the stock vaccum hose.

    A lot of reviewers are saying that the Kia Rio is a faster car than the Accent even though it has the same exact engine. The difference is that both cars have different air intake systems. The Rio’s system is more computer controlled than the Accents.

  • avatar
    smokefreak2006

    Nikolas,

    The Mazda 2 will be sold as a Ford B-segment car in the US, either called Fiesta or Escort. It seems as if they took sytling cues form the Accent.

    You can just attach a filter to your stock intake tubing, not use the vaccum hose that gose to the intake, and use 2 breather filters. You will have a nice intake with that.

    A lot of reviewer state that the Kia Rio is a faster car, but they ahve 2 different intake systems, which makes intake mods on a Rio harder due to the fact that the Rio has a more computer based controlled system. Intake mods on an Accent changes the game completely though. Trust me :)!!!!!!!!!!!

  • avatar

    smokefreak2006:
    Regarding segments, Accent 4dr sedan is longer than a Citroen C4 (hatch), which is a honored classmate of the Europan Ford Focus (3/5dr hatch). Thus I think that Accent sedan must be in the same C segment. I think that Accent hatch is also in the same C segment, as Hyundai Getz is a B-segment car, while the miniature Hyundai Atos couldn’t be anything but A-segment car. Right?

    Yaris 3/5dr small hatch (mad midget to me) is a B-segment car, without a doubt. I don’t know about its 4dr sedan US variant (is it a C-segment car?), but I know for sure that Corolla is a C segment car either in a form of hatch (now called Auris) or in a classic 4dr sedan form.

    It riddles me why are we discussing B segment cars (Fit/Jazz, Versa/Clio, Yaris) in comparison to C segment cars (Accent/Verna, Rio, Corolla).

  • avatar

    I thought the idea is to get a decent C segment car (or a car with lots of equipment) for the same or less money wasted on a better branded B segment car (or a poorly equipped C segment car with lesser warranty, reliability but greater sex appeal)? Am I wrong?

    People may say: You could have bought the BRAND car for that money. I reply, yes I could, but maybe a barebone BRAND car, or a smaller BRAND car. Accent was my best (smart) buy at that time.

  • avatar
    smokefreak2006

    Nikolas,

    In the US the Accent is classified by the governemnt as a B-Segment car even though it is the size of a C-segment car. (Hyundai was not kidding when they said this car has more interior romm than a Civic=classic C-segment car) That will change, becuase Hyundai plans to bring in 2 smaller cars to the US: i-10/Atos, and a car that fits in bettwen the Atos and Accent. Also they might bring over the i-20/Getz-Accent marrying as an Accent 5 door. As a matter of fact, the Smart for two is the only A segment car sold in the US.

  • avatar

    smokefreak2006:
    I will look for a warranty-safe way to improve my intake. If you come across a detailed page on the net of a modded intake, please send it to me using the form at http://www.it-co.biz/cms/plugins/contact

    Regarding the speed and RPM numbers for different types of engines, I have doublechecked (for 3dr – http://worldwide.hyundai-motor.com/common/html/showroom/passenger/accent/spec_3door.html same as for 4dr – http://worldwide.hyundai-motor.com/common/html/showroom/passenger/accent/spec.html) – the 1.4 16V MPI and 1.6 CVVTI engines found inside Accent 3 and 4 door variants are paired with the same gearbox.

    I’ve punched in the numbers for 14″ tires and all gear ratios into the calculator (http://www.f-body.org/gears/) and it produced a table of speeds for the whole range of RPMs.
    There I’ve read that the engine running at 2900 rpm in 5th gear would make the car go 60 mph. Thus, my own testing (100 km/h at 3000 rpm in 5th) were in line with the numbers returned by this calc.

    I’ve attached the spreadsheet here:
    http://www.it-co.biz/[email protected]

  • avatar

    Regarding quality and customer satisfaction:
    J.D. Power and Associates have conducted “The 2008 Vehicle Dependability Study” based on responses from more than 52,000 original owners of 2005 model-year vehicles. The study was fielded from January through April 2008.

    J.D. Power and Associates named the Hyundai Accent a winner in a Sub-Compact Car segment for its dependability. Bellow the highest ranked Hyundai Accent is Scion xA and Chevrolet Aveo.

    Overall, Hyundai is ranked better than the industry average, beating in this game the glorious E.U. manufacturers such as: Ford, Infiniti, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Pontiac, GMC, Mazda, Subaru, Chrysler, Dodge, MINI, Chevrolet, HUMMER, Scion, Volvo, Saturn, Jeep, Volkswagen, SAAB, Isuzu, Kia, Suzuki and Land Rover.

  • avatar
    smokefreak2006

    See Nikolas,

    You made the smart choice with the Accent. This is my second Accent and I know what these cars can do. I have full confidence in this car.

    Those gear/RPM ratios are very obtainable by the way. I have the Automatic Gear Box. When I do 0-60 times, I start with L to 2 to D. Or I just run it straight. Shifting the gears in the Automatic with an intake will get you a 6.1 second time. I have an electric turbo that runs on 2.5 PSI, so my time is 5.3 seconds.

    You have to remove the stock air box completely to do the intake to where it will work correctly. The dealer helped me take it off. SRIs will not void your warranty, but if you decided to do a cold air intake and something happens due to Hydrolock, then yeah your warranty gets voided. In the US they have dealer intakes you can purchase. They are made by ICEMAN. However, they are not cheap in the US they are almost $400. However, a smooth metal intake tube works great for horsepower, but for gas mileage, the rubber stock intake tube works the best.

    Remember Team SR is Hyundais in house Tuner. However, their products cost a lot. There is another tuner that does all Korean cars even the GM Daewoo Suzukis.

    Their site:

    http://www.kdmstuff.com/infodesk/banner.php?number=57

  • avatar

    smokefreak2006:
    Regarding the air induction systems, I wouldn’t go for the functional scoop, because of voiding my warranty.

    Personally I like scoops the way they are done on MINI (by M7 tuning) and that could have a functional scoop that works (M7 Super-AGS). Most of systems only provie cool air, with little or no supercharging (RAM) effect. Maybe they should be refered as scooped Cold Air Intakes.

    Simple CAI’s are OK, but only if you could find an ideal place for the filter. What area in the engine bay has a decent fresh air flow, could be isolated to block engine heat, positioned close to the throttle body?

    I may end up buying a high flow cone filter and place it directly on the TB. I know it wouldn’t be heat isolated and wouldn’t resamble CAI, but that may benefit my car in one way. Most of the times I travel 8 km in one way (commute) and during that time engine barely reaches its working temp. I may also find a way for some fresh air to reach the area.

  • avatar
    smokefreak2006

    Nikolas,

    I have a Ghetto setup almost. I have a rubber mat to block the heat from the engine bay. I placed this mat on the side of the motor. Then, I have the stock rubber tubing attached to an electric turbo, and the intake on the other side of the turbo facing the back of the battery with the front of the intake opening up a little above the top of the battery to where air can be rammed in from the front of the hood, or the engine fans. You have to do some experimenting to get the best temperature possible. You dont want the air to be too hot=bad fuel economy and less horsepower. You dont want the air too cold=lots more horsepower and less fuel economy. You want the air to be warm, thats if some extra horse with lots of fuel economy is what you want. In the Winter, Iam going to take the mat out so that more engine bay heat can circulate better the intake to get it warmer.

  • avatar

    Is this setup any good?
    http://i463.photobucket.com/albums/qq360/nikola100/Accent-Mod/Accent_short_intake.jpg

    That’s easy for me to do myself, without voiding warranty.
    If the better MPG on shorter distances (5 miles) is what I am after, and a better throttle response (torque?), will I benefit from this one?

    The climate conditions where I live are similar to the climate in Chicago or Paris. Hot summers, milder winters with two weeks under snow, and couple of icy months.

  • avatar

    I’ve found an Accent with the functional hood scoop / RAM intake in Malasya. The local model name for Accent is Verna, you might know that. Whatever the name, it looks very good:

    http://i463.photobucket.com/albums/qq360/nikola100/Accent-Mod/Accent_hood_scoop.jpg

  • avatar
    scevrog

    OK, so I’m looking to buy a new car for the 1st time. I currently own a 96 Golf, and have successfully driven it to the ground. It’s rusty, ugly, etc., but I really don’t care. It just doesn’t work anymore.

    So, the Accent is not a great car. Fair enough. It doesn’t perform that well, bumpy, etc..

    But, what if all you care about is “value”.
    All I care about is “value”. The most bang for the buck.

    I don’t drive much. A tank of gas will typically last me two to three weeks.

    I’m also not mechanically inclined.

    So, from a strictly “value” point of view, is this car a good deal.

  • avatar
    smokefreak2006

    scevrog,

    Dont listen to what people say, especially from certain car journals and web sites. If you want proof that the Accent is a good car, look at the http://www.nthsa.gov website and look for the recalls. You will not find any for the Accent in the last 6 years. You cant say that about the modern VW’s coming off the line today. The Accents suspension is more refined than the Rios. Also, the only other reasonable alternative out there would be the Honda Fit. But for the value minded buyer, the Accent is better than the rest.

    As an Accent driver, the car is not bumpy as “some journal/s” state that it is. As a matter of fact, all of the small B segment cars except the Chevrolet offering have decent suspesions. As a matter of fact all of the small cars today are marvels compared to models such as the Jetta from 10-20 years ago. Also, Accents unlike other Hyundai Models wont rust after 12 years. I think Hyundai pulls out all of the stops for the Accents paint job. I know, since this is my Second Accent. My first one was a 98, in which after 250,000 miles of service I traded my Kiara for a new 07 hatch. This 07 is a BMW compared to the 98 by the way. If only Hyundai would bring the i-20 over to America as an Accent5. I cant wait for the Accent Hybrid coming for model year 2011 in spring 2010 also.

  • avatar
    Daddyof2

    Has anyone else besides me thought about shoehorning the Hyundai Beta 2.0 liter engine into this car, lowering the suspension and beefing up the tires to make this car a pretty fun to drive CRX wannabe?

    Just thinkin…

  • avatar
    JJ2955

    All I can say is that I went through three GM vehicles since July of last year. It was two brand new 2008 Saturn Astra’s that experienced complete transmission failures and then a 2009 Saturn Vue XR V6 with numerous serious fit and finish issues and every part was replaced in the front end from power steering rack to tie-rod and CV joints. I had enough and I ran(literally, the delaer wouldn’t even give me a ride up the street after buying four brand new cars from them since 2004) to the Hyundai dealer after I won my lemon law case against GM. Losing over six grand in less than a year with GM’s pretty looking but, mechanically challenged vehicles was enough for me! My 11K dollar accent gs manual tranny could teach a few things to GM. I hope to God that GM evolves into a more customer friendly and ethical institution. I used to be so pro-GM and my 2004 manual Saturn Vue was so much better than what they are making now. Now I am proudly driving my little accent and I dare anyone to be critical of it after everything I went through with GM. My three bad experiences in less than a year definately aged me and have soured me toward a company I used to believe in and trust. I wish that I could write these losses off as a theft on my taxes.

  • avatar

    They call it the Hyundai accident for a reason.  Do yourself a favor and buy used.  A rusted out car from 1987 (even a Yugo most likely) will last you a lot more miles and still in its rusted out state be a much nicer car.

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