By on May 6, 2019

2018 Accent

For the 2020 model year, Hyundai’s subcompact Accent and compact Elantra ditch their six-speed automatics in favor of a continuously variable unit — a move that’s not likely to elicit too many cries of protest.

Honestly, given the models’ modest torque figures, a traditional slushbox hardly amounts to motoring bliss, and drivers stand to gain faster manual shifts with a CVT. They also stand to gain a significant bump in fuel economy. (Read More…)

By on January 21, 2019

2017 Nissan Versa Note - Image: NissanAmerica’s demand for subcompact cars tumbled 26 percent in 2018, yet another result that points to the eventual demise of all but a few B-segment cars.

2018’s sharp drop – equal to roughly 94,000 fewer sales in the core eight-car subcompact category – follows an equally harsh decline in 2017, when the segment lost more than 95,000 units. Led by a sharp reduction in sales of the top-selling Nissan Versa and year-over-year percentage declines of more than 29 per cent for the Chevrolet Sonic, Honda Fit, Hyundai Accent, Toyota Prius C, and Toyota Yaris, the category’s volume has fallen 48 percent since 2014.

And before you say, “Well, cars are all unpopular these days,” keep 2018’s five million-plus car buyers in mind. Car buyers do, in fact, still exist.

But subcompact car buyers are disappearing much, much faster than car buyers at large. And it may well be because the product execution of subcompact cars is really rather poor.  (Read More…)

By on July 20, 2018

Just a couple of weeks into my ECO 101 class, I knew that something was terribly wrong.

At the age of nineteen, I’d already worked for a few dealerships and I was on the way to opening up my own bike shop. Yet I knew at some level that I was profoundly ignorant of the levers that truly move the world. So I signed up for an economics class to learn about those levers.

I learned a lot of theories and concepts in that semester, most of them “proven” by long experience if not by experiment; much like climate science and astronomy, economics is one of those disciplines where much of the scientific method is rendered inaccessible for obvious reasons. Even as a kid, however, I could tell that pure economic theory, like pure Marxism, had no relation to the real world. I was shown a lot of charts where imaginary widget factories maximized output until they broke even on the last widget they made. I heard a lot about elastic and inelastic demand. Things were shown to be fungible, or perhaps not. But if there was a direct connection to the way business worked in my daily life, it must have been made of Larry Niven’s shadow-square wire.

Now, in my forties, I have come to the conclusion that ECO 101 should not be taught to anyone who has not already taken ECO 102, or perhaps owned a business, or maybe reached the age of retirement. ECO 101 contains information that is too dangerous to be used or acted upon in its purest form. The real world doesn’t play by the rules you learn in that class.

Want proof? Here’s some: apparently people won’t buy a brand-new $16,950 car if it’s listed for half price. (Read More…)

By on July 2, 2018

2018 Hyundai Accent SE front quarter

The marketing executives at Hyundai Motor America would likely prefer you forget about their first offering on these shores, the extraordinarily low-priced Excel. Introduced around the same time as the underwhelming Yugo GV née Fiat 127, contemporary news reports inextricably linked the two bargain hatchbacks, and thus the poor reputation of the Yugo stuck to the good-by-comparison Hyundai.

Frustrated by the acceptable-but-cheap label created by its early models, Hyundai progressively improved both the design of its cars and the overall quality. No longer the butt of jokes, Hyundai’s offerings are rightfully comparable to the leading models in whatever class they compete. So, when I was handed the keys to this 2018 Hyundai Accent SE, I was curious to see how the lineup’s bargain model improved over the decades, and whether the essence of the cheerful econobox was retained.

(Read More…)

By on November 21, 2017

2018 Hyundai Accent Limited

Selling a car in the subcompact/compact classes is an exercise in balance.

For one thing, car buyers will no tolerate a penalty box, even at cheap price points (the Mitsubishi Mirage notwithstanding). There’s a baseline of expectations that’s higher than it once was. Case in point: A previous-generation Hyundai Accent rental nearly drove one of our writers to tears on a recent vacation.

Enter the redesigned 2018 Hyundai Accent. Content matters now in this class, and two of the three trims offer the features most buyers have come to expect these days.

Hyundai keeps it simple with the new Accent. There’s just three trims, one engine, and two transmissions. Options are grouped by trim level.

(Read More…)

By on September 29, 2017

2018 Accent

With sales slipping, Hyundai has decided to trim some fat on the fifth-generation Accent. While a hatchback remains available for the rest of the world, the automaker has indicated the U.S. will receive no such option. This will probably put a few value-oriented motorists with a penchant for liftgates off. But, assuming they can stomach a crossover, Hyundai’s subcompact Kona is right around the corner — and there’s little reason to assume they wouldn’t go for it.

Recent history has proven that the average American will shun a ho-hum hatchback and happily spend more on its crossover equivalent. Pigeonholing the Accent as a sedan will keep it from getting in the Kona’s way. However, this also allows it to remain a traditional car and ignore all the trappings of being SUV-adjacent.  (Read More…)

By on February 16, 2017

2018_hyundai_accent_exterior_3quarter_low-2

Does it look familiar?

If you haven’t seen a new product from Hyundai in the past year and a half, your answer is probably a half-hearted “maybe.” However, the 2018 Hyundai Accent borrows enough design cues from the larger Elantra that the answer should be a solid “Oh, definitely.”

Introduced today at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, the fifth-generation Accent promises more of the things that matter: interior room, length, width, acceleration and fuel economy.

It also breaks from the past in another way. Due to its growth spurt, the Accent — once among the most diminutive cars on the road — can now be classified as a compact. (Read More…)

By on February 9, 2017

2018 Hyundai Accent front teaser - Image: Hyundai Canada

The first complete sighting of the new, fifth-generation, 2018 Hyundai Accent will take place next week at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, Canada.

While not exactly Geneva, Tokyo, Shanghai, New York, or Detroit, Toronto is the biggest city in a market where the Accent has historically dominated the subcompact segment.

But it wasn’t easy for Hyundai Canada to land the global reveal. (Read More…)

By on July 16, 2016

2018 hyundai accent

It looks like the awkward years are over for the subcompact Hyundai Accent.

Our first glimpse of the next-generation Accent comes courtesy of leaked photos from China, where the model goes by the name Verna. In them, the Accent appears all grown up, adopting a large grille and styling reminiscent of its bigger brother, the Elantra. (Read More…)

By on January 15, 2015

quebecspecial

The Nissan Micra has officially lost its title as “Canada’s Least Expensive New Car”. Now, the cheapest new car is now the Hyundai Accent.

(Read More…)

By on September 11, 2014

IMG_7746

 

Renting a subcompact car is usually a good way to get a free upgrade to a “Toyota Corolla or Similar”, but in this case, it was the last car left on the lot. I had no other choice.

(Read More…)

By on August 12, 2014

2015-Hyundai-i20-3

While we get the Hyundai Accent, Europe and other world markets get the i20, seen above.

(Read More…)

By on April 1, 2014

 

hairpin

Auto enthusiasts often dream of taking an exotic car through some of the nicest stretches of winding roads the world can offer.

Hairpin turns… beautiful smooth roads…. nice scenery… and all the power and finesse one can summon in a car made for the perfection of that very moment.

Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini, the list of great cars serving this unique purpose of vehicular bliss is as long as the opportunity is unique. Even the most frugal of gearheads want to experience this thrill sometime between now and their eventual nirvana.

But then again, I may be completely wrong on all of this. Actions speak louder than words in the enthusiast community, and what I find inside a lot of gearhead garages looks a bit like…

(Read More…)

By on November 7, 2012

Well, we knew this one was inevitable. A compliant filed in Ohio court against Hyundai and Kia due to their overly optimistic fuel economy claims.

(Read More…)

By on August 25, 2012

Hyundai doesn’t get every bit of a car perfect before introducing it. No auto maker does. But Hyundai does pay attention to feedback from reviewers and owners, and often upgrades its cars in response to criticism. Only in its fourth model year, the Genesis Coupe already has had its interior upgraded twice.

(Read More…)

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