$16,990 – $22,990
Good: The Hyundai Accent is a stylish hatch both inside and out. Five-star safety rating.
Not so Good: Steering feel; In-cabin road noise; Manual gearbox.
Design and Engineering
Good : Arriving in Australia August 2011 the Hyundai Accent offers customers a modern and stylish design that looks at home in the ever expanding Hyundai model line-up. The new Accent features Hyundai’s ‘Fluidic Sculpture’ design that gives the exterior a European ‘look’.
The Hyundai Accent’s sculptured lines are emphasised by Hyundai’s signature hexagonal front grille, swept-back headlights and bonnet lines.
Not so good : The Hyundai Accent shares its platform with the i20, Kia Rio and Kia Soul. But unlike the aforementioned, the Accent doesn’t seem to share the same on road dynamics.
Interior and Styling
Good : The Hyundai Accent features a stylish and modern interior that offers plenty of space and comfort for driver and passengers alike. The rear seat is also very generous for a sleekly designed car.
The base model Accent Active features a four-speaker CD sound system while the Elite (mid spec) and Premium (top spec) feature a six-speaker CD sound system that is integrated into the symmetric ‘Y-shaped’ dash. Both systems have Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, USB and Aux ports for portable music players and iPod/iPhone connectivity.
Other standard equipment includes steering wheel-mounted audio controls, power windows (auto up/down on the driver’s door), power mirrors, air conditioning and trip computer. The mid spec Accent Elite and top spec Accent Premium get piano black interior highlights, upgraded steering wheel and a premium gear knob.
Meanwhile the top spec Accent Premium adds a reversing camera that displays rearward obstacles in the rear view mirror, rear parking sensors, push-button start/stop with proximity key and leatherette seats and door trim.
Not so good : The interior plastics and trim materials are less than desirable but don’t look too bad.
There is no option for cruise control or sat nav and there is no telescopic reach adjustment on the steering wheel.
In-cabin noise and road roar aren’t the best especially during highway driving.
Good : The Hyundai Accent is powered by a 1.6-litre four cylinder petrol engine that produces 91kW of power and 156Nm of torque. Sending power to the front wheels is a 5-speed manual transmission or the optional four-speed automatic with sequential manual mode.
The four speed automatic with sequential manual mode seemed a better match for the 1.6-litre and changed gears fairly smoothly.
The Hyundai Accent performs well around town and is quite comfortable during the daily commute.
Not so good : We found the manual gearbox a little notchy when changing gears, but the clutch was well weighted.
The 1.6-litre four cylinder petrol engine was up to the task but sounds very noisy when pushed hard and highway driving would be better if there was a sixth gear for the manual transmission.
Ride and Handling
Good : The Hyundai Accent benefits from the smaller 14-inch steel wheels, the suspension feels more compliant over harsher country roads. The steering is light which suits urban driving and the 10.4 meter turning circle is good enough for city maneuverability.
Not so good : The 16-inch alloy wheels look great but give the Accent a less comfortable ride. The electronic steering lacks driver feel and feedback which is a shame because the suspension seems quite good.
Buying and Owning
Good : 5-Star ANCAP safety, impressive list of standard features, a 1.6-litre petrol engine that gets the job done and sleek European styling at an affordable – what’s not to like?
The Hyundai Accent is up against a lot of competition, but it is worth a look. The Accent Elite at $18,490 is a bargain when you consider the standard features and the 5-star ANCAP rating.
Not so good : At this point there is no option for Sat nav or cruise control and the lack of telescopic reach adjustment just seems odd.