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  • Reasonable handling; decent ride quality; plenty of room, 5-star safety; interior presentation; good audio
  • Steering is numb and vague; petrol engine lacks low-down torque; a number of rivals are more fun to drive; no six-speed manual with petrol variant

OUR RATING
7 / 10



Hyundai Accent Review
Hyundai Accent Review
Hyundai Accent Review

Hyundai lost its hugely successful Getz city car last year with production winding up for the model in January 2011 and supply running out by mid-year. But that didn’t seem to have any knock-on effect when it came to sales in the ever-growing ‘light car’ segment, which for Hyundai included both the i20 and the all-new Hyundai Accent models.

The South Korean car maker topped the light car segment in Australia for 2011, with unit sales of 23,832 cars and a market share of 18 per cent. It was a good result in which the Hyundai Accent contributed 3,625 units, or 725 per month.

Most manufacturers, even the giants like Toyota and Volkswagen, compete in this highly competitive category with just one model, but Hyundai has the advantage with both Accent and Hyundai i20 playing in the same segment. Still, some might say that each model might cannibalise the other, given they offer a similar buying proposition to the buyer albeit with different size engines and body styles on offer.

In fact, most Hyundai markets either get one model or the other, but Hyundai Motor Company Australia gets access to both the European Product (i20, i30, etc) and the general or North American product (Accent, Elantra etc).

Physically, the Accent hatch looks closer in size to the Hyundai i30, but it’s actually built on an all-new platform and gets Hyundai’s latest styling treatment using the so-called fluidic sculpture design language.

Hyundai Accent Review
Hyundai Accent Review
Hyundai Accent Review
Hyundai Accent Review

Understandably, it’s a fresher look than the i30, inside and out, with Hyundai’s signature hexagonal grille and some distinctive character lines common to models such as the Hyundai ix35, Hyundai i40 and Elantra.

There’s a nice coupe-like profile to the Accent, too, with it’s tapered roof line, perhaps even a little dose of the upcoming Hyundai Veloster in there as well.

Inside, the bigger-than-class-average dimensions ensure there’s plenty of leg and headroom.

The Y-shaped dash with metallic and piano black finishes (standard fit on the Elite and Premium variants) is a particularly nice touch, as is the look and feel of the various plastics used throughout the interior, although the dash is hard rather than soft to the touch.

From a features standpoint, the Accent, like all Hyundai models, is typically well specced. Standout items include the sporty, leather-stitched steering wheel with audio and phone buttons, and the six-speaker (including tweeters) audio system that produces a quality sound, even at medium to high volume.

The cloth seats are comfortably broad, but there’s enough side bolstering to hold you in position. There’s also stacks of clever storage compartments, and the 60/40 split fold seats lie virtually flat for easy loading of those longer items. While the rear cargo space isn’t particularly generous, it is however deep enough to handle small boxes and plenty of grocery bags.

Hyundai Accent Review
Hyundai Accent Review
Hyundai Accent Review
Hyundai Accent Review

All Accents feature the latest 1.6-litre ‘Gamma’ petrol engine, which produces 91kW and 156Nm. And while it’s not a particularly exhilarating powertrain due to insufficient torque down low, it is a relatively willing and smooth-revving unit. It’s just that you’ll need to use plenty of those revs to get the best out of it.

Hyundai has, however, just introduced a diesel version, the Accent CRDi, that should produce more punch from its 1.6–litre turbo diesel engine with 260Nm of torque.

It’s relatively fuel efficient, too, using just 6.0L/100km officially, but the drawback is its 43-litre fuel capacity, which could mean fairly regular trips to the petrol station.

Mated to the petrol engine is a five-speed manual transmission (a four-speed auto is available), which offers a good spread of ratios and is smooth shifting. The diesel version is offered with a six-speed manual or four-speed automatic.

Hyundai suffered some initial handling and ride issues when they launched the i45 sedan after getting a decent balance with the i30, but are gradually working on improving their models for Australian roads and conditions.

The result for Accent is a respectable ride over rougher surfaces, though dynamically this is another Hyundai that is composed enough but is some way short of providing the satisfying driving experience offered by the likes of the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo or Mazda2.

Hyundai Accent Review
Hyundai Accent Review
Hyundai Accent Review

The steering that feels lifeless and uncertain certainly doesn’t help.

Safety is well catered for too with a full suite of active and passive safety systems, ensuring a full 5-star ANCAP safety rating. Highlights include vehicle stability management system (VSM), which manages all the active safety systems on board including, electronic stability control, traction control, anti-skid braking system and the motor driven power steering.

And the Accent’s level of kit certainly goes some way to making the Hyundai of interest to those in the market for a city car, even if there are a number of better rivals.

It’s well styled, offers decent road manners, and the petrol engine is respectably lively and fuel efficient.


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HYUNDAI ACCENT BREAKDOWN

Hyundai Accent Review
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  • Lucii Pooky

    Stick the GDi in it and it will be one of the best small cars on the market! When I sat in one at AIMS i was very impressed with all the luxury it had! Would definitely be an easy car to recommend!

  • el toro

    4 speed auto ??? while u could get 6 speed option on the RIO?

    • MisterZed

      Er, the Rio has a 4-speed auto in the base model.

  • Tarquin, Hair Artiste

    Needs GDi, 6 speed auto and better styling… Along with the i20, a dissapointing release.

  • Henry Toussaint

    My Sister Finds this Cuter than the Rio and says the Rio is ugly? Silly, Although I do Like this just as much as the Rio.

    • Lucii Pooky

      Gotta love girls! Must be the green colour :P

      • Henry Toussaint

        Yeah, Very pick on Which is the ‘Cutest’ Car hahaha

  • O123

    What is this obsession with SOFT DASHES!!!!!! I don’t touch my dash EVER!

    • Tarquin, Hair Artiste

      A hard dash is more manly… Those soft touch people should just harden up.

    • SJP

      Soft touch plastics are generally of a higher quality and less like to develop rattles etc than hard plastics.

  • Ivovhp

    In U.S this car has 1.6 GDI

  • Nro

    Jonestley you don’t need 6-speed on cars with less than 200hp

    • drbubo

      Me too. I will buy it if we get the USA specs with USA prices.

  • Guest2

    If the base model manual is $14,990 drive away no more to pay and the base model auto is $16,490 drive away no more to pay, I will think about it.

    • MisterZed

      Go buy a little 3-door 1.4L i20 for $14,990 if that’s all you’re prepared to pay.

    • drbubo

      Me too. I will buy it if we get the USA specs with USA prices. 

      • D Shaw

         And you are quite welcome to the USA build quality too…

  • Guest2

    Just wait. From the Hyundai’s (or Korean’s) marketing strategy, the price will drop soon.

  • Run1

    I’ve just bought a manual Accent and look forward to taking possession this week. Any advice from Accent owners. Have I bought a good one? My first new car purchase having always bought second hand.

    • Henry Toussaint

      What Spec?  Active, Elite or Premium?

    • Papyrus Joe

      Two weeks ago I bought the Accent diesel manual, which only comes in Active (base) trim but it’s a great little car. This is my first new car as well, and I’m enjoying it a lot.

  • neal

    i JUST BOUGHT ACCENT SEDAN…iTS ONE OF THE BEST….BETTER THAN ALL OTHER SEDAN BY PRICE AND BEAUTY,,,AND MANY MORE

  • Mprbt30

    I recently took delivery of a new 2012 accent active hatch in auto. I must say even in base model form the car is very well appointed, comfortable and fuel efficient. The steering is a little light but engine and driveline are both smooth and quiet. With 91kw and 156nm there’s no need for a 6 speed auto, the 4 speed is more than enough, having driven the Rio in 6spd and 1.6gdi I found the little 1.6 a little underpowered for the six speed causing it to downshift one two many ratios and rev the bejesus out of the engine unnecessarily as well as upshift quickly into top gear making it a little laggy.
    I’m extremely happy with little gem and for value you would be hard pressed to find better

  • Smithy

    Looking at getting an accent, what is the price I could pay??

    • MisterZed

      At the moment Hyundai are doing the base Active model for $16,990 drive-away.  This is probably the best price you can get.

  • Showtime

    My girlfriend just bought the Premium Accent automatic for $23,990 drive-away. I have driven it a few times and I have to say I’m very impressed with what you get for that price. The Elite was $21,990 drive-away, but for the extra $2,000 for the Premium you get leather seats, reverse sensors & camera, push-start, and climate control. You also can’t go wrong with 5-year warranty and 12-month service intervals.

    My only complaint is it’s a bit slow off the mark. I thought the 4-speed auto would be a problem, but she never goes over 80km/h anyway. I think if it had the 2.0L from the i30 it would be awesome package.

  • Alex

    sorry for my bad english.. looking around the internet to find what’s wrong with this car. My dad have exactly the same green one 2013 accent 5 dr. Summer time i love this car but when it’s time to driving it in winter the nice ride become a reel nightmare! I suppose something wrong with the electronic stability control, the traction system … i don’t know! I read lots about Elantra owners keep telling that s the most horrible car they had when they have to drive on snow or ice but look like all internet review forgot to try it in winter condition. Car go all over the road, hard to keep the good side on the road, no traction, really instable like if i had absolutely no control on it!

Hyundai Accent Specs

ELITE : 1.6L MULTI POINT F/INJ - 5 SP MANUAL - UNLEADED PETROL - 5D HATCHBACK
Car Details
Make
HYUNDAI
Model
ACCENT
Variant
ELITE
Series
RB
Year
2012
Body Type
5D HATCHBACK
Seats
5
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
MULTI POINT F/INJ
Engine Size
1.6L
Cylinders
INLINE 4
Max. Torque
156Nm @  4200rpm
Max. Power
91kW @  6300rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
79.8W/kg
Bore & Stroke
77x85.4mm
Compression Ratio
10.5
Valve Gear
DUAL OVERHEAD CAM
Drivetrain Specifications
Transmission
5 SP MANUAL
Drive Type
FRONT WHEEL DRIVE
Final Drive Ratio
0
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
UNLEADED PETROL
Fuel Tank Capacity
43
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
6L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
1140
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Height
1450mm
Length
4115mm
Width
1700mm
Ground Clearance
140mm
Towing Capacity
Brake:1000  Unbrake:450
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
RACK & PINION - POWER ASSISTED
Turning Circle
10.4
Front Rim Size
6x16
Rear Rim Size
6x16
Front Tyres
195/50 R16
Rear Tyres
195/50 R16
Wheel Base
2570
Front Track
1489
Rear Track
1493
Front Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Rear Brakes
DISC
Standard Features
Comfort
Air Conditioning
Control & Handling
16 Inch Alloy Wheels, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Electronic Stability Program, Traction Control System
Driver
Power Steering, Trip Computer
Entertainment
Radio CD with 6 Speakers
Exterior
Fog Lights - Front
Interior
Cloth Trim, Power Windows
Safety
Dual Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking, Head Airbags, Side Airbags, Seatbelts - Pre-tensioners Front Seats
Security
Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
Optional Features
Exterior
Metallic Paint
Other
Service Interval
12 months /  15,000 kms
Warranty
60 months /  999,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
28-H-12
Country of Origin
KOREA