The Hyundai Accent light-car range has been repositioned with $2000 price cuts, as the company seeks to cover the loss of the outgoing i20 from within its remaining stable.
Hyundai Australia announced a range of revisions to its “re-imagined, respecified and reinvigorated“ Accent line-up today, with the headline act being a reduction in the starting price to a Mazda 2-matching $14,990 plus on-road costs (down from $16,990).
The changes are very much in-line with what we reported on a few weeks ago, but now the changes are official.
The new range also factors in the deletion of the old Elite specification level on the sedan, which is now available in base Active guise only, at $14,990. The hatch continues to be available in $14,990 Active and $16,990 SR trim. All of these prices are $2000 cheaper than before.
The update also includes the introduction of a new base engine, a 1.4-litre MPi unit from Hyundai’s Kappa family that produces 74kW at 6000rpm and 133Nm at 3500rpm — that’s actually 16kW/23Nm down on the old 1.6.
Fuel use, at least, is down slightly, to 5.7 litres per 100km with a six-speed manual and to 6.2L/100km with the $2000 more expensive automatic transmission, which is now a CVT (with a manual mode) in place of the old four-speed unit with torque converter.
Further up the tree remains the sportier Accent SR, in hatch guise only, with its 103kW at 6300rpm and 167Nm at 4850rpm 1.6-litre engine and rejigged suspension tune (though both versions get Australian-developed springs and damper, as with all Hyundai passenger cars).
Standard features on all variants include six airbags (and a five-star ANCAP rating), front and rear power windows, a 5.0-inch touchscreen audio system, AUX/USB audio input with digital iPod compatibility and Bluetooth connectivity.
As we know, Hyundai Australia was unable to negotiate a decent price on the new-generation i20, sourced from Turkey, on account of our exchange rates. The light car segment is just too price-sensitive to carry a premium product. Ditto the smaller Hyundai i10, unlike Kia and its new Picanto.
As such, the Korean-made Accent is now Hyundai’s segment staple, and indeed it has big shoes to fill. Despite the old Indian-made i20’s advancing years, it’s still the third-top-selling car in its class this year (with 7746 sales), behind only the Toyota Yaris (8968) and Mazda 2 (8619).
It was the outright sales champion in 2014, buoyed by strong campaign pricing and a big following in fleet markets.
Hyundai Australia admits it will be tough to address this shortfall, but it’s making do with what it has. The Accent sits on 4835 units year-to-date, but with no i20 to compete with, expect a sizeable jump. Supply is strong, though whether it can make up all or most of the lost i20 sales remains up in the air.
Accent Active 1.4 MPi hatchback or sedan:
Accent SR 1.6 GDi Hatchback (key specifications above Active):
2015 Hyundai Accent pricing (plus on-road costs):