I am one of 10 people who drive the Hyundai Accent as a work car, of which we have two. It’s is used for delivery to customers at lunchtime and dinner. We also use the vehicle to pick up supplies from other stores so we are not using our personal car for work-related things. The car covers a bit road as we use it daily. The only time it isn’t being used is on Christmas Day or when it’s going in for a service.
It is a good size with a very big boot. From the outside it features Hyundai’s fluidic sculpture design language that dates back to 2012. There are LED indicators in the mirrors but no front fog lights and it rides on 14-inch steel wheels.
Stepping inside, being the base-model Active you have cloth seats and a plastic steering wheel with a lot of hard plastics. The Accent has a 5.0-inch touchscreen for your phone and radio. It comes with Apple CarPlay, which is a nice addition at this price point. You also get manual air-con with four electric windows, with the driver’s window auto up and down.
Being a taller person, the addition of reach adjustment for the steering wheel would be nice. Vision from the front is good with large door mirrors, but looking over your shoulder to the C-pillar there’s a big blind spot. Reverse parking is a challenge with a small back window and the lack of any parking aids such as a reverse camera or sensors.
The Accent is powered by a 1.4-litre engine mated to a CVT gearbox, and the car is wanting for more power. It feels very underpowered when trying to go up hills or with a couple of passengers on board. The engine becomes very loud, so too road and wind noise as the speed builds up.
Fuel economy has been around 8.5L/100km with town driving. The ride can be firm at times and doesn’t settle. The 14-inch Kumho Solus tyres that come from factory wear out very quickly and don’t inspire confidence in the wet, where the traction control can be very intrusive, even in the dry. When driving at night, the headlights seem to be very weak, even on high beam.
After 45,000km the front-wheel inner guards have come off. There’s an annoying squeak coming from the driver’s door, and the other company Accent has developed a very strange engine sound that the mechanics cannot fix.
I drive a base model Toyota Corolla previous-generation hatch. The cabin space is similar, but the Accent has a much bigger boot. One thing I do like about the Accent is the infotainment system that my car is lacking. However, I prefer the transmission in my car as its a conventional automatic, compared to a CVT.
Overall, the Hyundai Accent gets the job done, but is starting to show its age against competitors. If I was in the market for a car of this class, I would consider the Accent Sport model with the bigger 1.6L motor and 6-speed auto, or a Mazda 2 as it has AEB.