The all-new fourth-generation 2012 Hyundai Accent carries on the design philosophy already evidenced in the automaker's larger Elantra and Sonata models. The more evocative "Fluidic Sculpture" styling of this now-compact-sized front-driver is complemented by more efficient powertrain elements, a roomier, better appointed passenger compartment and an even longer list of standard and optional features.
All three of the Hyundai Accent models, the GLS sedan, GS and SE five-door hatchback, share the same high-tech engine, Kia's new 1.6-liter Gamma four. Equipped with direct-injection and Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (D-CVVT) as well as various anti-friction coatings, this all-alloy motivator makes a class-leading 138 horsepower and 123 lb-ft of torque and weighs 40 pounds less than the 1.6-liter Alpha engine it replaces. Teamed with either a new six-speed manual (in place of the old five-speed gearbox) or a new six-speed automatic with Shiftronic manual-style capability that replaces the previous four-speed, it helps the new Accent earn 30 mph EPA city ratings and become the fourth Hyundai model to hit the 40 mpg mark on the highway. The automatic also includes a driver-selectable ActiveECO function that modifies the engine/transmission controls and can bring about up to a seven-percent gain in real-world mileage as well as Hillstart Assist Control.
Although powertrain enhancements account for the largest single boost to overall economy, a new motor driven power steering system, a "smart" alternator, low-rolling resistance tires and a cleaner (0.30 cd for the sedan, 0.31 cd for the five-door) aero profile also figure into the equation. Collectively these changes yield highway mileage gains of 11 percent on autoshifted Accents and 18 percent on those with manual transmission.
The 2012 Hyundai Accent has grown modestly but meaningfully in all dimensions, with a 2.8-inch wheelbase stretch being the most obvious gain. Now moving into the EPA compact class, it offers outstanding people and cargo space in either body configuration coupled with a more stylish appearance, upgraded fits/finishes and a versatile 60/40 split-folding rear seat. The feature sets and options vary as you ascend the Accent model hierarchy, but all except the GLS with a manual transmission come with a full array of power assists, air conditioning, and AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio systems with XM Satellite Radio and iPod/USB connectivity -- all which are GLS options. Every 2012 Accent also includes a full complement of safety technology, including Vehicle Stability Mangement, four-wheel disc antilock brakes with Brake Assist and Electronic Brake-force Distribution and front/front-side/side curtain airbags.
As in the past, exceptional value remains a central element of the new Accent formula. On sale this summer, the 2012 Hyundai Accent GLS sedan will start at $13,205 with manual transmission and $15,995 for a GLS automatic. The five-door GS duo will open at $15,355 and $16,555 while the sport SE set kick off at $16,555 and $17,555, respectively.