By KBB.com Editors
Introduced in 1994, Korean-maker Hyundai's Accent led U.S. entry-level car sales from 2000-2005, mostly due to its value for the money and Hyundai's aggressive warrantydespite a reputation for somewhat questionable quality. Now that high fuel prices have this segment heating up, Hyundai's third-generation Accent will have tough new competition for 2007Korean partner Kia's Rio, Honda's Fit, Nissan's Versa, Toyota's Yaris and Chevrolet's (also Korean-built) upgraded Aveobut it still should be up to the task.
If an ultra-practical and affordable subcompact is your next vehicle purchase, you'll appreciate the Accent's value for the cost, including its safety features, long warranty and unusual availability of accessories. If your driving aspirations are bigger than your budget, you should also appreciate the SE three-door's sporty look and rare-in-class cornering capability.
Hyundai's new Accent separates itself from most of the competition in several significant ways beyond its warranty and much-improved quality, including slightly stronger standard power output, more standard safety equipment and 35 (dealer- or port-installed) accessories. The three-door models also boast the best interior volume of their class, even more than Honda's size-larger three-door Civic.
Driving Impressions Hyundai's 1.6-liter four-cylinder led its entry-level class at 110 horsepower until Nissan's 122-horsepower Versa arrived, but it's hardly a strong performer. Driving through the optional four-speed automatic in our test...GLS sedan, it managed zero-to-60 mph acceleration in a bit over 13 seconds. By today's standards, that's on the slow side. The SE three-door with manual five-speed transmission can do it in about 11 seconds. Also, like most small engines in inexpensive cars, it's a bit noisy and thrashy at high rpm. Otherwise, our GLS rode and drove fairly well and scooted through turns with surprising response. Despite its eight manual adjustments, the driver's seat did not provide a really comfortable position for us, and its rearward adjustment was insufficient for our longish legs. The cloth-lined trunk is relatively roomy, and the rear-seat pass-through is handy, but rear roominess is just par for the class.
We were pleasantly surprised with the steering and handling of our Premium Sport Package-equipped test GLS on its available 15-inch tires and alloy wheels, and the sports-oriented SE three-door does even better on its 16-inch rolling stock.
An extra-long warranty is one thing quality-challenged automakers can offer to improve buyer confidence. It's expensive if problems continue but provides a strong incentive to improve product quality as quickly as possible. Hyundai has done both in recent years, with its five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper and 10-year/ 100,000-mile powertrain warranties, along with impressive quality improvements.
The Accent's interior materials, fits and gaps are consistent with its price: Generally inexpensive but with attractive textures and two-tone trim. Among the least-appealing items is the central swing-open bin that's shaped like an ashtray but isn't. The actual ashtray is an odd removable cup that sits atop the console. There are handy bins, trays and cupholders between the seats and in the front doors (but no covered bin or locking glove box), a lighter and a second 12-volt outlet on the instrument panel's vertical stack, storage bins in each rear door and pockets on the backs of both front seats. The radio is an easy-to-use unit with large knobs for volume and tuning, while the three-dial HVAC controls are attractive and have a quality feelexcept for a too-stiff temperature dial.Exterior
While the SE three-door is sporty and expressive, we think the Accent sedan is pretty plain vanilla. Its design is clean, functional and fairly aerodynamic, but hardly exciting. The best part is probably up front, with large wide-eyed headlamps, a full-width lower air intake and distinctive grillesa body-color bar across the three-door models, a black-out pattern on the four-door. One nice touch is a body-color protective molding along each side to fend off shopping carts and help prevent door dings.
The Accent comes in three flavors for 2007: Base GS three-door, sporty SE three-door and the GLS four-door. The modest GS standard equipment list includes power steering, tilt steering column, eight-way manually adjustable driver's seat, 60/40-split rear seat (which reclines or folds flat), cabin air filtration, variable intermittent wipers and a rear spoiler. The SE adds air conditioning, power windows and locks and power heated outside mirrors, illuminated vanity mirrors, remote keyless entry with alarm and panic alert (but no decklid release), leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, fog lamps, sport suspension, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and P205/45VR16 tires on 16-inch alloy wheels. The GLS sedan has base GS equipment plus air conditioning and a 172-watt six-speaker audio with CD, but needs an optional Premium Package to get ABS brakes and the power items. All models boast extensive standard safety equipment, including seat-mounted side airbags and roof-mounted side-curtain airbags, in addition to advanced front airbags.
Optional on the SE are a power sunroof and a 220-watt premium audio system with cassette and six-disc in-dash CD player. A Premium Package for the GLS includes ABS, power windows, locks and mirrors and remote keyless entry, while an available Premium-Sport Package adds all that plus 195/55VR15 tires on 15-inch alloy wheels. A four-speed automatic transmission is available on all three models, and there's a long list of (mostly sports-oriented) port- and dealer-installed accessories.
Hyundai's 1.6-liter four has twin overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder and CVVT (continuously Variable Valve Timing) on the intake side. It generates 110 horsepower and provides a very respectable 28/37 EPA miles per gallon when teamed with the optional automatic in the GLS sedan.
1.6-liter in-line 4
110 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
106 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 32/35 (manual), 28/37 (automatic)
By Bugguy on Monday, November 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 150,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Cons: "No rear window wiper, hard to see out of in rain."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"At the time this was my second Hyundai I purchased. Never owned a foreign made car before. Not real quiet, not real fast, not real roomy etc....But what it is, Very inexpensive to buy and operate. Just regular maintenance tires, oil change, belts, timing belt and actually kind of fun to drive. Very dependable. Have since purchased a Sonata and another Accent."
8 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By JL on Tuesday, November 11, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Inexpensive to buy and drive"
Cons: "Not a lot of room or extras"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Bought used to have have a car for my daughters, daughters are gone car still going strong. This is nothing fancy but for day to day work and back it's really efficient. Also I drove it for 1200 miles to move to SC and got over 40 MPG, no discomfort, no issues. The continues to run well with no major problems."
4 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By Fatunclejorge on Monday, November 03, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 89,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good price, spacious interior"
Cons: "Poorly made materials"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"For the price, you really can't complain about Hyundai's in general. Much like everything else, though, you get what you pay for. The price is low so you shouldn't go into buying one of these cars thinking you're not going to have to replace it in less than 10 years. Working on the car itself I've noticed that some of the parts are cheaply made. The good news is that they're not horribly expensive to replace. At just south of 90,000 miles I've had to replace the front right and rear left calipers. Both can be got for less than $100 through online auto warehouses, but to have to do two 6 months apart from one another was disenfranchising to say the least. The car itself is fairly simple to work on; nothing is horribly concealed or covered and getting to where you need to be is pretty straightforward and simple. Staying on top of routine maintenance is easy enough. The front and back seats are plenty spacious, however it seems that they've capitalized on back seat space by reducing trunk size. If you tend to carry a full trunk, you won't be able to fit too much in there. Your backseat passengers, however, will be comfortable and have plenty of leg room. At just south of 90,000 miles, the car is now starting to have persistent and numerous engine problems so it will likely be replaced sooner rather than later. If you want to play the trade in game for a while and get a new car every few years, I'd recommend the Accent because with low mileage it's a good price and will retain it's value if you take care of it. It gets to a point where it starts to have too many mechanical problems to keep up with, and that's when owning it no longer feels justifiable."
6 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By sunny on Tuesday, October 28, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 130,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "fun to drive 5 speed comfortable great gas miles"
Cons: "I have the basics next on like to upgrade extras"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Love this car very reliable, great comfort and I have 132,000 miles and no problems. Regular upkeep I would recommend to a friend."
3 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By Skibum on Friday, August 29, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,600overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Reliable, comfortable"
Cons: "Small, limited back seat, little noisy"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Love this little car, makes my commute easy. Easy to park. I load it up with a yakima, bikes or kayaks or a canoe and it does just fine for it's size. NEVER had a problem in over 50,000 miles, no cost beyond fuel (rather efficient) tires and oil changes. Does surprisingly well in the Wisconsin snow. A little slow but if you are looking at this car speed is not high on your list to begin with. Great bang for the buck."
14 people out of 20 found this review helpful
By redcrow on Wednesday, July 30, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "comfy, easy to drive"
Cons: "total piece of junk. avoid this and all their cars"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"car has been problematic since purchase. coil keeps going, sensors wont work, rattles like mad (even when new) absurd maintenance costs. In general, this car, while only 4 years old, has had more problems, and cost more money to maintain than my other car, 14 yrs old, with almost 200k on it. Other than being comfy, and easy to drive, there is simply nothing good to say about this car, or the company that makes it."
14 people out of 26 found this review helpful