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2008 Hyundai Accent

Overview
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2008 Hyundai Accent Review

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Introduced in 1994, the Hyundai Accent led U.S. entry-level car sales from 2000-2005, mostly due to its value for the money and an aggressive warranty. Now that high fuel prices have this segment heating up, Hyundai's third-generation Accent will have tough new competition for 2008---Korean partner Kia's Rio, Honda's Fit, Nissan's Versa, Toyota's Yaris and Chevrolet's upgraded Aveo---but it still should continue to be up to the task.

You'll Like This Car If...

If an ultra-practical and affordable subcompact is your next vehicle purchase, you'll appreciate the 2008 Hyundai Accent's value, which includes numerous safety features, a 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 surprisingly responsive handling and cornering capability.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you want something a bit more expressive, especially in a four-door sedan, or prefer a Japanese or domestic brand, you should take a good look at the Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris, Nissan Versa and the surprisingly competitive new Chevy Aveo.

What's New for 2008

All models gain a three-month free subscription to XM Satellite Radio, a tire-pressure monitor system and an auxiliary audio input jack (late availability). SE models with the manual transmission receive a sporty B&M Racing short-throw sport shifter.

Driving the Accent

Driving Impressions Hyundai's 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine generates 110 horsepower, but it's hardly a strong performer. Driving 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 the 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.

GLS Handling
We were pleasantly surprised with the steering and handling of our Premium 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 tire-and-wheel package.

Hyundai Warranty
An extra-long warranty is one thing an automaker can offer to improve buyer confidence and Hyundai's is one of the best, with five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper and 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage that's matched with impressive quality improvements.

2008 Hyundai Accent Details
Interior

The Accent's interior materials 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. 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 feel---except 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 grilles---a 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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The modest GS standard-equipment list includes power steering, tilt steering column, eight-way manually-adjustable driver's seat, 60/40-split rear seat, cabin air filtration, tachometer, variable intermittent wipers and a rear spoiler. The SE adds air conditioning, power windows and locks, power mirrors, 172-watt six-speaker audio with CD, remote keyless entry with alarm and panic alert, fog lights, sport suspension, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and 16-inch alloy wheels. The GLS sedan has base GS equipment plus air conditioning and the 172-watt six-speaker audio with CD, but needs an optional Popular Equipment 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 Equipment

Optional on the SE are a power sunroof and ground effects kit. A Popular Equipment Package for the GLS includes ABS, power windows, locks and mirrors and remote keyless entry, while an available Premium Package adds all that plus 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.

Under the Hood

Hyundai's 1.6-liter four has dual 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 24/33 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: 27/32 (manual), 24/33 (automatic)

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2008 Hyundai Accent Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.2
Out of 10

Based on 304 Ratings for the 2006 - 2011 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    8.3/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    8.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.0/10
    Styling
    8.2/10

An excellent purpose driven vehicle.

By on Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 93,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "Price, reliability, handling, mpg, inexpensive COA"

Cons: "Cheap interior, sub-par seating, no map light."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"One doesn't normally hear "purpose driven" used in reference to economy cars, but the Accent is undeniably a purpose driven low maintenance all purpose commuting vehicle which is inexpensive to purchase and maintain. I bought the Accent Blue to replace my BMW while I was in grad-school. Although I had initially planned on dumping the Accent the moment I graduated, to my surprise, the little Hyundai grew on me. I now use it as my second car, a daily driver in the winter (with studded snow tires), a task which it performs flawlessly. The car's greatest feature is its quality and reliability. I beat mercilessly on the Accent for the first 80,000 miles of ownership, and it took it all in stride. This is no doubt partially due to the fact that I pay meticulous attention to regular maintenance. However, when the maintenance is as cheap as the Accent's, then its easy to do this (much cheaper than maintenance on my BMW and 370z). The tiny tires are even cheap too. I did upgrade the sound system on the Accent because the stock set up was abhorrent. I also added fog lights. Nonetheless, there is very little in this car that warrants changing in view of its purpose as a commuter car. I expect to own it for another 100k if not more. I highly recommend this car for anyone looking for a pure commuter vehicle or as a second vehicle."

Reliable, economical

By on Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 68,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "economical, trouble free, great warranty"

Cons: "OEM shifting, not much power"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"68k miles and I've had 0 problems. Rides well for an eco car. Put a sport shifter in because OEM shifting was awful. Has a lot of goodies for a base car. Great gas mileage- one of the best values out there."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Decent vehicle but small for a large person

By on Tuesday, March 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,600

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "Maintenance free with regular oil changes"

Cons: "Underpowerd, interior space tight, sorry gas miles"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4

"Have owned this accent for 5 years. Gas mileage stinks. 29 miles a gallon is all it gets. Underpowered. Driver space limited. I'm 6'3" 300 lbs. I'm cramped."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Love this car!

By on Monday, March 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "All pros! Easy to drive, love the 5 speed manual,"

Cons: "no cons"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I wish they still made the Accent BLUE...I would buy another in a heart beat. This car goes through snow and does not hesitate on ice. The front wheel drive is excellent. I love that this little compact car that has all the BIG car items: air condition, MP3 player, CD, intermediate wipers, 6 air bags! Great car."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

good , affordable , mostly reliable

By on Thursday, February 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 169,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "economical, easy to drive"

Cons: "lacks power needed for going up mountain roads"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"This car has treated me well and I believe it will continue to do so well beyond 200k. Only issues I had were I had to replace the ignition coils at about 120k and a check engine light that comes on only after car has been parked on a steep incline overnight, after a few miles it shuts off and then the car runs fine. The dealer checked it out and it turned out to be some strange blank code. I've been very much on top of all maintenance, perform at the hyundia dealership."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

A good compact inexpensive vehicle

By on Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Compact, trunk space, tons of cup holders, price"

Cons: "Smallish interior, difficult to fit some carseats"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"We have had this car for a little over 5 years now. It has been very reliable and I still consider it my "new, reliable" car. Its quick and zippy to drive and has a decent amount of interior space and trunk space considering how small the car is overall. We did not hesitate to drive this car on road trips until we had children and their rear-facing car seats started taking up too much room from the front seats. A large stroller can fit in the trunk, and this car can fit in pretty much the smallest of parking spaces. My 6'1 husband drives the car regularly now, and though it isn't the absolute best fit for his size, he can still comfortably drive it every day. There is almost an excessive amount of cup holders, somewhere between 6 and 8 (for a max 5 passenger vehicle). We have had no major repairs on our vehicle in the past 5 years, with roughly 65000 miles on it. (We bought it brand new)."

9 people out of 15 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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