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2009 Hyundai Accent

Overview
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2009 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 fluctuating high fuel prices have this segment heating up, Hyundai's third-generation Accent will have tough new competition for 2009 – 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 2009 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, astonishingly 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 Chevy Aveo.

What's New for 2009

For 2009, cruise control is added to the Popular Equipment Package, and the SE Premium Package now includes a power sunroof. Those with an eye on pump prices and their wallet will be happy to know that fuel economy estimates are up over those for last year's model.

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.

2009 Hyundai Accent Details
2009 Hyundai Accent photo 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, locks and mirrors, 172-watt six-speaker audio system with CD player and XM Satellite Radio, 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, but needs an optional equipment packages to get ABS brakes, auxiliary input jack, 172-watt CD player 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, cruise control and ground effects kit. A Popular Equipment Package for the GLS includes ABS, a 172-watt six-speaker CD audio system, auxiliary input jack and tilt steering wheel, while an available Premium Package adds all that plus 15-inch alloy wheels, power windows, locks and mirrors, remote keyless entry and cruise control. 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 – and wallet-friendly – 26/35 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: 27/33 (manual), 26/35 (automatic)

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2009 Hyundai Accent Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.2
Out of 10

Based on 308 Ratings for the 2006 - 2011 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    8.3/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    8.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.0/10
    Styling
    8.2/10

Great Commuter

By on Monday, July 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 78,214

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Reliable, lots of room for a hatchback, city mpg"

Cons: "Manual trans - less mpg on interstate"

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

"I have used this car as a commuter for 4 years. Great commuter car, easy to get around in, decent acceleration for the engine size, and very reliable. I have also hauled amazing amounts of items in this vehicle. It is deceiving because it looks so small, but it is a great vehicle for hauling small and medium sized loads. I have hauled a kitchen table and 6 chairs at once, various amounts and sizes of lumber, tools/power washer/20 gal air compressor, and the list goes on and on. I paid $11,000 new for this car and don't regret it a bit. The only con I have is that I wished I had bought one with an automatic transmission. The manual doesn't have the 6th overdrive gear and actually gets less gas mileage on the interstate than around town, but the worst gas mileage I have ever recorded has been 29 mpg. 32 to 36 mpg around town."

4 people out of 11 found this review helpful

overall,not a bad vehichle

By on Thursday, April 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 43,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "very small inside"

Cons: "good p/up, and breaking. If your kind to the car,"

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

"for what the car offers it gets great mileage.there's plenty of room for two people I'm told it's a bit snug in back.Good power pickup for it's size,and great maneuverability& traction on clear roads. I'm not a fan of ABS but it does stop well.I think for a single person it's a good car to own,could be a good hand me down for college minded."

12 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Love this car

By on Monday, March 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,150

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"This is my 3rd Hyundai since 1996. They last forever, cheap to run, and have a great warranty. Elantra had over 120,000 on basic oil changes. Buy one!"

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

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."

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

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."

3 people out of 5 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."

6 people out of 13 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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