By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 6.9
In recent years, Hyundai has made an impact on the automotive industry by introducing new nameplates and revising existing ones. Long gone is the bland styling that once plagued its lineup and here to stay is a new progressive design, outlook and strategy that could further cement the brand in the minds of consumers. The 2012 Hyundai Accent is no exception. All-new for 2012, the Accent has a new look, a new engine and even a versatile 5-door design that is poised to deliver some formidable competition to such as the Honda Fit, Ford Fiesta and Nissan Versa. While many consumers never would have thought to even look at an Accent, this revised version could have them doing double-takes.
With superb fuel economy, ample passenger space and an impressive list of available features, the 2012 Hyundai Accent is arguably the best value in its class.
While it is practical and fuel-efficient, the Accent is lacking in the fun-to-drive factor of its sub-compact rivals; specifically the Ford Fiesta and Mazda2.
The 2012 Hyundai Accent is completely updated from the model it replaces, boasting a new look, new engine and a host of standard and available features. Also, a new 5-door version joins the line-up.
Driving Impressions We were fortunate enough to drive the 2012 Hyundai Accent on an extended driving trip which consisted of over four hours of highway driving with some city driving mixed in....Over the course of the drive, we were delighted that the on-board fuel mileage readout continuously showed a reading between 40 and 41 mpg. Gas mileage aside, we also couldn't help but notice how quiet and stable the car is at speed. The transmission shifts smoothly and the engine responds quickly, and even after our extensive time behind the wheel we found the seats to be quite comfortable. We must say, though, that the Accent's driving dynamics are rather sedate. And, while this works well for some, it doesn't necessarily put the same kinds of smiles on our faces that the Fiesta and Fit do, because it lacks their sporty driving characteristics.
1.6-liter Gamma Engine
An engine that provides more horsepower and better fuel economy than those found in the Fit and Mazda2? We'll take it!
Fluidic Sculpture styling
While it isn't an exactly a feature, we really like the how the 2012 Hyundai Accent looks. The wavy, futuristic design sets the car apart from its competitors and even further apart from how it used to look.
While it doesn't have the same the funky, futuristic feel as the Honda Fit and Ford Fiesta, the 2012 Hyundai Accent does have a decidedly refined interior for a car in its class. Using bold shapes and semi-metallic finishes, the Accent's looks on the inside complement its looks on the outside rather handsomely. We especially like the backlit buttons and knobs.
Using the same "fluidic sculpture" design language incorporated in other models in Hyundai's lineup, the 2012 Accent wears dynamic and sculptural lines that give the car an upscale look. Wraparound head and taillamps, a high beltline and sculpted hood creases that flank the signature grille up front accentuate the car's aerodynamic look, giving it a sleek profile. Depending on the trim, the Accent has either 14- or 16-inch wheels as standard.
The 4-door Accent is available in the GLS trim level and the 5-door is labeled GS for the base trim and SE for the sporty and more highly-equipped version. Regardless of the trim level, all Accents come standard with a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine, a 6-speed manual transmission and 14-inch wheels with wheel covers. The 5-door, however, has a few more standard features, including power windows, air conditioning and a 172-watt AM/FM/Satellite radio audio system with six speakers. The higher-trim SE 5-door adds to this list with more even more equipment, including steering wheel-mounted audio controls, Bluetooth, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, 16-inch alloy wheels and a roof spoiler.
The only options available for the 2012 Hyundai Accent are for the 4-door version; they are basically the same features that come standard on the 5-door. The more notable of these features are a 172-watt AM/FM/Satellite Radio, power windows, air conditioning, cruise control, Bluetooth and 16-inch wheels and tires.
The 2012 Hyundai Accent is powered by a new 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 138 horsepower and achieves up to 40 mpg on the highway. Hyundai used an aluminum design for this engine, as opposed to its predecessor's cast-iron block, in order to save weight and also incorporated gasoline direct injection (GDI), which is mostly responsible for the bump in power and fuel economy.
1.6-liter in-line 4
138 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
123 lb-ft of torque @ 4,850 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 28/37
By Flogdog on Monday, December 15, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Nimble, plenty of extras"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Acceleration is surprisingly good for such a small engine. Seating is comfortable. My Accent has a lot of features and is painted a pretty light blue color. My only complaint is that the front air dam is too low to the ground and I have to stay back from curbs."
5 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By ScottyB on Monday, December 01, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "gas mileage, affordable"
Cons: "speakers are terrible"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"There are more things that I like than those that I don't. It's a relatively spacious small sedan with decent acceleration and great gas mileage, but the speakers leave a lot to be desired. If you're a big music fan, this probably isn't the best vehicle for you."
5 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By Chris on Tuesday, September 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great price, six speakers, roomy trunk, good on gas, cheap maintenance"
Cons: "Reliability, quality, cheaply made"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I bought my accent back in January 2014 with 63 miles on it and eight months later I'm ready to trade it in. Within the first few days of driving it I noticed there was a vibration coming from the front wheels when slowing down to full stop. I took it to the dealership and they said the rotors were warped. They resurface the rotors and I had no more vibration. After that I began to notice that the car had trouble staying in a straight line during highway driving. It was as if the wheels couldn't find their alignment, the car slightly swerved to the left and right demanding constant attention to the steering wheel. It could be from the tires being so skinny. But I still took the car to the dealership about five times regarding this concern and they always said they didn't find anything. So I gave up and decided to drive the car the way it is. About six months later I noticed a small rattling noise that seem to be coming from front wheels as well. I could only hear this noise at night. Two months later I can now hear this noise in the daytime. It only happens if I drive over bumps or rough road. On top of that the engine now makes a windup noise when accelerating and shifting gears. The problem occurred when I pumped 91 fuel on accident. That just let me know that This car is very cheaply built and the quality is poor. Too many problems have occurred and the dealership wasn't helpful. I'm getting rid of this car as soon as possible."
16 people out of 33 found this review helpful
By nls on Monday, July 14, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,945overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great safety if driving defensively w/ control."
Cons: "Additional padding needed on seats."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Major damage (totaled) to underbody and front end, but the car definitely held up to the impact without flipping and I was able to steer to roadside on the tire rims (blew on impacting the road). The seat cushion could use more padding to buffer the impact, but I received a good post trauma medical report - no injuries, just sore for a few weeks."
28 people out of 44 found this review helpful
By Quinned on Friday, July 11, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Handling, Driving, Look, Price"
Cons: "Craftsmenship & A/C under-engineered"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"The overal value of the car is 9 of 10 based on the cost in comparison to the overall car. The quality of this model compared to 2010 Nissan Versa (we own)is lacking. It started with a bracket being loose at time of sale and rattling all the way home. Repaired the next day. Within the first 5K miles the drivers control of the passenger window failed. The A/C system of this model are under engineered. There is not enough power to the car to run the compressor at 100% unless your driving. I complained about the A/C compressor having a noise like the sound of the A/C water standing/draining when the car at rest. No issues found even though I heard something (1K-10K). No longer hear noise but now car looses power when the lights are turned on during the day when it is hot outside and A/C is running at full capacity. Front right bracket to bumper failed at approx 30K miles. Original tires didn't last the full rated time and had to be replaced at approx 30K miles."
9 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By roaddog on Sunday, July 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,800overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "gas mileage, fun to drive."
Cons: "no carpet."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I use this car for work and back. Been averaging 40 to 41 mpg. Still can't believe the power this car has, to get such good mileage. It reminds me of the Saturn I used to have, but better. No complaints so far..."
16 people out of 24 found this review helpful