By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating:
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
A base 2012 Hyundai Accent GLS has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of just over $14,000, and adding an automatic transmission tacks on an extra $1,000. The 5-door GS trim level starts at around $14,500 and goes up $1,200 with an automatic, while the fully-loaded SE trim can top out at around $17,500. Compared to other cars in it segment, the Accent's pricing is on the lower end of the spectrum. To get your best price, check the KBB Fair Purchase Price to find out what others in your area are paying for the 2012 Hyundai Accent. As far as projected resale value, the Accent has found its way into the middle of the class, as we expect it to hold values on par with the Toyota Yaris, but not as well as the Ford Fiesta and Honda Fit.
By Smokey (CT) on Sunday, February 24, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good price, reliable, good on gas!"
Cons: "Steering needs constant correction."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I drive over 3,400 miles a month, just for work. Then, on the weekends my wife and I take My Accent for our weekly shopping. I own a 2010 Town & Country and we prefer to take my Accent. I recommend this car to anyone that needs affordable reliable transportation. You can drive long distances in relative comfort. I was suprised. Good on gas too! I average over 40 MPG!!"
11 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By scott (CA) on Tuesday, January 08, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Value, roomy int, good MPG. Nice 6 speed manual"
Cons: "steering, no spare, poor support"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"The 2012 Accent itself is a nice car with many positive attributes. For a well appointed transportation car it's hard to beat for the money. The electric assist steering takes some getting used to though, can be tiring on a long drive. This vehicle has no spare tire unless you buy one as an option at a $300.00 cost. Factor that into the price if that matters to you. If you have a concern that can't be resolved at the dealer level don't expect any help from Hyundai America. They don't seem to care about the customer after the sale. What is the point of a long warranty if there is no support. So far the car has been reliable but I will be selling it soon because of the attitude of Hyundai and will be going back to Toyota or Honda, they know how to treat their customers."
15 people out of 17 found this review helpful
By George (TX) on Thursday, October 18, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,300overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Pricing...Ride .....body integrity...many standard"
Cons: "would like electric seats"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"After 11000 miles the fuel mileage is astounding. Cruise control on at 68mph gets constantly 43-44 MPG. Very comfortable and quiet. I bought the spare tire kit as it was a reasonable price and piece of mind. Overall the car exceeds my expectations. I also have 2011 Sonata Limited so we are used to the electric steering so no problem there"
5 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By KB (CA) on Saturday, October 13, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Cons: "Doesn't come plase to the gas mileage promised."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Car rides too low and has already had to have the bumper repaired and the liner replaced. This car is three months old. They claim the car gets 30 mph in town and 40 mph on the highway, with an average of 33 mph. I do get 40 mph on the highway, but get about 24 mph in town. I could have bought a bigger, better made car for that gas mileage. Tried to trade it in for a better car from Hyundai, was told it would be not problem. Found out I would have to take a $7,000 loss and even though I had already told them my maximum payment amount, they couldn't come anywhere close to that amount, even on the Elantra which only costs $1500-2000 more."
20 people out of 28 found this review helpful
By Renate (CA) on Saturday, September 22, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 650overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great mileage fun to drive"
Cons: "May have gotten better deal if I haggled more"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"My first trip, pulled in 37 mpg over 350 miles, combined city and highway. Steers well, smooth ride, love the 6 speed manual tranny."
5 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By Hyundai First Time Buyer (NJ) on Friday, September 21, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "MPG's, price, comfort, aesthetics"
Cons: "no remote trunk release"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This car is proof that Hyundai is becoming a real player in the reliable/quality car industry. The 1.6L GDI engine averages between 33-36 mpg's for me (about 20%/80% highway/city driving) and when you take off eco, or use the sport-tronic shifting, it definitely has some get-up-and-go. The suspension offers some pretty good cornering, and a really quiet ride. As for the electric assist steering.. you can feel the difference if you're looking for it, but if you're just trying to enjoy the drive then it's flawless. No corrections needed, as long as your alignment is right (which after 24k miles, mine is still fine). Hyundai has a great warranty, which admittedly I have been forced to use once so far (the windshield washer feed line fell off). However, I brought it into my local Hyundai dealer (now located in Louisiana), and within 30 minutes they had updated my CPU, replaced the feed line, and gave the car an inspection - All free of charge, which is GREAT! I regularly carry my girlfriend and 2 of my friends (north of 6' males) and there is never a want for knee space. Taking the car from Jersey to Louisiana was surprisingly comfortable (averaged 44 mpg's on that trip!) and the cost to fill up the gas tank has never exceeded $35.00. I'll update if anything goes wrong with this, but I sincerely believe that Hyundai has tweeked their lineup to be competitors to Toyota, Honda and Nissan as opposed to Kia.. Maintenance is really easy, I don't even need to jack the car up to change the oil, you can reach everything from the front (good thing, because they don't include a jack, or a spare tire either). All in all, this car is great bang for the buck, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants a fuel efficient car."
6 people out of 7 found this review helpful