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 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."
16 people out of 28 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."
4 people out of 5 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..."
10 people out of 17 found this review helpful
By short stop on Thursday, July 03, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Love the color. Hyundai has reimbursement program."
Cons: "Sits too low. Little bit too small for me"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I love my car, but it is too small for me. You feel every bump because it sits so low to the ground. I would like to get a little bigger car with cruise control. I didn't get the full package either because I didn't want to wait. I would like to get a bigger sized car with Bluetooth compatibility as well. My next car will be a bigger Hyundai. Overall, it is a good car and great on gas mileage. I very much like the Hyundai model car. Gets 30 mpg in city and 45-50 mpg on the highway. Wonderful on the highway."
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By Rocky D on Thursday, July 03, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Price wise good, Light weight and Fuel efficient"
Cons: "Engine is not powerful like SUV so a diff league"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Best in the Price in terms of value for money. Best for a small Family, and avarege use.Lot of saving in term of fuel."
7 people out of 15 found this review helpful
By Oliver on Wednesday, June 11, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great fuel efficiency"
Cons: "Could use a little more power"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I purchased this vehicle when my Saturn finally died. I had heard about Hyundai, but my primary concern was to obtain a vehicle that was both a manual and great gas mileage; this vehicle does both for me. In addition, the trunk space is quite large for the 5-door model, and seats my whole family (myself, wife, two daughters, plus a space in the middle for another smaller person). The price tag is a little high for the vehicle, but I admit, this is probably due to my need for a vehicle and little haggling. Overall, very satisfied; great fuel efficiency and spacious for my needs."
5 people out of 7 found this review helpful