Putting The Accent On Hyundai
Hyundai has made progress over the years to provide quality cars at a cost lower than that of competing models from Toyota, Nissan, Ford, and GM, to name a few popular brands. However, that hasn't always been the case.
When the first Hyundai models appeared stateside during the 1980s, the price was right but quality didn't match up. It took more than a decade for Hyundai to catch up, but today many automotive critics consider Hyundai as one of the top quality brands in the world.
Fortunately, better quality hasn't resulted in a huge spike in prices as Hyundai continues to produce some of the lowest-priced cars on the market including the Accent, the subject of this review.
The Hyundai Accent is the replacement model for the Excel, the very first Hyundai sold in America. Available as either a three-door hatchback or four-door sedan, the starting price for the Accent is $10,775, one the lowest prices for any new car on the market.
It gets better than that -- from now until the end of March 2008, Hyundai is offering $750 cash back on most 2008 Accents, an incentive which might be extended, modified, or reintroduced later in the year.
What You Get With Your Accent
Even at a rock solid low price, Accents come with some decent standard features underscoring that the car you get isn't completely stripped down. Sure, you'll have to pay extra for air-conditioning, a sound system, or automatic transmission, but the five-passenger front wheel drive Accent does include:
* 1.6L DOHC four cylinder engine w/5-speed manual transmission.
* 8-way adjustable driver seat.
* Power steering with tilt.
* Front seat-mounted side-impact airbags, and roof-mounted curtain side-impact airbags in addition to the front airbags.
* 60/40 split fold-down rear seatback.
The interior is spartan, but nicely designed with driver controls well within reach. Fitting three grown up passengers in the rear seat means tight going, but it can be done in a pinch.
Like so many smaller models, storage room comes at a premium unless you fold down the rear seat. With the Accent, the split rear seat makes carrying lacrosse sticks or a floor lamp less of a chore, with no need to have anything hanging out of the rear when packing stuff from home to college.
Sip That Fuel
Although not the most economical car in its class, the Accent delivers a respectable 27 mpg city and 32 mpg highway, numbers which any student can learn to love. Tighter EPA fuel measurements have lowered the numbers over the past year, closer to what many consider to be real-time figures.
The Accent won't turn many heads for you, but that isn't the reason to buy one. Still, with so many college students driving an old family car, the safety and reliability of a new Accent is worth noticing.
March 21st, 2008 | by Matthew C. Keegan