Wednesday, November 30, 2011

ATH Presents: 2012 Accent 4 door...The cheap seats...

But by all means not cheap on value. I have been meaning to get into an Accent since they came out some months ago. The thing about it is that they were selling faster than they could make them. It was almost impossible to get my hands on one. That is until yesterday when one joined our family. My dad threw me the key this morning as I was on my way out the door. "Take it for a spin...let me know what you think." I took him up on the offer. The full tank of gas was a gift from the dealership anyway. So off we went.

First things first...

When I first saw this car unveiled, I thought it was OK in the looks department.  Then I saw it in person. It looked much better. The fluidic design on the front is a nice touch and the lines on the front of the car carry the design all the way to the rear of the vehicle. Raked windshield and a high belt line are the trends now and the Accent pulls it off very well. Needless to say, I'm a fan of the new design. Although I do prefer the hatch or the sedan, they did not have a hatch available when we bought it. My dad likes it and that is what is important. The interior will also look familiar. It carries much of the same lines as the Tuscon and Elantra. While it is hard plastic on the inside, it would not appear to be cheap. The different textures on the dash and silver accents are placed strategically around the cockpit. Build quality also seems to be top notch.

When I first sat in the seat, I was able to find a comfortable position rather quickly. The steering wheel has a nice feel to it as does the shifter. The seat itself does not have lumbar support, but feels rather comfortable for a car in this price point. It is not particularly bolstered, but I do not suspect that the owner will be carving up the local mountain roads. The Accent uses the same Gamma 1.6 GDI motor as the new Veloster. It is rated for 138hp and 123ft/lbs of torque. Though I must say that in this car it feels much stronger than in the Veloster. I'm not sure why, but its feels much better in the Accent. The transmissions are the same but the shifter throws in the Accent are longer than in the Veloster. Pedal position is a little awkward. The brake pedal seems to be quite high in comparison to the clutch and accelerator. Heel toe? AH! I do not think so. Same goes for the pedals in the Veloster for that matter. On a side note, the pedals in the Coupe are just right.

Skimps on the ride?...

I found the ride to be comfortable while tooting around town, especially on the rough and uneven surfaces of NJ. Perhaps I was spoiled by Florida's smooth roads? Maybe. This car also has a sold torsion beam rear suspension which did not seem to be too upset with the rough roads. Body lean is at a minimum, unlike Accents of the past. Even the little 14" steel wheels with 175/70 tires it hold their own while driving on some of my favorite PA back roads. While route 191 south of Stroudsburg, PA has disappointingly changed from a 55mph zone to a 45mph zone, it is not the speed I was looking for admittedly, I was more concerned if I could maintain speed. Being that this car is about fuel mileage I wanted to see if I could keep my speed up and minimize downshifts and throttle movements. Happy to say that I could easily maintain the speed limit in 5th gear till the top. The sharp switch backs make it hard to keep speed, but a downshift or two and some throttle, and the 1.6 has plenty to give and will easily move you up the hill. I found the brakes to be of appropriate size and feel. This car is also equipped with ESC with traction control along with ABS and Electronic Brake Distribution. Both systems appeared to work well. Except for the dreaded 0-60 mph run. The best way again is with the ESC off. If not it will fall on its face, just like the other models, and takes a second or two to catch up. I must say that all is not bad with traction control. While on the on ramp back to Rt 80 the ESC kick in and it did not feel too invasive. It slowed the car down just a touch to keep it in line. So while it may be a nuisance at times. It better to just leave it on, especially in the wet.  I think I forgot to mention that this chassis is 22% stiffer than the outgoing model. The entire package seems to be on par with, if not, better then some of the it's competition.

There are some things though....

That I do not like. First and foremost how can you have a comfort package that does not include cruise control? It boggles me, that is the ultimate in comfort features. Another thing that bothers me is that this car has power locks, but it is only power from the driver side. What? So when you it the lock button on the door form the driver side, it will lock all doors, but hit it from the passenger side and it simply locks the passenger door. That is kinda weak. I had groceries in the front seat, so I went to lock the door and I could not. I had to walk around to the driver side and either open the door and push the lock or put the key in the door and lock the doors. The arm rest on the comfort package is not exactly comfortable. It pulls down form the right of the drive side seat like Accents of old. One more step up in trim and you get a real center console. Why not just put it all of the cars? Can't be that much more expensive. It also gets in the way while shifting. I just put it up and forgot about it. One more thing is the clutch pedal. It is extremely light. The let out point is very vague. Although you can kind of guess where it is and be successful but it does not give you much feedback at all. Would these things keep me from buying this car? Nope. Although I would have gone with an SE hatch. Some of the upgrades include leather steering wheel and shift knob, larger 16" wheels with 205/50 tires, sliding armrest and storage box. It also gives you chrome accents and remote for the locks with an alarm. With that  being said this is probably the best car in it's class when you weigh features vs price. Lets not forget the alone attracts people to Hyundai.


  1. I have to agree that this car is one of the best in its class and competitors. It's a smart buy, too, because you get the right value for your money. However, if I were to choose between this four-door Hyundai accent and the five-door (Hatch), I would go for the Hatch. Every driver wants a little higher volume for the cargo. Good review, by the way!

    Ashely Redden @Infinti of Ann Arbo

  2. Thanks! I really wish I could hook up with a dealership here in NJ. Though with my crazy hours, I sadly do notg have much time to write and/or do reviews....owell. ill get back to this at some point. perhaps with the purchase of my new car. I ll keep that a mystery for the moment.

  3. That was very informative! The first time this car was launched, I was truly impressed. It definitely has a say with its competitor. If given a chance to purchase one, I'd go for the hatch version of this. The exterior design is just fascinating. It would make a great everyday car too.

    Arlyne Nelms @Spartan Toyota