The Hyundai Accent certainly has come a long way since the first Accent hit our shores and I found a car that I couldn’t sit in without my head more than touching the roof.
That was a bit of shock considering the fact that at the time I was happily driving around in the latest Excel and had no trouble with head room.
Of course the changes to the Accent have gone a lot further than just giving people like me some extra room for their heads and the new Hyundai Accent is a package that delivers looks, economy, safety, some interesting technology and plenty of comfort.
The engine and transmission
The new Hyundai Accent sedan and hatch are powered by a 1.6-litre Gamma petrol engine that delivers 91kW of power at 6,300rpm and maximum torque of 156Nm at 4,200rpm.
Fuel consumption for the manual version is 4.8L/100km for country driving and 7.9L/100km around town while the automatic achieves 5.1L/100km and 8.6L/100km.
The Gamma engine uses Continuously Variable Valve Timing that’s controlled by an on-board computer to optimise the timing of the air intake and this gives a balance of performance, fuel economy and low emissions.
To reduce maintenance costs and increase reliability the new Accent has a maintenance-free silent roller timing chain and special anti-friction coatings on various engine parts.
Hyundai have mated that engine in both the sedan and hatch to a five-speed manual transmission. A four-speed auto box is available as an option.
The new Hyundai Accent has a 5-star ANCAP rating and to achieve that the Accent comes with Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control System (TCS), Anti-skid Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) as well as 6 airbags.
The top of the range … the Accent Premium also comes with a rear view camera, reverse park assist and an electro chromatic mirror.
Vehicle Stability Management is new to this segment and it intervenes alongside ESC to help maintain vehicle control by applying a variable input to steering weight and that helps prevent the vehicle from losing control in emergency situations.
The rear park assist on the Accent Premium is operated by a camera at the rear of the vehicle that relays images to a small colour screen in the rear-view mirror and drivers can use that image as a guide.
Prices for the base model hatch or sedan … the Active … start at $16,990 plus dealer and government charges.
The mid-range model … the Elite … start at $18,490 plus dealer and government charges.
The top-of-the-range Premium is available in a hatch only for a starting price of $20,990 plus dealer and government charges.
Those prices are all for the five-speed manual version and if you choose the auto box you can add another $2,000 to the price.