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Used Hyundai Accent review: 2000-2006

It’s not particularly stylish and doesn’t have a lot of character, but has all the things that sensible people want in a car.

Hyundai's small-medium Accent is what's known in the trade as an honest car. It’s not particularly stylish and doesn’t have a lot of character, but has all the things that sensible people want in a car. Meaning it’s reliable, well built and performs day in and day out without any fuss or bother.

The Accent is a pleasant car to drive. Handling is semi sporting and the feel through the steering is good. There's a fair bit of understeer if you push hard, a keen driver will find this quite acceptable, if not exactly exciting. As is often the way, a good set of tyres can really improve this small car.

There's good interior room for its class and we know of more than one family with young children who are happy with an Accent as a family car. The boot is roomy and easy to use and has a good shape that’s reasonably easy to load.

Introduced to Australia in June 2000, the Accent was the follow up to the very popular Hyundai Excel. Indeed the cars we knew as Excel had been sold as Accent in other countries for several years. The South Koreans feel that a new model needs a different name to keep it fresh. In Australia we tend to be the other way around, if a car has a good reputation we prefer to hold onto the existing name.

2000 Hyundai Accent. 2000 Hyundai Accent.

A couple of years after the launch of the Accent, Hyundai brought in another, smaller, car in the Getz. Though not quite in the same class, buyers tended to shop Getz against Accent. 

None of which did the Accent a lot of good in the sales race. So, towards the end of 2002 most of the upmarket Accent models were pulled off the Australian market. At the same time the body range was reduced to just hatchbacks as the sedan was withdrawn. Accent sedan made a belated return in 2006 with the introduction of the new model, but these are still scarce on the used-car scene.

The last of the superseded 2002 models weren’t sold on the new market until several months into 2003. These are sometimes resold as 2003 models and priced accordingly, but it’s the build date on the compliance plate that’s important. So be careful you don’t pay a 2003 price to buy a used one, then get offered a 2002 trade in a year or two down the track. 

In September 2003 the Accent received a facelift to move it away with the somewhat bland look of the original model. This latter is proving more popular on the used scene and it’s worth paying the extra to get one. A virtually all-new Hyundai Accent arrived in Australia midway through 2006, but not many of these have made their way onto the used market as yet

2000 Hyundai Accent. 2000 Hyundai Accent.

At the time of the 2003 body revamp, the Accent’s engine was increased in size from 1.5 to 1.6 litres. Performance from the new 78 kW unit made the small-medium Hyundai reasonably zippy on the road. 

Hyundai’s build quality, which was a bit hit and miss in earlier times, was very much on the improve by the time the Accent arrived. The Accent appears to be holding up well to the rigours of rough Aussie roads. 

These days Hyundai is well and truly established as part of the Australian automotive scene. The dealer network is large and widespread, though as is often the way in a car in this class representation in the outback can be on the sparse side. We have heard of no real complaints about the cost of servicing or spare parts.

The Accent is a simple design and has good underbonnet space, so it’s easy enough to work on. A lot of routine work can be done by a good home handyperson, though safety related items should be left to the professional.

Insurance charges are moderate and there doesn’t appear to be a great deal of difference between companies as to the premiums they charge. Shop around but, as always, make sure you are doing a full apples-with-apples comparison before making your final choice.

What to look for

Rust isn't normally a problem, but look at all the lower body areas and around the front and rear windscreens to be safe. 

Do an engine check for easy starting and smooth idling. Where possible this should be done with the engine cold, preferably after it has been sitting overnight.

2006 Hyundai Accent. 2006 Hyundai Accent.

Feel for a manual gearbox that baulks during fast gearchanges, especially the three-two downchange.

Turn the steering wheel all the way from one side to the other whilst travelling at a very low speed and listen for clunking noises near the front wheels. These probably indicate the universal joints are worn.

Look over the interior, including the boot, for signs of rough usage. This may indicate the complete car has been treated harshly, or it may just be that the kids have run amuck from time to time.

How much

A year 2000 Accent GL three-door hatch will now cost about $5000 to $5000 on the used market; a 2002 Accent GLS sedan about $12,000 to $13,000; and a 2005 Accent LS five-door hatch will fetch about $15,000 to $16,000.

Car buying tip

Start your research on second hand cars at least a two to three weeks before you intend to buy. And keep an open mind on all the possible choices in the early days.

Pricing

Year Price From Price To
2006 $2,200 $4,070
2005 $2,400 $4,070
2004 $2,200 $4,070
2003 $2,100 $4,070
2002 $2,100 $4,070
2001 $2,100 $4,070
2000 $2,100 $4,070

View all Hyundai Accent pricing and specifications

Pricing guides

$2,990
Based on 4 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$2,490
Highest Price
$3,880

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
GL 1.5L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $2,400 – 4,070 2000 Hyundai Accent 2000 GL Pricing and Specs
GLS 1.5L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $2,400 – 4,070 2000 Hyundai Accent 2000 GLS Pricing and Specs
GS 1.5L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $2,400 – 4,070 2000 Hyundai Accent 2000 GS Pricing and Specs
GL 1.5L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $2,200 – 3,850 2000 Hyundai Accent 2000 GL Pricing and Specs

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