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Used Hyundai Accent review: 2000-2015

EXPERT RATING
7
Ewan Kennedy reviews the first, second and third generation Hyundai Accent from 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 as a used buy.

Hyundai Accent arrived in Australia in June 2000 as a replacement for the Excel, a car that had proven to be a big hit downunder. Accent never did manage the huge sales of the Excel, but there are plenty of them out there in used-car land.

There's good interior room in this small-medium Hyundai and buyers with pre-teen children can use the Accent as a family car. The boot is roomy and easy to use and has a good shape that’s reasonably easy to load.

Hyundai's Accent has good handling and the feel through the steering is better than average for an Asian import. There's some understeer if you push hard but the car is reasonably neutral until then. A good set of tyres can markedly improve things in the handling department and won’t set you back a huge amount of money.

Later Accents had an increased presence in the Australian tuned suspension and steering departments, try those from 2011 to see what you think.

The later the car you buy the better it’s likely to be

Hyundai’s build quality, which was a bit hit-and-miss in the company’s earlier years, had improved noticeably and the Accent benefited from being an all-new design. The later the car you buy the better it’s likely to be.

In September 2003 the Accent received a facelift to move it away from the somewhat bland look of the original model. The Accent’s engine was increased in size from 1.5 to 1.6 litres. Performance from the new unit made the Accent reasonably zippy on the road. You wouldn’t call it sporty, but it is certainly nicer to drive.

An all-new Accent arrived here in June 2006, bigger in all dimensions it has improved cabin and boot space. This body has had a lot of attention paid to its rigidity, giving it a slightly more sophisticated feel on the road. Can’t say we were excited by the new shape, but that decision is yours.

The latest series was launched in July 2011 and given a substantial makeover in August 2015. The 2015 revamp attracted quite a few sales so, while it’s still rare on the used market it introduced quite a few decent secondhand cars added to the used lot and these may be on sale a good prices to try and clear the rush.

Accent body choices are three and five-door hatch and four-door sedan, however, not all were offered at all times. If you need a station wagon, then the Hyundai i30 can be considered as a further option to the Accent range.

Hyundai is a well 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 bush can be on the sparse side.

Make sure you are doing a full apples-with-apples comparison before making your final choice

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 quite easy to work on. A lot of routine stuff can be done by a good home handyperson. Always leave safety related items to the professional. Having a workshop manual on hand before starting your own servicing and repairs is always a smart move.

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

The main structure of the Accent generally holds up well when subjected to the rigours of rough Australian roads. Anything that squeaks and/or rattles, particularly inside the cabin, during your test drive should be checked.

Look over the interior, including the boot, for signs of rough usage.

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.

 If in doubt, get a quote before settling on purchase

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 mean the universal joints are worn. Not an expensive job.

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

Automatics are from the old school and usually last well. One that holds onto gears to long, or skips up and down unnecessarily may be due for an overhaul. If in doubt, get a quote before settling on purchase.

Rust isn't normally a problem, but look at all the lower body areas and around the front and rear windscreens to be safe. Any cars we have seen with rust in their bodies have been poorly repaired after crashes.

Pricing

Year Price From Price To
2015 $6,100 $13,200
2014 $5,900 $12,210
2013 $5,100 $11,770
2012 $4,100 $9,900
2011 $3,400 $8,360
2010 $2,800 $5,720
2009 $2,600 $5,280
2008 $2,300 $5,610
2007 $2,200 $5,170
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 19 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$300
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
EXPERT RATING
7