Hyundai Accent Active hatch 2017 review
Andrew Chesterton road tests and reviews the new Hyundai Accent Active hatch with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.
Browse over 9,000 car reviews
Sedan versions of the ubiquitous hatchback are quite often overlooked by Australian buyers, and it's even more true when it comes to the smaller side of the passenger car spectrum. In fact, companies like Toyota, Mitsubishi and Ford have all deleted sedan versions of their smallest cars.
So why are some manufacturers persisting with what is admittedly a niche segment? We decided to test the sedan version of Mazda's popular Mazda2 Maxx to see if it is indeed better than cars smaller and bigger than itself.
|Mazda 2 2017: Maxx|
|Fuel Type||Regular Unleaded Petrol|
It's very high-waisted, as well, with quite narrow windows, which makes the car seem bigger than it really is. For the record, it’s 260mm longer than the hatch, a whisker lower and the same width.
The dash controls are elegantly simple to use in their monochromatic design with two small screens either side of a central speedo. Unfortunately, there is no digital version of the speedometer.
Even elements the circular air vents with their piano black surrounds, as well as the faux carbon strip through the centre, bring the interior feel up a notch. It's quite a simple and pleasant space in which to work.
The sheer amount of room a larger driver can find behind the wheel with height and reach adjust on the steering wheel itself, even for 185cm drivers, is astounding. There's no problem finding a good compromise behind the wheel of the Mazda2 sedan. It's a similar story for the passenger space, too, with plenty of legroom available.
In terms of base practicalities, the Mazda2 sedan lacks a centre console bin, which is a bit of a pest. It has two line-astern cupholders between the front seats, and a reasonably sized receptacle for wallets and mobile phones under the dial operated climate controls.
A pair of USB ports and a single 12 volt outlet mean that devices can be topped up with ease.
There are bottle holders in the front doors, but not sadly, for rear seaters, who have to share a single bottle holder between the front seats.
The Maxx uses a version of Mazda's MZD multimedia system, although it is misses out on items like sat nav. It does offer access to digital radio, so you can tune into stations like Stitcher at your leisure, and it also offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The system is controlled by a shuttle wheel next to the handbrake, along with a trio of buttons. Interestingly, the nav button still remains, even though it's not fitted as standard to the Maxx.
The lack of an elbow rest in the centre console is a little annoying, but the Mazda2 does come equipped with small padded sections on the armrests. Driver’s knees don't impact anything sharp around the footwell space, either.
The leather-wrapped steering wheel is small and comfortable to use, and features buttons to control navigation, telephone and cruise control. It's a simple design that works well.
The rear is set up for three passengers, although the centre is a very narrow space. ISOFIX child seats can be fitted to the outside two seats, but there are no bottle holders or specific air vents for rear seat passengers.
The rear seats can be flipped down via toggles in the boot area, making for a larger load space, if required. The boot volume is comparable to rivals at 440 litres with the seats up, and there is a space saver spare nestled under the floor.
Interestingly, there are electric folding mirrors fitted to the car, instead of something like an automated headlight control. The lights do extinguish when the car is switched off, though. A reversing camera is standard.
The Mazda2 also comes standard with the company's new torque-vectoring steering control system that basically acts to settle the front of the car down. This system has less of an impact on cars with lower torque and power outputs, but it certainly gives the 2 more ability to cruise for longer distances, and making it easier on the driver in the process.
The auto does its best work in its four lowest gears, matching the output of the engine very well. The top two gears are longer legged, helping the Mazda2 sit at the national speed limit quietly and comfortably.
The engine is good for 81kW/141Nm, and Mazda is perfectly okay with you using 91RON petrol in it.
This version of the engine is the same as the one in the base spec Neo, albeit in what Mazda calls a 'high' state of tune. It only adds 2kW and 2Nm, but offers a lower CO2 output and 0.6L/100km better fuel economy on the combined cycle.
The engine also helps the car’s torque-vectoring system by minutely cutting power to the inside wheel when turning, helping to settle the front of the car down.
Against a claimed combined fuel economy number of 4.9 litres per 100km, we recorded a dash-indicated 6.7L/100km over a 220km test route.
The Mazda2 has the jump on its rivals in terms of general handling. It's quite a lively little car with great steering feel, confident brakes, and a sprightly demeanour, thanks to a competent chassis tune.
There is a trade-off in this, though; it can feel a little bit firm on broken surfaces, and the suspension does crash through moderately sharp-edged bumps.
The company is steadily working through its range to improve this trait, but the Mazda2 sedan certainly suffers from excessive tyre roar, in particular, getting back into the cabin.
The interface between engine and gearbox can be a little bit stuttery under cold operation, too. Once everything warms up, the shifts smooth out and the engine stops hesitating at certain points.
It's only a matter of minutes before everything gets up to temperature, but it is an unusual trait.
There is a small sport button behind the gearshift, which simply asks the transmission to hold a gear for a longer period. It doesn't really serve much of a purpose in what is fundamentally a city-going car.
Mazda’s clever torque vectoring system is less noticeable in this application, simply because there’s not as much torque acting on the front tyres.
3 years / unlimited km warranty
ANCAP Safety Rating
It holds a maximum five-star ranking from ANCAP.
Mazda offers a three-year/unlimited kilometre warranty for the Maxx, and servicing intervals are suggested at 12 months or 10,000km. It’s a relatively low kilometre figure, but reflects the real world use of a car that’s designed primarily for the city.
A fixed price service program will cost $600 for the first five scheduled services, while Mazda also offers a standard ($68.10 per year) or premium ($83.50 per year) roadside assistance package on top.
The Mazda2 sedan is a terrific little around town car, especially if you have to load people in the rear on regular occasions. In fact, there's no real trade off between sedan and hatch other than load practicality.
The Maxx is well equipped and well priced, too, and performs the role of an urban warrior with consummate ease. Is it better than the hatchback? Its looks are more sedate, but performance-wise the pair are on par.
|Genki||1.5L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO||$11,600 – 17,050||2017 Mazda 2 2017 Genki Pricing and Specs|
|GT||1.5L, ULP, 6 SP MAN||$11,100 – 16,280||2017 Mazda 2 2017 GT Pricing and Specs|
|Maxx||1.5L, ULP, 6 SP MAN||$9,300 – 14,080||2017 Mazda 2 2017 Maxx Pricing and Specs|
|Neo||1.5L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO||$9,900 – 14,960||2017 Mazda 2 2017 Neo Pricing and Specs|
|Price and features||7|
|Engine & trans||8|