Hyundai Accent 2006 Review
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The hatch is aimed at young buyers who want something remotely sporty and good looking, despite their limited funds.
The sedan, says Hyundai director of sales and marketing Theo van Doore, "is more suited to small families and older and more conservative buyers".
And it shows.
While the sedan boasts a host of new features, being bigger and offering more interior space — including a good-sized boot — than the previous model, it is not going to win prizes for its looks.
It is definitely suited to more conservative buyers who are looking for a steady and comfortable car to get them about town with a minimum of fuss, reasonable economy and a maximum of reliability.
The new Accent is powered by an upgraded version of the 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine that now has Continuously Variable Valve Timing for improved performance.
It does 0-100km/h in 10.2 seconds, which is respectable for such a car but is not intended to break records. All-important fuel economy is good in the Accent, as would be expected for a car of this size.
The manual sedan tested has a combined claimed economy rate of 6.8 litres per 100km, the best of all the Accent variants.
It has a 45-litre tank that should equate to up to 660km travelling. And with the Sydney price for unleaded hovering around $1.35 a litre it will cost about $60 to fill.
Safety is also becoming a major issue for small car buyers. The new Accent gains ABS with electronic brake force distribution and improved brakes. The discs are bigger on the front and the old rear drums have been binned to make way for rear disc brakes.
The previous model Accent rated an overall three stars (five is the best) for crash safety in Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) testing but the new car has not yet been tested by them. The most serious
problem noted with the previous model was a high risk of chest injury for the driver in a side-impact crash.
Hyundai says the new car has a stronger and stiffer cabin cell structure along with stronger doors including strengthened side-impact beams to reduce impact injury.
Inside, the Accent is well-equipped with a leather steering wheel and gear knob and power windows on all doors, although the plastic finish is plain.
The CD-player/radio system is MP3- and WMA-capable and plays through six speakers.
A lot of work has gone into improving storage space inside the car, which includes a larger glovebox, a sunglasses storage area overhead, four cupholders, storage space in the door capable of taking bottles and even a recess area under the steering column that is designed to take a folded-up umbrella.
However, it could do with more space and is particularly let down by not having a centre console. Leg room is good in the front and the rear will seat two adults or three children fairly comfortably.
Accent handles city driving pretty comfortably. The manual gearbox is a smooth shifter with light changes and clutch movement.
Wind and road noise levels are reduced from the previous model but are still quite noticeable. The manual sedan is priced at $17,490 with metallic paint an extra $350.
It will cost an extra $2000 for the auto, which will account for more sales.
In comparison, the three-door hatchback starts at $15,990.
A big plus for Hyundai buyers seeking minimum-fuss motoring is the warranty, which stands at five years/130,000km.