2015 – 2016 Hyundai Accent Review

2015 – 2016 Hyundai Accent Review

a number of you have been asking me to take a look at the Hyundai Accent so this week I happen to meet in Minneapolis and I happen to rent a brand-new 2015 model now the rumor mill has it that the AK set will be completely redesigned for the 2016 model year and we should be seeing that very soon if it isn’t redesigned for the 2016 model year you can expect to see it as a 2017 vehicle

right alongside the redesigned Hyundai Elantra now like most subcompact vehicles in America the accent is available as either a four-door sedan or a five-door hatchback that is a little bit different in the US versus other world markets where the sedan is not as common up front you can see that the AK set still uses Hyundai’s older design language this is what we saw on the previous generation Hyundai Sonata and it’s very different than the current generation Sonata or the new Tucson or the new Genesis this design is an awful lot more flowing has a lot fewer hard lines a little

bit less chrome it looks a little bit less angry a little bit less luxurious than the current designs by Hyundai the accent is sort of one step behind the Hyundai Elantra in terms of overall size that means this does not compete with the Corolla or the Civic instead this competes with the Rio the sonic the Versa the Fiesta and the brand-new Scion ia an interesting bit of trivia that a lot of people

don’t realize is that in this particular segment the sedans are significantly longer than the hatchbacks even though they have relatively similar interior spaces the 4-door accent is 172 inches long and the 5-door accent is 162 inches long it’s about a 10-inch difference between the two that’s very similar to the rest of the competition the Kia Rio is 159 or 172 the Sonic is just about the same the Scion only comes as a sedan and it’s right about the same length as we’re seeing right here and Ford’s fiesta spans from 160 inches 273 being one of the larger sedans in this particular segment the big difference between the two is the efficiency of the trunk or the hatchback relatively speaking hatchbacks are much more efficient so even though we get very similar cargo volume the vehicle

can be shorter now that’s why several of these options that are available as either a sedan or a hatchback are only available in those two forms in the United States and in other world markets they are only available as a hatchback outback the simple and flowing design language continues and we get these tail lamps that stay right here on the body they don’t rap on to the trunk lid itself now in general this does save a little bit of money but it’s mainly a stylistic choice even vehicles like the $137,000 Mercedes s550 we recently reviewed had tail lamps that were only here on the body

now the downside to this style choice is that it can make the trunk lid a little bit smaller than otherwise that’s really obvious if we open up this trunk lid and you take a look at the width between the two lamp modules this is going to be a little bit narrower than some of the options in this segment it’s definitely going to be narrower than that next size category up which would be the compact sedan under the hood there is just one engine it is this 1.6 liter four-cylinder engine producing 137 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque you notice that’s a decent bump over something like

the Scion ia or the Nissan Versa which are just over a hundred horsepower also in an unusual twist the base transmission is a 6-speed manual not a 5-speed manual like you find in most of the vehicles out there even Ford’s Fiesta with the up level one liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine uses a 5-speed manual not a six-speed that means that compared to some of the other competitors out there the fuel economy in the manual transmission version is a little bit higher than you might expect but also means that it’s a little bit more drivable because we get more gear

ratios to choose from fuel economy is fairly good in this segment at 27 miles per gallon city 38 highway in the manual transmission version and that drops just one mile per gallon for the automatic transmission one that we’re testing right here I’m going to get front seat comfort seven out of ten points we don’t have a manually adjustable or otherwise adjustable lumbar support but we do have a decent amount of adjustability and range in the seat we don’t have quite as much leg room as we do in some of the entries in this segment but it’s more than able to accommodate taller passengers I do have about three inches of headroom here and our model does not have the sunroof that is important to keep in mind because most models in the segment when you add a sunroof

it does reduce Headroom we also have a steering column that tilts but does not telescope that will make it a little bit more difficult for people with shorter or longer legs to find an ideal driving position the rear seats are surprisingly accommodating for a vehicle this size I still have about an inch and a half of legroom sitting right here behind myself and these seat bottom cushions are not as close to the floor as I thought they would be now if I sit back in this seat and put my head against the headrest my head is touching the ceiling however it is also touching the ceiling in something

like a Chrysler 200 or a Ford Fusion which are significantly larger than this sedan if I move over to the right side of the car the spread seat is all the way back in its tracks I still have about half an inch of legroom left right there the biggest difference between this category and the next size category up is really seat width not necessarily legroom in the back because if I sit in the middle I don’t have a whole lot of room for adults next to me now I don’t have my child seats with me so I can’t show you how they fit the vehicle but based off of the measurements one door to the other in the

rear it wouldn’t be possible to fit three child seats across the back however because of the way the dashboard is shaped up front I suspect you would be able to fit a six foot passenger up front and a rear road facing child seat right there behind because this front seat can go quite close to the dash and the shape of the dash allows you to comfortably sit that close the main reason the sedans get bigger than the hatchbacks is all about Americans and our love of big trunks that’s really obvious when you take a look at the accent because this is quite a large trunk right here this is a 24 inch

roller bag and you can almost fit it in this position and close the trunk lid in fact depending on the exact shape of the bag you can actually do that really really really close with that particular bag 22 inch roller bag you could very easily do that this is not something that you find even in many mid-size sedans in the US this trunk really is quite large it also means that I can stack 24-inch roller bags one on top of the other right up front in this particular fashion as you can see there 124 inch roller bag down there one right on top of it that means it would be relatively easy to fit eight of

these in the trunk as a result of this surprisingly spacious trunk and those rear seats that do fold almost completely flat I’m going to have to give this 9 out of 10 points when it comes to my exclusive truck comfort index on the inside even at this price point we do find height adjustable seat belts and two-way adjustable headrests we also find fairly comfortable and easy to clean fabric in our particular model now moving over to the front doors these front doors are primarily hard touch plastics all you will find a fabric insert right there in the middle that amount of hard touch

plastic is a big differentiator between this and the next size category up because even these arm rests on the doors are hard plastic the same thing continues on the dashboard where everything here is a hard tough plastic although I think I like the textures the design overall is very attractive as well we have a little bit of style going on right here on the base infotainment system in our model it does use an LCD single slot optical disc player and it has a USB input down there below in general the style mirror is the rest of this generation of Hyundai product with two large air vents

right here and taking a closer look at the infotainment system you can see that we do have an iPod interface standard in the system with that USB port we have our preset buttons right down here am/fm and satellite radio singles opticals player again right there volume knob and two knob over there although you can use the screen knobs and buttons to interact with your device I do think that using your iPod or your iPhone is a little bit easier in this particular system the only difference would be of course if you’re using just a regular old USB stick then you would have to use the

system controls below that you’ll find the defogger the hazard light buttons and the single zone manual climate control below those climate control buttons we do have our e input and a single USB input that’s where I have the iPhone plugged in right there you can see that it is a fairly large storage cubby we also have a 12-volt power outlet on the other side in an interesting twist we get a gated shifter so there’s no button on this shifter we simply push it over and then down into reverse and then we continue on down to neutral and drive over to the right for the manual mode up for

up and down for down behind that the center console we have another small storage cubby right there two very large cupholders easily able to accommodate these large takeout drinks a manual handbrake and then a small cubby right there between the seats there’s no center armrest or Center storage compartment the glove compartment is a large bin style glove compartment you can see how large that is right there no problem fitting tablet computers or other things inside on the driver side we have a two dial instrument cluster and then everything else is really in that small LCD

right there in the center the small LCD gives you your gear indicator your fuel level as well as your engine temperature we also have our trip computer right here so we can cycle between our average fuel economy instant fuel economy trip computer etc zooming out to the steering wheel you’ll immediately notice that we do not have cruise control buttons in our base model right here so we don’t have cruise control at all this is otherwise a relatively attractive urethane steering wheel not as comfortable as the base leather steering wheels that we do find in some of the competition

most notably the more expensive competition admittedly it is again as I said an attractive design we have a sort of simulated three-spoke design right over here with a steering wheel rotated around you’ll notice that we get some additional buttons on the left side the simulates where you’ll find the dimmer traction control off and the active eco program out on the road it’s important to remember that the accent is a very inexpensive car so this really competes more with something like the Nissan Versa then something like the Scion ia directly now the reason for that is that the

Scion ia is a relatively fully equipped vehicle in this category it’s a little bit more expensive than the base model of the accent that we get right here the difference between this and the Nissan Versa out on the road is large acceleration is still pretty slow we go from 0 to 60 in 9.4 seconds in this vehicle but we have a six-speed automatic transmission and that’s different in the Versa at the base

price the base price Versa gives a 5-speed manual not a six-speed manual and of course if you want the automatic transmission the first stop is a four-speed automatic that is going to be considerably slower than this 6-speed we also get less power in that Versa as well when it comes to braking at this end of the scale it’s important to remember that most inexpensive vehicles get relatively small tires and that’s true for the accent as well the braking distances are definitely going to be longer than in something like a Civic or Corolla in an average trim braking distances in this

particular car came in and around 138 feet which is on the longer end but a little bit shorter than the base Nissan Versa it’s really handling where this differentiates itself more from the Versa and this feels more like something like the Ford Fiesta the Ford Fiesta is probably the best handling vehicle in this category especially get the top in trims but the accent is surprisingly close even though this is the base model and we get relatively skinny tires we get a lot less body roll in the accent than we do in the verse or some of the other discount entries and overall the suspension just

feels an awful lot better put together a frequent problem with small vehicles like this can be a poor ride because the wheelbase is relatively short the vehicles not very big overall and that can lead to choppy handling out on washboard pavement but the exit does fairly well for itself we do still get a little bit of that going on in this chassis like you do in every other vehicle but the overall behavior of the accent is very well composed when it comes to cabin oiz obviously this is not a terribly quiet cabin that’s pretty standard in this category I came in at 74 decibels at 50 miles an hour now this

vehicle is very similar in of cabin noise to the tota Carolla of course cabin noise will increase as speeds go up because in this category we get a lot less sound deadening material then we get in the next size category something like the Hyundai Elantra or the Honda Civic the other thing that I really missed during my week with this particular vehicle is the lack of cruise control we just don’t get any cruise control in this vehicle at this price you’ll notice we also don’t have any buttons going on on the steering wheel at all personally I think that a lack of cruise control is a problem for me

even in this price category and I do value those entries that give you cruise control standard or for a very low price it does make it an awful lot easier for long car trips I’m also a little bit sad that we don’t have adjustable lumbar support in this seat because otherwise the car is quite comfortable for long car trips the driving position is very good I don’t really miss the lack of the arm rests the steering wheel is relatively comfortable even though it is a urethane steering wheel we just don’t get cruise control to make it a little bit easier to drive when it comes to fuel economy the accent

does very very well in this segment I’ve been averaging 29.9 miles per gallon in about 350 miles of varying mix driving now this is better than most entries in this segment but it is a tiny notch below the Scion ia as you’d expect from a vehicle at this end of the automotive food chain things are relatively inexpensive and there aren’t as many options as you can find in the next category up which would be the Elantra things start at fourteen thousand seven hundred to $45 for the GLS model and interestingly enough even though we really have more car here the sedan is cheaper than

the hatchback the hatchback is $14,995 if you want the sport model that would be sixteen thousand four hundred ninety five dollars and it will top out at the most expensive nineteen thousand two hundred twenty before destination the sedan being less expensive the hatchback is not unique to hyundai the sonic is fourteen thousand two hundred forty five dollars for the sedan and the hatchback is a little bit more expensive now the sonic only has a five-speed manual transmission but it does have an optional turbocharged engine which is going to be faster than this it also has

very good fuel economy ford’s fiesta offers an awful lot more customization and range of options than we get here and it’s going to be a little bit less expensive in some configurations starts at 14,000 $90 for the sedan and 14,000 390 for the hatchback there is of course that really tasty ST model as well the thing to know about the Fiesta is that the versions that compete with this accent all have 5-speed manual transmissions or the 6-speed automatic and I don’t think that the 5-speed is is engaging as the six-speed that we get in this particular vehicle even on that Ford Fiesta with

the EcoBoost 1 liter turbocharged engine it is 5-speed manual only Nissan gives us the biggest price difference between the sedan and the hatchback forms of their Nissan Versa the verse at $11,990 is very very inexpensive for the United States the hatchback is considerably more at 14,000 180 but there’s a pretty big difference between the sedan and the hatch versions of the Versa the Versa Sedan in order to get that really low price point they had to remove an awful lot from the vehicles not only is there a five-speed manual transmission but if you opt for the automatic

transmission it bumps the price a decent amount and it’s only a four-speed in that base version of the Versa you don’t start getting their excellent CVT until much later in their price line the four-speed automatic Versa is definitely slow it definitely feels old as well however the hatchback version I think compares very well with the hatchback version of the accent has some very practical

features on the inside and it’s priced very similarly the takeaway here is that you really do have to pay a toll in order to get that low sticker price on the base versa the Scion ia is an interesting alternative not just because it’s the only vehicle in this segment that’s available as a sedan only but because it is a Mazda 2 wearing Scion close in fact the interior is all straight out of the Mazda 2 that we do not get in the US so at this point in time if you want a Mazda 2 that Scion ia is the only way to go now our friends in Canada and in Puerto Rico will be able to get the North American

version of the Mazda 2 and rumor mill tells us they may actually be able to get the Scion ia at the same time in addition to being available only as a sedan the Scion ia is also quite unique because it’s available only in two different prices sixteen thousand four hundred ninety five dollars or seventeen thousand five hundred ninety five dollars for the automatic transmission version there are no options to choose from you just choose manual or automatic and the way it comes is the way it comes that means there’s really no equivalent to the version that we’re taking a look at here because it just doesn’t go this cheap however the Scion ia has an awful lot of standard feature content we get that standard LCD attainment system we get a standard leather wrap steering wheel we

also get a standard forward collision warning system and a nice interior fuel economy on the ia is also very very impressive now we get less power under the hood than we get in this model it’s just about 103 horsepower but it does get a six-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission scions IA really is my favorite entry in this segment at this time even though it is not as fast as the accent or any of the other entries in this segment really it is one of the best handling vehicles it also has an incredibly good feel thanks to those Mazda two routes and thanks to the Scion pricing

scheme it’s also incredibly well priced if we saw that Mazda in the US as a Mazda it probably wouldn’t be as good of a value as it is being sold as a Scion now that’s even taking into account the fact that the axe it has a very long standard warranty and you do have to put a lot of value on that standard warranty in this segment it’s worth about $1,000 or so versus the base warranties we see in the competition even so I think I would take that Scion ia it’s very comfortable inside and out we also get those standard features that we just don’t get in any of the others Mazda’s latest

infotainment system is borrowed directly from the Mazda 3 hatchback in sedan and even though it’s not standard in the Mazda 3 interestingly enough it is standard on that Scion ia and you can add navigation very easily aftermarket it’s just an option and you just plug in the card into the system the looks may be a little bit subjective because the ia does look sort of like a guppy that’s been

crossbred with a Mazda but I do think it’s attractive in this particular segment it’s also fresh it doesn’t really look like anything else out there fuel economy is not subjective however and it gets some of the best fuel economy even including that Ford EcoBoost model lastly we get the Kia Rio which is pretty tough competition for the accent actually especially considering the fact that they’re very closely related they use essentially the same engine and transmission with a different body and a different interior the Rio starts at 14,000 $165 for the sedan and will go up to about

$20,000 fully loaded the fully loaded price is very similar to the accent fully loaded price however we actually get more feature content in the Rio for that $800 extra we get niceties like power folding mirrors leather seats a seven-inch LCD infotainment system and options that we just don’t see in most entries in segment the REO is also tuned to be a hair sporty-er than even the sport version of the accent in my opinion out on the road it feels a little bit more direct now they’re very very close together because they’re so closely related I think that I would take the reel over the

accent now my favorite pick in this segment has to be that Scion ia even though I’ve only had a relatively limited amount of time in that vehicle you will find a preview video on my channel I am waiting for one for a complete week part of the reason I like the Scion ia so much is because it is a hybrid between things that Mazda sells and the things that tota sells Toyota does a really good job at pricing and value concerns when they’re actually pricing things out availability dealer selection that sort of thing and then of course we get all the fun to drive side of the Mazda jammed into the

same product the only downside there is I don’t think it’s quite as attractive as the Mazda 2 when it’s sold as a Mazda but I think that’s a relatively small price to pay in this segment so if you’re looking for the best car in this segment I would take that Scion ia unless you really can’t afford it and you’re just looking for something that’s two thousand dollars cheaper then the accent is

actually a reasonably good buy the base accent is one of my favorite base vehicles in this segment and it really is a testament to how good inexpensive vehicles

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