Car ReviewsFirst Drive

Hyundai Accent First Drive Car Review

Tony Bosworth reviews the Hyundai Accent Active with pricing, specs, ride and handling, safety and verdict.

IN A NUTSHELL: Clearly keenly priced and very well equipped too, Hyundai’s Accent Active is well worth a look

PRACTICAL MOTORING SAYS: Hyundai’s Accent is a lot of car for the money and impresses with good equipment, a peppy engine and excellent fuel economy – we recommend it.

THE HYUNDAI ACCENT IS A BIT SMALLER than the i30 but it bears many similarities, particularly inside where the dashboard is clearly family, while the back end looks very i30-ish. The bonnet though is different – and it’s what makes the Accent immediately obvious – with its two clear strakes giving it a nice clean look.

This latest version of the Accent features a manual six-speed gearbox (or six-speed-auto option).

The hatch (which I’m testing here) runs Hyundai’s 1.6-litre four-cylinder Gamma engine, a Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) unit producing 91kW of power and 156Nm of torque.

The Hyundai Accent is priced right and is great to drive.

The Accent’s 1.6-litre is a peppy unit, but with maximum power arriving at a relatively high 6300rpm it does get a touch coarse when you really push it hard. Up hills it demands some stirring of the gearlever to get the most out of the 1.6-litres but overall this is a lovely car to drive with a nice, slick and light gearchange and spot-on and progressive brakes.

The ride is pretty good for a car which doesn’t cost the earth. That said, fully laden with either passengers or luggage and you’ll feel the springs groan under the weight, bottoming out if you hit a bumpy patch, but in most conditions the Accent passes over poor road surfaces with decent composure.

A major plus is the light, quick and yet precise steering which allows any driver to neatly point the Accent into corners where there is a bit of body roll – but never anything to write home about – and the level of grip is high despite the skinny tyres.

The Hyundai Accent's interior is well designed and well built, the quality rivals more expensive cars

The Accent is very well equipped for the price with a really decent sound system with four speakers and two tweeters, plus media ripping ability, Bluetooth for hands-free phone operation and audio streaming, as well as a USB port for an iPod connectivity. You also get remote central locking, five-inch multi-media display, automatic central locking, and steering-wheel-mounted audio remote controls.

The fit and finish is good too and despite the lowly price it doesn’t feel like a cheap car by any means. There’s also a decent sized boot too, at 370 litres, and a low load sill means it’s easy to load and unload too.

Safety is good, and the Hyundai Accent carries a five-star ANCAP crash safety rating. It also has, as standard, ABS anti-lock brakes coupled with Brake Assist and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Electronic Stability Control with Traction Control System and Hyundai’s Vehicle Stability Management system. If you have children there are three child-seat anchor point brackets and European safety level ISOFIX too, for two child seats.

The real ace in the pack is the Accent’s razor sharp pricing – $16,990 driveaway in manual form (automatic is another $2000). Honestly, you just can’t do better at this price, and you get capped price servicing for the first three main 15,000km services, plus five years unlimited kilometre warranty.

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Hyundai Accent

PRICE $16,990 (drive-away) WARRANTY five-years, unlimited kilometres SAFETY RATING five-star ANCAP ENGINE 1.6-litre four-cylinder CVVT petrol POWER/TORQUE 91kW/156Nm TRANSMISSION six-speed manual (six-speed auto – $2000) BODY4.11m (L); 1.70m (W); 1.45m (H) WEIGHT 1120kg THIRST 6.1L/100km

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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober