Extended-Use Welcome: 2012 Hyundai Accent
If you’re a budget-conscious consumer (as many of us are these days) who is shopping in the new-car market, you have many great options to choose from. Additionally, if you’re a first-time or young buyer who is looking for a smaller-sized vehicle that is fuel efficient, offers a flexible amount of space, and is affordable, you also have plenty of options and should take note of cars classified in the subcompact category.
Adding to the appeal, some models in the subcompact class such as the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic and 2012 Ford Fiesta are available as either a sedan or hatchback. With the increasingly popular hatchback body style as an alternative to the sedan, shoppers can elect how much space they may or may not need. The growing trend of hatchbacks is by no mistake. Despite their slight price premium over their sedan counterparts, hatchbacks can offer the added cargo room of a bigger car without jumping to a larger, more expensive class size.
Enter in the redesigned-for-2012 Hyundai Accent. Consumer Guide recently welcomed an Accent with the 4-door hatchback body style into our long-term test fleet and have been utilizing it in all the ways an ordinary consumer would: as a daily driver, a cargo-hauler, and a road-trip companion, etc.
About CG’s Test 2012 Hyundai Accent
Our Accent is the top-of-the-line SE model, powered by a 138-horsepower 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine and paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. It includes a leather-wrapped steering wheel, cruise control, wireless cell-phone link, rear spoiler, fog lights, sport suspension, and alloy wheels.
The SE 4-door hatchback model with the automatic transmission starts at $ 16,795; and our Accent SE totals up to $ 16,830 with an added iPod cable.
We were happy to add the Accent to our long-term test fleet and quickly found that it is comfortable and peppy in around-town driving. We’re also surprised by how much more refined the redesigned Accent is over its predecessor–we also appreciate how quiet it is and how well it rides.
However, a common gripe that the editors have had is with acceleration on to the highway, particularly when attempting to merge. Accent seems to strain for power and requires more planning than we had hoped for. But in most other situations, the editors think the Accent accelerates adequately.
Despite its small exterior size, Accent has a roomy, attractive interior with plenty of space for people or luggage. We like the the easy-to-use split folding rear seats, which expands the cargo area, making it flexible for storing bags on weekend trips or for errands to the grocery store.
As for fuel economy, things are little less than rosy. The staff is averaging 29.1 mpg, this despite a 30 mpg EPA city rating, and a bias thus far towards highway driving.
As of yet, we have not met the 40 mpg highway rating, though a couple of our more careful drivers have seen better than 35 mpg on longer highway drives. We’ll keep you posted on any mileage improvements as the car breaks in.
Overall, with its surprising refinement, flexible amount of space and a fun to drive character, the Accent provides a practical and affordable package that we like. Be sure to keep checking back with us for monthly updates as we put the Accent through its paces.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.