June 27, 2011 by Keith Buglewicz
Interesting Features and Technology
The sedan body style carries over, but Hyundai has ditched the three-door hatchback body style on the new Accent in favor of a new, more practical five-door hatchback. Regardless of whether you get a sedan or hatchback, you'll be greeted with a plethora of standard features. All hatchbacks and automatic-equipped sedans come standard with air conditioning, a USB input for the audio system, tilt steering wheel, a six-way adjustable driver's seat, and power windows, mirrors and door locks. Little of that is groundbreaking in bigger cars, but it's rare in the subcompact class, especially in models costing less than $16,000 including the freight charge.
The new Accent's modern interior bears a strong family resemblance to the Sonata and Elantra . Styling highlights include metallic, chrome, and piano-black accents and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob in some models. It's also spacious, with plenty of head- and legroom for the driver and even a decent amount of room in the rear seats. Cargo space is especially good. The Accent sedan boasts 13.7 cubic feet of trunk space, and the hatchback offers 21.2 cu-ft behind the rear seats and 47.5 cu-ft. with the rear seats folded.
Hyundai has translated the swooping lines found on the Sonata and Elantra to the Accent with surprising effectiveness. In fact, it’s possible that the look works better on this smallest Hyundai than on its bigger siblings. A strong character line runs up the side of the Accent, defining the trunk on sedans and the lower hatch on five-door models. The Accent's chrome grille, body-color mirrors and door handles, and neatly integrated available fog lights add an air of sophistication.
Market Segment and Pricing
This is still a price-sensitive segment, and the Hyundai Accent offers a very good price-to-stuff ratio. A stripped-down manual-transmission GLS sedan without a/c or a radio is $12,445, but a more realistic base model is the same car with a $1,750 Comfort package that adds power windows, keyless entry and a few other items. That's all standard on the $15,195 GLS sedans with an automatic transmission. Hatchbacks start at $14,595 for a manual-transmission GL; the automatic adds $1,200. The SE hatchback adds Bluetooth and a leather-wrapped steering wheel for $15,795 with a manual, or $16,795 with an automatic....