Hyundai Accent


Debut: 2017
Maker: Hyundai
Predecessor: Accent (2011)



 Published on 20 Nov 2017
All rights reserved. 


New Accent has improved on pretty much everything, but it forgot one thing: heart and soul.


Hyundai Accent has never won our admiration. I suppose the new generation Accent will be much the same. Nowadays there are countless of stylish, high-quality, refined yet affordable B-segment cars on the market, most notably Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo and Seat Ibiza. Considering the fast-rising competitiveness of Hyundai group, its B-segment contender Accent should have been made to the top of the segment already. Somehow, perhaps the group is diverting more resources to the strategy of going upmarket, i.e. Genesis, Stinger, N etc., its cheap cars seemed to be less well taken care. The result? Look at this Accent and you will know…

While the new Accent appears to be more upmarket with its Audisque hexagonal grille and a Sonata-like sweeping roof line, it is not exactly a beautiful design. Few two-and-a-half-box sedans could be beautiful, and the Accent belongs to the majority. Its rather tall waistline leaves a large clearance between the C-pillars and rear wheels, adding a sense of bulkiness even when the largest 17-inch wheels are fitted. The high and short boot looks neither sporty nor civilized. Admittedly, it is unfair to compare the proportion between a sedan and a hatchback. Virtually everything else in the class are hatchbacks, including the Accent’s sister car, Kia Rio. Why doesn’t it turn to hatchback? Hyundai said US buyers prefer sedans. The last generation Accent offered both body styles there, but three-quarter of buyers opted for the sedan, so there is no reason to keep hatchback (Another reason I can think of: it leaves that space to the Rio, which is now hatchback only). There will be a hatchback Accent sometime later, but its sales will be bouned in Korea, China and not many countries. Europe, meanwhile, is satisfied to have i20 instead.



Few two-and-a-half-box sedans could be beautiful, and the Accent belongs to the majority.


With shrunken market potential, no wonder the Accent sticks with some old mechanicals. The 1.4-liter 16V MPi and 1.6-liter 16V GDi engines are carried over. No high-tech three-cylinder turbo like the European Rio, sorry. The 1.4-liter produces 100 hp and struggles to propel the slightly heavier body. The 1.6-liter is nicer, but it is no fireball either. Output is rationalized from the suspicious 140hp to a more credible 130hp. The official excuse is that the new version is tuned for more low-to-mid-range torque. Anyway, it is reasonably refined and the performance is perfectly acceptable for a car mostly driven by housewives or poor graduates. The partnering 6-speed automatic (95 percent buyers expected to choose) works well, too. Why do so few people choose the 6-speed manual? Because its gearshift is balky and long-throw, and clutch feel is mushy. Moreover, Hyundai’s customers are not Honda’s or Mazda’s.

The underpinning platform is also adapted from the old car’s. It is barely longer, wider and runs a 10mm longer wheelbase. However, the new monocoque is made of 54.5 percent of high-strength steel, up from 41.5 percent of the old car. In addition to the use of more structural adhesives, torsional rigidity is lifted by 32 percent, which helps ride and refinement. This is evident on the drive, as the cabin is free of creaks and rattles. Wind and engine noises are reduced, too, but there is too much tire and suspension noise coming from the wheel wells, especially on rougher roads, so its refinement is still far from the best of the class.

The rear suspension continues to be a torsion-beam axle, just like most in the class. It is benefited from relocated dampers and a stiffer subframe. Handling is obviously improved. It doesn’t roll or understeer more than an average family small car you would expect. The steering is light and muted but precise and easy. The grip and brakes are up to the job. However, if you want a sportier drive or more driver engagement, you should look elsewhere.



Dark and full of hard plastics. Customizable trims have yet to penetrate to this Korean car...


To many, the Accent’s greatest asset is the roomy cabin. In fact, with a cabin volume of 104 cubic feet, it is classified as a compact (C-segment) car by the EPA in America. Two adults will feel comfortable at the rear seat, while 3 are bearable for a short trip. Nevertheless, the cabin design looks just as dull as the old car’s. It is dark and full of hard plastics. Customizable trims and decors have yet to penetrate to this Korean car. It is all about functions and equipment at an affordable price. You get a touchscreen of up to 7-inch, whose response is good, but it doesn’t include sat-nav function, so you will need mobile connectivity to access GPS maps. The list of standard equipment is quite generous though. Consumer Report should rate this car high.

Unfortunately, for those drivers demanding something more special, with more character and more driver appeal so that they will feel proud of the choice, the Accent remains fail. Its failure does not lie on any particular area, but a lack of heart and soul in its creation.
Verdict:
Specifications





Year
Layout
Chassis
Body
Length / width / height
Wheelbase
Engine
Capacity
Valve gears
Induction
Other engine features
Max power
Max torque
Transmission
Suspension layout

Suspension features
Tires
Kerb weight
Top speed
0-60 mph (sec)
0-100 mph (sec)
Accent 1.4
2017
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4385 / 1729 / 1475 mm
2580 mm
Inline-4
1368 cc
DOHC 16 valves, DVVT
-
-
100 hp
98 lbft
6-speed manual
F: strut
R: torsion-beam
-
185/65R15
1060 kg
-
-
-
Accent 1.6GDi
2017
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4385 / 1729 / 1475 mm
2580 mm
Inline-4
1591 cc
DOHC 16 valves, DVVT
-
DI
130 hp
119 lbft
6-speed manual (6-speed auto)
F: strut
R: torsion-beam
-
205/45R17
1135 kg (1215 kg)
120 mph (est)
9.0 (est)
-



























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