Aggressively releasing a plethora of new models in recent months, the Korean manufacturer has now launched its final offering to round off its sedan family in the form of the new Accent.
First seen in the late 1970s, it’s come a long way since its humble beginnings as the Pony (which it was previously named). Now into its seventh generation and the Accent has become a real stud, housing the familiar family look.
In the front, the large diamond-shaped grille with the manufacturer’s logo positioned in the middle, reveals the car’s fresh new look, while the outer design is complemented by the eagle-eye headlamps. The front bumper adds to the vehicle’s sturdy pose, which continues through to the side character profile of the car.
With a coupé-like makeup from the side, it looks youthful with its road-hugging stance. However, heading off to the rear, there is very little to differentiate the Accent from its other siblings like the Elantra. The taillights and rear bumpers of both cars share the same genetics and the only way to tell them apart is by the Accent’s slightly more diminutive stature. But this car has been thrown into a rather aggressive market segment, where firm sedan favourites like VW’s Vivo and Chev’s Aveo rule the roost - but this Korean seems like a worthy adversary.
Beating under its bonnet is a new-generation 1.6-litre Gamma engine, producing a hearty 91kW of power at 6 300rpm, while its torque output reaches 156Nm, delivered at 4 200rpm. Available in a 5-speed manual gearbox - which we drove on launch - it sported smooth changes with clearly defined gates. This derivative boasts a claimed top speed of 190km/h, and doing the 0-100km/h shuffle should take around 10.2 seconds. Hyundai also claims a fuel consumption of 6.1 litres/100km and CO2 emissions of 145g/km.
Additionally, a 4-speed automatic transmission is also available with a maximum speed of roughly 184km/h and the car goes from standstill to 100km/h in around 11.4 seconds. In terms of fuel consumption, this guise sips approximately 8.6 litres/100km and has a CO2 emissions rating of 151g/km.
Inside, the cabin is comfortable and spacious, despite its coupé silhouette. Quality finishes greet all the occupants as well as a host of creature comforts. With two spec levels available, the lower spec GL still boasts some handy features, including: USB port, radio and MP3, as well as air conditioning - to name a few. The higher spec GLS, houses Bluetooth, radio/MP3 and CD player, as well as an iPod connectivity cable.
A stand out feature on the vehicle was it chassis. Seemingly built with purpose, it handles exceptionally well and the steering constantly supplied feedback throughout the test route, conjuring up a comfortable, sporty ride. Thanks to its lower suspension setting and increased chassis’ torsional stiffness, it inspired confidence whether on the open road or whether negotiating tight sweeping bends.
The only let down is, it only comes standard with steel rims, but customers can arrange for alloys from their relevant dealers, at an additional fee.
Retailing at a slightly higher price against its competitors, might hurt Hyundai early on, but an informed customer will quickly realise that the high spec level as standard on the Accent range and the higher power output, should sway them in favour of the Korean automotive giant.
The Accent includes Hyundai’s well-known 5 year/150 000km warranty and 5 year/90 000km service plan.