Redesigned for 2012, the entry-level Hyundai Accent gains styling similar to Hyundai's larger Elantra and Sonata sedans. With its direct-injection four-cylinder, the car is EPA-rated at 28/37 mpg city/highway. Available in sedan and four-door hatchback variants, the Accent competes with the Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris and Chevrolet Sonic. The Kia Rio, also redesigned for 2012, is related.
The Accent sedan comes in a single GLS trim. The hatchback comes in GS and uplevel SE trims.
Embodying Hyundai's "fluidic sculpture" design ethos, the Accent looks strikingly similar to the Elantra, with teardrop-shaped headlights and fog lights. Relative to the previous generation, the Accent sedan is 3.5 inches longer. The four-door Accent hatchback is 10 inches shorter than the sedan, though both cars ride the same 101.2-inch wheelbase. Being an entry-level model, the Accent GLS comes basically equipped; the GS and SE hatchbacks have more features. Exterior features include:
- Black mirrors and door handles
- Standard 14-inch steel wheels
- Optional 16-inch alloy wheels
- Optional body-colored mirrors and handles
- Optional fog lights
- Optional rear spoiler (hatchback)
Gone is the prior Accent's shelf-like dashboard, replaced by a more gradual ascent to the windshield. The dashboard's plunging center portion holds climate and audio controls; a navigation system isn't offered. Total passenger volume in the sedan is about 90 cubic feet, down slightly from the prior-generation Accent sedan. The hatchback offers 21.2 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the rear seats and 47.5 cubic feet of maximum volume with the seats folded. The latter figure trumps most competitors.
An options-free GLS sedan comes sparsely equipped, lacking air conditioning, power windows or a radio. All three are optional. Interior features include:
- Optional power accessories and remote keyless entry
- Optional steering-wheel audio controls
- Optional air conditioning, cruise control
- Optional USB/iPod-compatible CD stereo
- Optional piano-black accents, chrome door handles
Under the Hood
The Accent's tiny four-cylinder is new this year, with direct-injection technology that's uncommon for this class. It works through new six-speed transmissions. Mechanical features include:
- 1.6-liter four-cylinder with 138 horsepower and 123 pounds-feet of torque
- Standard six-speed manual
- Optional six-speed automatic
- Standard dashboard Eco button modulates accelerator response and automatic-transmission shifting to improve fuel economy
New for 2012 is an electronic stability system, which wasn't available last year. Stability systems are federally required for 2012; as such, the Accent's is standard. Safety features include:
- All-disc antilock brakes
- Traction control and electronic stability system
- Front, and side curtain airbags
- Active front head restraints
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