When thinking of small econoboxes, a number of names comes to mind - Toyota Yaris/Echo, Honda Civic, Chevy Aveo. Add to that list the Hyundai Accent. While it may not be great at any one thing, it is ...
When thinking of small econoboxes, a number of names comes to mind - Toyota Yaris/Echo, Honda Civic, Chevy Aveo. Add to that list the Hyundai Accent. While it may not be great at any one thing, it is good at everything.
From the outside, the Accent is small. It's about 3/4 the length, or less, of a Ford Crown Victoria. And the styling is bland. But inside is where the smallness disappears. There is enough room inside a Accent hatchback to fit enough gear and supplies for a 6 week trip across western Canada - believe me, I've done it!
As for the driving experience, it leaves something to be desired. The 1.5L inline 4 engine, making about 92hp, can push, eventually, the car to a decent speed, all the while buzzing loudly. If you accelerate quickly (well, try to, anyway) it sounds like the engine's gonna grenade on you. Handling, too, is not that great. Understeer galore, and the thin 13 inch tires make taking sharp corners at speed a practice in prayer.
The Accent, while not great on the highway, due to the aforementioned lack of power and agility, is quite effective for driving around the city. It can keep up with city traffic (barely) and it returns decent gas mileage. Combined highway and city driving has proven to yield a consumption rate of around 35 miles per gallon, hardly a gas guzzler.
Reliability is a huge plus for my Accent. Aside from routine maintenance (which can be done easily by any backyard mechanic), all that's gone wrong is a broken radio tuner (replaced under warranty) and nonworking dashboard lights (replaced a cheap 'diode' in the fuse box.) Also, the transmission had been acting up during my trip across western Canada - a tranny fluid change fixed that up.
So, after owning the car for 2 years, I've put about 60,000 relatively trouble-free, efficient, spacious kilometers on it. It is great for urban commuting, not so great if you like speed, or turning. Overall, though, it certainly has a right to play with the big boys in the compact scene.