I have noticed most car companies are coming out with new and/or improved cars for the subcompact and compact segments. This 2012 Accent (and the new Elantra according to many reviews) seems to illust...
I have noticed most car companies are coming out with new and/or improved cars for the subcompact and compact segments. This 2012 Accent (and the new Elantra according to many reviews) seems to illustrate how Hyundai has excelled in improving their small car lineup. My wife and I were actually looking at Elantra (new and used) initially and came across this car by accident thinking it was an Elantra. Upon finding out it was an Accent (sedan), we test drove it anyway, loved it, and purchased it.
This car is much improved over the previous generation Accent. Instead of a small, cheap, bland appearance, it now has a very nice interior and exterior look and feel to it. It has improved power, gas mileage, and safety features (to name a few) as well. But how does it perform in real world driving?
The ride we have experienced so far is better than any other compact (and even some newer midsized cars) we rode or drove. You certainly still feel bumps and encounter engine noise when the engine is pushed, but for a small car with a short wheelbase, it seems to do well enough that it does not bother anyone who has rode in it thus far (even with the thin profile tires). On the highway it seems to ride very smooth and feels controlled. Steering is taught and this also helps us feel the car is well controlled on the road. Breaks are sharp and help us feel confident in hard breaking situations. Acceleration has been adequate for us, but it is obviously not a breakneck car. It actually feels rather spunky in in-town driving and we have found no problems passing on the highway, even in heavy traffic where quick maneuvering is required.
The front two seats are very comfortable for us (6'0 and 5'8"). Driving position is comfortable, even on longer trips. Visibility is good all around, even with the sloped back window and 3 rear head restraints. The back seats seem adequate for 2 people of average height and weight, with knee room to spare. Three people is a bit tight, but is doable (especially with the lack of a large bump in the middle of the floor seem in many cars). No cup holders in the back, but this has not been an issue for us. Controls in the car are intuitive and easy learn and use. The colors of the interior lighting is also very nice (soft blues, not reds or yellows). Trunk space is surprisingly adequate for multiple suitcases, groceries, whatever we have tried fitting in it thus far. Rear seats folding down helps if more space is needed.
Things we are still unsure of at this point: Reliability (though Hyundai has improved in this regard and previous generation had sound reliability); ability to safely fit child seats in back; Winter weather driving;
Gas mileage (usually with Eco mode on): As low as 26mpg in aggressive stop and go city driving. Generally 28-33 in mostly to all city driving. 38 to 42 in mostly to all highway driving. Pretty nice!
Overall: This car is way better than I expected so far. Many features and creature comforts for a small car. Time will tell with reliability and winter driving.