By Cars.com EditorsSeptember 8, 2011
About the video
Cars.com's Dave Thomas takes a look at the 2012 Hyundai Accent. It competes with the Ford Fiesta and Honda Fit.
(upbeat music) <v Announcer>Cars.com auto review. (upbeat music) Hi, I'm Dave Thomas with cars.com, and this is a 2012 Hyundai Accent. Now let's face it, there's probably just one reason you're watching this video right now.
This is one of the most affordable cars in the country, but it's also one of the most fuel efficient. Luckily for car shoppers looking to save a little money, subcompacts aren't the ugly ducklings of the auto world anymore. Ford's Fiesta, the upcoming Kia Rio, and definitely this Hyundai Accent, are really attractive. Its styling actually mimics the Hyundai Elantra, which is a larger car. Looks are nice and all, but how do you get the most for your money? Well, first you get the sedan. The Accent comes in a sedan or a hatchback, but the sedan's the one that starts under $13,000. However, to get that bottom basement price, you give up air conditioning. You give up a stereo, you give up power windows. I don't think many people want to give up on that stuff. To get them, it's over $14,000 and it still comes with a six speed manual. And what if you don't drive a stick shift and you need an automatic transmission? Well guess what? That's another thousand dollars. And if you want more features like these nice 16 inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth, cruise control, they all come in part of a larger package. So it's even more money. While those numbers seem to ratchet up quickly and sound quite expensive, the Accent is still less expensive when comparably equipped to a Ford Fiesta or a Honda Fit. Another big figure shoppers will focus on is the mileage. The Accent gets 30 miles per gallon city, 40 miles per gallon highway. And that's either with a manual transmission or a six speed, automatic. That's really rare. And in this segment, that's the best mileage you can get. Ford's Fiesta, if you've got a special package called the SFE, gets 29 city, 40 highway. You'd think to get that kind of mileage, you'd have to give up some power, but with 138 horses, the four-cylinder is actually one of the more powerful in the class. So when you're going around town, it definitely feels peppy like a lot of sub compacts. And when you're cruising at highway speeds, it feels powerful. It's just passing at highway speeds that might be an issue. As small cars get more expensive, luckily their interiors are getting a little nicer. And the Accents is pretty good for the class. The materials themselves are nice. All the controls are laid out easily. I'd just say in terms of interior design, the Fiesta is definitely cooler looking. New small cars don't necessarily have small backseats anymore either. Honda's Fit actually has a huge backseat, and the Accents isn't as big as that. But as you can see, I'm 5'10 and the driver's seat is exactly where I had it when driving and I do have plenty of knee room here, head room, leg room too. The Fiesta is definitely not this big in the backseat. If carrying cargo is your main concern, you definitely want to opt for the hatchback version of the Accent. Its cargo area is actually the biggest in the class at around 21 cubic feet. So it tops even the Honda Fit. The sedan here has 13.7 cubic feet of trunk space. It's about a foot more than the Ford Fiesta, but you have to remember, these are affordable cars. To get to that trunk, you have to use one of these things. I think it's called a key. Unfortunately, no car at this price point is gonna be perfect. The Accent could definitely handle better, and these high efficiency tires could grip better too. However, when you look at the cost, the interior room, and that fuel mileage, it's a tough combination to beat. <v Announcer>For more car related news, go to cars.com or our blog, kickingtires.net.