Review: 2012 Hyundai Accent SE

Posted on 05. Oct, 2011 by in Auto News

So what's your checklist? If you read this site regularly, you have a: the characteristics of the ideal next car. Maybe more than one, if you. The need or desire for more than one type of car One of my checklists concerns my ideal compact hatch. The latest entrant: the 2012 Hyundai Accent SE.

  1. Tasteful, understated sporty exterior with tight proportions and without any details

The Mazda Protege5, which is occupied nailed my garage for the last eight years this one. The Mazda3, which it replaces on dealer lots, not even close. The Accent SE Hook not feel like doing the P5, but it's more attractive than the neighboring saloon and under the current small hatches, edges of the similarly styled Ford Fiesta for the top spot thanks to sharper lines and a less swoopy, window lettering-free A-pillar . (The car does look better in person than in these photos.) Additional points Hyundai not to overdo the front end and design of the car looking its best (SE carries 16s) without monster wheels. The exterior design is far from being cumbersome, but it works well for those of us in our youth.

  1. The same in the car, with solid construction and good ergonomics

I do not want to drive to a device, but I do not want to live in a video game or sci-fi fantasy, either. A look at some of the most important design element, I do not want to constantly ask: "What did they think?" This includes the Civic, Mazda3 and MINI, among others. The accent is not far away from my ideal, but falls short due to the ongoing economic car mentality is evident in the silver-painted trim on the doors and the thin, light gray (why?) Fabric on the seats. Ford is doing a lot better with these bits, but also provides a solid reinforced bucket. On the other side of the instrument panel, the emphasis is a keeper. The plastic is all the hard stuff, but it feels solid and does not seem cheap. Unlike in a Fiesta or Focus, the center console controls are easy to get to understand and operate.

  1. The driving position, which promotes an intimate connection with the car

It is easier to describe what my ideal driving position does not include: a distant windshield, thick columns, or small, high-mounted windows. The accent much better than the current standard of the first order and the other two (although the rear window is very small). You'll find an airy cabin in a Mazda2, but arrange other competitors tend below the Hyundai. A small negative: unlike in the new Fiesta and Chevrolet Sonic, the steering wheel does not telescope.

  1. Sufficient space for three pre-teen children and a run to CostCo

The emphasis of the rear seat and cargo area are no match for the Honda Fit and Nissan Versa or a C-segment hatch, but are more spacious than the Fiesta. Good enough, the seat cushion is a little too low in the rear mounted adult comfort, but I would rarely again as adults.

  1. A refined, ready-sounding engine

Hyundai, the new, direct-injection 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine turns a segment-leading 138 horsepower at 6,300 revolutions per minute. There is much more momentum than with the 120-hp mill in the Fiesta, much less the asthmatic 100-horsepower lump in the Mazda2. But even if a relatively light 2,400-pound curb weight, we saddled still talk about the difference between slow, sorta slow, and a touch more than adequate. With a maximum torque of 123 pound-feet at 4850 rpm, you will have to rev the 1.6 in all but the most casual driving. Which is okay, as the latest four Hyundai turns smoothly and quietly. If anything, I'd like to hear more of the right kind of noise about 4,000 rpm.

  1. A close, smooth, solid shifter

Unfortunately, the exercise of the four requires contact with the manual shifter, the. One failed only because of excessive raises and the ease of grabbing avoids the desired gear The shifter feels clunky and crunchy. It even sounds clunky and crunchy. Logitech makes better feeling shifter for your computer. Every car company has been born since the engineering manual shift lever for the day. Tech does not get any older. So why the shift lever always stay to the right, so hard for so many of them? Hyundai has employed a pretty good B & M unit in the Elantra Touring and the previous generation Accent. Do the same with the new one.

On top of this, no points will be awarded for the installation of a six-speed transmission, although most competitors make do with five speeds. Here's why:

A B
1st 4.40 3.77
2nd 2.73 2.05
3rd 1.83 1.29
4th 1.39 1.04
5th 1.00 0.89
6th 0.77 0.77

See the beautifully-spaced ratios in column A? You get them with the six-speed slushbox Accent. Column B is the manual. The top three gears are so close together that the fifth is pointless. Meanwhile, the first three gears are too far apart. Rev to 6300 rpm power peak in the first, the shift to the second, and the speed falls all the way to 3400 rpm, well below the maximum torque. If this were not bad enough, the engine disappears briefly following such aggressive shifts, especially when the finesse-free traction control detects a hint of slippage. (There is a solution to this last issue. Turn off the system) is not the power hole is as deep or as wide as the Mazda2, but only because you have more engine work.

  1. Good fuel economy

Working from home, I do not drive much, so a small car fuel economy to not delete a high bar. All that will do more than 29, if greater numbers to collect bonus points. Hyundai was much more difficult to collect this bonus points than feel to shift. With EPA ratings of 30 city and 40 highway In the S-drive Accent board computer reported figures as high as 48, but more typically about 37, and as low as 30 feet with a heavier and more frequent stops.

A curiosity is not limited to Hyundai: to earn all of the latest B-segment cars like EPA numbers, their C-segment sibling despite lower curb weight and smaller engines. What's the deal with this? If the Hyundai Elantra can manage 29/40, then why not the Accent achieve 32/44? Just curious personally, but other buyers will be less interested in handling Bs find pointless.

  1. Communicative steering and agile handling

For me, the primary strength of a B-segment car agile handling. If I wanted to feel like I was driving a big car, I'd buy a big car. (Okay, I have a big car, but not because I liked how it can be treated.)

The new Accent is missing the frisky chassis and quick, sharp, communicative steering of the Mazda2, but handles and steers better than other direct competitors with the partial exception of the Ford Fiesta. The Ford has a solid, German-as-in contrast to Asian feel, but softer suspension settings. Both drivers are good, especially when rushed. Either car steers and handles better and is much more fun to drive, as the soggy, bland appliances from Nissan and Toyota (2011 anyway, I have not yet driven the 2012 Yaris). The Honda Fit? While others sing the praises, I can not get over the microvan position (see No. 3).

  1. A worthwhile journey

I used to think I wanted a bare bones car. Then I drove a Lotus Elise. Immediately thereafter, the Protege5 is seemed. As quiet and comfortable as a Lincoln Navigator But in comparison to just about anything else the Mazda is rough and loud. Although I'm not looking a cocoon, I would prefer a car that did not beat me or assault my eardrums. The accent here is good improvement of the larger, but bouncier Elantra, which is almost the segment-best Fiesta.

  1. Inexpensive

My wife thinks I'm cheap. But value is really my thing. I'm delivered for the sweet spot in the amount of car for the dollar look. In contrast, B-segment buyers have traditionally downright cheap. Seeking the nickles, the Hyundai Accent competed with the Nissan Versa for the title of America's cheapest car.

The $ 9,990 special is gone, and then some, with the accent of the redesign. The base sedan lists for $ 13,205, the base hatchback (now with four doors instead of two) for $ 13,455. And an SE as you see here? $ 16,555. Even with this, its cheapest model Hyundai is now on the value, not the lowest possible price.

Is the Accent deliver this value? The next non-Korean competitor, the Ford Fiesta SE with SYNC and Sound and Sport Appearance Package, lists for $ 16,990. Both run by True Delta car price comparison tool finds that the two are very closely matched in features, with a mere $ 15 Adaptation of Ford's favor. This decision will come to anything other than the price. In favor of Ford we have a sportier, better trimmed interior, a decent shifter and a generally upscale atmosphere. But the Hyundai counters with a more powerful engine, larger wheels (16s vs 15s), firmer suspension tuning and a viable back seat. It is a difficult, which should come down, priorities, to Hyundai puts the gear lever and interior trim (or the aftermarket is doing what it does best).

A Mazda2 Touring is also very close in price, offer for $ 125 less, but end up about $ 500 more, once the feature-based matching. The Mazda is just the best handler of the three, but with gear that makes a weak engine feel even weaker and eco-car look and feel saddled.

The problem with one of these small hatches: C-segment cars offer more power and more beautiful, spacious interior with similar handling and fuel economy. A Ford Focus SE with Comfort and Sport packages will list for $ 20,930. Over $ 900 will pay the difference for extra functionality. The rest just pay more car. If you have additional reason to spend it. Did not it? See previous paragraph.

Maybe in 2014?