The Accent is Hyundai's budget-minded subcompact car and it has been completely redesigned for 2012 in an effort to deliver a more upscale, quality feel to its lowest-priced offering. The new 2012 Hyundai Accent comes with Hyundai's full line of safety equipment standard, including standard disc brakes at all four wheels - a class exclusive.
Body style: Four-door sedan, Five-door hatchback
Engines: 1.6L, I-4
Transmissions: 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic
Models: GLS, GS, SE
The Accent is all new for 2012 and gains Hyundai's "Fluidic Sculpture" design language. The four-door sedan body style remains but the three-door hatchback has been replaced by a five-door hatchback. Its wheelbase has been increased 2.8 inches for more interior room. The Accent also receives Hyundai's new "GAMMA" 1.6-liter direct-injection four-cylinder engine with 138 horsepower on tap. Last year's five-speed manual and four-speed automatic transmissions have been replaced with all-new six-speed transmissions available in either manual or automatic flavors. A number of Hyundai's passive and active safety features come standard for the Accent, including four wheel disc brakes.
The Accent finally gains Hyundai's "Fluidic Sculpture," design theme, helping it gain family resemblance to its larger Elantra and Sonata siblings. Overall the Accent hatch has a smart, contemporary look that should appeal to a broad spectrum of the budget-minded car-buying public. The Accent sedan also has a fresh look, but it's not quite as bold as the slightly larger and expensive Elantra. The 2012 Accent rides on a 2.8-inch longer wheelbase and has grown 3.5 inches overall compared to the 2011 model.
Much like the exterior, the Accent's styling updates have continued on the inside. The dashboard's monochromatic "tech" design combines with the better-than-class-average plastic trim to give the interior a more upscale look than its price indicates. The premium cloths seats are decently supportive. Air-conditioning is standard on GS and SE trim levels, but optional on GLS. Rear-seat leg room feels larger than its competitors. The sedan features a trunk with 13.7 cubic-feet of cargo room. The fold-down rear seats enlarge the Accent hatchback's cargo capacity from 21.2 cubic feet to 47.5.
Performance & Handling
The Accent's class-leading 138 horsepower and 123 lb-ft of torque helps it accelerate to highway speeds without much drama. The Motor Trend test team achieved a 9.2-second sprint to 60 mph the Accent SE hatch. Ride quality is on the firm side, but the handling is balanced aided by the standard stability control. The 2012 Accent's electric steering features low effort, but the feel is more consistent compared to the model it replaces. When it comes time to stop the four-channel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) combined with the four wheel discs and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) brings the subcompact to a halt with aplomb.
Hyundai offers a long list of standard safety features, including: six airbags (front impact, front seat-mounted side impact and curtain side-impact); front-seat active head restraints; Hyundai's Collision Load Dispersion mechanism; rear door beams; Electronic Stability Control (ESC); Traction Control; Vehicle Stability Management and Motor-Drive Power Steering (MDPS). The Accent's anti-lock brakes(ABS) also feature Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA) and hauled the Accent SE we tested down from 60 mph in 128 feet.
EPA Fuel Economy
GLS: 30 mpg city/40 mpg highway (manual); 30 mpg city/40 mpg highway (automatic)
GS: 30 mpg city/40 mpg highway (manual); 30 mpg city/40 mpg highway (automatic)
SE: mpg city/40 mpg highway (manual); 30 mpg city/40 mpg highway (automatic)
- Cargo capacity
- Great fuel economy
- Standard safety features
You Won't Like
- Sluggish acceleration
- Firm ride
Accentuated for the better
If You Like This Vehicle
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- Toyota Yaris
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