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Hyundai Accent

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  • acronisacronis Posts: 29
    '07 3 dr Accent is at the local Hyundai dealer in my area, of S. Fla. It maybe that Hyundai stocks inventory based on volumne of sales in certain regions. Here in S. Florida there are Hyundais everywhere.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    There are Hyundais everywhere in the Twin Cities also. I think it has more to do with how far a dealer is from a port. They will probably show up any day here.
  • tsgeiseltsgeisel Posts: 352
    I was at the dealership last week, and the salesman said that every dealer got 1 2007 Accent 3-door. So maybe your local dealer sold theirs already.
  • Did he mean nationwide? My local dealer (Everett WA) has been getting 2-5 every week for the past 2-3 weeks. But perhaps its because we're so close to a major port city (Seattle).
  • shado4shado4 Posts: 287
    Believe it or not, my local Hyundai dealer recently got in a new 2007 Hyundai Accent SE. I stopped by for a test drive this morning.

    First, the basics. It was a Tango Red SE with the Sun and Sound package and auto transmission (in other words, as expensive and top-of-the-line as you can get for an Accent). The sticker was $16,830 :surprise: which included destination but no rebates, taxes, title, etc. Pretty expensive territory for an Accent. But boy did it look sharp! :shades:

    Exterior wise, the 16 inch wheels really make this car stand out. Panel gaps were narrow and the large doors closed shut with a solid "whump". This is a Hyundai?!? Wow, compared to my 5 year old Elantra, Hyundai has come a long way forward in build quality. I liked the reddish-orange color, and the paint seemed uniform and of consistent quality. The rear hatch opens just like my Elantra by pulling on a concealed handle hidden above the license plate. The hatch is much more lightweight than the Elantra, and is supported by gas struts on both sides. A downside; the rear cargo cover does not move up when you open the hatch, although it is removable. Exterior likes: the foglights in the front bumper, the side marker turn signal lights (new on the sedan as well), the 16 inch wheels, the styled rear lights, the rear spoiler, big heated and foldable rear side mirrors. Exterior dislikes: the color-coded Hyundai emblem on the front grill, no chrome tail pipe exhaust finisher (may be an accessory?), no body side moldings to help prevent door dings.

    Interior impressions in the next post...
  • shado4shado4 Posts: 287
    Interior wise, I can see where Hyundai spent a lot of the money they charge you for this car. Everything fit well together and many things (like the sunglasses holder near the sunroof controls) opened with fluid precision. Very nice! The sunroof itself is glass and both tilts up and has a one-touch slide open feature. Two map lights are present and work with individual switches.

    The climate control switchgear is electronic in nature (very precise and no "rubber band" feel at all), with separate buttons for AC and recirc. There is a MAX AC setting on the vent selector dial that automatically activates the AC and recirc functions. Simulated carbon fiber surrounds the radio, which included a 6-disc CD changer and a cassette. Pushing the audio button brings up selections for Bass, Midrange :) and Treble settings, as well as balance and fade. I briefly listened to the audio via a local FM station and the sound was good, with sold bass. I think there should be more treble response, but that could just be my old ears :blush:

    There are 2 individual trip meters selected by a flush button to the left of the steering wheel. The steering wheel itself is wrapped in leather and is a nice 3 pointer. Instrumentation includes a tachometer, temp, fuel and speedometer gauges.

    Seats are comfortable, especially the driver's seat which includes an 8 way adjustment. The hip point seems to be higher in the Accent compared to my Elantra, which makes for a better view of the road and easier entry and exit. Another downside; reaching for the seatbelt from the driver's seat after I had adjusted it to my frame required a little more stretching and arm bending than I would normally like. There is an armrest attached to the right side of the driver's seat which can be flipped up when not in use. The armrest does not include any storage space.

    What really surprised me was the amount of room in the back seat area. I'm only 5'8", but entering the back seat from the passenger side was easier than I thought. Once in the back, I had plenty of head and knee room, but forget about putting 3 people back there.

    Driving impressions coming up...
  • shado4shado4 Posts: 287
    Driving the SE was a pleasant surprise. Considering the test drive included two people (myself and the sales rep) with the AC on max, the SE fared better than just me driving my current Elantra. It is no pocket rocket by any stretch of the imagination, however. Acceleration from a dead stop was leisurely, and the engine made a fair amount of noise when pushed to the upper reaches of the powerband. The four-speed auto is probably the biggest culprit here, even though shifts were smooth and quick, with none of the shift flair I am getting from my Elantra.

    At normal cruising speed, the Accent was very quiet. Bumps were quickly absorbed without fuss. I was worried that the "sport tuned suspension" of the SE would translate into a harsh ride, but it wasn't that bad. What I really wanted to do was to take some corners at speed to see what the SE could do, and I got the chance.

    On a twisty two lane road behind the dealership, I dropped speed behind a slow moving minivan in front of me to open up some space between us. Making sure that no one was behind me and the lane was cleared up front, I brought the Accent up to speed. Approaching a hard right corner, the sales rep beside me said something about holding on as he grabbed the handle mounted to the right above his head.

    I took the corner at speed without touching the brakes. The Accent picked a line and stuck with it, even as I accelerated out of the turn. Body roll was minimal, the tires did not make a sound, and I had a big grin on my face as I exited the turn. Who needs straight line performance? :P

    When all was said and done, I got out of the car, returned the keys to the sales rep and walked around the Accent one more time. The SE is a VERY nice car, but at $16.8K there are probably some better alternatives out there. Still, once the rebates kick in and there is more of a selection (I got the distinct impression that dealing on this car would be near impossible since the sales rep kept saying it was the only Accent of its kind in the tri-state area), I may be back to trade in my Elantra.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    Thanks for the thorough review!

    It is interesting that the price of the loaded Accent SE is within about $1000 of a loaded Elantra GT, which includes leather, moonroof, and ABS but not the CD changer or side curtain airbags--or 16" wheels. So I expect the price of the Elantra GT to move up for 2007.

    $16.8k does seem like a lot for an Accent, but this is an Accent like no other before it. When you consider the equipment level and refinement of the car, it can be compared to cars like the Rabbit 3-door and Fit Sport. The Rabbit offers a lot more power and more interior room, and has excellent driving dynamics (I can't compare to the Accent yet because I haven't driven the Accent SE). But it doesn't have the feature content of the Accent SE, e.g. moonroof, CD changer with subwoofer, and little things like leather steering wheel cover and a more adjustable seat cushion. But the Rabbit offers a 6-speed Tiptronic automatic and optional stability control; alloys are optional also. The Fit offers the versatility of a 5-door and its Magic Seats, and the 5-speed automatic with paddle shifters, but lacks things that the Accent has like moonroof, height-adjustable driver's seat, dead pedal, and lighted vanity mirrors.

    And let's not forget the Versa, which for about the price of the Accent SE can be had with CVT and nice features like Bluetooth. And it's more powerful than the Accent and has a lot more interior room.

    All in all I expect the Accent SE will have a tough time competing against cars like the Rabbit 3-door, Fit, and Versa at full MSRP. So I think discounts and rebates will be coming in the not too-distant future.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    Kirstie, now that the 2007 Accents are out, should the title of this discussion be changed, maybe to "2006+ Hyundai Accent"?
  • shado4shado4 Posts: 287
    All in all I expect the Accent SE will have a tough time competing against cars like the Rabbit 3-door, Fit, and Versa at full MSRP. So I think discounts and rebates will be coming in the not too-distant future.

    That's my thinking as well. Considering that the car I drove is the first (and apparently only) Accent SE in the surrounding area, I was reluctant to talk numbers with the sales rep. Sorry, but I don't want to pay for the "privilege" of being the first Accent SE owner on the block!

    I'll probably bide my time and see what comes down the road at a later date. Besides, not having to make a monthly car payment is a benefit I'm not too keen on giving up. ;)
  • djindjin Posts: 5
    $12,450 is a bargain too and yet the Nissan Versa has a 6 speed manual.
  • shado4shado4 Posts: 287
    Nice article. The review mirrors my experiences with the Accent SE during my test drive.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    Yes, the 6-speed in the Versa is a plus. But to get a Versa equipped like the Accent SE will cost you a lot more than $12,450. For one thing, you'd need to move up to the Versa SL and add ABS to it. But you also get two more doors and more interior space in the Versa.
  • jrtny04jrtny04 Posts: 17
    $16,800 for an accent se, it seems to me thats a bit much. i think hyundai just priced me out of the market.
    i think just on principle alone ill take a close look at the upcoming vw rabbit
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    Not upcoming any more--it's here.
  • shado4shado4 Posts: 287
    $16,800 for an accent se, it seems to me thats a bit much.

    Precisely why I am waiting to see if Hyundai offers any rebates on the 2007 Accent. In my state there is a $1000 rebate on the 2006 Accent good through the end of July, but nothing available yet on the 2007 models.

    Patience, however, is not one of my virtues!
  • jrtny04jrtny04 Posts: 17
    even with a $1k rebate, that is still a lot of $$ for an accent. what is msrp on the rabbit
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    An Accent SE starts at $14.6k with 5-speed stick. A Rabbit 3-door with 5-speed stick and 16" alloys is about $16k. The $16.8k was for a fully loaded Accent with automatic, moonroof (not available on the Rabbit 3-door), and CD changer with cassette.
  • harrycheztharrychezt Posts: 405
    They need more hatches designed like that, on larger Hyundais.
  • tsgeiseltsgeisel Posts: 352
    Well, not designed like that, but suppposedly the Elantra will have a mid-year 2007 hatchback release.

    I like the non-wagon look of my current Elantra hatch. And I'm amused by the fact that one of the reviews said something like "20-something [my bad memory] of cubic feet of storage in the Accent with the seats down", when I have that much storage space in the Elantra with the seats up.

    It looks good, but I'm discovering the usefulness of a larger car...
  • jrtny04jrtny04 Posts: 17
    and the msrp for this will be ........27k give or take
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    In which currency?
  • duncan36duncan36 Posts: 8
    Wow thats at Accord VP territory. Which admittedly is a bit low rent in some areas but still its an Accord. Its more powerful and its fuel economy probably isnt far off the Accent, which has mediocre economy with the auto. Hyundai isnt shy about their pricing here recently, I think they kind of have delusions of grandeur. They're still Hyundai.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    Yes it's Accord VP territory, but would that Accord VP for $16k have automatic, power moonroof, 16" alloys, CD changer/cassette with subwoofer, 8-way adjustable driver's seat, 60/40 rear seat, sport cloth interior, leather steering wheel and shifter, sport-tuned suspension? No. You can get a stripped Accent equipped much more like the Accord VP for a lot less money.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    I finally got to drive the 2007 Accent 3-door today, but it was the base GS model and not the SE, that I really wanted to drive. :( The GS was a 5-speed MT with the AC/stereo package and mats, MSRP $12,430.

    The interior forward of the rear seatbacks is very similar to that of the Accent sedan, which I have driven before. The GS is more spartan, however, and lacks things that are on the GLS sedan such as cloth door inserts, temperature gauge, lighted vanity mirrors, and fold-down rear armrest. The black interior looks pretty spartan compared to the brighter GLS interior. But the cloth is good-looking, and the 8-way driver's seat with dual-knob height adjuster and fold-down armrest is still there to provide a best-in-class driving position. The controls and switches have a smooth feel that belies the low sticker price.

    Interior room seems about the same as in the GLS sedan, except for rear headroom. I was able to get comfortable in the rear seat when sitting behind myself (5'10"), but there was no room to spare for knees or head. I got a little extra headroom in back by reclining the rear seatback to its 2nd position. The rear seat has pretty good thigh support and would be OK for a few hours, but I wouldn't want to take a cross-country trip back there. The storage area behind the 60/40 rear seats is quite large, and there is a hard cargo cover but it doesn't raise up automatically when the hatch is raised. The rear seatbacks fold nearly flat. There are three rear headrests.

    With max A/C on the whole way, the Accent didn't have much get-up-and-go from its 110 hp engine, but it was perfectly fine for around-town driving and could get out of its way merging onto the highway. I didn't push the engine since it was a brand-new tester. The clutch was smooth and effortless, a real pleasure to use. The shifter has been villified by C/D and others. Personally I thought it was a pretty good piece. The throws were longer than on cars like the Fit and Versa, but the shift action was smooth and quiet, unlike the Fit which was notchy, and the Versa which emitted a loud and cheap-sounding "thunk-thunk" with every shift.

    The best feature of the Accent is its quiet and smooth ride. It feels like a much larger car. It is very quiet for a small car (according to C/D's tests, it is much quieter than the Fit and as quiet at cruise as an Accord EX V6). The chassis is rock-solid and there were no squeaks or rattles. The car glides over bumps without the "thunks" that many competitors give up. Handling is neutral, but not the on-rails feel like that of the Fit (the SE has a sport-tuned suspension and 16" alloy wheels, while the GS has 14" steel wheels). Steering is light, but with enough road feel to help you stay connected to the road. (The GS and SE have sport-tuned steering compared to the GLS sedan.) The non-ABS brakes (front disc, rear drum) were smooth, with progressive feel; I didn't push them however. (ABS is not available on the GS; it is standard on the SE and optional on the GLS sedan for 2007).

    The optional 172-watt single CD 6-speaker stereo (standard on SE and GLS) sounded good and looks like it would not be out of place in a much more expensive car. The GS has manual remote mirrors and manual locks and window cranks. (The power accessories and remote locking are available for $400 more.) The optional AC struggled mightily to cool down the black interior after sitting in the sun all day with the temperature near 100, but after about 5 minutes on "max" it blew cold air.

    The Accent GS is a good little runabout--smooth, quiet, easy to drive, good build quality and materials quality, and IMO perhaps the best looking of the current small hatchbacks. It's also the least expensive of the small hatches, about $1000 less MSRP than the Yaris comparably equipped. And it has the long Hyundai warranty. It's main flaw I think is that it is not even available with a popular safety feature: ABS. ABS is standard on the sportier SE, but that model starts at $14.6k, albeit well-equipped. If you don't need ABS and want a basic but quality little hatchback, the Accent GS is worth a long look.
  • I'm sorry but ABS has pretty much become a standard these days. There's not many people that want a car without 28 year old technology (ABS first introduced into production cars in 1978).

    SO, that means that if I want a 2007 Accent 3-door AUTO with ABS, I need to pay $15,495 (with dest.)??!! That's insane. WHy not purchase a Fit or Rabbit for less than $1K more? One can even get a 2006 Mazda6i AUTO for around $16K after rebates (or yes, even a lovely Sonata).

    Is that $1K worth:
    More standard safety equipment
    Better resale value
    Better crash worthiness
    Better performance
    More advanced powertrain (5 and 6-speed AUTOs)
    Better fuel economy (Honda)
    Far better interior quality (Rabbit)
    Better brand reliability history (Honda)

    You bet it is. For this thing to sell, it needs a $2K rebate. Anything less, and it won't move off dealer lots period.

    I think this is why we are seeing such a drop off in sales for the Accent in CY2006 over CY2005 (down 20%). It's just not the "bargain" it once was. Though it's in line with Hyundai's other models: Elantra (down 13%), Santa Fe (down 38%!), Tiburon (down 11%), Tuscon (down 8%). Really, the only thing that keeps Hyundai afloat is the heavily discounted Sonata.
  • Another thing to keep in mind is that the Accent has a timing belt versus a timing chain found on the Honda Fit and VW Rabbit. Factor in $600-800 every 60K for the belt change and service and the difference in cost shrinks even smaller.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    I think the timing belt replacement cost on an Accent is quite a bit less than $600-800.

    You raise good points about pricing. I did say that if you can do without ABS (and many people can--check Town Hall for the comments re "I don't want ABS!"), the Accent GS is worth a look. Also some people don't want the power windows etc. in their car. They want a basic car. The Accent GS gives that, starting at about $11k.

    A Rabbit equipped like a base Accent SE (that is, including 16" alloys) is about $16k, or about $1400 more list than the Accent. Assuming both cars would be bought at list, I agree it is tough to justify buying the Accent. But toss in a $1000 rebate (currently on the '06 Accent, and I bet coming soon to the '07s), and a discount of around $800 and now you're looking at over $3000 difference, because I don't expect there will be much discounting on the 3-door Rabbit. Then it becomes a more interesting decision. You would have in the Accent a car with significantly better fuel economy, better predicted reliability, and better warranty. Compared to the base Fit, the Accent SE discounted as I described would be less expensive, have many more features, a much more adjustable/comfortable driving position, a smoother ride, and IMO much better looking, with the tradeoffs of a little worse fuel economy, less cargo versatility, and lower historical resale value.

    A lot depends on which criteria are most important to you. If cargo versatility is really important, the Fit has a huge advantage. If rear-seat legroom is important, the Versa is the class leader. If driving position is really important, the Accent and its cousin the Rio5 are best-in-class IMO. If power is important, the Rabbit is much better than the low-end cars but bumps up against more powerful cars like the Mazda3s when comparing 5-door cars.
  • "I think the timing belt replacement cost on an Accent is quite a bit less than $600-800."

    Check the Accent forums. That price is accurate. My Hyundai dealer charged me $200 for a measely 15K service (I checked with 3 other dealers, ALL charge this). $350-400 are routine for 30K services and $600-800 for the 60K w/ timing belt change. My friend paid $650 for her timing belt change on an 03 Elantra and she doesn't even live in a metro area.

    "Accent SE discounted as I described would be less expensive, have many more features, a much more adjustable/comfortable driving position, a smoother ride, and IMO much better looking, with the tradeoffs of a little worse fuel economy, less cargo versatility, and lower historical resale value."

    Smoother ride? Not in my experience. Fit beats the Accent hands down in driving dynamics IMO (C&D concurr).

    Tradeoffs? Awful resale value, poorer crash scores, less cargo space, worse fuel economy, higher routine maintenance costs (see timing belt), poorer handling and engine response, sloppy shifter (mine and C&D's experience), etc.

    A $3-4K difference is REQUIRED before anyone is going to buy the Accent. That's how Hyundai sells its cars: cheap.

    However, even when looking at 2006 Accents (with $1000 rebate), it appears that significant cost difference isn't helping the Accent in sales. When sales are down 20% compared with the rubbish 2005 model(that didn't exact break sales records either), something is wrong. The market has become a much more crowded place. One year ago, the inferior Accent didn't have to compete with the Yaris, Fit, Versa, Rabbit, etc. One year ago, the consumer had to choose a $10K Accent or have to fork over $16K+ for a Civic, Corolla, or Mazda3.

    ALso note the significant decline of Elantra sales. A 2006 Elantra GLS AUTO with ABS now costs $16,495. The Limited model goes for even $1K more. Ridiculous. What will a 2007 Elantra AUTO with ABS cost? $17K? $18K?

    "If power is important, the Rabbit is much better than the low-end cars but bumps up against more powerful cars like the Mazda3s when comparing 5-door cars."

    I'll take the Rabbit's 170 lbs of torque at a low 3750 RPMS anyday. When you test drove it, did you notice how you could start the car in 3rd gear or could pass cars with ease at 40 MPH in 5th gear? That's torque.
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