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Honda Fit v. Hyundai Accent

SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
For those of you up to the debate - here you go!


  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,733
    The problem is, Hyundai and the others are forgetting the basics. A Buick is a nice car inside, once you get into the upper trim lines. Leather, all the goodies - and feels like a big comfty sofa.

    But the mechanicals still stink. It still wallows through turns for all of those accessories. It still depreciates like a rock. It's still a Buick, albeit with very nice features. GM and most of the others are busy adding accessories and bling instead of better engineering. It makes them more money and sells more cars, since Americans are ruled by their impulses and senses as a rule.

    Listen to people go on in various forums about their new cars. They like the leather, the GPS the powered toe massagers, and the electric fondue set in the back...

    Me? I'll take better handling and basics. I can always add alloys and a better stereo, or even get a seat shipped from Mexico with the height adjuster if I really want to.
  • enkaenka Posts: 35
    hey ppl if u looking for hatcback or compact coupe you should chek out the hyundai accent it will be out this summer. Honda fit looks very boring carnot sporty Hyundai accent is better and u could also get the sedan and the interior in accent is the bomb it has that 2 color tone thats that european stle right there so think carefully b4 you buy a fit cuz it aint that good
  • timbuk3timbuk3 Posts: 17
    The Hyundai Accent is not a hatchback. Its twin, the Kia Rio, is. The Rio gets pretty good remarks from Car and Driver, but the Fit is far superior in gas mileage, and the seats do so much more to create room and space. I would guess the Accent is a terribly un-fun car to drive - the suspension is weak and shifting is like moving boulders. Car and Driver, as well as other reputable auto sources, say just so. It's dirt cheap, but then again it's dirt cheap. You pay for what you get. Honda reliability, gas mileage, utility, and value go a long way. Hyundai does not have the reputation.
  • hungarian83hungarian83 Posts: 678
    Honda Fit isn't that good?
    Come on enka, have you even seen the Fit or Jazz?

    I'm sure the Hyundai Accent is a vastly improved car over the previous generation (and I completely admit I haven't even seen the new one), but I just don't know if I would call the Fit "not that good" in comparison to the Accent.

    "2 color tone"
    The Fit/Jazz has a two-color interior. I am European and I have to say when I first saw my car on Tuesday (when I went to pick it up), it wasn't the "2 color tone" that made me think of European styling. The hatchback body style, small exterior, small front end, and excellent utilization of space did, but the two-tone interior, just didn't make me think of home.

    ...and I can say as a Fit owner, it is that good.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    The 2007 Accent 3-door hatchback will be in dealers in a few weeks. It comes in 2 trim levels: GS (base), and SE, which has a ton of equipment standard including sport-tuned suspension and steering rack, 5-spoke 16" alloys, ABS, 6 airbags, A/C, power windows/locks/heated mirrors, remote locking, 172-watt 6-speaker stereo, 8-way adjustable driver's seat, driver's armrest, etc. Only factory options are a 220-watt stereo with subwoofer and a power moonroof.

    Have you driven this car yet? No, I didn't think so. So it's probably unfair to say it is a terribly un-fun car to drive, don't you think? Have you driven even the Accent GLS 4-door yet? If not, then you should before you say things like "it's dirt cheap" and "you pay for what you get". And C/D did not say the Accent's suspension is like "moving boulders." They praised the ride but didn't like the handling in the twisties. I've driven the Accent 4-door and it handles very nicely for an economy car--doesn't track like it's on rails, but that isn't necessary for people who are using the car for running errands and commuting. The Accent has an exceptionally comfortable driving position, due to the 8-way seat--something I wish Honda would copy. It's a solid, smooth, quiet, well-made little car. Not the sheer versatility of the Fit, but a good enough car that C/D said in its review (paraphrase), if you haven't driven it, go ahead and do it. Good advice before passing judgment on it.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    A comma, or period would be nice for your next post, please. Writing like yours was incredibly hard to read.
  • timbuk3timbuk3 Posts: 17
    Yeah, I suppose you're right. BUT, that post just totally came out of the blue and though I haven't driven it, it's a Hyundai, and it's just hard for me to believe it would be better overall than a Honda. Honda has such a better reputation, it seems that that alone would be an indicator that the Fit will hold up better against the test of time than any Suzuki, Hyundai, or Kia. To each their own, though. :-)
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    really should be the Rio5, as the Accent is only available as a sedan or a 3-door. That's correct, isn't it Backy?

    All the reviews have been saying that the Accent is the Korean Toyota to the Rio's Honda, in terms of handling. It would be worth test driving the Rio5 if you are one who appreciates the Fit's sporty handling traits, especially since the Rio5 is the only 5-door (like Fit) between the two Korean models.

    The Rio/Accent manual shifter is just terrible - all sorts of slop. But the new Korean models are cute on the outside. And the equipment level is very favorable in a back-to-back comparo with Fit.

    It's funny, I finally saw a Fit in person today, just to walk around, as it was pre-sold. By coincidence that dealership had a used Suzuki Aerio SX on the lot that was parked just down the row, and wow! There are a lot of similarities, especially in rear views. The Accent/Rio hatches look very good by comparison, I think.

    I noticed that thing about the fuel filler door - it is funny to see the little hook on the inside where it would normally latch closed, even though here there is no latch and you just pull it open from the outside using the little dimple in the door surface.

    The dealer I was at today had no added mark-up, or if he did there was no sticker in the window to indicate it, just the regular Honda sticker. $16,5 for a Sport auto seems like quite a bit, but I would take it over the Civic LX you could probably get for the same money. But of course, I wouldn't get an auto! :-)

    Now $15,7 for the stick puts it in direct competition with the Accent SE with the sub and the moonroof at about the same price. If you can live with two passenger doors in your hatch instead of four, the Hyundai is worth a look.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,733
    Wow. I've driven the Hyundais and Kias and went over all of them with a fine tooth comb last year trying to figure out if I wanted one or not.

    Problems with the Kia/Hyundai.
    - engines get poor gas mileage for their HP and size. I can look at a Buick that gets 21/29 with an engine almost twice the size and 1000 lbs heavier. They obviously are using older technology under the hood.
    - Switches and interior in general is cheap. Looks good, but it's the only car I had a vent "aimer"/outlet cover actually come off in my hand while moving. The switches are flimsy, the plastic is thin and hard, the glass is adequate at best. Overall, they remind me of a Ford Escort in terms of ruggedness.
    - Dreadful transmissions. Second most rubbery stickshift I've ever driven. Actually missed numerous shifts. On a Fit, aa Volvo, a Mini, and even a Focus - shifting was at least predictable. Automatics were sloppy and often shifted with a sharp thunk on really steep hills. The Fit has a shifter comparable to a Celica or Mini. Way WAY above the level of most of its competition. Only the Golf is better, but VW really concentrates on manual gearboxes.
    - Pathetic resale and warranty. Worst in the business in terms of reseale and the dealers cutting all coverage in half just because it's used is nuts.

    The Fit by comparison feels every bit like a half-sized Accord Wagon. Fit and finish are only a slight bit behind the Golf/Audi and the Mini. Worlds better than Kia, GM, Ford, and Chrysler at this price-point.

    Go test-drive one. It's not a Mercedes, but it certianly isn't a Rio or Echo.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Perhaps it should be called the Honda Fit and Finish! :P
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    If the "proper" comparison to the Fit is another 5-door hatchback, then I guess all the folks comparing the Mini Cooper to the Fit (and even those Mini owners trading their Minis in for a Fit) are quite "improper", wouldn't you say? ;)

    We don't know the pricing on the Accent SE yet, but given the GS will sticker at $11,500 including destination and we know the pricing on most of the features of the SE based on pricing for the GLS, a fully loaded (including automatic) SE around $15k is not out of the question. That would put it a couple of thousand at least under the Fit (more like $3k with current rebates), and the Fit doesn't have features like 16" alloys and moonroof, and features like cargo covers, driver's armrests, floor mats, and locking gas fillers are expensive add-ons on the Fit. Also, let's not forget the Accent SE has a sport-tuned suspension and steering rack, plus the 16" alloys, so it should handle much better than the Accent sedan and even the Rio5. I am trying to recall if the SE has a tweaked stick shift also.

    I am sorry to go on like this, but it amazes me sometimes how some people discount a car for its driving behavior before even driving it.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    You have obviously not driven the latest Hyundai and Kia designs, including the '06 Accent. I haven't found any of the quality issues you mentioned (cheap switches and interior materials, "adequate at best" glass (how did you test that, btw?)). I agree the stick on the Accent is not as good as on the Fit, but the automatic is smooth with no "thunks". And I don't know how you can call Hyundai's warranty "pathetic"--it's one of the best in the industry and far longer and more comprehensive than Honda's (How many years of roadside assistance do you get with Honda? How many years of bumper-to-bumper coverage?)

    I will test drive the Fit in the next couple of weeks, at a special Fit preview event at my local dealer. It remains at the top of my shopping list for my next new car, but driving will be the real test. Meanwhile, you won't see me disparage the ride and handling and other driving behavior of a car I haven't driven yet.
  • Re: "And I don't know how you can call Hyundai's warranty "pathetic"--

    Honda warranty isn't great compared to others. Even VW offers 4yr./50K bumper to bumper. Of course, VWs have a few more issues than most Hondas. :)
  • kagedudekagedude Posts: 407
    Honda reliability, gas mileage, utility, and value go a long way.

    Go ask someone that remember the 70's what they thought of Honda when they first came out.

    Hyundai does not have the reputation.

    You might not think so now but give it a few more years. For me, my trust in the brand started 5 years ago and they are getting there. Just changed the tires on my sister's 2001 Elantra and it drives like new. The engine is still very quiet. From the wipers, bulb lights and alignment, found out everything was original. My family has 2 Elantras (2001 and 2004) and I used to drive a 2002 Accent GLS. Between the 3 cars, I would say 4 dealer/warranty trips for either recall or minor issues.

    Check out Edmunds' TSB reports for the Civic vs Accent vs Elantra and you would be surprised.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I may not buy a Korean car at this time point, but, and I have said this before, in 3 - 5 years, they will be where the Japanese cars are now. If you look back at the evolution of the Japanese car, they took the exact same developmental path. Of course, it remains to be seen if the Japanese will stay and compete with the Korean, or would they "move up" and compete more with the Euros.
  • enkaenka Posts: 35
    Hey this is Enka. 2007 Hyundai accent coupe has better look than the honda fit. Honda fit shows that honda engineers or desighners didnt spend much time on Fit because it doesnt look any speacial. But Hyundai spend lots of time to make the new accent look great interior and exterior. Honda still has the same interior since 1996 civic just a lil bit changes same old dash board. I got to say before you buy a fit check out the Hyundai accent because you can customize the accent like chrome exhoaust, ipod holder spiler, 17 or 16 inch rims more than 25 stuff to customize your ride but Fit looks boring. when you driving the fit on the road no ones going ot say ooo look at that car becaise there isnt anything speacial with the exteiror or the interior. People just buy honda because of that silver honda symbol thats it but they could get a better car for less money and you can express your selgf with the accent not with the fit.
  • kagedudekagedude Posts: 407
    I'm already feeling Honda is banking that for their entry level car, buyers will buy purely on Honda's mechanical and brand reputation and leave buyers to do without A LOT of accessories that already comes standard in today's cars.

    Hyundai and Mazda has no problems providing those accessories standard. Why can't Honda?
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,733
    I do quality control and know a fair amount about engineering, so it's really easy to see how thick the glass is, the plastic - how resilient it is(say, comparing glad-ware to real tupperware - even untrained people can tell a difference). Switches - that's a bit more technical, but there are flimsy Ford and Hyundai type switches that don't look much better than your typical TV remote in terms of "how many times can I press it before it has a problem" and ones like in a typical GM or Honda - much more solid. Much less play.

    The Hyundai tries, but it feels very "90s" - adequate but cost-cut in a hundred little places. And it just doesn't wear well or handle kids or hauling stuff as well as other cars. Not for long-term use. A 5 year old Kia looks like a Ford - falling apart quickly on the interior if the owner has treated it even the least bit hard.

    It's exactly like comparing a Lexus to a Buick. The Buick tries, but it's just not a high-end Lexus in fit and finish, or how solid it feels. The Fit is a premium-level small car like the Mini is - so "features" aside, I and many people will pay for the better ride and durability.

    Plus, the 5-speed on it is inexcuseably poor. My 1975 Volvo 164E with its miserable Borg-Warner 5-speed felt ten times more solid. 30 years later, Hyundai is making *worse* manuals? It's even not as good as a VW Bug's gearbox. 3rd? 5th? Who knows what gear you are in? And you have to live with that gearbox every day. It's not like a poor rear defroster.

    The thing about the warranty is - Hyundai cuts the warranty in *half* for anoyoen other than the original purchaser. Then subtracts the time used so far.

    So a one year old Hyundai is 10/2=5-1 year old = 4 years left on the warranty, and half as well on the non-powertrain warranty. A 3 year old Hyundai is essentially a timebomb. 2 years left on the drivetrain, 6 months on the rust, and nothing else. tick...tick..tick...

    It's the ONLY manufacturer that pulls this "trick", so it's clear that they only do the 10 year "warranty" for marketing purposes. They have no intention of supporting their cars(many are sold to fleets lately) any better than the other manufacturers. The lack of a proper factory certification program from KIA confirms it. Hyundai is:

    "A warranty of 6 years/75,000 miles from in-service date"
    That's drivetrain only, and not one thing else. Three years old - means you get 3 years and the remainder of 75K miles on the transmission and engine. It's "transferrable", but who's going to buy a 4-5 year old "certified" Hyundai with 1 year and 10K miles left on it?

    With a used certified Honda, it could be plainly out of warranty, and yet you get:
    "Warranty terms are 12 months/12,000 miles Certified Limited Warranty and 7-year/100,000 mile Powertrain Limited Warranty"

    That's not bad - a one year old Fit - suddenly has a 12/12K extension on the comprehensive warranty and a 7/100K limit on the drivetrain. Much better than the original, actually. Hyundai is um - barely adequate. KIA? You wish.

    And every person that I have known who owned one - they used that warranty every other month. And the dealers tried hard to keep from claiming anything that wasn't cracked-in-half obvious as a legitimate repair. Why shouldn't they? They're getting flooded with minor fixes and getting nothing back.

    Sure, it's free - but it's also a pain to waste the time constantly going in for problems and dealing with the repair department. It's like the old VW Bugs - you could fix them yourself, but darn it - you were doing it every other weekend. At some point, you just wanted your life back, no matter now "economical" the car was.
  • kagedudekagedude Posts: 407
    The Hyundai tries, but it feels very "90s" - adequate but cost-cut in a hundred little places. And it just doesn't wear well or handle kids or hauling stuff as well as other cars. Not for long-term use. A 5 year old Kia looks like a Ford - falling apart quickly on the interior if the owner has treated it even the least bit hard.

    I totally disagree with you here. My sister's 5 year old Hyundai Elantra's interior/electronics is definitely not falling apart and feels more like a 1-2 year old car. And she has 2 booster seats and 1 car seat in the back so definitely a lot of kid activity there.

    I just noticed yesterday that the HVAC control on the Elantra is simple but not cheap feeling and the air direction switch valve is electronic and not manual.

    The paint job still shines and feels smooth after 5 years. The car had a small fender bender when it was 1 year old but never got repaired and the part where the paint is peeled, rust has never developed beyond the peeled part (where its actually just a bit rust colored) even after 4 years of being exposed.

    Since this is a Honda Fit discussion, the only reason I bring up Hyundai is so Honda can pick up a few from Hyundai in terms of providing standard equipment for their entry level cars. Yeah, for this Fit offering, Honda is missing a few accessories that should be standard.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    It is clear you are biased against Hyundai (why I don't know) and in favor of Honda. That's fine, you are entitled to your opinion, but it's another thing when you mis-state the facts. For example:

    * It is clear you have not examined the switchgear of a modern Hyundai, i.e. anything post-2000. You will find if you set your biases aside (as 3rd party reviewers have) that the switchgear on Hyundais is comparable to or better than that of the Japanese makes. An example is the smooth, fluid HVAC knobs and electronic buttons on the six-year-old Elantra, compared to the clunky mechanical knobs and sliders on the five-year-old Fit. Or the cruise controls used on several Hyundai models that are the exact same controls used on Toyota and Lexus models. Have you disassembled the Hyundai and Honda switches to compare assembly quality, or have you run them through durability tests? I have run Hyundai switches through real-life durability tests over 5-1/2 years, and they have held up great in daily family use.

    But what really mystifies me is your attack on Hyundai's warranty. If anything, you should be complaining about Honda's warranty--a paltry 3 years, 36k miles bumper-to-bumper and 5 years, 60k miles on the powertrain. With this kind of warranty, it is clear Honda has no intention of supporting their cars. So if you buy a three-year-old Fit or one with more than 36k miles on it, how many years of bumper-to-bumper warranty do you have left? Zero. If you want roadside assistance, how much would you need to pay for that over five years? With AAA it would be about $300. That is free with Hyundai. How many years and miles of rust-through warranty do you have with a Fit? With a Hyundai, it is 7 years, unlimited miles and is transferrable. If you really want a long warranty, you can get a 10-year, 100k mile, transferrable, zero-deductible warranty on a Hyundai for $900-1000 or so, depending on the model. You make it sound like Honda is the only car company to offer extended warranties on used cars. The fact is, with a Honda you have to buy an extended warranty to get the kind of coverage you get from Hyundai for free.

    As for every Hyundai owner you have ever known needing to use the warranty every other month--I'd say you don't know many Hyundai owners. Either that, or the dealer service they have is terrible so they have to take the car back for the same problem more than once. I've had no problem getting service under the warranty--even for things like a buzz in the dash that occurred several years in and were not supposed to be covered after the first year, or for things that were due to abuse (e.g. my wife breaking off the little door on the sun visor vanity mirror)--no quibbles from the dealer in fixing them for free.

    That's great if you love Honda and the Fit. I really like the Fit too--despite its dearth of features compared to some other cars, lack of useful things like locking gas filler doors, remote locking (on base), driver's armrest, height-adjustable driver's seat, decent carpeting, modern electronics (e.g. auto-off headlamps, retained power), modern switchgear, decent wheel covers (on base), a cargo cover, something other than rock-hard plastic in the interior, etc. It is good that the Fit is such a compelling package in terms of versatility, handling, and powertrain because otherwise there is not much to justify its highest-in-class price tag.
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