Hyundai has been reshaping its lineup from top to bottom lately, and the Korean automaker is hoping its all-new 2012 Hyundai Accent will be better positioned to do battle in a subcompact segment dominated by Honda Fit, Nissan Versa, and Toyota Yaris and hot newcomers like the Ford Fiesta and Mazda2. Automotive.com had a chance to check out the new Accent recently during a recent test drive and found it to be a solid challenger in the segment.
Replacing the Hyundai Excel back in 1995, the latest Accent is in its fourth generation. Hyundai, in reaction to consumer demand for fuel economy, versatility, and design, scores a bull’s-eye on all three targets. It also adds gasoline direct injection technology, or GDI, to the Accent’s inline-four while mating it to either a six-speed manual transmission (standard) or six-speed automatic. The powertrain is not only more powerful than in previous models, but class-leading with an EPA estimated 30 mpg city and 40 mpg highway. We also had a chance to check out features like the “Active ECO System” in our drive around Sin City and trip to Hoover Dam.
For versatility, Hyundai is bringing back the Accent sedan and hatchback for 2012 though it drops the last generation’s three-door model in lieu of a more spacious five-door. How spacious? Even folks on the taller side of the height scale praised second row’s roominess of both cars. The Accent, like the rest of the Hyundai lineup, has a long list of standard features for the price, with some class firsts like standard four-wheel disc brakes, tire-pressure monitoring system, and 60/40 split fold-down second-row seating. Finally, the Accent gets the “fluidic sculpture” makeover like its larger siblings so that it, too, looks like it’s moving even when parked.
Check out the full review at First Drive: 2012 Hyundai Accent