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2012 Hyundai Accent GL Sedan 

 All new 2012 Hyundai Accent sedan 

Car tested 2012 Hyundai Accent GL 
Body style Four-door sedan
Engine 1.6L-4 (138 horsepower)
Transmission Six-speed automatic
Base price  $14,999
Price as tested

$16,199

Market Fact
Available in sedan and five-door hatch body styles. Hyundai expects the hatchback body
style to capture 75 percent of sales. The Kia Rio is also based on this platform.

History
This new Accent is the fourth-generation of the model.

Key Competitors
Chevrolet Sonic, Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit, Kia Rio, Mazda 2, Nissan Versa and the Toyota Yaris

 

Fourth iteration of Hyundai's "Fluidic Sculpture" design theme is the best one thus far

Performance
The new Accent is powered by a twin cam 1.6L four-cylinder engine equipped with direct
fuel injection. It produces 138 horsepower, the most in its class other than its corporate
cousin, the Kia Rio. Power reaches the front wheels via either a six-speed manual
transmission, or as on our test car, a manumatic-equipped six-speed automatic.

The engine pulls strongly at all speeds, and, except at peak revs, is a smooth, quiet 
powerplant. It is well-matched to the automatic that upshifts smoothly and downshifts
with alacrity. With a combination of little wind noise and low revs (2000 rpm at 100 km/h),
the Accent is a refined highway cruiser. 

The electric power steering requires more effort than the featherweight systems in some 
competitors; it's quick, and has good on-centre feel. The Accent's ride is on the resilient
side of firm most of the time, feeling abrupt only over substantial road imperfections. The
Accent's light weight allows for quick changes in direction, but handling is more predictable
than involving. Strong brakes with good pedal feel.

Powerful air conditioning. The audio system delivers very good sound for a car in
this segment.  

Interior
Hyundai expended a lot of effort on the Accent's classically elegant interior. All hard plastics
are matte-finished and the combination of two-toning and bright trim lend an upmarket
ambience to the cabin. Attractive fabrics are employed, with a large section of the door
panels swathed in the same fabric as the seat centre panels. 

The dashboard features large, easy-to-read gauges and simple, logical, climate control
knobs that move with precision.

Supportive seats and good space efficiency provide surprising room and comfort for a car at
this end of the market. The Accent has a very good driving position. 

Front seat riders are catered to with two cupholders in the console and water bottle slots in
the door bins. Rear seat riders will be stuck holding their drinks as there is no place to put them. 

The trunk is regularly shaped and roomy for a car of the Accent's size. The rear seats fold
nearly flat, increasing cargo versatility.

  

Clear electronic readouts for fuel, temperature and fuel consumption are flanked by large,
clear conventional gauges featuring a sober, easily read, typeface.

 

Classically-elegant dashboard houses simple, logical controls, pleasing shapes, matte finishes
and chic two-toning.   

Stylish door trim incorporates a fabric insert that matches the centre panel of the seat
upholstery, a detail many makers miss. A neat touch is the way both the door armrest
and door pull are incorporated into one piece


Large, regularly shaped trunk for a small sedan

 

Rear seats lay almost flat when folded

Reliability
New model, not rated. The previous Accent was rated above average. Five year/100,000 km
bumper to bumper warranty.

Pricing
Air conditioning is a $2,035.95 dealer-installed option on the L sedan. For an additional $1,900, the GL
trim level, which includes air conditioning as well as $1500 worth of extra features,
is very good value. That said, the base model is popular in some markets, especially Quebec.
Moving up to the GLS trim level costs $1800 more, but the package contains about $4000 worth
of additional equipment. Leasing is available, but the terms offered discourage buyers from pursuing
that option.
 

Safety
Standard seat-mounted side and side-curtain airbags. The Accent was rated Good in the IIHS
front, rear and roof strength tests, and Acceptable in the IIHS side impact test. Standard ABS
and ESC.

 

Rear view of the 2012 Hyundai Accent sedan

Market Comparisons
The new Accent is a welcome entry into the burgeoning B-segment class. It is much roomier than
either the Ford Fiesta or the Mazda 2, but trails in the space race when compared with the
exceptionally accommodating Honda Fit or Nissan Versa. The Accent has the most elegant, best-
appointed cabin in its class. On the road, the Accent handles less crisply than the Honda
Fit or Ford Fiesta, is a bit less agile than the Mazda 2, but is more involving than the new
Nissan Versa sedan, which nonetheless beats the Accent for ride comfort. Official Energuide

city fuel consumption figures place the Accent, Fiesta, Fit and 2 all within a whisker of each
other, with the Versa using about a half a litre more per 100 kilometres under the same
conditions.