The Hyundai Accent slips into the Korean marque's fleet in between the i20 and the i30 as a hatchback, and under the Elantra as a sedan.
The car's lines are familiar and the sedan looks remarkably the same as an Elantra, while the hatch has visual links to the i20 and i30.
It's all part of Hyundai's fluidic sculpture, which uses pronounced creases along the vehicle bodyshells to give a look of movement. This has already been applied to the i45 and the Elantra, and now does the same to the Accent.
The Accent fleet comprises a total of six models, powered by either a 1.6-litre petrol engine or a 1.6-litre turbo diesel.
All the models come standard, with a four-speed automatic transmission, but the petrol models can be bought with a five- speed manual and the diesels a six-speed manual.
There are two prices: $31,990 for the entry point petrol hatch or sedan, and $35,990 for the entry- point diesel hatch or sedan, a price that also applies to the higher- specified petrol Elite models.
The Elite specification does not apply to diesel Accents.
Standard specification on all models includes 16-inch alloy wheels, with a full-sized spare, iPod connectivity and Bluetooth, heated wing mirrors, trip computer, a pollen filter for the air-conditioning system, and the safety of electronic stability control and vehicle stability management.
The Elite models get climate- control air-conditioning, a reversing camera and reverse sensors, an electro-chromatic rear view mirror, front fog lamps, leather trim, push-button start, and a "supervision" cluster of dials and gauges which uses blue and white lights to make them easier to read.
It all adds up to a good level of specification for the price and, as a short drive in an Elite hatch quickly proved, that, together with good design and build quality help make the Accent a car of substance, despite its small size.
It's a safe car too. More than 60 per cent of the chassis comprises high-tensile steels and it has a wealth of safety-related passive and active safety items, all of which helped give the car a five- star Australian crash test rating, with a score of 35.66 points out of a possible 37.
The Accent's petrol engine is a member of Hyundai Kia's Gamma range of power plants and is therefore related to the engine under the bonnet of the i30 and, in this case, it delivers 91 kilowatts of power and 156 newton metres of torque. That's 11 per cent more power and 7 per cent more torque than the petrol engine in the previous-generation Accent.
However, fuel consumption is improved, with the automatic now achieving an average economy of 6.4 litres per 100 kilometres.
Meanwhile, the diesel offers 94kW of power and 260Nm of torque, which is 17 per cent and 10 per cent more than the previous Accent. This is an economical unit offering an average consumption of 4.4 litres per 100km, and 3.9 litres per 100km on the open road.
The Accent hasn't been on the Kiwi market since 2008, which was when the previous-generation model was replaced by the Getz.
Now the Getz has gone, the marketing accent is again on the Accent. Its nice looks, reasonable room and sound performance should allow it to do well here.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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