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First Drive: 2012 Hyundai Accent


Ford and Chevy have just buzzed into the B-segment hive, but Hyundai has been hanging around it for some time now. The Korean brand's B-segment car, the Accent, has long been an easy choice for budget-constrained first-time buyers. Now that Ford has re-entered the subcompact segment after two decades, and Chevrolet has finally gotten serious with its new Sonic, Hyundai has redesigned its subcompact with stylish sheetmetal worthy of sharing showroom space with the new HYUNDAI ELANTRA and Sonata. Until the 2012 model year, the Accent's most attractive styling came from the window stickers listing the manufacturer's suggested list price and the EPA fuel mileage.

 Those labels still look good. While Ford has been trying to sell its Fiesta as a premium B car worthy of a bottom line as high as $23,000, the '12 HYUNDAI ACCENT comes in fairly well-equipped in the middle teens. Like the Ford Fiesta and Chevy Sonic, the Hyundai Accent comes in four-door sedan and hatchback bodystyles. Like the Fiesta, the HYUNDAI ACCENT hatchback is the more expensive version. Hyundai apparently has bought Ford's shibboleth that Americans no longer equate "hatchback" with "cheap." Good luck with that.

 The '12 HYUNDAI ACCENT benefits from the HYUNDAI ELANTRA and Sonata's "hey, we've discovered styling" "fluidic design" language, though its expressiveness is toned down, which better fits its smaller size and visually indicates its low-rent lot in life. The hatchback is, indeed, the better-looking car. As with the Fiesta and Sonic, the HYUNDAI ACCENT four-door sedan's trunklet looks like a cheap little add-on. The '12 HYUNDAI ACCENT is 3.5 inches longer on a wheelbase increased 2.8 inches, compared with the '11 model, and Hyundai says the EPA classifies it a compact based on interior volume. Its 103.4 cubic feet even tops the Audi A4's 103.0.

(Source)


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