Introduction: Seeing as there is no category for the four door Hyundai Accent 1.5, and since I've driven both the manual and automatic versions of this car, I've decided to put this review in the general category. You should also know that this review was originally written for Ciao, and then heavily revised recently (see below paragraph on the update). I hope this isn't too confusing for you all.
Since I first wrote this below review, my husband got a third Accent (2000) from work and I started to warm up to these cars. When my old Peugeot finally died on me, I went looking to replace it and lo and behold, what did I buy but a 2002 Hyundai Accent. Yes, over time, Hyundai has improved this product vastly. So below, please find my original review, and my updates - which I have marked with the following symbol § to make it clear that this particular paragraph is an update.
(By the way, the original title to this review was: They should pay ME to drive this car)
My husband has now had two of these cars issued to him from work. The first was a 1997 and now we have a 1998. Believe me, I've tried to enjoy driving this car, but I just can't. Here's why:
This is the main bone of contention with this car (§ for models prior to 2000).
The seats are the most uncomfortable car seats I've ever sat in. The bottom cushion is angled in such a way that you feel like you could slide onto the floor. The back has absolutely no lumbar support, and I've yet to find a position I could put it in so that after more than a 20 minute drive, I wouldn't be in pain when I got out of the car.
The seat is positioned very low inside the car, making getting in feel like you're falling into a pit, and getting out very hard on your back (as mentioned above).
The clutch is placed very deep inside the cabin, so that if you are short, you must put the seat very close to the steering wheel. If you do this, you'll find that the steering wheel in its upright position is in a very uncomfortable angle, causing pain in your arms and wrists. You can adjust the steering wheel down, but when you do, your view of the speedometer will be obscured, and your arms will still hurt (if a bit less than before) during longer drives (over 30 minutes).
Furthermore, the clutch feels like its on one of those huge springs that they put between train cars. You feel like you have to use all of your strength to hold the clutch down, and if you don't and try to shift, you'll start to strip the gears. If you're in a traffic jam with this car, I suggest you put yourself into neutral as often as possible so that you don't end up with a very, very sore set of leg muscles.
The seat belts actually have a very good soft action to them so you don't feel like you're being choked. However, the locking part for them are positioned on long wire-like arms that flop about between the front seats. When you go to buckle up, you'll more than likely get your hand pinched between these arms, which also get in the way of releasing and putting on the hand brake.
The rear seats seem a bit more comfortable than the front ones, but take a look at what I say below about space, before you congratulate them too quickly here.
§ - Newly adjustable seats give lumbar support as well as the ability to adjust the bottom of the seat up in two different ways - from the front or from the back of the seat. My 2002 Accent is automatic so the clutch problem is gone for me. But my husband's 2000 model seemed to have the same clutch problem. While this newer model isn't a Peugeot as far as comfort is concerned, I haven't put my back out driving or getting in or out of it, so I'd say this has gotten a whole lot better.
To its advantage, the newer model has electric front windows. The only problem is that the buttons to these are located just below the gear shift, and one is right next to the other. I find this very strange and I've often hit the wrong button or will go to shift while my passenger's hand is adjusting their window and the gear shift will hit their hand.
§ - The 2002 model has fixed this problem and the buttons for the windows are now on the armrest of the door instead of in the middle between the seats.
Since I live in a country that has very high security, I find that not having a lever that will pop open your boot to be very annoying and inconvenient. I'll have to make an extra ignition key so that I don't have to turn off the engine when I want to have the guards at the mall check my boot. This may not seem like such a big deal to you, but when my husband goes shopping, he takes my car because he doesn't like to hold up the lines of waiting cars.
§ - Again, my 2002 has a boot popper inside the cabin. Unfortunately, its located in the same place as the petrol cover and I do have to be careful to open the right one at the right places.
The control panel has no rev-counter, and I find this to be very inconvenient for a manual transmission car. I'm not exactly sure why, but it just seems to help me when I'm driving to know if I'm in the right gear for the speed I'm going. Other than this, and the problem with the wheel adjustment and not seeing the speedometer, the panel is large, well lit and easy to read by day or night.
§ - Still no rev-counter, but this is less problematic on an automatic car.
I have to admit that the newer model has a really nice addition - an electronic side-mirror control. This is wonderful - especially for my back. You just push the lever to left or right and press the keys that surround it to adjust either mirror. This means that if the far side mirror (your left, my right) isn't just right, you don't have to reach across the passenger seat to fix it. Very convenient.
Safety and Handling:
I really don't feel very safe in this car. The body seems to be very flimsy and lightweight as compared to other cars (Peugeot, Skoda, Renault, VW). It seems like every other day there's a new bump in the body, and we have no way of knowing how they got there (my son isn't allowed to drive it, since it's a company car, so he's not to blame). That makes me feel that if you're in an accident in this car, it might not be a very safe car to be in.
It does have all the necessary safety features - air bags, dual breaking system, etc. so its just the body that bothers me.
What bothers me the most, however, is that when I'm on the open road, the car feels unstable and if a lorry comes at you at any normal speed, you can feel the backlash and the car feels like its going to be swept off of the road. You can even feel the backlash when a car passes you up. That certainly doesn't make one feel solid and secure on the road, does it?
§ - I think the newer models are a tad more stable (or perhaps heavier) and I no longer feel like I'm about to be blown off the road. Also, my new car, while liable to the normal bumps and scratches, doesn't seem like its made of paper. I do feel much safer in this car than I did in the older models.
I have to admit that this car is very zippy. It seems to have a good uptake and I can beat most everyone when the lights change (I'm a frustrated race-car driver, don't you know!). In town, the steering is very quick to react and I don't feel like I have to make much effort to change lanes or move through traffic. On the motor way it isn't quite as powerful as it could be, and it sometimes is a bit sluggish when overtaking or climbing hills. But getting up to speed and keeping it that way seems to come fairly easy for this car.
§ - Still a fairly zippy car, but I think automatic cars are less zippy than manual ones.
For the front passengers, there is lots of leg room. As I mentioned above, maybe too much for the driver. However, the back seats - even when short me has the seat all the way forward - have practically no leg room to speak of. The car looks wide on the outside, but on the inside, three in the back seat are very cramped - even if they are kids!
The boot, however, is a pretty good size. Its not very deep, but it seems to hold easily two large suitcases or shopping for a family of five.
§ - Not much change in the space here, but since the improvement of the seats, while three in the back will still be cramped, they won't be quite as uncomfortably cramped as before.
Repairs, Reliability, and Fuel Consumption:
Since this is a company car, my husband's office takes care of it all. Can't complain since every time my husband mentions something isn't just right, they seem to get it fixed by the end of his day. Mostly the repairs have been only minor adjustments, but it did need a realignment and the breaks needed to be tightened. Still, its gone close to 100,000 kilometers, so that's not too bad.
§ - So far, my 2002 model has had the driver's window come out of its mechanism (which was repaired for free under warranty), the front passenger's window had the same problem (repaired after warranty but only cost me about £35 including parts and labour) and the locking mechanism from the remote go off, needing a new locking motor to be installed (the motor was not included in the warranty but I didn't pay for the labour). I've also had the rear-window demister stop working on some of the bars, which I'm told can't be fixed without replacing the whole rear window (which I haven't done yet). Other than this, I've had no repairs except that when I went to get my yearly test, I was told I had to change my front tires and they suggested I realign at the same time. Apparently, it wasn't far off, but better safe than sorry. Other than that, the only work on the car I've had to do besides the regular check-ups has been cosmetic. My first periodic check cost me about £65, but it was only a simple check with changing oils and things. In about six months I'll have to do another periodic check and that one is supposed to be a biggie including timing and belts and plugs and stuff - that may cost me up to £300!
Again, since my husband's work pays for all the petrol, we don't really worry about fuel consumption. However, it does seem to get pretty good mileage, but its certainly not ideal. It could be better since most of the time the car is on the motor ways where consumption is supposed to be lower. So, I don't rate it very high for this, either.
§ - I'm still not overly impressed with the city fuel consumption, but it certainly does excellently on the longer motor way trips. I'm told, however, that newer models than my 2002 have worked on fixing this. What even Hyundai are unable to do is teach my son how to lift his foot off the pedal while driving!
Even with the few pluses, I really hate driving this car. Since it was and is free, I can't complain too much about it. But if you asked me if I would buy one, my answer would be: They couldn't pay me enough to take one home!
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
§ - I'm totally changing my tune here. I no longer hate driving a Hyundai Accent. The 2002 car is much more comfortable, seems more stable on the road, and thereby feels safer as well, has fixed some of the niggles I originally had, has fairly good fuel consumption and hardly ever seems to need to see the inside of the shop. What's more, the newer Hyundais come with a 5 year unlimited mileage warranty - which is much better than the three years I had on my 2002 model. Overall, I'd say the #1 best word for the newer Hyundai Accents is reliability, and believe it or not, I've become so pleased with this car that I'm thinking of trading it in for a newer model in about a year from now. So now I can recommend this car and up it to four stars!
Thanks for reading.
For the web page go to http://uk.hyundai-motor.com/ click on Showroom and use the drop-down menu to select the Accent.
From my investigations on the web, you can pick up a 2003 model for £5995 through http://hyundai-accent.sgpetch.co.uk/pages/stock/single/reg=NK53JUY or from http://www.bcchyundai.co.uk/id212.htm you can find a five door model with very low mileage for £5599 (not sure what year).
20th December 2002 is a day that is etched in my memory, I don?t think I?ll ever forget the elation I felt when I heard those fateful words ?you?ve passed?. I?m referring to my driving test, of course! Passing (first time) absolutely made my day and I was still on a high five days later when my husband passed me my Christmas present to open. Although I was delighted with the book he?d bought me, I was a little surprised that it was my only present. Still, the book was an excellent choice, I was very happy with it, so imagine how ecstatic I was when he informed me that my ?other? present was one I would be choosing myself ? he was buying me a car!!! I was all for going out touring garage forecourts immediately, but my husband assured me that I?d be better off eating my Christmas dinner first. As it happens it was actually February before we finally had a weekend free to find my very first car. I?d set my heart on a small car, I?d learnt to drive in a Corsa so quite fancied one of those, but my only stipulation was that it had to have power steering (my husbands Rover doesn?t, and I found it very heavy to drive). With £3,000 burning a hole in my pocket we toured the local garages, visiting 20 or so during the first day, and by the end of the afternoon I was utterly demoralised. We?d narrowed it down to a handful of cars, but to be honest I wasn?t really all that taken with any of them, none of them fitted my image of my ideal car exactly? Then we visited the Hyundai garage! Wandering around I actually walked right past the red Hyundai Accent at the back of the forecourt, I was looking through ?small car? blinkers and immediately dismissed the Accent as too big. My husband stopped though, and called me back for a look. ?This has got power steering,? he said, and as I turned around for a s
econd look I have to admit that I was very taken with the appearance of the Accent. The colour was burgundy, though Hyundai describe it as ?blush red? and it immediately appealed to me. The car was R Reg, about the size of an Escort, lower at the front than the back, with alloys, rear spoiler and most importantly power steering. I have to admit I really liked the look of it. Though hardly on a par with a TT, the Accent was certainly a much nicer looking car than the boxy small cars I?d been examining that were within my price range. Though as an R Reg it was older than I?d been hoping for, the price was about right, and I was sorely tempted? Needless to say, despite visiting several more garages the following day I was drawn back to the Hyundai Accent, and returned on Sunday to take it out for a test drive. It had been two months since I?d passed my test, and during those two months I?d only driven my husbands car twice! Still, I was very surprised when I jumped into the drivers seat of the Accent at just how easy it was to drive, even for a comparative novice like me! The saleswoman took me through the controls, and I was very pleased to notice the adjustable steering wheel, as I?m pretty tall for a woman and I had to raise the steering wheel to the higher of the two settings. Adjusting the seat was slightly more complex. Although the seat slides forwards and backwards easily enough, instead of turning a wheel to adjust the back of the seat the Accent has a handle which you lift, you then get yourself into the required position, let go of the handle, and the seat clicks into place. Now that I?m used to this mechanism I don?t have any problems with it, but there have been occasions when I?ve gone to adjust my sitting position, leaned on the seat and found myself flat on my back! (
7;hen the car was parked, of course!) After actually testing the car I was hopelessly besotted? Comfortable, easy to drive, nice looking, the Hyundai Accent was the car for me. I hadn?t intended to buy a saloon, I hadn?t intended to buy a medium sized car, but I certainly wasn?t against the idea. So, my husband was then mightily embarrassed as I marched into the Hyundai dealership and negotiated a sizable discount on the price of the car, and the Accent was mine! I couldn?t wait to drive my new car, hastily christened ?Bob?, but had a fight on my hands with my husband who also wanted to drive! I did eventually got behind the steering wheel again (yes, he won, he had the first go!) I did find that it took me a while to get used to the indicator being on the right of the steering wheel, and was constantly flicking the left switch, then swearing furiously as the windscreen wipers started swishing! This is standard on Hyundai cars, but it took a lot of getting used to, believe me! Until I got used to the car I found that it was sometimes difficult to get into first gear. I would?ve assumed that this was just because I was a driving novice, but my husband also had the same problem (accompanied by the same awful crunching sound) and he?s been driving for years. Still, we soon got used to Bob?s funny little ways! Other than this, I?ve been driving the car for a year now, and even though it is an R Reg, so not exactly the newest of cars, I haven?t had any problems with it so far (you should see how anxiously I?m crossing my fingers whilst simultaneously bashing my other hand on the wooden desk for double de-jinxing power!) Well, when I say I haven?t had any problems with it? Mechanically the car has been fine so far, and as it is in Burgundy it doesn?t show the muck too badly, which
is always a bonus! The power steering is very light, and the car itself is very, very easy to drive, even for a beginner as I was when I first drove it. However, as a saloon it doesn?t have a rear windscreen wiper, which is a pain in the backside, if I?m honest. Also, although the seats are comfortable, the suspension isn?t too hot, and you really do feel every bump when you?re motoring in the Accent. Long journeys, then, become a bit of a nightmare for the bottom (of the human occupant, not the car!) Also, my Accent is a 1.3, and I have to say there?s a significant lack of power on inclines. We took the car on holiday to Cornwall last year, and it really struggled with the hills. It really does perform quite poorly on hills in comparison to my husbands Rover, also a 1.3, which has never had a problem powering straight up the steepest of gradients. Also, and probably most annoying of all, in cold or damp weather the windows get very steamed up very quickly, and they?re almost impossible to clear again. Even with the rear window heater on and the blowers going full pelt set on meltingly hot there are still traces of mist on the windows, and woe betide the Accent driver who tries to turn the heat down a bit when the steam has more or less cleared ? because it comes back again with a vengeance ? leaving the driver with a choice between turning the heating back up and arriving at their destination par-boiled, opening a window and getting frozen/soaked or turning the heating to a bearable level and thus driving with severely restricted vision. I can?t tell you exactly how many miles my Accent does to the gallon (maths never was my strong point!) but I can tell you that it is not quite as economical as hubby?s Rover (an M Reg 214), but it isn?t far off. So far I?ve only had one reasonably serious accident in the Accent? No, it wasn?t actually
my fault! A young lad in an old Fiesta didn?t noticed I?d stopped at a crossing and drove straight into the back of my car! His Fiesta only suffered a broken headlight, but my Accent needed a complete new rear bumper, including fixings, even though he?d been driving pretty slowly when he hit me. Luckily his insurance covered it, but I consider the £500+ that the repair actually cost to be extremely expensive, and I?m also surprised by the amount of damage that was caused for what was really a relatively minor collision. Especially as my neighbour was in a similar accident last week (he also has a Rover) and his car wasn?t even damaged? Still, when it comes down to it, despite the few minor problems I?ve encountered with the Accent I would definitely recommend it, and Hyundai in general, to anybody looking for a new car, especially the new driver. The Accent is a very easy car to drive, it?s nice looking (well, I think so anyway!) and my car has been extremely reliable so far, although now that the warranty has expired I suppose that something is bound to go wrong! ?Bob? is an R Reg, Hyundai Accent 1.3 Saloon in Blush Red.
I own an M reg. accent, which I have been very happy with. The 1.3 engine is remarkably responsive and the car has more 'grunt' than any car I have driven with a similar size engine and handles like it is glued to the road. The price was the main reason I bought the car being £2000 or more cheaper than its main rivals at the time. The new style accents appear to have kept the cars strong points (I test drove one a little while back) but the gearbox, rather poor on my model, has been much improved. This main fault you get used to the rather poor gearbox, more spoon through custard than knife through butter. I own a bottom of the range model which has limited extras (none would be a better description) althought these are available on the higher spec models. The current basic model does have a hi-fi as standard which is an improvement. Update Aug 2001 Having been very pleased with my first accent, I have now purchased a second one, this time a five door version top of the range version. It comes with a far higher spec. radio cassette, electric windows, remote central locking, power steering, electric auto-retracting ariel, sunroof (tilt and remove) and a host of minor features. So far I am equally please with the new model as I was with the first. The gearbox is still a little stiff but has been improved from the original model. The price listed is for the base model my current model with the higher spec with a 1.5 rather than a 1.3 engine is still under £10,000
We have just changed our car and previously owned a Hyundai Accent for the last three years. Personally I liked the car - (I don't know whether the fact that it was our first automatic had anything to do with that though). I found it to be comfy enough for a car of this size and it was easy to manouver into those wicked supermarket car parks. It has to be said though that being a 1.3 and an automatic you did have to put your foot down - which was not very good fuel economy wise. I have also heard of other people who have said this car guzzles petrol - even those who did'nt have an automatic. The paint did easily scratch and we got a couple of dents within this time. My husband did not particularly like this car, but then again he is very critical of any car. I think if he had a Lambhourgini he would find fault! We had the basic model and did miss not having central locking. The interior was okay but lacked the extra touches such as mirror in screen visor and cup trays. Altogether I would rate this as an average car to knock around in. Best I think to be purchased second hand - (much cheaper they don't seem to hold their price very well).
Do NOT get one if you live somewhere it might rain ! If you get in one while you`re damp you will quickly find that the car has so little ventilation that you get instant steaming up - the fan blows, but doesn`t demist very well at all, and you CAN`T wind the windows down to get some airflow, since you`ll end up soaked - there are no gutters on the roof, and the door / window seal design is terrible, so the water just streams in off the windscreen. Overall, the handling can be best described as crap (!) and the suspension is appalling. It`s cheap (and nasty), poor quality plastics abound, the seats are not very supportive, and the seatcover material is about as thick as a pair of 10 denier tights. The biggest shock for me was the 20,000 mile service (oil & filter change, and bleed brakes) - £240 !!!!! (the dealers are not always very good at sorting problems out either, ie. a foglamp relay was found faulty at the 10k service, and they still haven`t contacted me to say they have the part was in stock to replace it under warranty) Dealer servicing is not obligatory though, and I got it serviced in Halfords for £115 all in. Apart from that, it seems reliable enough. One final thing - the 3 door model has a "feature" for the passenger side - a spring loaded chair that will not go back into it`s previous position when you move it to let someone into the back of the car. Very annoying having to reset it the way you want all the time (it locks bolt-upright everytime). I get on average about 36mpg around town, the best i`ve seen is 45mpg on a long run.
A friend of mine bought one of these as his first car. I would admit to being very critical of cars so straight away this Accent was not landing in my good books. First off, the looks had somewhat of a squashed look. If stretched a bit, this car would have been smart. However, the looks were not retro enough to withstand the test of time. I knew this car would start to look dated very quickly. Inside the car is functional. Buttons work and the like. It was all so 'asian' though. Plastic materials that failed to inspire donned the dash. The controls looks as if they were robbed from a 1980's Nissan. The stereo was no great shakes either. The driveability of this car is not something I a sure Hyundai worked a lot on. Although for a budget car to get the non-caring driver from A to B, this car is perfect. Try to add pace and urgency to your drive and you will be truely let down. The handling is bouncy to say the least. Hit a sequence of bumps and the car will bounce endlessly like a Lincoln Towncar. Throw it in to a corner and you are immediately hit with what could be described as understeer, but with the bounciness, oversteer creeps in and out. It's so difficult to figure out what this car does. The brakes stop the car alright. Not very quickly though. After a series heavy braking periods, fade becomes quite apparent. Safety equipment did not seem to be a top priority in the car I drove. I have seen Hyundai's after crashes and it seemed as if they just folded! The metal is very very thin. When compared to a similar sized car, the metal is almost half as thin. Given that this car has suspect handling and suspect braking, you would think that Hyundai would incorporate better safety features to manage the inevitable smashes you would have in a car like this. Don't get me wrong, it is a perfectly good car for below normal driving circumstances. Just don't expect it to hand
le like a sports car. Spend you money on something else that is safer.
I've owned a 1.5 MVi for just over a year and I love it. The MVi is the sporty version, having alloys, a 16v 1.5 engine and uprated suspension. It's engine is very punchy, I've just got back from a trip today with 5 people and a load of rucksacks in it and I didn't really notice. It's very nimble round corners. When I compare it to my Rover 400 16v there is no comparison. The Rover wants to leave the road and have a look to the fields but the MVi hardly rolls at all. Peosonally I think the extras make it look a lot better than the standard model. It's not the only car in my opinion to manage this, just look at the 205 and the 205 GTi or those Peugeot 309's and GTis, grandad car and reasonaly nice motor. I admint your avarage 1.9 GTi will blow it away, but then again I spent half the money and you'll be really risking your life and licence if you try and use the extra power a 1.9GTi has (over me screaming my MVi). Plus, at the end of the day my nob is big enough without trying to persuade people it's any bigger by spending £14 grand on a shopping car with alloys (I spent considerably less on a shopping car with alloys). BTW I don't like the look of the new shape Accent. I've also driven a 1.3 standard Accent and it's ok but not very powerful.
I owned a Hyundai Accent for just less than a year - it was long enough ! It was my first car, and although I have no major complaints about it - it is no comparison to my present car - Peugeot 206. The car looks ok from the outside - a small bit cheap looking though. There's nothing you can do to jazz it up - it comes with a spoiler as standard - a decent set of alloys would be a waste really. The interior was only ok too - the trim was a bit bland and hard to look at after a few months. The dash and controls are very plasticcy looking - the stereo wasn't great either. Drivability was poor too - in around town or on short trips it was fine - nippy enough but hit 70 - 80 mph on the motorway and it was like driving a boucing castle ! The suspension was far too soft allowing a lot of body roll while cornering and leaving you bobbing up and down for quite a while after hitting a bump on the road. I guess when these cars hit the market back in 1995 - they looked good and had a nice price tag - but now theres a lot of better options for the same money. My advice - keep away.
If this is how you like your cars then you'll love the Accent. This is the most reliable, economical, family orientated car I've ever had and I'm bored rigid! It starts every morning without fail, uses moderate amounts of petrol, has enough room in the boot for a week's supply of shopping(that's loads in my house!) and it has absolutely no personality. It's basically quite a good car, if it's the kind of thing you want to drive but the gearbox is a bit sticky (especially going into reverse) and the indicators sound really plasticy. Really not many drawbacks, I've owned one for two years and nothing has went wrong, it's only needed the usual such as tyres. It's great for parking, quite nippy for town driving and comfortable enough for long drives. There are people out there who will love it but I think mine will going to a new home shortly
A fantastic car, which has unfortunately been taken off the production line. How ever you can buy them second hand as even in there old age they run perfectly. The Pony has been replaced (according to Hyundai) by the Accent, which has more curves and a higher price! I think these cars will become really popular one day. And will be in very short supply. Hyundai must have been out of there mind’s taking these beauties off the Road (excuse the pun)