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2001 Hyundai Accent

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SAN FRANCISCO:  South Korean automakers like Hyundai, Kia and Daewoo, relative newcomers to the American automobile scene, are demonstrating with their lowest priced models, that inexpensive cars do not have to be "cheap" looking or low performing. Hyundai’s new entry-level model, the Accent, shows that you can buy a new car, and a quite capable car, for around the $10,000 mark.

The Accent was completely redesigned for 2000 and changes for 2001 are just refinements. The styling is pretty mainstream, is reasonably attractive, and definitely not "funky" as sometimes happens when designers have to package a four-passenger sedan in a package that is less than 14 feet long. Hyundai Accents come as a three-door hatchback in a very spartan L trim level or as a better-equipped GS model. The GL version is a four-door sedan.

Accent GSs and GLs now feature a 1.6 liter, four-cylinder, single-overhead-camshaft SOHC), 12-valve engine. The engine produces 105 horsepower at 5500 rpm and 106 ft-lbs of torque at 3000 rpm. Previously, a 1.5-liter engine was used in all models and was on the anemic side. The 2001 Accents are now able to keep up in traffic and maintain 65-plus mph Interstate speeds without showing as much strain, especially when an automatic transmission is installed. The L series still uses the 1.5-liter, 92 horsepower engine. A five-speed manual is standard on all models and a four-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission is optional on the GS and GL models. The fuel tank holds 11.9 gallons.

The Accent GL that I tested with a manual transmission was actually fun-to-drive, at least by econobox standards. The five-speed trans shifted effortlessly and was appreciated, because shifting was frequently required to keep up with the flow of traffic. While great for around town travel, especially because of its small size and maneuverability, I do not think this is the car for that 2,000-mile vacation trip.

Prices for the Hyundai Accents start at the $9,434 mark for the very basic L model, which does come with a lot of standard features; like a rear window defroster, reclining front bucket seats, dual remote mirrors, intermittent wipers, power steering and brakes and a AM / FM / cassette radio. Air conditioning is a $750 option. The GS with the larger engine is $400 more and can be ordered with options like air conditioning, a CD player, power door locks, power windows, and automatic transmission, all of which add only $1,750 to the sticker price. The GS starts at $10,344 and add another $1,750 for the total option package.

Quality of materials, as well as fit & finish, are quite good when you consider the price. And unlike many previous Korean cars I have driven, the heater, a/c and radio controls are now human size. Front seat passengers have a decent amount of room, but the rear seat is a little skimpy in legroom. The trunk is relatively large for this size car and there is a 60/40 fold down rear seat.

And like most of the entry-level cars on the market today, the Accent will depreciate faster than cars of other origin. After you buy one, the most economical strategy is to drive it until "the wheels fall off," rather than planning on trading it in soon. Helping here is that Hyundai’s come with one of the best warranties in the automobile industry. This includes a five-year / 60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and the powertrain is covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Also, there is a free 24-hour roadside assistance program for five years with no mileage limits.

With these facts in mind, a Hyundai Accent can be a great entry-level car that you can buy and drive with confidence, knowing that the coverage and warranty will be around for a very long time. By Bill Siuru AutoWire.Net - San Francisco

HyundaiUSA Home Page

Byline:  By Bill Siuru AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
Column Name:   "One of the Best Warranties in the Automobile Industry"
Topic:  2001 Hyundai Accent
Word Count:   700
Photo Caption:  2001 Hyundai Accent
Photo Credits:  Hyundai Internet Media
Series #:   2000 - 42

Download the Microsoft Word version here:   2001 Hyundai Accent

Download the original image file here:  2001 Hyundai Accent 10k

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