San Francisco: Hyundai's
new two-door Accent looks good, considering its cheap price. It starts
at under $11,000 for a basic, stripped-down model, and itís around
$14,000 for one with more goodies.
Build quality in the
affordable Accent is much better than in the Hyundai's cars of just a
few years ago. And if you're looking to save money on your car payment,
and your gas bill, this is a great way to do it.
One of the most
annoying aspects of the automotive industry is its incessant need to
make cars more "upscale," no matter how humble their background.
Take Volkswagen. This
company spent decades building a reputation for cheap, efficient,
well-engineered cars. That was fine, until one day someone at Volkswagen
woke up, with a mental disorder, that made him decide to produce a
$100,000, V12-powered luxury car called the Phaeton.
It was a wonderful car,
one of the best luxury cars the world has ever seen, but it still came
with a VW symbol on the hood, so it sold like snowshoes in Hawaii. Just
820 Phaetons were sold in 2005, making it a bigger flop than the Edsel
Korean brands are
trying to do the same thing. Instead of building their reputation for
high-quality economy cars, as the Japanese did in the 1970s, the Koreans
are trying to move their cars upmarket, so they can fetch a better
That's why I love how
Hyundai, a company that's bending over backward trying to convince the
world that it can produce high-quality, luxurious vehicles, but still
makes a perfectly good, low priced car.
The 2007 Accent doesn't
have gobs of power. It doesn't have a giant cargo area that can hold
several sheets of plywood. It doesn't have squishy seats. It doesn't
have soft leather. It doesn't have an air-conditioned glove box for
keeping your drunks cool. And really, it doesn't need all that stuff.
The Accent is a very
basic car, with a very basic mission, to save you money. It costs just
$10,415 in its cheapest form and gets a very thrifty 37 miles per gallon
on the highway.
My test car, the
two-door Accent SE, wasn't quite as stripped down with a $13,915 base
price. But even at that affordable price level it came with air
conditioning, power everything, keyless entry, a decent stereo and a
leather-wrapped steering wheel. OK, so they couldn't completely avoid
that "upscale" temptation.
The Hyundai Accent
drives about how you'd expect from an economy car, and perhaps a little
bit better. It feels like it has the same suspension as a skateboard and
the same engine as a Lionel train, but it's not bad for commuting and
the basic trips around town.
In fact, it was good
enough to make me wonder why so many people buy huge cars and SUVs when,
for 99 percent of the trips we make, a super-efficient car like the
Accent will do perfectly fine.
The Accent also looks
like it benefits from Hyundai's decision to make nicer, fancier cars.
The build quality isn't bad, certainly far better than the Hyundai cars
of just a few years ago, and I never once felt deprived of anything
while behind the wheel.
Whether you want an
affordable new car with a great warranty, or something to save money at
the gas pump, the Accent is worth a closer look. Just pray Hyundai
doesn't decide to make an Accent "Prada Edition" next year.
INFOBOX: What was
tested? The 2007 Hyundai Accent SE 3-Door with a base price of
$13,915. Options: Sun & sound package ($1,250), sporty floor mats ($85).
The price as tested with a MSRP of only $15,250.
Why avoid it? A
good used car might drive better and be more comfortable.
Why buy it? It's
basic, super efficient transportation at a great price. And it comes
with a complete new-car warranty for the price of a decent used car.
By Derek Price © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
Hyundai Home Page
Syndicated content provided by Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
Column Name: The Hyundai Accent is efficient and affordable
Topic: 2007 Hyundai Accent SE 3-Door
Word Count: 725
Photo Caption: 2007 Hyundai Accent SE 3-Door
Photo Credits: Hyundai Accent Internet Media
Series #: 2007 - 39
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2007 Hyundai Accent
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2007 Hyundai Accent