Hyundai Accent Elite 2014 Review

Hyundai Accent Elite 2014 Review

I had a friend staying with me just before Christmas. She’s a research scientist at a large aquarium in America and gets around the globe studying whales, turtles and seabirds. We wound up talking about mosquitoes in Alaska and how they hatch on one specific day then form a swarm of billions looking for blood.

hyundai-accent-elite-2013-rear-quarterWhile mosquitos are attracted to dark colours, humans, on the other hand, have their own preferences, and that’s why vehicle manufacturers often come up with specific colour palettes that work like a brand, and that also give the best chance of attracting a wide base of purchasers. You might remember the WRC blue that Subaru used, or Ferrari’s red.

hyundai-accent-elite-2013-sideHyundai’s model year (MY) 14 Accent comes in a range of colours that are distinctive, including this Green Apple which is easy to spot in a crowded car park after Christmas shopping amongst the plethora of silver and white cars. Look a little closer and you’ll see changes from the previous model: new 16-inch alloys, plus a boot spoiler, projection headlights and heated wing mirrors.

The other things that are new in the Accent are the Mando mono tube suspension, keyless entry and start, cruise control, Hyundai’s GDI engine and a six-speed automatic – no whining CVT gearbox here.

hyundai-accent-elite-2013-start-buttonThe 16-valve DOHC 1.6-litre engine produces 103kW and 167Nm of torque (13kW and 11Nm more than the older MPI engine) and will return 6.6l/100km with a mixture of around town and highway driving – a figure I found realistic in my test drive. It could do with a little more torque. When driving around town it seems like it either wants to accelerate, or you’re losing speed and it’s difficult to find a speed that it will sit at, especially with this 4kph speed tolerance during the holiday period.

hyundai-accent-elite-2013-front-interiorThe new suspension setup delivers confident steering. A trip out to Piha and back tested the turn-in performance of the Accent. The spring rates at the front have been increased 4% and at the back they’ve been decreased 5% to give a sharper response up the front without compromising overall ride quality.

As expected, the Accent achieves the maximum 5-star ANCAP crash test rating and comes with a suite of passive and active safety features. To help with vehicle control there is vehicle stability management, electronic stability control, traction control, anti-lock brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution and six airbags.

hyundai-accent-elite-2013-bootThe entertainment system features Bluetooth connectivity for your phone, USB, MP3 and iPod compatibility. Audio quality is a little thin, which is to be expected in this price bracket. My iPhone constantly asked me whether I should ‘trust’ the car’s computer when I connected it via USB and I didn’t manage to figure out whether it was a bug in the car or my phone.

I packed the boot with our camping equipment for a five-day Coromandel jaunt on the back of some heavy rain. The boot is deep and fits a lot of gear. There are a couple of bag hooks and a fire extinguisher. Under the floor you’ll find a full sized spare plus a safety/first aid kit.

If you need more space you can fold the seats forward (they’re split-folding), but we found that we could fit almost everything we needed in the boot underneath the parcel shelf with just a couple of items on the back seat. I’m never keen on putting things on the parcel shelf because they can become high speed projectiles if you have to brake heavily.

The leather seats felt comfortable after 5 days of sitting around on nature’s finest sandy beaches, rocks and grass, and both front and back seats have a good level of room.

In summary, the Accent is a frugal runabout with a good boot capacity and excellent styling. It should attract both private and fleet buyers. With my new-found knowledge of colours, though, I should have asked for a black Accent because it was us that attracted the mosquitoes, not the car.

Price: $36,990

Pros

  • Good boot capacity
  • Excellent styling and colours
  • Reasonably frugal engine

Cons

  • Difficult to keep at a constant speed around town
  • Small fuel tank

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