For 2012, the Hyundai Accent is all-new. Outside, a new body has been designed, with a much more flowing look than what was used on previous models. New headlights and tail lights have been fitted, and those, along with revised body contours, resemble other Hyundais currently being produced, especially the Sonata, Elantra and Tucson. The Accent is still Hyundai's entry-level compact car, with prices starting at right around $13k. Two body styles are available for 2012: the 5-door hatchback and the 4-door sedan.
Both versions share a redesigned engine for 2012. Displacing the same 1.6 liters as the 2011 Accent's engine, it's direct-injected and makes 138 hp and 123 lb-ft of torque--28 horsepower and 17 pound-feet of torque more than last year. Efficiency has also been improved, with features like low-rolling-resistance tires and electric power steering helping achieve a 37 mpg rating on the highway. A 6-speed manual transmission is now standard equipment, replacing last year's 5-speed unit, while an optional 6-speed automatic replaces the 4-speed unit from 2011.
The Accent offers a number of standard safety features, including anti-lock brakes, traction control, and anti-skid system, curtain-side airbags for driver and passengers, and front-side airbags. The Vehicle Stability Management System combines the function of the power steering, stability control, traction control, and anti-lock brakes when an accident is sensed by the computer. Seatbelt pre-tensioners automatically tighten the driver's and front passenger's seatbelts in the event of a collision, and active head restraints move up and forward in the event of a rear-end collision, helping to reduce whiplash to the driver or front passenger.
Three trim levels are available for 2012: the 4-door GLS, the 5-door GS, and the 5-door SE. The GS 5-door is the most inexpensive of the bunch, with a 6-speed manual, air conditioning, keyless entry, power mirrors, power windows and a 6-speaker stereo system. The SE adds on cruise control, Bluetooth, 16-inch wheels, cloth seats, rear spoiler and fog lamps. The GLS sedan has 14-inch wheels, power door locks and a 4-speaker stereo. It can be ordered with a Comfort package, adding air conditioning, power mirrors and power windows and an upgraded stereo.
Fresh Styling, Efficient New 1.6L Engine, Excellent "bang For The Buck"
The Accent has been completely redesigned for the 2012 model year. A new 1.6L engine has been fitted to all models, which makes 138 horsepower and achieves 40 mpg on the highway. Two body styles are available: a 5-door hatchback and a 4-door sedan. The 3-door hatchback has been discontinued. Both feature all-new styling, with new bodylines, larger headlamps and higher-mounted tail lamps helping to give the car a more upscale look. The car's interior has also been completely redesigned for 2012, with a class-leading 21.2 cubic feet of cargo space in the 5-door model.
Hyundai's Accent may be best known as the cheapest car in America, but for 2012, the automaker has decided to step away from that pursuit with its entry-level compact. The Accent offers quite a bit of bang for the buck in a compact car, and its new 1.6L engine is both relatively powerful and very efficient. At right around $13k, the Accent is a great value, with more options than what you'd get on a comparably priced Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris or Mazda2.