Last post on Oct 11, 2012 at 7:51 PM
You are in the Hyundai Accent
What is this discussion about?
Hyundai Accent, Coupe, Hatchback
#517 of 624 Re: Accent GS first drive [backy]
Jul 16, 2006 (8:03 am)
I'm sorry but ABS has pretty much become a standard these days. There's not many people that want a car without 28 year old technology (ABS first introduced into production cars in 1978).
SO, that means that if I want a 2007 Accent 3-door AUTO with ABS, I need to pay $15,495 (with dest.)??!! That's insane. WHy not purchase a Fit or Rabbit for less than $1K more? One can even get a 2006 Mazda6i AUTO for around $16K after rebates (or yes, even a lovely Sonata).
Is that $1K worth:
More standard safety equipment
Better resale value
Better crash worthiness
More advanced powertrain (5 and 6-speed AUTOs)
Better fuel economy (Honda)
Far better interior quality (Rabbit)
Better brand reliability history (Honda)
You bet it is. For this thing to sell, it needs a $2K rebate. Anything less, and it won't move off dealer lots period.
I think this is why we are seeing such a drop off in sales for the Accent in CY2006 over CY2005 (down 20%). It's just not the "bargain" it once was. Though it's in line with Hyundai's other models: Elantra (down 13%), Santa Fe (down 38%!), Tiburon (down 11%), Tuscon (down 8%). Really, the only thing that keeps Hyundai afloat is the heavily discounted Sonata.
#518 of 624 Re: Accent GS first drive [backy]
Jul 16, 2006 (9:25 am)
Another thing to keep in mind is that the Accent has a timing belt versus a timing chain found on the Honda Fit and VW Rabbit. Factor in $600-800 every 60K for the belt change and service and the difference in cost shrinks even smaller.
#519 of 624 Re: Accent GS first drive [germancarfan1]
Jul 16, 2006 (10:24 am)
I think the timing belt replacement cost on an Accent is quite a bit less than $600-800.
You raise good points about pricing. I did say that if you can do without ABS (and many people can--check Town Hall for the comments re "I don't want ABS!"), the Accent GS is worth a look. Also some people don't want the power windows etc. in their car. They want a basic car. The Accent GS gives that, starting at about $11k.
A Rabbit equipped like a base Accent SE (that is, including 16" alloys) is about $16k, or about $1400 more list than the Accent. Assuming both cars would be bought at list, I agree it is tough to justify buying the Accent. But toss in a $1000 rebate (currently on the '06 Accent, and I bet coming soon to the '07s), and a discount of around $800 and now you're looking at over $3000 difference, because I don't expect there will be much discounting on the 3-door Rabbit. Then it becomes a more interesting decision. You would have in the Accent a car with significantly better fuel economy, better predicted reliability, and better warranty. Compared to the base Fit, the Accent SE discounted as I described would be less expensive, have many more features, a much more adjustable/comfortable driving position, a smoother ride, and IMO much better looking, with the tradeoffs of a little worse fuel economy, less cargo versatility, and lower historical resale value.
A lot depends on which criteria are most important to you. If cargo versatility is really important, the Fit has a huge advantage. If rear-seat legroom is important, the Versa is the class leader. If driving position is really important, the Accent and its cousin the Rio5 are best-in-class IMO. If power is important, the Rabbit is much better than the low-end cars but bumps up against more powerful cars like the Mazda3s when comparing 5-door cars.
#520 of 624 Re: Accent GS first drive [backy]
Jul 16, 2006 (11:38 am)
"I think the timing belt replacement cost on an Accent is quite a bit less than $600-800."
Check the Accent forums. That price is accurate. My Hyundai dealer charged me $200 for a measely 15K service (I checked with 3 other dealers, ALL charge this). $350-400 are routine for 30K services and $600-800 for the 60K w/ timing belt change. My friend paid $650 for her timing belt change on an 03 Elantra and she doesn't even live in a metro area.
"Accent SE discounted as I described would be less expensive, have many more features, a much more adjustable/comfortable driving position, a smoother ride, and IMO much better looking, with the tradeoffs of a little worse fuel economy, less cargo versatility, and lower historical resale value."
Smoother ride? Not in my experience. Fit beats the Accent hands down in driving dynamics IMO (C&D concurr).
Tradeoffs? Awful resale value, poorer crash scores, less cargo space, worse fuel economy, higher routine maintenance costs (see timing belt), poorer handling and engine response, sloppy shifter (mine and C&D's experience), etc.
A $3-4K difference is REQUIRED before anyone is going to buy the Accent. That's how Hyundai sells its cars: cheap.
However, even when looking at 2006 Accents (with $1000 rebate), it appears that significant cost difference isn't helping the Accent in sales. When sales are down 20% compared with the rubbish 2005 model(that didn't exact break sales records either), something is wrong. The market has become a much more crowded place. One year ago, the inferior Accent didn't have to compete with the Yaris, Fit, Versa, Rabbit, etc. One year ago, the consumer had to choose a $10K Accent or have to fork over $16K+ for a Civic, Corolla, or Mazda3.
ALso note the significant decline of Elantra sales. A 2006 Elantra GLS AUTO with ABS now costs $16,495. The Limited model goes for even $1K more. Ridiculous. What will a 2007 Elantra AUTO with ABS cost? $17K? $18K?
"If power is important, the Rabbit is much better than the low-end cars but bumps up against more powerful cars like the Mazda3s when comparing 5-door cars."
I'll take the Rabbit's 170 lbs of torque at a low 3750 RPMS anyday. When you test drove it, did you notice how you could start the car in 3rd gear or could pass cars with ease at 40 MPH in 5th gear? That's torque.
#521 of 624 Re: Accent GS first drive [germancarfan1]
Jul 16, 2006 (11:57 am)
No, I don't ever start cars in 3rd gear. Why would I want to do that?
I think you are confusing a complete 60k service with a timing belt replacement. A timing belt replacement is only one thing done in a 60k service, which is the biggest servicing the Accent and many other cars have. $600 for the complete 60k service, maybe. But not just the timing belt.
FWIW, I paid quite a bit less than $200 for the 15k Elantra service. But I was very clear to only do the manufacturer's recommended services, not the extra stuff the dealer wanted to do. I think it was about $150. Sorry the dealers in your area charge so much. Maybe you should find a different shop.
C/D did praise the smooth ride of the Accent GLS--"creamy" they called it. They haven't tested the SE yet, with its sport-tuned suspension. From other reviews I've read of it, it appears Hyundai was able to tighten up the handling without making the ride too harsh.
The IIHS hasn't crash-tested the Accent 3-door yet, so we don't know what those crash tests are. On handling, the SE seems to handle quite well based on what I've read, but I'll have to see for myself. And I liked the shifter of the Accent much better than I thought I would. It avoids the notchiness of the Fit's shifter, although the throws are longer. I don't think it's as bad as C/D made it out to be.
As for the decline in Accent sales, I think that's due to a couple of things. First, last year there was a 3-door available all year. This year, the 3-door just now is beginning to show up at dealers. That alone could account for a 20% decline in sales. But the other thing is that it took Hyundai awhile to put rebates on the '06 Accent GLS. At $15.4k for an automatic sedan with power package, it was bumping up squarely against Hyundai's own Elantra and many other cars. The rebate was needed to make pricing more realistic. As for the Elantra, it's a six-year-old design that is outclassed by some newer compacts, and the rebates on it have been lower this year than in past years. With dealers selling nicely-equipped Sonatas for $14-16k, it's a hard sell unless you want a hatchback.
#522 of 624 Re: Accent GS first drive [backy]
Jul 16, 2006 (12:18 pm)
"No, I don't ever start cars in 3rd gear. Why would I want to do that?"
I guess you haven't owned manual equipped cars in the snow belt.
I said 60K service. The timing belt change accounts for the majority of cost/labor of that service.
"C/D did praise the smooth ride of the Accent GLS--"creamy" they called it."
They had to find something nice to say for a car that placed only 5th out of 7 cars (the other 2 being the Suzuki Reno (no comment) and ugly Caliber).
"They haven't tested the SE yet, with its sport-tuned suspension."
"sport-tuned" and Hyundai typically don't mix. Have you test driven an Elantra GT (with its supposed "sport-tuned" suspension) and compared it with an Elantra GLS? It's exactly the same...some say worse. Read more at www.elantraxd.com.
"The IIHS hasn't crash-tested the Accent 3-door yet, so we don't know what those crash tests are."
They havent tested the 4 door either. Though NHTSA did and gave it a lovely 3 stars rear side impact. I wouldn't want anyone's kids, let alone my kids in that back seat. Combine that with the unavilability of ABS in the GS level and that's just unsafe.
"First, last year there was a 3-door available all year. This year, the 3-door just now is beginning to show up at dealers. That alone could account for a 20% decline in sales."
I doubt the 3-door made up a significant amount of total Accent sales in prior years. Care to back that up with some figures? Certainly not enough to justify a 20% decline in sales. That's huge. The Accent model has been struggling for years. Increasing the price at a time of vastly increased competition from more "premium" brands isn't helping things.
It's rather simple:
1. Increased price
2. poor customer perception of "Accent" brand
3. Little to no advertising
4. Increased competition from more "premium" brands
5. Reduced rebates
6. Historically awful resale value
7. Underwhelming test drive perceptions (at least those who I've talked to)
8. Less than spectacular crash test results
#523 of 624 Re: Accent GS first drive [germancarfan1]
Jul 16, 2006 (1:13 pm)
You bet it is. For this thing to sell, it needs a $2K rebate. Anything less, and it won't move off dealer lots period.
That's funny. With only a $1K rebate offered on the 2006 model, Hyundai managed to sell 43% more Accents last month compared to June 2005 (5,848 to 4,086). Yes, overall year to year sales of the Accent are down, but I agree with Backy that the addition of the 3-door model to the lineup will help.
Hyundai has nothing to worry about. The new Santa Fe is now arriving at dealer lots and the new Elantra will be coming soon. Hyundai is in a better position to see sales go even higher. Volkswagen, who can't even sell half as many vehicles as Hyundai in the U.S. during the first six months of 2006, is now trying to sell a Rabbit that can cost well over $20,000! $20K+ for a Rabbit? That's a mighty bitter carrot, er, pill to swallow.
#524 of 624 Re: Accent GS first drive [germancarfan1]
Jul 16, 2006 (1:27 pm)
I've owned many stick-shift cars in the snow belt. Just never had to start them in 3rd gear. 2nd once or twice.
C/D said several nice things about the Accent they tested. They even recommended to their readers that they should "take it for a whirl."
I have not only driven the Elantra GLS and the GT, I've owned both of them at the same time for over 2 years, so I think I am qualified to say that the suspension and steering on those two cars is distinctly different, with a much different feel. (Keep in mind though that the GLS 5-door has exactly the same suspension and handling as the GT; the GLS sedan is different.) Thus I am looking foward to seeing what Hyundai did with the Accent SE.
Note that the Fit got a "lowly" 3-star rating by the NHTSA in the rear on the side crash test also. But you were talking up the Fit before as if it were superior to the Accent. Does that mean you prefer the Fit over the Accent, but only if you don't put kids in the back seat?
If you would like to research the 3-door sales of the Accent before 2006, be my guest. I see quite a few of them running around. How do you know it's not enough to justify a 20% decline in sales, until you know how many Accents before 2006 MY were 3-doors? Care to back up your assertion that "The Accent model has been struggling for years" with some facts?
I've already agreed the list price on the Accent is too high; HMA agrees also since they did put a $1000 rebate on the '06 models awhile ago. I expect to see a rebate on the '07s once the '06s are gone. As for advertising, HMA is obviously using their marketing bucks on their pricier (and more profitable) cars. Keep in mind they have had to launch seven new models in less than two years, so that's a lot of advertising to do. It makes sense to put the dollars where the most profit is, e.g. Azera, Sonata, Entourage, and soon the Santa Fe.
Would you care to name another car in the Accent's class that received "spectacular" crash test ratings, i.e. 4 x 5-stars on the NHTSA crash tests? Or is the Accent being held to a higher standard than all other cars in its class?
As for "underwhelming test drive perceptions," IMO, the Accent is one of the most pleasant cars to drive in its class. It doesn't have the sharpest handling, "magic" rear seats, 150 hp, or room for Shaq to sit in back, but in terms of a smooth, comfortable, economical commuter and around-town car, I think it does a fine job. For the right price, I could see one in my garage someday.
#525 of 624 Judging the SE with Sport-Tuned Suspension
Jul 16, 2006 (1:57 pm)
I think it is quite unfair to judge Hyundai's previous attempts with the same measure as their recent offerings. Hyundai is investing BILLION$ in R&D each year and their new vehicles are showing their big spending. I looked at a Santa Fe again today and that is going to be a hot vehicle just like the Sonata and Azera. Say or think what you want but Hyundai is not the company it was and every new vehicle they are putting out is causing a stir in the market.
#526 of 624 Re: Accent GS first drive [germancarfan1]
Jul 16, 2006 (2:39 pm)
Can I ask if you have had a chance to test drive the new Accents? The only reason I ask is because your post is full of incorrect facts and perceptions. FWIW, every review I have read on the Accent praises the new model, for the most part; yet when I read your posts, the Accent (or the entire Hyundai line for that matter) is nothing but junk products. The uniqueness (in its class) of the Accent SE is that it comes with 16" wheels, sport-tuned, stiffer suspension (70% more, which puts it around Tibby level), plus more. Of course, I am sure you will put a different spin on the above facts.