Last post on Nov 08, 2011 at 6:24 PM
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Hyundai Accent, Hatchback
#185 of 223 GS test drive
Oct 22, 2011 (11:06 am)
I took the 2012 Accent GS for a spin today. It was silver with automatic. I wanted to drive a stick, but the dealer didn't have any.
My overall impression was: WOW, what an improvement over the previous-generation Accent! No comparison in NVH, smoothness, power, fuel economy, interior quality, and safety features. The car feels very solid and substantial, not a hint of a rattle, very smooth ride for a small car even over rough roads (my test course includes a badly rutted road). I confirmed that the Accent is plenty of car for my needs so it's high on my shopping list for my next car--but I'll have to drive a stick to see if I'll go that route.
The test drive was on suburban streets, urban freeway (65 mph limit), and that rutted back road. As I said, the ride was smooth and quiet even on the rutted roads. Handling, including on a sharp U-curve exiting the freeway, was not exceptional, but did not invoke any drama and was very acceptable. (I'll take a smooth ride over pot-holed roads vs. razor-sharp handling but a harsh ride any day.) There was only a little tire noise and A-pillar wind noise (could only hear it when I turned off the HVAC system). The car tracked straight and did not require constant corrections on the freeway, which tells me Hyundai did a good job tuning the EPS. The 6AT shifted imperceptibly except when I floored it to get onto the freeway. Acceleration was adequate with the automatic--much better than in the old Accent. It would be better with the stick no doubt.
For those who might be worried about whether the Accent can meet its EPA FE rating: don't worry. At 65 mph on a relatively flat freeway and almost no wind, the car was in the upper 40s mpg. For the entire test, it did 42 mpg. That was on a brand-new engine of course. Figures are from the trip computer, but even if it were a little optimistic the car would be beating its EPA ratings. So I have no doubt that when driven moderately, the fuel economy will be fine.
Ergonomically, I have only one complaint: the arm rests on the doors need some padding. Other than that, I felt very comfortable behind the wheel. The wheel doesn't telescope but was at a comfortable reach. The driver's seat felt firm but supportive in all the right places, including lower back and thighs. Seat adjusts for height. There's a swing-down right armrest for the driver that to me felt more comfortable than the typical center console armrest (SE has one of those).
The controls had a quality feel, especially considering the price of the car. The turn signal was smooth. The HVAC mode and fan knobs rotated smoothly; the temperature knob a little less so. The dash and center stack layout is a big improvement over the old Accent's, IMO, and doesn't scream "economy car!" And this was without the SE's piano-black trim.
In back, space is just adequate when sitting behind myself (I'm 5'9", 32" inseam). Would be fine for small adults and kids, or bigger people for short hops. Headroom was good front and back. With seats up, there's still a decent-sized storage area in back. There is a step-up in the load floor with the seats down however.
Overall I think the GS is a nice package for the money. It has all the key features I need, including cruise (which the GLS sedan doesn't have except when loaded). It doesn't have Bluetooth, but I don't consider that feature to be a must-have. It does have aux and iPod jacks. The standard plastic wheel covers are pretty good looking, so I don't feel I have to get alloys just to be able to look at the car. I priced a GS stick on trueCar and found the best price for my area to be around $14.5k. I am hoping prices drop a bit more by the time I am ready to buy in 2013.
FWIW, the same dealer had a couple of 2012 Rio EX hatches on the lot. They were just a little less money than the loaded Accent SE hatches, yet had 15" steel wheels and fairly basic equipment. They also looked less roomy in back than the Accent.
#186 of 223 Re: GS test drive [backy]
Oct 22, 2011 (12:21 pm)
Great review, as always, and this is on our short list, but I'd push for the alloys, so we'd get the top of the line model. Our dealer doesn't have any in stock as of yet. But we'll test the Accent and the Elantra back to back to see which she likes better and we'll do it as our last test.
On a side note, FreebieShark.com had the $50 coupon for the Focus test drive. Have been trying to snag one for weeks now and this morning...there it was. Printed it and all we need to do is test drive before 11/11/11...which we'll do. Showed the wife the brochure Ford sent me this week and it is a good looking automobile especially in the 5 door version...but she prefers the sedan. Either way, we'll test both the Focus & Fiesta while there just to see the difference between vehicles, as she's not made up her mind over the compact/sub compact size still.
Great timing, as our computer has been down most of the week due to our switching to AT&T U-Verse for our internet from regular dsl. Apparently, there was a problem with a rotten wire outside the house plus a setting on the computers was wrong...something with the sleep/hibernation setup. The inside guy fixed that problem on the 4 laptops on his 2nd visit, as the kids Mac had the correct setting and the outside guy found the problem very quickly. All is good now and it's a better set up than the dsl...better connection & faster download speed. So, the wife and kids are now happy! Chaulk up another situation dad took care of...sometimes being home most days comes in handy. My wife made me her "office manager" so I now handle things like this and all her phone calls...great hours though the pay could be a bit better...lol!
#187 of 223 Re: GS test drive [backy]
Oct 22, 2011 (12:41 pm)
Backy, Glad you were so impressed driving the 2012 Hyundai Accent GS. I think if you check both the interior and exterior measurements of the Accent and the 2012 Kia Rio5, I believe they measure up almost the same. Beauty, they say is in the "eyes of the beholder", that said, I personally think the Rio5 looks a hell of a lot better and more European and upscale, at least from the exterior then the Accent Hatchback. I`m still awaiting a call from several local Kia Dealerships to notify me when their first 2012 Kia Rio5 in Clear White with Beige Cloth Interior, Automatic Transmission, and the optional Power Package, (Power Windows/Locks & Remote Locking Key Fob), in Base "LX" Trim, MSRP of $16,445 including Freight arrives so I can purchase one. I also have to admit disappointment that the "bean counters" at HKAG have eliminated and de-contented the 2012 Kia Rio5 perhaps even more so, in the Base LX and Intermediate EX Trim Lines, then even Hyundai did with its 2012 Accent. At least in the GS Accent with Automatic Transmission, you get standard Speed/Cruise Control and a Fold Armrest, in the equivalent Rio5 Base LX, you get neither and cannot get them as part of any package as well. You do get the larger 15`` Steel Wheels and Caps over the Accents 14``. To upgrade to the EX Trim similar to the Accents SE Trim costs $800 more and you get very little extra. Still same 15`` Steel Wheels and Caps, (no Alloys as Standard Equipment) and they only add Speed/Cruise Control, Console Folding Armrest w/Storage, and 2 mini Tweeter Speakers in the "A Pillar" Telescope Steering Column,and Padded (Door) Armrest . I`ll miss the Speed/Cruise Control and the Armrest, but not for an additional $800. To get the upgrade to 15`` Alloy Wheels, (not 16`` like the Accent gets) and all the extra`a that Hyundai did (not) offer on its Accent, a long list of very impressive features requires an additional $1000 to buy the EX Trim Convenience Package. That brings the Rio5 EX fully loaded at $18,300 only $300 dollars short of the Rio5 SX which has all the previously mentioned (plus) 17`` Alloys, LED DRL`s and Tail Lights and more. Personally , I think that the most (value) is in the 2012 Kia Rio5 LX with the Power Package, otherwise, go all the way and get a SX with everything. I`m anxious to trade my 2006 Kia Rio5 in for the new 2012 before my trade in`s value along with the U.S. Dollar both continue to drop making the purchase more expensive the longer it takes. I don`t know what your "situation" is, but waiting for 2013 and expecting prices to drop is (not) likely to happen due to the falling U.S. Dollar. Perhaps the new Trade Agreement the U.S. just signed with Korea reducing "Import Duties" (might) off set the negative exchange rate in currency.
#188 of 223 Re: GS test drive [phill1]
Oct 22, 2011 (1:20 pm)
The dealer had the Rio5 EX hatch in white and IMO it was very plain-jane looking. If you like simple lines on cars, it has those. More interesting grille also. Seeing both cars virtually side by side, I prefer the Accent with its curves. Looks are so subjective, aren't they?
Just looking at the two cars, it appeared to me the Accent is significantly bigger in back, and that's what the numbers show:
Rear passenger room: Accent 38 cu ft, Rio 35 cu ft
Rear cargo room seats up: Accent 21 cu ft, Rio 15 cu ft
Rear cargo room seats down: Accent 48 cu ft, Rio 28 cu ft
I was pretty impressed by the sales rep who helped me except he goofed on one thing. I was pretty sure the GS stick didn't come with cruise, so I asked him if that was the case. He said, no, both the stick and automatic come with cruise. Turns out only the automatic comes with cruise. So that could be a reason to ultimately go with the automatic. However, if I really like how the stick drives, I could live without cruise. I'd use it less than once a month.
Oct 22, 2011 (1:53 pm)
My kid's '08 GLS does not have cruise which I found odd. It has the nicer alloys and the abs, both of which were hard for the dealer to find us back then. The cruise should have been standard with this package as far as I'm concerned. But they found at the time a white one and the dark gray one that she chose ans now I wish I had been there to check out both cars to see the equipment. I would've chosen the white, just personal preference. Another thing, they put a darker color pin stripe on this car which is extremely hard to see. I should've over ruled the wife when they said they would redo it in a color that stood out more...either a white or dark red would've looked killer. But I let the wife decide as she did most of the deal herself. The original plan was for us to do a deal on both, one for each girl, which is why they located both and had them waiting for us at the dealer. but the oldest wanted the Elantra but was out of her price range. She then preferred the Versa hatchback in the SL option which is eventually what I negotiated for her. And personally, the Versa is a better car all around but not by much. Both girls are happy, which is all that matters!
Now, since I've been driving the Accent much of the time, I miss the cruise control but am making due. It's funny that I had to drive the Civic for a couple of days this week, but the power the Civic has over the Accent...no contest there. And compared to the Mazda 3s, there is no comparison on the get up and go. The 3 takes off like a rocket with so much low end torque which continues seemlessly through all the gears, simply amazing. And even the Ciwith a cd playervic gets the better mileage figures over the Accent while being a bigger engine and a bigger car. The Mazda has the 2.3 engine so it's mpg's are much smaller. Really thought the last generation Accent would have had better mileage figures...but it seems Hyundai has corrected that problem with the 2012's...a great move! But I will still happily drive her Accent to keep the miles off the Civic. It has the auto tranny, a/c and a cd player which makes me a happy camper. And since it's got low mileage, around 11.4k on it, she doesn't mind me driving her around and putting some miles on it.
We'll test the Elantra and Accent as the wife's last test drive, as I really think she'll end up with one of those. But, she could throw me a curve ball and buy a 3 Series BMW, something I could really live with!
#190 of 223 Re: GS test drive [backy]
Oct 22, 2011 (2:49 pm)
Your absolutely correct, Beauty (is) in the eyes of the Beholder. I have to admit, as I posted before, I (do) prefer the interior of the Accent over the Kia Rio, (but) I much prefer the exterior of the Rio5. The Accent looks from the (rear) much too Ford Fiesta like, IMO for my taste, not that I find that objectionable, but I already own a 2011 Ford Fiesta SE Hatchback, so I`d rather not have a similar looking vehicle parked in my driveway. I think the 2012 Kia Rio5 , although basically sharing mechanical components with the Hyundai Accent, has more of a Audi flare to it, probably since Kia`s head designer, Peter Schreyer, formally worked for Audi. I think both vehicles will have carved out their own share of the Sub-Compact/ B-Segment Market just as Hyundai has done with their Sonata and Kia has done with its Optima. I`m just a bit disappointed in Kia for putting (all) the upscale content into its top of the line SX Model at the expense of de-contenting its LX and EX line without better reflecting their pricing or making the missing features available or included in one of their Package Upgrades. Another deal breaker for me was the Accent GS or LE (not) being available with a Beige Interior Option. Not (everyone) prefers Black or Charcoal Grey Cloth Fabric depending on their choice of exterior color. White, IMO looks like you said, "very drab" coupled with Black or Dark Grey interior.
#191 of 223 Re: GS test drive [phill1]
Oct 22, 2011 (3:07 pm)
Yes, I prefer the black/tan interior as on the Accent GLS also. That might sway me to get the sedan vs. the hatch. But I think the red GS with the black/grey combo will be fine too--the grey isn't too dark, and the GS seats have inserts with a little white in them so it's actually pretty bright. I just don't like all black interiors--too dour, and the black cloth shows too much "stuff".
The white Rio5 I saw today had a black/grey interior. Not too interesting.
#192 of 223 Re: GS test drive [backy]
Oct 22, 2011 (6:31 pm)
Gee, I thought this thread had died.
I bought the SE and backy, I'd agree with nearly everything you said. It's a very solid car and a lot of fun to drive. I do, however notice some drift on straight sections of freeway. It just doesn't track well compared to every other car I've ever driven. I hate the "piano black" accents (glossy black plastic that's easily scratched) so I wouldn't miss that if I bought the GS. I'm a little disappointed in fuel economy so far but the jury is still out on that. I had hoped to average above 35 mpg but so far it's not happening.
Small gripes aside, I love the car! It's very comfortable, quiet, has a good sound system, looks good inside and out, and rides great.
#193 of 223 Re: GS test drive [dirtbag]
Oct 22, 2011 (9:01 pm)
It just doesn't track well compared to every other car I've ever driven.
Ever drive any other car with EPS... like the Sentra for example? The Accent tracks better than that car for sure (it's what I have now). I did my "look ma no hands" test at 65 mph on a flat freeway, right lane, light wind, and it tracked perfectly straight. Also I noticed I didn't have to constantly correct the wheel. But the GS has different tires than the SE you have.
I can imagine those piano black accents picking up smudges and fine scratches easily... looks great when new, but hard to keep that way.
In order to average over 35 mpg you'd have to do mostly highway driving. I was glad to see 42 mpg at the end of my test. It was mostly highway, but with some stops and slower driving and a big hill (but I went down that hill, too). 42 is the best I've seen on that test, ever, and I've driven a lot of cars over that "test course" in the past 15 years. And one of those drives was in a Prius! (But in winter, in light snow.)
#194 of 223 Good thorough review!
Oct 23, 2011 (4:52 am)
A little update here.I've decided to hold off buying for a while but my folks went with the Fiesta S sedan/auto tran about a month ago.After driving it a little more I'm liking it better but I still like the Civic best.But who knows what will be available when I take the plunge.I read Toyota is bringing back a hot new version of the Celica sometime in 2012.