2005 Hyundai Accent Information
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As one of the least-expensive personal modes of four-wheeled transportation, the Hyundai Accent is not only a very attractive alternative to a used car, but has worked hard to become a great new-car buy all its own, especially with standard side-impact airbags.
Simplifying the order process is the one-stop, one-engine approach to life: a 104-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder.
A five-speed manual transmission is standard, while a four-speed automatic is optional.
The Accent's look is not unlike that of Kia Rio (Hyundai owns Kia), which, not coincidentally, sells for about the same price.
This year, the three-door-hatchback is available in GLS/GT configurations while the sedan arrives only in GLS trim.
With a $10,000 base sticker price plus freight to your dealership, impressive five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and roadside assistance for the duration, the Accent proves to be a popular choice for first-time buyers, or for people who simply want to save money
The Hyundai Accent is an exceptional value, with a long list of standard equipment and trim. At this price, buying a new car with up-to-date safety equipment may make more sense than buying an older used car. And to eliminate worries about maintenance costs, Hyundai backs the Accent with one of the best warranties in the business. The Accent is roomy and comfortable, and surprisingly refined for such an inexpensive car. Its twin-cam 1.6-liter engine is gutsy, and zippy performance makes these cars fun to drive. The Accent offers surprisingly sophisticated ride and handling. The GT ratchets up the latter with a sports suspension and other goodies.
Hyundai's 60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper protection plan shields the owner against a variety of problems, while the powertrain is warranted for 100,000 miles. The plan even includes five years of roadside assistance with lockout and emergency towing service. If the car title is transferred, the powertrain is still protected for the first 50,000 miles or five years from dealer sale. That's peace of mind.
Hyundai Accent is available in three-door hatchback and four-door sedan body styles. All Accent models are powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with double overhead cams and four valves per cylinder rated 103 horsepower.
The three-door Accent GLS ($9,999) is the entry-level model, but nevertheless comes standard with five-speed manual transmission, power steering, tachometer and digital clock, cut-pile carpeting, multi-adjustable drivers seat with fold-down arm-rest, tinted glass with sunshade band, an AM/FM/cassette stereo, center console, vanity mirror, tilt steering, intermittent wipers, a 60/40 split folding rear seat, and rear windshield wiper/washer. Safety equipment includes dual front airbags and front-seat side airbags. The GLS three-door can also be ordered with four-speed automatic transmission ($10,799)
The GLS is also available as a four-door sedan with five-speed manual transmission ($10,499) or four-speed automatic ($11,299). The sedan comes standard with all the features of the hatchback GLS, except a remote trunk release is substituted for the rear windshield washer/wiper.
The sporty three-door Accent GT hatchback ($10,599) comes with all the same features as the GLS, plus sport-tuned suspension, 14-inch alloy wheels and 185/60 HR14 tires, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, white-face gauges, body-colored rocker moldings and rear spoiler, front fog lights and sport cloth seats. The GT is also available with four-speed automatic transmission ($11,399).
All Accent models can be upgraded by adding air conditioning ($795); the Popular Equipment Package ($1,290) which includes air conditioning, six-speaker stereo CD upgrade, power windows, mirrors and door locks; and a complete accessory group ($1,695) which includes anti-lock brakes as well as the Popular Equipment Package options.
Anti-lock brakes can only be purchased with the full accessory package, and we strongly recommending getting them.
The overall form of the Hyundai Accent is a low-slung wedge topped by a steeply raked windshield and a tall wrap of window glass. There's a fast slope to the front hood and a brief back deck. The three-door model is shaped more like a sedan than a traditional hatchback. Hyundai calls it a hatchback coupe.
The Hyundai Accent is neatly styled, with the hood flowing smoothly up from the body-colored front bumper and back to the windshield. Oblong front light clusters blending back around the new fenders flank a grid-like body-color grille over a lower air inlet in the bumper. The look is at once soft, yet alert. The grille and light combination gives the Accent's face a cute, wide-eyed and cheery quality we find appealing.
Feature lines on the sides flow into the high tail lights, suggesting speed and action. At the rear, the sharply-sculpted body-colored bumper may be a trifle busy, but the overall look is appealing. The spoiler and lower bodyside molding on the GT blend nicely into the car's overall lines so they don't look like aftermarket add-ons.
Hyundai Accent was designed to maximize interior room. Its tall windows, generously sized bucket seats and multi-level console all contribute to an overall impression of spaciousness. The higher rear roof line on the hatchback adds to the feeling of interior space.
Those form-fitting front bucket seats feel substantial and supportive. Packed with high-density foam, they feature swoopy indentations and firm side bolsters. The driver's seat is comfortable, and adjusts to fit even a tall frame. High off the floor, it provides excellent visibility through those tall windows all around.
The front seats in GL and GT models move in multiple ways to conform for leg length, seat height, lumbar curve, seatback tilt and headrest position. Also, the driver's seat (on GL and GT editions) provides a right-side armrest that folds up and out of the way when not wanted. Three-point seatbelts adjust for height. The curvaceous front door panels include an integrated armrest and a generous map pocket low near the floor.
The instrument panel orients the driver with large, clearly marked gauges set immediately forward of the steering wheel. These consist of a speedometer and tachometer with flanking dials indicating fuel level and engine temperature. (The base model omits the tachometer.) On base and GL models, white markings and red pointers over a dark gray field ensure an attractive appearance and easy readability. Accent GT gets fashionable white-faced gauges.
The surfaces of the doors and dash, coated in soft-touch synthetic material, feel refined, even sophisticated, which is unexpected for the class. The GT gets leather coverings for the steering wheel and shift knob.
The Hyundai Accent accelerates briskly and rides smoothly. Its twin-cam, 16-valve, 1.6-liter inline-4 produces 103 horsepower at 5800 rpm, and 106 pound-feet of torque at just 3000 rpm. That's a good amount of low-speed torque for a four-cylinder. With its light weight, the Accent launches quickly into fast traffic, and easily keeps pace with highway speeds. We found the Accent relatively quiet inside. The stiff structure of the body, plenty of sound-deadening insulation, and double door seals all work to block out noise from the motor and surrounding traffic.
The whole package weighs in at only about 2300 pounds, which explains in part why the Accent feels zippy. Cars are getting heavier and heavier these days, but Hyundai has bucked the trend. Weight is bad for acceleration, stopping distances, handling, and fuel economy. The Accent's favorable power-to-weight ratio combines with slippery aerodynamics and well-selected gear ratios to make the most of the engine's torque. Mileage is rated at 29 city and 33 highway for the five-speed manual transmission, and 26/35 mpg with the four-speed automatic.
Even the base model Accent is fun to drive and the sporty GT is definitely grin-producing. Accent handles mountain switchbacks with a poise and agility unexpected from a car in this price class.
Accent's relatively long wheelbase and all-independent suspension provide a smooth-riding platform. Yet the Accent responds quickly to the driver's demands. Steering geometry is optimized with a high caster angle to reduce front-end lift when accelerating or nose-dive during braking. Anti-roll (stabilizer) bars front and rear reduce body lean when cornering. To isolate noise and vibration, all of the front end's mechanical parts are attached via a sub-frame. That kind of sophisticated suspension engineering is rarely found in this price-conscious class, and it helps temper road noise.
Hyundai Accent does not behave like the low-budget economy car that its low price tag implies. Instead, it offers great value-for-money, with sophisticated mechanical equipment and comfortable amenities. Hyundai Accent is an impressive value with brisk performance, nimble handling, and a smooth and quiet ride. Accent comes with an aggressive warranty. New Car Test Drive editor Mitch McCullough is based in Southern California. Bob Plunkett contributed to this report.
2005 Hyundai Accent: Highlights
Hyundai's smallest car gets available antilock brakes for 2005. Accent offers GLS and GT models. GLS is offered as a 2-dr hatchback and a 4-dr sedan. The GT is a 2-dr hatchback. All use a 1.6-liter 4-cyl engine with either manual or automatic transmission. Front side airbags are standard. For '05, ABS is offered in a $1685 option package that also includes air conditioning, power windows and locks, and a CD player. This South Korean automaker's warranty is one of the industry's longest at 5-years/60,000-mi. bumper-to-bumper and 10/100,000 powertrain.
Competition Consumer Guide® Automotive places each vehicle into one of 17 classes based on size, price, and market position.Compact Cars comprise the smallest passengers cars. These vehicles range from tiny economy models to slightly larger popularly priced sedans, hatchbacks, and wagons.
Accent is redesigned for 2006 along with the related Rio at Hyundai-owned Kia. A new front-wheel-drive platform brings more-rounded sedan styling and larger dimensions to both versions. Accent grows 1.8 inches longer, an inch wider, and no less than 3 inches taller on a 2.3-inch longer wheelbase. The added height allows front seats to stand some 2 inches higher than in previous Accents. The only engine is a new 110-hp 1.6-liter 4-cyl with continuously variable valve timing, a technical surprise for a small low-priced car. Transmissions are the usual 5-speed manual and optional 4-speed automatic.
Unlike Rio's two trim levels, the '06 Accent comes only as a GLS sedan. Hatchbacks are dropped, at least for now. Curtain side airbags and front torso side airbags are standard, another unexpected extra for this class. Other no-cost features include 14-inch wheels (replacing 13s), CD player, tilt steering column, 60/40 split folding rear seat, and 8-way manual driver's seat. Options include antilock brakes, 15-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, power windows/door locks with remote entry, and heated power mirrors. Pricing won't be announced until just before sales begin this summer. Keep checking back with us for further updates.
Meantime, the new Accent and Rio will be home to the first gas/electric powertrain designed and built by a Korean automaker. According to Hyundai, the hybrid option will reach North America by late 2006, a year or so sooner than first planned, but sales will be limited to around 2000 cars per year between the two brands. Who so few? Hyundai says it can't make money with hybrids, at least not yet, even though hybrid pioneer Toyota claims that every Prius it sells does make money. But Hyundai's statements could be intended to confuse Toyota, Honda and other players while it prepares a much bigger assault on America's fast-growing hybrid-vehicle market. Stay tuned.
Introduced in 1995, the Hyundai Accent surprised people (our staff included) with its solid construction and decent equipment list for a vehicle positioned at the bottom end of the economy car segment. Hyundai redesigned the Accent for the 2000 model year, and our experience has shown that this car, too, is a decent buy for those seeking basic transportation. It goes about its business in an orderly fashion and doesn't annoy the driver with grievous deficiencies or unpleasant surprises.
A top-notch warranty doesn't hurt either; like all Hyundai cars, the Accent is backed by a 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage and five years of roadside assistance. A restyle in 2003 resulted in a more modern-looking exterior, and ABS is finally available as of this year. Good luck finding an ABS-equipped Accent on the lot, though, as Hyundai dealers tend not to stock this safety feature on lower-end models. Nevertheless, of the entry-level economy cars on the market today, the Accent is one of the most likable -- it's more refined than the Kia Rio and it's a better value than the Toyota Echo. If you're convinced that a gently used import -- like Hyundai's Elantra or more obvious choices like the Civic, Corolla or Sentra -- won't do, you could certainly do worse than a 2005 Hyundai Accent.
Body Styles, Trim Levels and Options:
The Hyundai Accent is available either as a two-door hatchback or four-door sedan. The hatchback is offered in two levels of trim -- GLS and GT -- while the sedan comes in GLS trim only. The GLS hatchback and sedan come with 13-inch steel wheels, body-side moldings, tinted glass, a tachometer, a cassette player, a rear defroster, power steering, variable intermittent wipers and a folding rear seat. The GT hatchback offers 14-inch alloy wheels, a sport suspension, cloth sport seats, body-color rocker moldings, white-faced gauges, front foglamps, a rear spoiler and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. All Accents can be equipped with air conditioning, floor mats, a rear spoiler, mudguards or a cargo net for the trunk.
Powertrains and Performance:
Hyundai offers one engine for the Accent -- a 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder that makes 104 horsepower and 106 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, and a four-speed automatic is optional. We've tried both transmissions and have found them equally acceptable in their operation -- if you drive in an area with heavy traffic, we'd recommend the automatic. Mileage is rated at 29 city/33 highway with a manual and 26/35 with an automatic.
The Hyundai Accent offers standard side airbags and front seatbelt pre-tensioners. Antilock brakes are optional on all models. In government crash testing, the sedan earned four out of five stars for driver and front-passenger protection in frontal impacts. Side-impact tests resulted in five stars for front and four stars for rear-passenger protection. The hatchback earned five stars for the driver, and four stars in all other tests.
Interior Design and Special Features:
Interiors feature an easy-to-read instrument panel and a center stack with straightforward climate and radio controls. The GT features white-faced gauges and more upscale sport seats. The hatchbacks offer 16.9 cubic feet of luggage capacity with the backseat in use.
Along with passable acceleration, the 2005 Hyundai Accent provides a fine ride, and its small size makes it easy to maneuver in crowded urban areas. But don't go looking for revelations in handling when the road turns twisty. The Accent's base tires are small, and neither they nor the suspension deal well with quick transitions -- resulting in limited grip and considerable body roll.
Seems like the Accent 5-door should be an all-new car but not so. The 2005 Hyundai Accent 5-door is identical to the 4-door GLS sedan but with the addition of a fifth, hatch-style opening as an alternative to a conventional trunk. All else remains the same, which is to say a small, economical economy car that's fun to drive and comes with a very comforting warranty. Price $12,199. Warranty: powertrain 10 yr/100,000 mi.; total vehicle 5 yr/60,000 mi. EPA fuel mileage: 29 city/33 highway.
In the strange world of automobile marketing there is an unspeakable thing known as the "h-word." Do not let your children hear it, never utter it in a public place, snub giggling teenagers who use it when they think no one's listening. This being a Web site I will assume you to be more sophisticated than most, and so will now reveal the h-word in all its horror. Ready? Hatchback! So there, I've said it and I'm feeling better. Obviously the executives at Hyundai were not going to associate themselves with anything so nasty, which explains why our test car is called an Accent5; "5" referring to the five doors. It may even be that Hyundai USA's marketing people still haven't summoned the courage to say Hatchback, for at this writing the Accent5 is only available in Canada. However, on the assumption they will soon come to their senses, and because the 5-door is nearly identical to the 3- and 4-door Accent GLS sold in the US, I beg my southern neighbors to keep reading. After all, if you ignore the doors, the Accent is nice little economy car with a 10-year powertrain and 5-year total-car warranty that should put to rest any fears you may have regarding quality. Furthermore, the Accent is, like most cars of its type, fun to drive.
In the Driver's Seat
Another odd industry habit is the model change, albeit no longer annual. This is either an advantage to the consumer - a better car - or a disadvantage if you feel that constant improvement makes more sense than massive redesign. I mention this because the Accent has fallen behind the competition in one respect and will remain there until the all-new '06 model comes out: ergo, most other cars in its class are easier to access, having switched to "tall car" styling that offers more rear seat legroom and larger door openings along with higher seat placement. But let's assume those matters don't concern you, in which case you'll find little to complain about when sitting up front, for leg and head room is decent, seats are comfortable, and sightlines (the ability to see clearly) are excellent. The latter is one reason why the Accent is a pleasure to drive, as sightlines improve safety and make slotting into small spaces effortless. Instruments are clearly read in the Accent5, temperature and radio controls are kept simple and within reach. Seats are manually adjusted but the steering tilt adjuster requires too much muscle. Power windows, mirrors (heated), remote door locks, and side airbags are standard.
On the Road
If I seem to have been a bit nasty when referring to the Accent's design, let me rectify this somewhat by repeating one of its virtues: the Hyundai Accent is a fun car to drive. Our partners at Edmunds were critical of its handling and "buzzy" engine but I disagree and so did our Robert Bowden when he tested one last year. Because of its size, quick and responsive steering, and 4-wheel-independent suspension, the Accent is a car you can throw around by the seat of your pants. That, by my standards, is what fun driving's all about. As for the engine being buzzy I'll admit it is loud when under acceleration but it's a sound I associate with small sports cars. At 104 hp and 106 lbs/ft. of torque, the 1600 c.c. 4-cylinder engine provides spirited performance with fuel-sipping mileage. If I may be forgiven for reviving an ad headline I wrote eons ago: "it hugs the road, not your wallet." Colleague Colin Hefferon felt the 5-speed manual transmission was "notchy," though it slots into each gear directly. On the highway the engine quietens to a purr and as I've also tested an Accent with automatic I can assure you it performs well either way. Which should please the older drivers who favor this car in my neck of the woods.
You'll note that I've avoided the dreaded h-word, though in my view there is no better configuration for a family car than a hatchback; the versatility and convenience exceeds that of a sedan. That's especially true with small and compact cars where maximizing space is essential, thus the Accent5 is a better proposition than an Accent 4-door. But you'll note that it looks exactly like the sedan. The hatch cutline and the addition of a rear window wiper are the only clues until you open that fifth door and gaze into the voluminous cargo hold. Considering the Accent5 is priced only $200 more than the GLS, it leaves me dumbfounded that Hyundai USA hasn't yet added the car to its vehicle list, especially when the addition of the fifth door gives new life to a line that is due to be replaced in less than a year. Meanwhile, for those of you south of the border, consider this review an endorsement of the Accent sedan you can purchase today. It's fun, it's frugal, it's protected by that fantastic warranty. It is also cramped in the back seat unless the front seat occupants are short, and without that hatch, trunk room is only adequate. As for the letter "h," it also stands for Hyundai. Feel free to repeat it in good company.
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