2012 Hyundai Accent Review
With an attractive exterior, exceptional fuel economy ratings, a roomy cabin and plenty of cargo space, test drivers think the 2012 Hyundai Accent is a hot-ticket item.
Underwhelming performance and limited interior features left the 2011 Hyundai Accent in the dust compared to small cars like the Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit and Mazda2. Hyundai hopes to change the Accent’s bargain bin reputation with a redesigned 2012 model that has a stylish exterior, more tech features and a lot more horsepower.
“Before, the Accent perfectly represented the bland aesthetics and underwhelming excitement that most subcompact buyers settled for,” says Edmunds. “This all-new version of the entry-level Hyundai now shares the sharp styling of the similarly reimagined Sonata and Elantra, making it more an object of pride than embarrassment for a new owner."
As a whole, other reviewers agree with Edmunds. Owners of the 2012 Hyundai Accent won’t park behind their office building, and kids won’t duck in their seats, because the 2012 Accent is a cute little car that sheds the 2011 model’s frumpy exterior.
Stacked against rivalsAccent’s 138-horsepower engine makes the most horsepower, but according to reviewers, it’s not the most fun to drive. The Mazda2 and Honda Fit top the Accent in that department, even though the Mazda2 makes just 100 horsepower and the Fit makes 117. However, people looking for an inexpensive vehicle with a standard USB port, satellite radio, good trunk space, comfortable front and rear seats and the highest non-hybrid fuel economy ratings in the class, the 2012 Hyundai Accent is a dependable, practical and affordable pick.
Other Cars to Consider
Before purchasing a Hyundai Accent, you should check out the redesigned 2012 Kia Rio. Like the Accent, the new Rio doesn’t look like a budget car, and comes with a higher quality interior and more standard safety interior features than the model it replaces. The 2012 Kia Rio will start at about $13,000, and like the Accent, it has a 1.6-liter engine that makes 138 horsepower. If you’re looking for a car that’s inexpensive and doesn’t drive or look like it, the 2012 Kia Rio is a small car you should consider.
You should also consider the Ford Fiesta. Like the Hyundai Accent, it’s also available as a sedan and hatchback, and doesn’t come standard with satellite radio or a USB port. The Fiesta is an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick, making it one of the safest affordable small cars on the market, and a good alternative if you want a hatchback with a more youthful flair.
It’s hard to find an affordable small car that’s fun to drive, but if you can spend about $15,000, your best options are the Mazda2 and Honda Fit. Their engines produce less horsepower than the Accent, but they drive like they have more power and have better cornering capabilities. The Mazda2 and Fit, however, can’t match the Accent’s 30/40 mpg city/highway ratings.
Details: 2012 Hyundai Accent
Hyundai gave the Accent a complete overhaul for the 2012 model year. Changes start on the outside with an exterior that matches other models in the Hyundai lineup like the Elantra and Sonata. The 2012 Hyundai Accent also gets a more powerful 1.6-liter engine that makes 138 horsepower, a figure that tops the Mazda2 and Ford Fiesta. The cabin is larger than the outgoing model, and is available with more features such as optional Bluetooth and standard USB connectivity and satellite radio, but navigation and a sunroof are not available at all.
The 2012 Hyundai Accent is available in sedan and hatchback styles. The base sedan, which comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, starts at about $14,200 and comes with air conditioning, AM/FM radio, XM satellite radio, USB jack, power windows and side mirrors.
- "The redesigned Accent moves up a few notches not only in standard safety equipment, available features, power, and fuel economy, but also in price; the lowest-cost version with air conditioning now starts at about $15,000 with destination, and that's with a manual transmission. As such, it's not the bargain-basement transport it used to be, but it does offer a fine combination of room, refinement, features, and performance for the money." -- Consumer Guide
- "Thanks to products such as Accent, Hyundai is offering strong value for the money. Compare this car's legroom, equipment and price points to its chief competitors, and the comparison works out in Accent's favor." -- Popular Mechanics
- "The Accent now runs away from the rest of the segment in terms of value and features." -- Cars.com
- "Based on this first drive, the new Korean hatch has all the makings of one of the best all-around vehicles in the segment. With plenty of power, space and fuel efficiency in a low-cost package, Hyundai has hit all the right notes. Now, about a sporty version ... " -- Autoblog
- "It doesn't compete with the Mazda2 or Honda Fit in the fun-to-drive category. That's never been the Accent’s strong suit." -- Motor Trend