Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Punchy Pair's No Lightweight in Competitive Segment; It's a Big Year for Hyundai, with Four New Cars Set to Hit Showrooms. Grant Edwards Was in Sydney for the Launch of the Marque's Latest Edition

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Punchy Pair's No Lightweight in Competitive Segment; It's a Big Year for Hyundai, with Four New Cars Set to Hit Showrooms. Grant Edwards Was in Sydney for the Launch of the Marque's Latest Edition

Article excerpt

HYUNDAI is not covering its bases ... more like smothering them.

An all-new compact Accent has this month joined the family Down Under in sedan and hatch guises, fitting snugly in a gap between the i20 and i30.

With a starting price of just under 17 grand it's another example of the Korean carmaker opting for value over bargain-basement pricing.

And it's a timely arrival for the alighta sizer, as the segment accounts for one in four cars sold and Aussies are gravitating toward smaller cars. The pint-size Getz is just about to run out of supply here, which will leave a hefty sales hole.

The Getz has regularly made up more than a quarter of the brand's sales. Even in July, it still owned 10% of light car sales nationally.

But Hyundai has a plan. The company calls it anew thinking, new possibilitiesa.

Spearheading the Hyundai evolution this year is the Elantra (launched a couple of months ago) and Accent, which will soon be followed by the i40 wagon and sporty Veloster three-door.

But for now it's the Accent which is the new kid on the block.

This is the fourth Hyundai we've seen with the aFluidic Sculpturea design language, featuring a bold crease around the waist.

It's a classy looking offering in both sedan and hatch and it's hoped that this model will lure the male vote. Mainly women have embraced the i20, and now the blokes are firmly in Hyundai sights.

Currently it's only available with a 1.6-litre petrol, but a turbo-diesel is in the pipeline.

Comfort

Space front and back is impressive. Four adults can be carried without issue, with leg and head room reasonable even in the rear. No complaints about the seats, although the driver has to make do with only vertical adjustment of the steering wheel.

The dials, gauges and buttons are sensibly positioned and simple to operate. While there is reasonable use of hard plastics, things don't feel cheap or flimsy and the overall ambiance of one of quality through the three levels of specification.

There are some handy storage areas, good-size glove box and two bottle holders in the centre console as well as in the doors.

Aimed at the city-dweller, the Accent performed quietly along city streets with little noise entering the cabin.

On the road

The 1.6-litre petrol engine will not throw you back in your seat at the insistence of your right foot, but it does feel like a consistent and dependable package.

We sampled both the four-speed automatic and the five-speed manual, with the latter our preference. The auto had a tendency to feel thrashy if you summonsed power too quickly whereas the manual was crisper and quicker to accelerate.

During the metropolitan drive route we didn't get the opportunity to sample the Accent at highway speeds, and at 80kmh it sits about 2200rpm so we can only estimate it would go close to 3000rpm at 110kmh where engine noise may disturb the cabin ambience. …

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