In 2006, the Hyundai Accent sedan was completely redesigned, while the hatchback model was carried over from 2005; for 2007, the hatchback is updated to the sedan’s redesign. The 2007 sedan is virtually unchanged from 2006, except for the addition of a side marker light on the front fender.
While the Accent hatchback was available in two- or four-door configuration in 2006, the 2007 model is a two-door only (Hyundai counts the hatch and calls it a “three-door”). The company says it has no plans to add a four-door hatchback.
The sedan comes in GL, GL Comfort and GLS Premium trim, while the hatchback is available in GS, GS Comfort, GS Sport and GS Premium.
All use a 1.6-litre inline four-cylinder engine with continuously variable valve timing (CVVT) and a five-speed manual transmission that can be optioned to a four-speed automatic.
Features on the GL and GS include 14-inch steel wheels, CD/MP3 stereo with four speakers, digital clock, 12-volt power outlet, eight-way manual driver’s seat adjustment, 60/40 folding rear seatback, tilt wheel, manual adjustable mirrors, and variable intermittent wipers. The hatchback includes a rear wiper/washer.
The GL and GS Comfort add air conditioning, power locks with keyless entry, power windows with driver’s side auto-down, and dual heated mirrors.
The GS Sport, in hatchback configuration only, adds 16-inch alloy wheels, sport-tuned suspension, six-speaker stereo, leather-wrapped wheel, fog lights and power sunroof.
The GLS and GS Premium add 14-inch alloy wheels on the hatchback and 15-inch alloy wheels on the sedan, along with four-wheel disc brakes, ABS, six-speaker stereo, illuminated vanity mirrors, heated front seats, and side and curtain airbags.
The Accent has always been a decent little car for the money, and this new generation improves on the old, with a more powerful engine, better handling and an improved interior. The five-speed manual is one of the smoothest in this price point, and while everything’s plastic inside, the fit-and-finish is good and everything is textured.
The two-door hatchback is a well-styled little vehicle, and the rear seat is surprisingly roomy, with an easy-entry sliding front passenger seat. But inherent to the two-door design, it’s a long reach back to the front seatbelt, and if children need to be buckled into their seatbelts, it’s a long way for parents to reach.
The Sport hatchback adds bigger wheels and a stiffer suspension, but it’s surprising that Hyundai doesn’t make the rear discs and anti-lock brakes available on this model. None of the Accent models offer cruise control, which may turn off long-distance drivers who appreciate autopilot. Compare the Accent to others in the segment, which include the Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit, Kia Rio, Chevrolet Aveo and Pontiac Wave.
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