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2013 Hyundai Accent Overview
2012 was no yawn year for the Accent, as Hyundai released its redesigned subcompact just as our gasoline gripes reached full volume. A low entry price, high efficiency and the most powerful engine in the category is a sturdy trifecta. Besides, people seemed to like what they saw with the Accent. Perhaps Hyundai has finally surpassed its reputation as a Korean Kar and passed over into automotive acceptance, but just in case you’re not convinced, they’re willing to tack on a few extra amenities for 2013.
That’s right, the 2013 Accent is here to offer more. It didn’t have to, either. The Accent topped sales figures amongst its class for several months in 2012, so it looks like Hyundai is just trying to cement its place. The Accent was already quite well-equipped through its three trims of GLS 4-door sedan and GS and SE 5-door hatchbacks. For 2013, heated side mirrors appear as standard fare on all three trim levels, not to mention air conditioning and an upgraded stereo with new MP3 inputs and satellite radio. You’ll also get remote-keyless entry as a standard feature across the lineup, and the sporty SE trim gets turn-signal indicators stuck into its side mirrors. If you want a further upgrade (and a way to differentiate the new one from the 2012 model), the SE can now be fitted with a power sunroof as well.
That’s a lot of tech for a supposedly entry-level offering. But we’ve come to expect a little more from Hyundai, ever since the first days of its 10-year/10,000-mile warranty. For the Accent, it starts with the most powerful engine in its class. Only the Chevy Sonic can match it, with the same horsepower rating of 138 and slightly more torque than the Accent’s 123 lb-ft. The direct-injection 1.6-liter engine has been a winner for Hyundai, powering the Elantra and Veloster as well as Kia offerings like the Rio and the Soul. Its light weight and relatively high power have proven a versatile combination, helped by tech like continuous variable valve timing on intake and exhaust. Paired with buyer’s choice of 6-speed manual or automatic transmissions, it even allows for a bit of fun from the sprightly Accent, especially when paired with the sport suspension in the SE.
Unfortunately, manufacturer estimates of the fuel economy run slightly high of real-world testing. Reviewers have reported falling as much as 5 mpg short of Hyundai’s 33 mpg city/40 highway figures. Even so, the Accent shouldn’t disappoint at the pump.
However there are shortcomings beyond some economy figure fudging. Rear visibility leaves much to be desired, especially in the GS and SE with their hatchback layout. Steering isn’t the best in the industry, although it's quite on par for the class. And the automatic transmission is a bit of a dog, especially when forced to climb. In this instance, the manual really is the better choice, for both fun and overall operation.
Last year’s redesign certainly lifted the Accent to a new level, as it had previously been left behind by the handling of the Mazda2, the tech of the Ford Fiesta and the finish of the Sonic. No, the Accent doesn’t surpass these models in any of those respects, but it still seems able to compete. Last year, the Accent saw a boost in sales of 51%. With continued improvements and upgrades like those we’re seeing for 2013, it doesn’t seem it’ll fall out of competition anytime soon.
by Michael Perkins
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Hyundai Accent Questions
Can Transmission Fluid Be Overfull
I have a 2013 Hyundai Accent with automatic transmission. When I went to change the oil I mistakenly removed the transmission plug and 2.5 liters came out. There is no dip stick and the capacity of ...