Hyundai is a popular brand among the Philippine buyers due the fact that it provides vehicles with exceptional fuel economy as well as performance. It has served the customer base in the Philippines with its world-class productions since its inception. One such example is the Hyundai Accent. After a 3 year gap, the South Korean brand brought back Accent to lure the potential buyers across the country. The sedan has proved its mettle in the country attracting new customers with every passing day. However, the majority of sales of this popular sedan were accounted by the taxi owners due to its incredible fuel efficiency. It served the purpose brilliantly for the corporate fleets as well.
With a refined diesel engine complimenting its performance quotient and extremely pleasing interiors in addition to the economical 1.6-litre CRDi VGT and 1.4-litre Kappa Dual CVVT engine, the Accent has proved its worth to the buyers in the Philippines. But, does it actually solves the purpose behind those mesmerizing sharp edges and design, we at CarBay look to take off the cover of deception, if there is one from the groovy Accent.
Over the years, the manufacturer has been working on its own design language, which finally they have sculptured through Accent. Yes, I am talking about the language, which Hyundai calls it a Fluidic design language. It was about 12 PM when I with my co-partner, Jake were waiting for the test mule to be presented to us. ‘WOW’ was the word which came up on my mind as soon as the Accent was parked in front of me. It was the Sleek Silver 1.4 L CVT Accent that was presented to us for the drive. It was a wonderful day with bright sunshine and atmosphere absolutely perfect for taking the car on a roll through the city congested streets plus on a smooth expressway experience.
The brand has certainly gone a level higher with its styling and has granted the groovy sedan a look that can stun anyone through the way. Sporty, sharp, handsome and stylish are some of the adjectives that perfectly describes the Accent. With a well-contoured hood, Hyundai’s trademark hexagonal grille, thick chrome slat at the centre and eagle eyes Bi-function projection headlamps with LED positioning lamp, the front of the Accent was authoritative retaining its style quotient at the same time. You cannot miss out on those L-shaped modern fog lamps housed lower down the bumper and body colored door handles. The sleek and sharp door mounted ORVMs add to its magnificence further. Moving to its side quarter profile was an icing to the cake as its rising waistline gave it a coupe-like silhouette, which literally took my brain off. Wait, it had more to its exterior splendor. Yes, don’t dare to miss out on its raised rear end that accentuated a boot lid spoiler and a pair of wraparound tail lamps.
Overall, the external appeal was best in class with a lot of cuts and slashes throughout the body starting from the hood and front bumper to doors and the rear profile. Personally, I dreamt of owning a car with such styling cues all my life. Hyundai designers have certainly put in a lot of effort to grace it with stupendous looks and unmatched character.
It was then time to enter in. I prefer entering at the rear side first before we actually took it on a roll. The seats were well-cushioned with a reclined feel similar to that of a sofa. The legroom on offer was immense and I (height 6’1”) was pretty comfortable sitting there. However, the concern there was the under thigh support. I hardly get that support underneath. The dark colored seats were perfectly complimenting the black interiors of the car while the headrests were nicely placed aiding the comfort of the rear passengers. The door handles provide adequate support while the storage compartments were present in good numbers that could serve pretty handy on long journeys. Although, it looked from outside that there isn’t enough space at its rear end due to its sloping roofline but that wasn’t the case. Being a 6 feet tall, I was pretty comfortable there.
Finally sitting behind the wheel. The dash was well laid up with silver accents here and there enhancing its appeal while the three-spoke steering wheel was height adjustable. At the centre, there was a LCD touchscreen with AM/FM/CD/DVD/MP3+USB/AUX-in/iPod connectivity. This screen also served as the basis for navigation system in addition to entertainment front. The inbuilt-audio system was up to the mark, which constituted a total of 4 speakers. Lower down the screen was the automatic climate control that ensured the climate is optimum at all times. The blue illumination was pleasing to eyes even in the dark and doesn’t feel itchy to eyes.
As far as storage compartments were concerned, there were plenty. Each door had compartments for bottles while the doors also had left out openings near the arm support for your further knicks and knacks. Plus, there was a large storage space just below the centre console, two cup holders near the handbrake, a bottle holder at the rear of transmission tunnel and a good storage compartment beneath that cushioned, a deep glove box and nicely placed armrest on the right side of the driver. Further, there is 389 litres of cargo space that can easily accommodate four large luggage items and two soft bags over them too, which is quite a bit on offer as far as storage is concerned.
Finally, it was time to roll it through and know exactly what it has in store for us. It underpinned 1.4-litre Kappa Dual CVVT Multi-Point Injection gasoline engine that was mingled to a CVT gearbox whose power is rated at 100 PS at 6000 rpm and a peak torque of 133 Nm. The engine is quiet and smooth, you’ll hardly hear anything inside the cabin as far as this variant is concerned. But, for the diesel trim you might have to compromise a bit on the same, however the quietness is still intact to a great extent for the diesel model too. At low revs, the car was smooth and served the cause significantly on the city roads, but it certainly had a different story altogether on open roads. The engine was quite responsive for the matter when it required to overtake hurdles with a punch. However, it lacked that enthusiastic punch over the expressways and was dull through the route after a certain level.
The suspension system has been softly-tuned especially for city commutes to absorb the bumps and potholes with ease. Within city boundaries you’ll hardly feel a bump whether you are a part of rear gang or a front passenger. It’ll glide you through the way with minimal stress. However, when it comes to high speed roads, its soft suspension causes a bit of worry. At times, it feels that car’s suspension isn’t ready to respond making it difficult to control through turns. The ultra-light electronic power steering seems too loose at times and doesn’t seem to wave along nicely. When pushing through the corners, it just doesn’t accept the order and you won’t feel confident in doing the same too as it doesn’t look planted for the matter.
At moderate speeds, you won’t feel anything fishy and it is pretty easy to cruise along. The passengers as well won’t feel the sense of discomfort at any instant. However, the suspension of Accent has been designed purely to provide unmatched comfort to passengers and is meant for your joyous city drives. At high speeds, you’ll even feel that car’s rear soft suspension system might even crash in unwanted potholes. So, consider it as a city commuter rather than a highway centric machine.
In the Philippines, Hyundai Accent is offered in nine variants, five petrol and four diesel, which are as follows:
With the premium equipment, eye-popping design and plush interiors, it is definitely a value for money buy for daily city commuters and is not recommended for the ones who like that extra punch over the high speed roads. The suspension is too soft and is meant for city driving, so if you are willing to buy a sedan for maneuvering through city roads then we’ll give Accent a clear thumbs up while high-speed character is still missing in this vehicle.