Auto

Hyundai freshens up its accent

BY RORY DALEY
Observer writer

Friday, August 24, 2018

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For Hyundai, it starts with the Accent. The model leads the company's sedan line-up and, for 2018, it's been redesigned to offer a higher-value proposition compared to its rivals, with expectations to keep owners within the brand's vehicular eco-system.

Externally, styling is more evolutionary, than revolutionary compared to the previous model. Buyers in the compact sedan segment tend to be very conservative and, overall, the Accent is kept in check visually as not to offend. The 2018 Hyundai Accent's external appearance falls in line with more of the brand's corporate face, which includes a larger front grill. There's no mistaking it's anything than a Hyundai from straight ahead. Following the current trend of sportiness, the rear roof line has an aggressive slope, giving it a coupé-like lower profile.

Step inside the 2018 Accent and one is met with a well-designed interior that boasts Hyundai's current quality levels. Ergonomics are spot on, as all major functions can be accessed via intuitive controls which are within reach of the front passengers. Rear passengers won't have to worry about room either, as despite the roof line curve entry, space is fine. Extra space can be had for cargo as the rear seats have a 60/40 split, with trunk access.

The stereo system is on par with segment rivals. Behind the small screen is the Hyundai infotainment system used across all its models — meaning it runs smoothly, has good sound quality, and can be controlled from steering wheel-mounted buttons. It also has all the audio and phone connectivity many would need — USB and Bluetooth.

Under the hood, the Accent is powered by a 130bhp 1.6-litre engine. It's a gutsy and rev-happy motor that departs from the formula of its competition. Instead of a continuously variable transmission, it uses a normal six-speed automatic transmission. This gives it a more traditional feel on the road, especially during acceleration. Hyundai's SHIFTRONIC feature allows those who want to shift their own gears to do so. On the move, the Accent delivers a good level of refinement. In traffic one can simply roll along, enjoying the low cabin noise and a suspension that's able to soak up road imperfections. For those who want a bit more spirit in their commute, the car can cope as well. The suspension then manages to rein in body roll, keeping the Hyundai composed under hard cornering. Once done, it can settle back down to its main role as efficient transportation.

FINAL WORD

MODEL: 2018 Hyundai Accent
ENGINE: 1.6-litre - 130bhp/119lb/ft
DRIVETRAIN: 6-speed Automatic/front-wheel drive
SUMMARY: Seeing 700+ kilometers of range will never get old.

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