At a price of $9,985 (plus destination charges) for the base GL hatchback model, the 2011 Hyundai Accent is the least expensive new car on the U.S. market this year. Sold as a three-door hatchback or a four-door sedan, the subcompact 2011 Accent is hardly as stylish as competitors like the Ford Fiesta, but that may not matter to buyers seeking inexpensive new wheels.
The 2011 Accent is in the last year of the current model, with an all-new design expected for 2012. It shows its age in the interior, which is simple but dated, and far from luxurious. Cost-cutting shows up in a lack of cubbies, bins, and other storage amenities, and a slightly sloppiness in some of the trim fits. But the room inside is generous, with surprising amounts of space for both passengers and luggage. It’s noisy at speed, though.
The 110-horsepower, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine fitted to all Accent models is adequate for most driving, though passing at speed requires a lot of pre-planning and empty road ahead. It is paired to either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission. The EPA rates the 2011 Hyundai Accent with five-speed at 28 mpg city, 34 mpg highway, with a combined rating of 30 mpg. Switching from the manual to the automatic brings city mileage down to 27 mpg, raises the highway rating to 36 mpg, and ends up with the same combined rating of 30 mpg.
The Accent Blue model, available only with the five-speed manual, is the fuel-efficiency champ of the lineup. It uses a handful of modifications to raise highway mileage to 36 mpg, though city mileage is lower at 26 mpg, and the combined rating still sits solidly at 30 mpg.
The features on that inexpensive base model are few; it comes without a radio, air conditioning, power accessories, or even anti-lock brakes (one of very few cars left without that feature). One step up from the GL model, the GS adds AC and a tilting steering wheel, while the top SE hatchback adds sport suspension, cruise control, power accessories, a sunroof, a six-speaker audio system with USB and iPod inputs, 16-inch sport wheels, and other accessories. The Accent four-door sedan is only offered with top-of-the-line GLS trim. A Bluetooth hands-free connection isn’t available on any Accent model, however.
While the 2011 Hyundai Accent can claim to be the lowest base-priced offering on the market, it’s less appealing once you add up the cost of the options. Given the huge steps Hyundai has made with its 2010 Sonata mid-size sedan and 2011 Elantra compact sedan, we expect next year’s subcompact 2012 Accent to be a significant step forward from the current model.
For more details, see the full review of the 2011 Hyundai Accent on our sister site, TheCarConnection.
|3-Door HB Automatic (2)||MSRP||Invoice||MPG City||MPG Hwy|
|3-Door HB Manual (3)||MSRP||Invoice||MPG City||MPG Hwy|
|4-Door Sedan (2)||MSRP||Invoice||MPG City||MPG Hwy|
|Automatic GLS Specs||$14,695||$14,298||27||36|
|Manual GLS Specs||$13,695||$13,343||28||34|