The new reason
By now, Hyundai’s success story is well documented and the Korean manufacturer has carefully crafted its tracks in the local motor industry. With over 50,000 units sold last year, Hyundai’s S.A. division ranks 13th worldwide and has helped the global brand from 6th to 5th position for car makers.
Keen to increase their footprint on local soil even more, Hyundai just launched an Accent hatchback to slot between the successful i20 and i30 models. Previously only available as a small sedan, the new sloping-back Accent retains its donor’s 2,570mm wheelbase, 1.7m width and 1,457mm height.
The sedan’s 389L boot is almost matched by the hatchback’s 370L and most journalists at the car’s recent launch noted that its exterior styling is agreeable with a hint of i30 at the back. The front and most of its sides are exact duplicates of the sedan, while a small roof spoiler accents this newcomer.
Hyundai’s “Fluidic Sculpture” design language is also strong with this one, a hexagonal front grill and snazzy fog lights define its front end, followed by stylish creases down the sides which neatly integrate into the rear bumper and lights. The steeply rising window line merges beautifully with a small rear windscreen.
Rear visibility is very limited but Hyundai thankfully provides rear park assist as standard. Other standard features are 16-inch alloy wheels, remote central locking, immobilizer, air-con, power steering, power windows and mirrors, super vision instrument cluster with trip computer, six airbags and four disc ABS brakes with EBD.
The adjustable multi-function steering wheel has buttons for most functions of the six-speaker sound system with radio, CD, USB, ipod, Aux and Bluetooth inputs. Up to five adults will find decent space in stylish cloth seats and Hyundai dealers will be happy to sell you some cuts of leather for about N$8,000.
The cabin layout is modern and stylish with shiny trim pieces and blue screens offsetting the black surfaces. All materials have a quality feel and interesting textures while everything feels sturdy and well put together – on our long launch route we didn’t hear any squeaks or rattles from our chosen Accent hatchback.
Power comes from a 1.6-litre in-line four cylinder petrol engine with a choice of six-speed manual or four-speed automatic gearbox. Peak power outputs are 91kW (124hp) or 156Nm, resulting in a 0-100km/h sprint of 10.2 seconds (11.4 for automatic). Top speeds are 190 and 184km/h.
Average fuel consumption is 6.4 or 6.8L/100km and CO2 emissions just 152 or 161g/km. All Accent hatchbacks have a 43L petrol tank, 5.2m turning radius, full size spare wheel, and a suspension made up of McPherson struts up front and a coupled torsion beam at the back.
Our overall impression from various routes at the car’s launch was very satisfactory. Steering and pedal feel is light and easy, as is the operation of that six-speed gearbox. Although most cars only had delivery mileage showing, we found the 1,600 engine to be willing and smooth at all but very high speeds.
Prices are N$234,900 for the manual and N$10,000 more for an automatic. It’s available in one of seven colours and comes with Hyundai’s 5-year/150,000km warranty and 5-year/90,000km service plan. And by slotting in between two other popular Hyundai hatches, it gives you another reason to consider this brand.