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BUYER’S GUIDE: 2018 Hyundai Accent Hatchback

A plethora of features it may not have; and neither does its strength lie in its safety amenities. But what it lacks for modern conveniences, it more than makes up for performance and efficiency, because at the end of the day, the Hyundai Accent hatchback doesn’t just walk the talk—it drives with a punch.

Exterior

One look at the Hyundai Accent hatchback and you’ll notice its difference from the sedan version–it’s smaller, sportier, and quite attractive to look at. Sharing the same ‘Fluidic Sculpture Design’ language as other models in the Hyundai lineup, this basically means that the design is meant to make the lines softer and harmonious so they are more aerodynamic.

Interiors

The interiors are basic–too basic. Not one shred of flair to distinguish it above everything else. And while we understand that it might be doing its best to make the price tag price competitive, we think there’s no problem if they add just a tad bit of aesthetic design–perhaps even using contrasting colors for its stitches. Then again, we think this car isn’t really meant to wow you with these kinds of things, because it’s meant to impress you with its–

Performance

Now, here’s where the Hyundai Accent shines. Highly-responsive and fast, this hatchback handles and drives well, and feels right at home on metro roads with–or without–traffic. This is especially true with its higher variant: the CRDI GL 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT). Highly versatile, not only does it offer smoother shifts and dynamic acceleration when driven fast on highways, you also won’t have to burn your calves using the clutch pedal whenever you shift gears. That way, you don’t get easily tired while driving. This is extremely helpful when you’re stuck in heavy traffic.

Comfort and Convenience

Hyundai’s penchant for anti-third millennium amenities extend to convenience and comfort. Nothing stands out here–except how standard everything is. The air conditioner is manual, and the seats are covered in fabric. Really, even the audio system is standard–a single DIN Radio with CD/ MP3/USB/AUX and 4 speakers. Actually, it’s okay, but if you want the best sound system, then you need to look far(ther). Or the very least you can do is ask Hyundai to change it to a 2-DIN head unit so you can at least add in some powerful amps and more updated audio features.

Safety

Safety features are desperately minimal–and needs updating. Barring the standard airbags and seatbelts, there are only three safety features that they offer for its manual variant: Anti-lock brakes, Electronic Stability Control, and Keyless Entry. Why only three, Hyundai?

All these safety features transport us back to the ’90s or at the turn of the 21st century. There’s not even a semblance of the 21st century here–except perhaps its dual-clutch variant that offers a Hill-Start Assist System (which technically speaking, was a 19th century invention as well).

Fuel efficiency

This is another one of the Accent’s strengths: Good fuel efficiency–especially the manual variant. In fact, this car is part of the 2016 DOE’s Eco Run awardees, with an average fuel consumption of 25.64 km/L and ranking 8th in its segment. However, it was dropped in 2017, with only its sedan brother continuing an impressive fourth rank in its Top 10 overall most fuel efficient diesel vehicles.

Engine and Specifications

Under the hood is a powerful 1.6-liter CRDi GL Six-Speed (for its Manual Transmission) and a 1.6 CRDi GL Seven-Speed (for its Dual-Clutch Transmission). Maximum power for both variants is 134 hp, and the torque–which is quite impressive–is at 260 Nm (for the manual variant) and 300 Nm (for the dual clutch transmission variant). That’s some good pulling power coming from such a small vehicle measuring 4,115 mm x 1700 mm x 1457 (LxWxH). Fuel capacity, however, is 43 liters, which falls a bit less than the standard 45. Still, that won’t be a problem, especially with an engine that’s designed for fuel-efficiency.

Our Verdict

The Hyundai Accent is for practical drivers who want a car that offers great performance and excellent fuel economy.

However, its two variants offer different features that will be attractive to different individuals. For instance, those who want overall good performance, faster and smoother acceleration, and better features can go with the 1.6 CRDi GL Seven-Speed DCT. On the other hand, those who prefer excellent fuel efficiency and a more better feel for the road can choose the 1.6 CRDi GL Six-Speed Manual.

Perhaps, one day, Hyundai will catch up with more modern features  and more inviting interiors. Let’s keep our fingers (and toes) crossed.

  • 1.6 CRDI GL 6 M/T (DSL) – PHP883,000
  • 1.6 CRDI GL 7 A/T-DCT (DSL) – PHP975,000
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