Europcar graced me with the Hyundai Accent 1.6 this last weekend in Cape Town. It’s not Hyundai’s newest offering, and the accent has been around for a while, this being it’s second guise. I have had no inclination to drive this car at any point, but seeing as I now have, I thought I’d put it on ‘paper’
Looks wise – I’d rather watch paint dry on a hot summers day in the Nevada desert.
Interior and build quality– Plastic, plastic and more plastic. They’ve made an attempt at soft touch materials here and there with not much success. On the plus side, there’s a lot of little storage areas, even a sunglass holder in the roof – all these little places probably for you to store your dignity as it would have peeled off with every friend that noticed you in the car.
Seats have that lovely 80’s velour/fake velvet touch. How very GM of you Hyundai. They have been gracious in backlighting the dials in the VW blue and white, how very VW of you Hyundai. The worst part of the whole fit and finish is the tinny sound when you close any of the doors, and the boot, something they really have improved in more recent Hyundai’s but this one doesn’t seem to have come under the same spotlight.
Engine – Probably the only part of the car that won’t have you sticking sharpened bamboo under your fingers. It’s a gutsy little 1.6, I’ve gotta give them that. I easily got her up to 185, and 1st and 2nd gear get the little Accent moving pretty quickly. As usual though, in a 1.6, there’s very little torque when wanting to overtake, so you need to really work the gears like a Russian working the pole.
Handling and brakes – Handling is mcaverage, there’s way too much body roll into corners, leaving passengers raising their hands for the grab-handles as they slide all over the unsupportive seats. I’m not expecting german saloon handling, but the VW Polo and Yaris trump it on the handling front. Brakes, well they are ABS assisted, and they work.
Steering – solid feedback from the suspension and steering over the terrible patchy roads through Newlands. The steering does however get ultra light at some points, and this catches you out when making quick movements. This, and the sloppy as soup suspension, really gets the Accent bobbing around. On the highway, things are all good, except there’s a lot of play in the steering wheel, leaving one with American sitcom style driving. (If you know what I mean here)
Pricing around R160 000
Value for money – I’d probably give this a skip, there are better offers from VW, Toyota, Kia & Chev on this front. It’s ok, if you don’t give two shits about what you drive, and in that case you don’t give a shit about how you drive, and shouldn’t be on the road in my view.