2012 Hyundai Accent-4 Cyl.

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2012 Hyundai Accent
Lou Ann Hammond
When Hyundai brought the Sonata out I knew the competition in that segment was in for trouble. The 2012 Hyundai Accent subcompact will be offered as a hatchback or a sedan. The 2012 Hyundai Accent will give the competitors a run for their money.

The Accent offers three trim levels, the GLS, GS and SE. The engine is a 1.6-liter GDI DOHC Inline-4 with Dual-CVVT with either a 6-speed manual transmission or 6-speed automatic transmission with shiftronic. The engine makes 138 horsepower at 6,300 rpm and 123 lb.-ft of torque.

The sculpting is Sonata-like, fluid with wrap-around rear lights one color bathed over the entire body. The five-door, commonly known as a hatchback, was my favorite just because I always need more room for all my stuff. The belt line is higher giving a bigger stance. There is a rear mounted spoiler that is offset by vertical rearlights given the overall car a more aerodynamic look. And it holds lots of stuff.

The interior is going after competitors by being better than the tried and true, such as Honda and Toyota. Hyundai has carved out the nooks and crannies to garner more room in the interior. It's also a little more plush, but that plushness comes at a couple more coins out of your purse. You can get an Accent for a litlle over 13 grand, but my favorite trim level was the SE that rocked in around 16 large green ones that say In God we trust.

The one let down was the fuel economy. EPA says they got 30 city/40 highway miles per gallon whether they were in a manual or automatic. I didn't get 30 combined. I tried resetting the mpg meter and still didn't get 30 miles per gallon whether I was in full highway or in the city.

The competitors are 2011 Toyota Yaris (29/35; 106 hp), 2011 Honda Fit (28/35; 117 hp), 2012 Nissan Versa (30/38; 109 hp), Chevy Sonic, 2011 Ford Fiesta (29/38; 100 hp) and 2011 Mazda2 (29/35; 100hp). The power-to-weight ratio is lower than their competitors, so it stymies why I'm not getting better miles per gallon. Hyundai has direct injection, and all the bells and whistles one should have, but try as I might I couldn't get near forty miles per gallon.

The 2012 Hyundai Accent is still a very respectable vehicle, but if you're buying it for fuel economy take the numbers down about 10-15 percent when you're comparing against the competition. The Accent will still be competitive. Another competitive point is turning radius. The Accent turns, curb-to-curb a respectable 34.12 feet.

2012 Hyundai Accent prices:

2012 Hyundai Accent GLS four-door 6-speed manual transmission $12,445.

2012 Hyundai Accent GLS four-door 6-speed manual transmission Comfort Package $14,195.

2012 Hyundai Accent GLS four-door 6-speed automatic transmission with shiftronic $15,195.

2012 Hyundai Accent GLS four-door 6-speed automatic transmission Premium Package $16,495.

2012 Hyundai Accent GS Five-Door 6-speed manual transmission $14,595.

2012 Hyundai Accent GS five-door 6-speed automatic transmission with shiftronic $15,795.

2012 Hyundai Accent SE Five-Door 6-speed manual transmission $15,795.

2012 Hyundai Accent SE five-door 6-speed automatic transmission with shiftronic $16,795.

Freight charges for the 2012 model year Accent are $760. Pricing does not include freight.

The Accent is offered in nine exterior colors and three cloth interior colors.

One last major competitive note: Don't forget to count in the 10 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty, 5-year/60,000 miles basic warranty, and 5-year/unlimited roadside assistance warranty. Combine that with Hyundai's assurance program that tells you how much they will buy the car back for, and you've got another winner.

In its first full month on sale, Hyundai says that the Accent was the number 1 sub-compact vehicle in overall sales besting Fit, Fiesta. The average transaction price was in the high $16,000.

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