The Hyundai Accent has for many years now been a value-for-money alternative to the likes of the Toyota Corolla and the Polo and it is really doing well in terms of sales.
I sampled a 2016 model (38,000km on the clock) recently and I must say I am surprisingly impressed with the level of standard equipment and overall built quality.
Having said that you can see scratch marks on the cheaper plastic inserts and makes you wonder why Hyundai are not using the same quality plastics as which are being used in Japanese cars.
The model I drove utilises the familiar Gamma 1,6-litre engine good for 91 kW and 156 N.m, power delivery in the Auto version is really not bad at all even though it is only a 4-spd.
On the road the Accent handles well overall and power delivery is quite nippy for a larger vehicle. Steering is not as direct as I would like but is acceptable.
Fuel consumption is also not bad, I managed around 7.5l/100km combined in town and highway driving. I am pretty sure you could get a consumption figure lower than 7l/100km on the open road. It would have been even better if Hyundai opted to rather make a 5/6-spd Auto available.
As mentioned the Accent Fluid Hatch is packed with features as standard which you would normally have to pay more for in other brands. Standard tech includes: Aircon, Alloy Wheels, Bluetooth connectivity, electric mirrors and windows, multi-function steering wheel, PDC rear, Radio/CD/USB/AUX. Leather seats is a R10,000 option
The interior of the Accent Hatch is comfortable and spacious which makes for a great family hatchback. The only problem for me, except for the scratchy plastics, is the fact that the steering column can only be adjusted up-and-down, no rake adjustment available.
Overall the Accent is a reliable good all-rounder. Expect to pay anywhere between R180k – R250k for 1 to 2 year old secondhand models. Considering the equipment levels the Accent is a real steal in that price bracket.
Other rivals include:
Ford Focus hatch
Kia Cerato Hatch
Chev Cruz Hatch
Honda Civic Hatch