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Detroit News: 2006 Hyundai Accent GLS Review

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Variance    0

Hyundai Accent excels in quality, styling, safety and price

By Paul & Anita Lienert

With its latest redesign for model year 2006, Hyundai's Accent leaps into the upper ranks of the subcompact class.

Loads of standard amenities, outstanding safety gear, excellent quality, a long warranty and a contemporary design are among the car's virtues. The downside: The Accent could still use a bit more power and a little more rear-seat room.

We tested a nicely equipped '06 Accent GLS sedan with a sticker price of $14,870.

SHE: I was on the phone with a librarian this morning, and we got to chatting about cars. One of the first questions she asked me was, "So what do you drive?" That's the key question because it's easy to criticize a vehicle every week, but it's a different story when you have to put your money where your mouth is. That's why our newest purchase -- a vehicle we bought for our younger son -- is a 2006 Hyundai Accent. At our kitchen table, I argued strenuously for the Accent, based mainly on its standard safety features. The Accent has six standard air bags that protect all outboard passengers, as well as standard antilock brakes. So the Accent seemed to fit our needs, and our pocketbook, perfectly.

HE: I was pleased that Phil seemed to like the Accent. He's been pretty critical of some of our previous cars, including that yellow Beetle you used to drive.

SHE: The Accent is surprisingly grown up, which is probably one of the nicest things you can say about a subcompact. Hyundai was very clever to include features you'd normally see on larger, more expensive vehicles, such as lighted vanity mirrors, a tilt steering column and a CD player. The two-tone cabin looks like something you'd expect to find on a Toyota or even a Lexus.

HE: I was impressed with the quality of the materials and the way all the pieces fit together. Sadly, we don't see this level of quality on many of the more expensive American and European models that we test. Take the seat fabric. It's colorful, grippy and durable. It's one of those little things that make the driving environment seem less austere and more pleasant -- like you didn't really have to compromise.

SHE: Let's talk about economy. The engine is a twin-cam 1.6-liter four-cylinder that makes 110 horsepower. We consistently averaged well over 30 mpg during our testing.

HE: The engine could use some more muscle. It always felt overworked, and you complained about the noise at higher speeds. The automatic puts a crimp in the fuel economy, too. SHE: If I have a complaint, it's that the rear seat doesn't have any real amenities. There isn't much head or leg room back there. Fortunately, the driver's seat is roomy and comfortable.

HE: In fact, for a small car, the ride is not bad at all. I thought the Accent was quite nimble and easy to maneuver. I also like the simple controls, which are straightforward and easy to operate.

SHE: Considering how far they've come in the past five to 10 years, the Koreans continue to impress me. And when you think of all the standard features on this car, the '06 Accent has to be one of the best values on the market in the under-$15,000 category. This one definitely gets our parental seal of approval.

2006 Hyundai Accent GLS

Type: Front-engine, front-wheel drive, five-passenger sedan

Price: Base, $13,305 (inc. $540 destination charge); as tested, $14,870

Engine: 1.6-liter I-4; 110-hp; 106 lb-ft torque

EPA fuel economy: 28 mpg city/36 mpg highway

Where built: South Korea

Estimated 12-month insurance cost, according to AAA Michigan: $1,469

Anita:

Likes: Assembly quality up to Japanese standards. Feels solid, sturdy. Lots of standard equipment, including CD player, tilt steering column, lighted vanity mirrors. Good standard safety equipment, including ABS, side air bags and side curtains. Decent fuel economy, even with automatic transmission. Simple controls, easy to operate. Driver's seat is roomy, comfortable.

Dislikes: Not much in the way of rear-seat amenities. Engine feels slightly underpowered and noisy at higher revs.

Paul:

Likes: Great value for under $15,000. Nice seat fabric -- grippy, durable. High-quality materials. Beautiful cabin for an entry-level economy car. Pretty nimble.

Dislikes: Not enough rear head or leg room. Big drop in city mileage with automatic transmission.

Link: http://info.detnews.com/autosconsumer/auto...ex.cfm?id=22470

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Snate    0

Loads of standard features??? Did they even know A/C is only an option on this car?

The accent interior also has to be one of the cheapest interiors in that class.

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Paolino    99

I love that they dare associate the cabin with that of a Lexus.

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