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Review: 2014 Hyundai Accent SE


William Maley

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At one time, the subcompact was seen as the penalty box in the automotive marketplace. The reasons for buying one were the low cost and high fuel economy. But in return, subcompacts were devoid of many comforts found in larger vehicles such as air conditioning, power windows, and automatic transmissions. Now subcompacts are seen as a real choice in the marketplace and automakers have had to step up to make their models feel like an actual vehicle. One of the automakers who has made this change was Hyundai. Their entrant in the subcompact marketplace, the Accent, was the poster child of the no frills, cheap commuting vehicle. But with the most recent model, Hyundai has moved it up the food chain to better compete with the likes of the Chevrolet Sonic, Ford Fiesta, and Honda Fit. But does the Accent belong in this playground, or is it just a pretender?

There are two ways you can describe the Accent Hatchback’s design. One is that the model is quite boring and plain looking when compared to other subcompacts. The other way is to say the Accent Hatchback is sophisticated and matured. The Accent doesn’t have quite the flair of the fludic sculpture as other models, but does feature some sculpted curves along the doors, a distinctive character line running from the front fender to the rear, and a set of sixteen-inch alloy wheels that come standard on the SE model.

Much like the exterior, the Accent Hatchback’s interior can be described as being plain or classy. Like most subcompacts, the Accent does feature its fair share of hard plastics. But the plastic is very solid and Hyundai used textured plastics on certain parts of the interior to make it feel somewhat premium. The center stack is well laid out and easy to glance at. My Accent SE tester came very well-equipped with Bluetooth, iPod and USB connections, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, and satellite radio all as standard.

One complaint I have with Hyundai and Kia vehicles is the lack of thigh support in the front seat when sitting in them for long periods. The Accent falls into this category as well. I don’t know if it's the way I have the seats adjusted or if there isn’t enough padding on the seat that causes this for me. Moving to the back, the Accent Hatchback does pretty well in this regard with a decent amount of head and legroom. Being 5’7”, I was very comfortable sitting in the back. Cargo space stands at 21.2 cubic feet with the seats up and 47.5 cubic feet which puts its in the mid-pack of the subcompact class.

All Accents come equipped with a 1.6L DOHC four-cylinder producing 138 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque. This is paired up to a six-speed automatic. The Accent does take a little bit of wringing to get to the sweet spot in the powertrain. But when you’re leaving a stop, it doesn’t feel like the vehicle is gasping for power. Hyundai made sure it was very easy to get up speed on city streets. On the fuel economy front, the Accent SE is rated by the EPA at 27 City/37 Highway/31 Combined. My week’s average landed around 30 MPG.

The Accent’s ride quality feels like a bigger vehicle with the suspension doing an excellent job of minimizing impacts from bumps and potholes. Noise isolation is also pretty decent with wind and road noise kept to a minimum. Those who are thinking of taking the Accent on their favorite road will be slightly disappointed. The Accent doesn’t quite have the same handling characteristics as the Chevrolet Sonic as it leans a little bit more and doesn’t quite feel as solid. Steering is light, but has a decent amount of feel for those who feel on going a sporting drive.

The 2014 Hyundai Accent SE shows that it belongs in this playground. While it might not have the looks or driving dynamics as many of the subcompact competitors, the Accent has some positives to it. It begins with a fair number of standard equipment, followed by a engine that delivers very good grunt and a ride that feels like a bigger vehicle. It’s a very compelling choice in the class.

Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Accent SE, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

Year: 2014

Make: Hyundai

Model: Accent Hatchback

Trim: SE

Engine: 1.6L DOHC GDI Four-Cylinder

Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive

Horsepower @ RPM: 138 @ 6,300

Torque @ RPM: 123 @ 4,850

Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 27/37/31

Curb Weight: 2,635 lbs

Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, Korea

Base Price: $17,395

As Tested Price: $18,315 (Includes $810.00 Destination Charge)

Options:

Carpeted Floor Mats - $110.00

William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached atwilliam.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.


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Nice little car.

 

We rented one from Enterprise in Austin, TX with 3 miles on it and baby ice blue color. Clearly a small, economical car, but it felt decent, very solid, smooth and the touch points were good. Lacking power but so is everything in the class, and it had XM satellite on and cranking.

 

Hyundai's never win the driving dynamics race, but this little one isn't bad at all. How much do they cost anymore, anyway?

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      Engine: 4.0L DOHC 24-Valve V6
      Driveline: Five-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive
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      Torque @ RPM: 278 @ 4,400
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 16/19/17
      Curb Weight: N/A
      Location of Manufacture: Tahara, Aichi, Japan
      Base Price: $44,285
      As Tested Price: $48,877 (Includes $1,120.00 Destination Charge and $730.00 Keep It Wild discount)
      Options:
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      Running Boards - $345.00
      Cargo Floor Mats & Cargo Mat - $269.00
      Door Edge Guard - $79.00
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      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 381 @ 5,600
      Torque @ RPM: 401 @ 3,600
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 13/17/14
      Curb Weight: 5,715 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Toyota, Aichi, Japan
      Base Price: $87,645
      As Tested Price: $89,239 (Includes $1,295.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Glass Breakage Sensor - $299.00
    • By William Maley
      There are some cars I will not turn down the opportunity to spend time with again. A prime example is the Mazda MX-5 Miata, a car that brings a smile to my face. This past fall, I had a chance to spend some time in a soft-top version and to figure out whether I would have this or the RF.
      What has changed since our last visit with Miata? Only a few things such as the addition of Mazda's i-Activsense suite of active safety features (automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and lane-departure warning) as standard; and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for the Club and Grand Touring models. I find myself drawn more to the standard Miata than RF because it looks a bit neater. The hardtop makes the Miata look somewhat bulky.  The 17-inch wheels finished in dark silver help set the car off. The addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto makes using the MazdaConnect infotainment system a bit more bearable to use. I found myself using CarPlay more due to its easier interface layout and brighter graphics. Power comes from a 2.0L Skyactiv-G inline-four with 181 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed manual, while an automatic is optional. As I noted in my review of the RF, the new 2.0 makes a dramatic difference to the Miata's performance. Leaving a stop, the engine freely revs and delivers a smooth rush of power. I think this version is slightly faster than the RF, mostly due to it not having the foldable hardtop. The six-speed manual is still one of the sweetest transmissions I have used. It feels smooth and precise when running through the gears. Handling is still one of the Miata's strong points as it eagerly changes direction and shows little body roll. Steering is sharp and provides the right amount of weight when driven hard. Ride quality is slightly better than the RF I drove last year due to the Grand Touring not having as stiff as a suspension setup. Yes, you will still feel several bumps and imperfections. But not at the rate as you'll experience in the Club. The Miata is one of those few cars I find myself still being impressed with every time I get the chance to drive one. It offers a level of driving fun that very few models can match, along with a price tag that won’t break the bank. If you were to ask which Miata I would choose, it would be the soft top. Disclaimer: Mazda Provided the MX-5 Miata, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Mazda
      Model: MX-5 Miata
      Trim: Grand Touring
      Engine: 2.0L Skyactiv-G DOHC Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Six-Speed Manual, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 181 @ 7,000
      Torque @ RPM: 151 @ 4,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 26/34/29
      Curb Weight: 2,341 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Hiroshima, Japan
      Base Price: $31,670
      As Tested Price: $32,790 (Includes $920.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Grey Cloth Roof - $200.00

      View full article
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