Home' Open Road North Shore : OR0916 Contents WHEN IT COMES TO AFFORDABLE new
cars, young drivers are spoilt for choice. In
fact, right now there are 27 new cars priced
below $25,000. Even if the budget won’t
extend past $20K, there are still a number of
safe, reliable and cheap-to-run cars that
offer a lot for their money.
Enter the Hyundai Accent Active, priced
from $14,990 (manual). The model returned
to the Korean maker’s stable after a few years
off the market. The first Accent replaced the
very popular Excel in 2000, but was then
itself replaced by the Euro-designed i20.
The Active is the entry-level model, but
it’s far from basic and includes power
windows, keyless entry, phone connectivity
and seven colour options. There’s a choice
between hatch or sedan and both carry six
airbags and traction and stability control.
There are three notable omissions,
though: no rear parking sensors, rear
camera nor cruise control. As someone who
travels long distances often, the lack of
cruise control is definitely an issue for me.
It’s available on the SR models, however,
which are priced from $18,990 .
The Accent does come with a lot of
equipment including driver vanity mirrors,
passenger power windows all round, power
mirrors, steering wheel audio controls, air
con, rear heating ducts, individual map lights,
a retractable sunglasses holder, ambient
temperature display and a trip computer.
To bring it all in at the lower price, Hyundai
replaced the engine, switching from a 1.6 -
litre petrol (90kW/156Nm) to a 1.4 -litre petrol
(74kW/133Nm). The 1.4 comes with either a
six-speed manual or, in a first for Hyundai, a
continuously variable transmission (CVT).
The engine can be noisy under load and
the cabin isn’t exactly quiet. That’s not
unusual at this end of the market; nor is the
tyre noise, especially over coarse bitumen.
The ride is comfortable on the highway, yet
it can be a little jiggly around town and, while
the steering doesn’t have a lot of feel or
directness, it’s light enough so parking isn’t a
fuss. The CVT is intuitive around town and
works well with the 1.4 -litre’s small output.
Inside there are the usual plastics
scattered around the cabin, but it doesn’t
scream cheap overall. There are some nice
touches, like the ‘record’ feature that allows
you to dictate notes or record music to the
car’s media memory. Phone pairing is easy
and the quality of the Bluetooth isn’t bad
either, although using the USB port does
make things clearer. The system then
remembers you’re plugged in and you don’t
have to re-engage the Bluetooth each time
you turn the car back on. There’s a handy
tray that's a perfect fit for your phone and a
grip mat to stop things sliding around.
The seats are comfortable and, for at least
500km, seem quite supportive. There’s a fair
amount of space in the back seats – more
than you’d expect in a car this size. The boot
has a not-too-shabby 370 litres, with plenty
of space for a decent grocery shop.
The cherry on top is that the Accent also
comes with a five-year unlimited kilometre
warranty, lifetime capped-price service plan
and 10 years roadside assistance (if you
service with Hyundai). – Jaedene Hudson
Pros: Affordable price; number of extras;
good warranty and servicing
Cons: No rear parking sensors and cruise
control in base model; cabin noise
Long term test: Hyundai Accent Active
It’s small and cheap, but can the Accent show us something more after two months into our extended review?
Engine: 1.4-litre four-cylinder Transmission: CVT
Power: 74kW Torque: 133Nm Fuel consumption:
6.2L/100km (claimed) ANCAP: ★★★★★
Price: $16,990 (plus ORC)
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There’s a fair amount of space in the back seats –
more than you’d expect in a car this size
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