Considering how much of a wretched piece of junk the old Hyundai Accent was, improving on the car (once known for being offered at a sub-$10,000 sticker price) was an easy task. With such a strong current line-up, the previous Accent was an embarrassing blight on the company's product range, and competition from the Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris meant that Hyundai would have to make sure the next Accent was a winner right from the start.
From our first drive impressions in the Nevada desert, we're happy to report that the Korean auto giant has succeeded, producing a car that is more than a match for the Ford Fiesta, one of the subcompact segment benchmarks. We decided to take a spin in a GLS hatchback, which Hyundai is positioning as the top dog, with a sportier look and feel as well as favorable levels of equipment.
The Accent's interior is much simpler than the Fiesta, lacking the SYNC integration and offering fewer buttons and more intuitive controls. Hyundai insists that the interior is a "premium" offering due to its "piano black" trim smattered around the cockpit, and we honestly can't help but shrug our shoulders. We doubt any consumer will really care at this price point, but materials are light years away from the low rent crap in the previous car, and everything appears well put together.
More: 2012 Hyundai Accent Review on AutoGuide.com