When my friend asked me to test-drive the new Hyundai Accent, I was not exactly too ecstatic. I’ve seen a lot of the older Accents and I don’t really find myself ogling at it. I’m sure it’s a fine car but it was lacking some swagger, so to speak.
My mind immediately changed when my friend drove the car in our driveway. The 2011 Hyundai Accent has a lot of swagger in the looks department, such a massive upgrade from the previous model. It was sleek, it was dashing and was telling me to get in and drive me!
The interior of the car looks as great as its exterior; you’d be surprised to see such an elegant interior in a compact economy car. It was also surprisingly roomy with ample leg and head room and the seats were very comfortable.
My eyes ogled at the dashboard, seeing so many nifty things like a GPS navigator, and intelligent looking controls for stereo, aircon and the like. The stereo system even has a port for you to plug in your trusted iPod or iPhone which you can control from the dashboard or even from your steering wheel.
Ok, it was a handsome car but will it drive as good as it looks? Only way to find out is to get into the driver seat and head on to Tagaytay. The car’s ride was stable and you would think that the car was built in a bigger platform considering the smooth ride it gives.
The engine is also powerful for a 1600 cc displacement, it felt like 1800cc for me as I navigate through the Metro Manila roads and all the way to Tagaytay. The Accent handled really well as I drove through SLEX, it was fast, stable and smooth as well.
The aircon was cool and more than adequate and the iPhone interface was a big plus. A smooth and powerful car coupled with a temperature controlled environment and good music is really food for my soul.
Gauging from my trip, I was happy at the fuel consumption of the Accent that I was blessed to drive. It may be not be as economical as a 1300cc but it was good enough for me. The unit I tested had a gasoline engine but I was advised that there will be a diesel variant which might be more to the liking of those looking at fuel economy.
But the best judge of a vehicle is not really me but my loved ones so I brought along my 4 kids with me. Did they enjoy the car as I did? You bet! They felt a bit sad when I had to return the car – well, all good things come to an end.
No vehicle is perfect so I need to mention a few things. I probably would want more a little more leg room in the rear but I suppose that that is expected for a compact car. Still, the leg room of the Accent is decent.
The price? Well at P808,000, it gives it an edge from its class since it does deliver much more than what the others have.
Good job Hyundai, the all new 2011 Accent is a winner!
Randell Tiongson is a personal finance coach and columnist. He is an advocate of life and personal finance and a columnist for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, E-Life and Moneysense Magazine. To read his blogs, visit http://www.randelltiongson.com