Reviews Test Drive: 2018 Hyundai Accent
Hyundai Starts Level 4 Autonomous Testing
Hyundai and Aurora, a leader in autonomous vehicle technology, have announced a strategic partnership to bring self-driving Hyundai vehicles to market by 2021. This partnership will incorporate Aurora’s self-driving technology into Hyundai vehicles starting with models custom-developed and launched in test programs and pilot cities.
At a glance, it looks like they shrunk down a Hyundai Sonata, and that’s just fine. The 2018 Hyundai Accent is a small car (compact, technically), but it’s also a real looker. It’s bold. Blocky. Edgy. Probably, nobody will say it looks “precious”. It looks like a big car, just smaller.
"Be careful with your speed on the highway: here’s one of those cars that can easily sneak past the limit on the sly if you’re not using the cruise control."
At writing, the all-new-for-2018 Accent was the freshest, newest and most recently redone car on offer in its segment, and shoppers after the latest from the great big world of affordable cars should include it on their test drive hit-list.
Hyundai Elantra earns Top Safety Rating
The 2018 Hyundai Elantra has earned the highest safety rating by the U.S. Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) with a Top Safety Pick+ rating when equipped with optional Automatic Emergency Braking and High Beam Assist on vehicles built after December 2017. Additionally, five Hyundai models were previously recognized for 2018 Top Safety Pick, including the Hyundai’s Ioniq Hybrid, Elantra, Elantra GT, Sonata and Tucson when equipped with optional front crash prevention and specific headlights.
For decades, small cars had the structural strength of a warmed and lightly buttered ciabatta bun. This is not the case with the new Accent.
A fun fact follows: Hyundai builds their own steel, in their own factories. Some of this steel is called Advanced High Strength Steel, or AHSS. This sounds fancy, but it just means “really, really strong steel”.
By building this super-steel themselves, Hyundai can use more of it, on the cheap, in the construction of cars like the new Accent. There are benefits, relating to the fact that AHSS is strong and light. One of these is that, by building key parts of the car’s skeleton from it, you wind up with a car that’s stronger and more rigid, but without becoming obese and heavy like a prenatal rhinoceros who enjoys routine poutines. Actually, the latest Accent is loads stronger and more rigid than its predecessor, and bigger, but only about 10 kg heavier.
Hyundai Reveals Electric Kona, With Up to 470 km Range
Hyundai has just launched the Kona Electric. The electric subcompact will come with two powertrain options: a lower-power, smaller battery version, and a high-power, big battery option that offers nearly 500 km in rated driving range. The Kona Electric is based on the new Kona subcompact crossover, but gets some styling changes to reflect the electric underpinnings. The big one is in the nose where the gas Kona's large grille and hoodline scoop are gone. In their place is a mostly closed-off nose with a grille port door for the charge port. It gives the Kona a more mature look that's less funky than the gas Kona. It likely improves the aerodynamics and appeals more to buyers of the more expensive electric. The electric Kona shares a 2,600 mm wheelbase with the gas model, but at 1,570 mm tall and 4,180 mm long is 20 mm taller and 15 mm longer than the gas car. The Kona Electric's base powertrain uses a 39.2 kWh lithium polymer battery and a 135 hp electric motor. That allows for a 9.3 second run to 100 km/h, but more importantly a 300 km range. That's not the Canadian cycle or the US EPA rating that we're used to, but it's not the traditional (and very optimistic) NEDC European rating either. It's the projected range using the newer WLTP (Worldwide harmonized Light-duty vehicle Testing Procedure) cycle, which is intended to be more accurate to real-world driving than the NEDC test.
You can’t see the Accent’s AHSS, though you can feel some of the benefits on a test drive. Most of these relate to refinement, ride quality, and noise levels. (For a quick demonstration of how AHSS works, be sure to watch the introduction of our)
Accent’s mega-stiff structure enables a quieter ride, since the stiffened-up body resists deflecting over bumps which can pump air throughout the cabin and create a dull, drumming noise. It’s not Cadillac quiet, but head down a rough road, and it’s decently muted, with no rattles, and no sensation of flimsiness. Even at a good clip, it’s hush enough for front-seat pals to chat without voice raising.
On most roads, noise levels are kept nicely within limits. On the same rough roads that make some affordable cars feel like delicate rattle-traps, Accent feels hearty and sturdy, and ride quality remains fairly consistent. That’s because of another AHSS benefit: the stiffened structure allows engineers to more precisely tune the suspension that it rides on. So, for noise levels, and often ride quality, Accent typically feels like a bigger and heavier car.
Find of the Week: 1986 Hyundai Pony
� Every generation has cars that for some reason just never quite hit classic status. While popular when new, they stayed on the sidelines as flashier and more stylish cars become the poster cars. Studebakers, four-door '55 Chevrolets, four-door just about anything really. But those cars are still cool, and still classics. And many of them are now harder to find and rarer than the supercars from the same year. Like this one. It was one of the best-selling cars in Canada when it was new, but you won't see another one on the road today. It's our autoTRADER.ca Find of the Week, a 1986 Hyundai Pony. The Pony II was launched in 1982.
There is one catch: the tester’s thin and sporty (winter) tires resulted in increased noise and jaggedness on severely neglected roadways. On perfect to moderately rough roads, ride quality and comfort are nicely dialled in towards a semi sporty-taut feel that’s more athletic than floaty. On the really rough stuff, though, there’s a good bump in noise and harshness, even though the overall feel of durability remains.
Drivers who appreciate a sportier and more athletic feel will find the ride quality to be just fine, but head to the roughest road available on your test drive to confirm where the ride quality of the Accent you’re considering lands within your preferred ride-quality spectrum.
Few will find issue with on-board space or functionality. The Accent feels bigger than it looks, each seat is easily accessed, headroom is generous, and the rear floor is free of a central hump which munches into passenger foot space. Four average sized adults should fit satisfactorily, and rear-seat legroom is more than suitable, though headroom evaporates quickly for the tall.
Hyundai Exec Sheds Light on Production Santa Cruz Pickup
Similar to the way that the Honda Ridgeline is a Pilot with a bed, it looks like the Hyundai Santa Cruz will be a Tucson with a bed.We weren’t sure what to expect from the upcoming Hyundai pickup truck that was confirmed for production last year. The only basis for speculation was the Hyundai Santa Cruz “crossover truck concept” that debuted at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. The Santa Cruz was a bold, edgy concept that didn’t quite look like any Hyundai production model which one could argue is a good thing. Now it seems that the truck will finally go into production soon and will arrive in showrooms in 2020, according to a recent report.
Heated seats are included in both front and rear. This is swell, because heated rear seats make your carpool friends like you more, so they’ll pay for your coffee at the drive-thru.
The driver perches behind a simple and tidy instrument cluster with a clean central driver computer display. There’s a proper armrest, which is great if you have arms, which is a thing that is likely. Numerous cubbies, bins, and compartments, as well as power points for juicing gadgets, are within easy reach.
The trunk is deep and wide and easy to access, so tackling a weekend road-trip for four and their gear should prove no problem.
Power comes from a 1.6L four-cylinder engine with a strong-for-its-size 132 hp. This year, some tweaks expand the range at which the bulk of the engine’s torque is available. From the driver’s seat, this means more responsiveness at lower speeds, and stronger, quieter responsiveness more of the time during gentle driving.
Punch it, and Accent is relatively peppy. Most shoppers will find performance to be adequate or better. Be careful with your speed on the highway: here’s one of those cars that can easily sneak past the limit on the sly if you’re not using the cruise control. The Accent has enough grunt, even if the sound doesn’t back it up: pushed hard, the engine sounds like it’s working harder than my heart after downing a family-sized bacon cheeseburger poutine. Don’t judge me.
2018 Hyundai Elantra GT: European-flavoured Winner
How many cool cars have your heard of overseas that never seem to make it to North America? There are tons, actually—too many to go through. Those darn Europeans and Japanese often keep the best ones for themselves, but occasionally, one makes it across the pond to our shores much …Essentially a rebadged European Hyundai i30, the Elantra GT is far different from its sedan sibling. It gets its own wheelbase, a unique engine option, a spicier interior and a standard eight-inch touchscreen to control the infotainment system. It also just looks sportier than the sedan and can match wits with any of its competitors such as the Ford Focus, Mazda3, Volkswagen Golf or Honda Civic hatchbacks.
Most of the time, you don’t even realize the six-speed automatic transmission is doing anything, since shifts are velvet-smooth and typically occur at low revs, where the engine isn’t yet making much noise. That’s a good thing, since the transmission often toggles heartily between fifth and sixth gear on the highway. Sixth gear keeps cruising revs down in the interest of your fuel bill but is only available when the Accent is under very light load. As such, even a slight hill or headwind triggers a downshift. There’s a lot of shifting going on while you cruise, but if you’re not watching the tachometer, you’d hardly ever know.
Brakes perform well in emergency stops. When engaged, the ABS system is a little noisy but smooth, and pulls the Accent down from speed quickly and with little drama or squirming. The action at the pedal is more precise than the norm in this segment – often a feeling like the braking system is made of wet shoelaces and cheese-whiz. Seems like engineers worked the brake pedal out to inspire confidence when a fast stop is required, and even on snow and ice, Accent pulls down from speed with appreciable urgency, in a straight line, and without making a scene.
Note that the tester was wearing quality winter tires. Without these, you’re about 734 percent more likely to skid into a bus or ditch during an emergency stop instead.
There’s a similarly fine-tuned feel to the handling. Should drivers find occasion to push the Accent a little on some winding roads, it performs eagerly within a wide comfort zone. Again, and like the brakes, it’s a touch more responsive and fine-tuned than average. Drivers who appreciate tidy handling and an alert and eager feel will appreciate the setup.
2018 Hyundai Accent Pricing Announced
After the new-generation Accent made its world debut at the 2017 Toronto Auto Show, and after letting us drive the 2018 Hyundai Accent back in November, the Korean manufacturer is now ready to deploy the car into its dealerships across Canada. Why such a long wait? Some minor logistic problems …Why such a long wait? Some minor logistic problems perhaps, but also because Hyundai Canada ordered a massive batch of 2017 cars, which are currently being liquidated at reduced prices.
At low speeds, a feather-light steering feel and relatively small turning circle make Accent a cinch to manoeuvre around parking spaces and to zip through traffic in crowded areas. At highway speeds, your writer wished the steering was a touch heavier to help lock the car more firmly into place within its lane, and to reduce the need to issue corrections to its position. Engaging the “sport” drive mode recalibrates the steering (among other things), which seems to help.
A few other notes. The tested GLS-grade Accent flaunted some must-have upscale feature content. Favourites included (very powerful, like seriously) heated seats, a heated steering wheel finished in the sort of creamy-smooth leather that wouldn’t feel out of place in a twice-the-price ride, and Android Auto functionality, which effectively upscales key smartphone interfaces (including the “talk to Google” Android Assistant voice command system, and Google Maps), into the main screen. Elsewhere, the central command interface is straightforward, responsive, and highly logical to use.
The Accent also heats up appreciably fast when it’s very cold outside, and I can confirm that it starts like a champ without being plugged in overnight, even at 25 below.
Further, headlight performance is good – at or above average as small cars go – which addresses one of my biggest complaints of the last-generation Accent.
Gripes? Some will wish for a more upscale materials palette and a splash more colour in the Accent’s cabin. Much of this cabin is shaped nicely, but the colours are drab. Further, the trunk lacks an inner grab handle, so closing it in winter months will require touching gross salt.
End of the day, and once again, here’s a top test drive candidate for a small car that thinks big when it comes to space, a feeling of durability and density on real-world roads, and especially, styling and feature content bang for the buck.
At writing, pricing was yet to be announced, but should be in close to the outgoing 2017 unit. We will update this article when full pricing becomes available.
New Hyundai Accent starts at $14,599 .
The all-new 2018 Accent is the fifth-generation of Hyundai’s best-selling subcompact car and enters the market priced at $14,599. The vehicle serves as Hyundai’s answer to rapidly elevating customer values and preferences toward technology, individuality in style, and flexibility in the important subcompact car segment.It features a 1.6-litre direct injection (GDI) four-cylinder engine producing 130 hp and 119 lb/ft of torque.This engine is mated to either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.
2018 Hyundai Accent Review and First Drive | 9 Things You Need to Know
The Hyundai Accent has been totally redone for the 2018 model year and this is interesting because the subcompact segment isn't doing too hot right now because everyone is making the move...
2018 Hyundai Accent Test Drive, Interior, Infotainment Overview
Hyundai Motor America debuts the all-new 2018 Accent at the 2017 Orange County International Auto Show. The 2018 Accent enters its fifth generation by building on the strengths of its predecessors...
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