1 Jun 2000
This was the first baby Hyundai buyers might choose on merit as well as price.
Compared to its popular Excel predecessor, the Accent is more spacious, refined and comfortable, and better built with tangible improvements to ride quality, engine performance and general "feel".
The bigger, stronger body means improved safety and a driver's side airbag is standard too.
And it’s fun to fling around.
On the other hand, the 76kW/133Nm 1.5-litre DOHC 16V four-cylinder engine is too vocal when stretched, the manual gearshift is awful and the steering numb.
Hyundai once again blanketed the light car segment with a car somewhat larger than the norm, in three-door base and GS and GL and GLS sedan and five-door hatchback.
But several things worked against the Accent replicating the Excel’s success: the Excel’s poor quality reputation the sheer ubiquity of Hyundais on our roads quite ungainly styling and ever improving rivals like the Toyota Echo and Holden’s XC Barina.