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Hyundai adds Accent diesel

Light diesel: Hyundai joins only a handful of brands in offering a light-sized diesel.

Sub-$20,000 starting price revealed for Hyundai’s new Accent diesel

23 Jan 2012

HYUNDAI has released its first diesel light-car and what it bills as Australia’s most affordable oil-burner: the Accent CRDi.

On sale now priced at $19,490 plus on-road costs as a manual and $21,490 in automatic form, the diesel Accent commands a $2500 premium over petrol models, but undercuts by $2000 the cheapest diesel light-car previously available here – Ford’s Fiesta LX TDCi (from $21,490).

Like the oil-burning Fiesta, the diesel Accent is available in both five-door hatch and four-door sedan body styles for the same price, and its frugal 4.4 litres per 100km combined fuel consumption figure matches that of the Fiesta.

In addition, the newest Accent - which is available in both six-speed manual and four-speed auto guises while the Fiesta diesel comes only with a five-speed manual – offers more performance than the Fiesta.

Both engines are 1.6-litre DOHC four-cylinder common-rail direct-injection turbo-diesels with variable-geometry turbos, but the Korean-made Accent delivers 94kW at 4000rpm and 265Nm between 1900 and 2750rpm while the Thai-built Fiesta produces 66kW and 200Nm.

However, the Accent diesel – which arrives later than expected due to strong overseas demand - is available only in entry-level Active specification and does not match the fuel-efficiency of the fuel-focussed Fiesta Econetic hatch, Australia’s most economical car.

Ford recently released an even more efficient version of its benchmark-setting model, which costs $24,990 plus ORCs, lowering its own fuel consumption record from 3.7 to 3.6L/100km and putting more distance between it and fuel-miser rivals like the three-door Mini Cooper D, Audi A1 1.6 TDI and Volkswagen’s larger Golf BlueMotion five-door (all of which return 3.8L/100km).

And, while the Accent’s most impressive 4.4L/100km and 119g/km figures apply to the base manual sedan, other diesel Accent models are less efficient, including the manual hatch (4.5L/100km, 121g/km) and automatic versions of both the hatch and sedan (5.6L/100km, 148g/km).

Like most diesels, the Accent also emits more CO2 (119 grams per kilometre) than Australia’s current exhaust emissions champion, Toyota’s Prius, which achieves 89g/km and 3.9L/100km.

The Accent diesel will come with the same equipment as the 1.6-litre petrol-powered Active models released here last August, including a maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating thanks to electronic stability/traction control, ABS brakes, electronic brake-force distribution and six airbags.

While they miss out on the reversing camera and rear parking sensors fitted as standard in (petrol-only) Premium variants, automatic Accent diesel models come with a higher braked towing capacity than petrol equivalents (1100 v 1000kg).

There is only one solid exterior paint colour (Crystal White) and metallic/mica paint hues continue to be a $375 option across the Accent range, including Sleek Silver metallic, Clean Blue metallic, Carbon Grey metallic, Red Passion metallic, Ocean Blue mica, Green Apple mica and Phantom Black mica.

RB-series Accent pricing continues to open at $16,990 for the petrol Active manual sedan and hatch, while the starting price of Hyundai’s Indian-made PB-series i20 was lowered from $15,490 plus ORCs to a $14,990 drive-away ‘campaign’ price (1.4 petrol three-door) in August, following the discontinuation of Hyundai’s top-selling sub-$13,000 Getz.

The diesel Accent joins the Fiesta TDCi, VW Polo 66TDI (from $22,350), Citroen C3 HDi (from $23,990) and Peugeot 207 HDi ($26,190) as only the fifth diesel-powered light-car on sale in Australia, where a rapidly expanding light-car was bolstered by a number of new models in recent months.

They include five-door (and soon three-door and sedan) versions of the new Rio, Toyota’s new Yaris five-door, Holden’s new Barina hatch and sedan, Skoda’s new Fabia, Honda’s facelifted Jazz and, earlier last year, Suzuki’s new Swift and Nissan’s new Micra.

Sales of the discontinued Getz were down by almost half last year, when the long-running city-hatch relinquished its light-car crown to the Mazda2 after commanding 15.8 per cent of the segment in 2010, when the Accent was absent and the then-new i20 accounted for just 1.7 per cent.

In 2011, the i20 and newer Accent accounted for 6.7 and 2.8 per cent shares with more than 9000 combined sales, despite i20 stock shortages from India and less than six months of Accent imports from Korea, ranking behind Mazda2 (17,500), Yaris (16,214), Swift (12,388), Ford Fiesta (12,286), Getz (11,499) and Nissan Micra (9509).

Beyond the Accent CRDi, to further boost its light-car sales Hyundai Motor Company Australia has the option to release a smaller 79kW 1.4-litre petrol version of the Accent, as well as a 66kW 1.4-litre turbo-diesel in the i20.

While the Accent’s new 1582cc diesel should appear in Hyundai’s redesigned i30 small hatch when it arrives here later this year, replacing the current model’s 85kW/255kW 1.6 CRDi option, it should not be confused with the larger, more powerful new 100kW 1.7-litre diesel found in the mid-size i40 Tourer.

Hyundai is also expected to introduce a hotter Accent model powered by the same new 103kW/167Nm direct-injected 1.6-litre GDI petrol four that will emerge in the all-new Hyundai Veloster Coupe next month – up from the Accent’s existing 91kW/156Nm MPI Gamma engine.

Likely to appear in an SR-badged Accent model with a more sporting bodykit, interior and suspension, the Hyundai group’s newer 1.6 petrol four (which debuted here in sister company’s new Kia Rio) should also be matched with a more sophisticated six-speed automatic transmission.

Active 1.6 CRDi
Hyundai Accent sedanand hatch pricing (before on-roads):
Active 1.6 petrol $16,990
Active 1.6 petrol (a) $18,990
$19,490
Active1.6 CRDi (a)$21,490
Elite 1.6petrol&nbsp $18,490
Elite 1.6 petrol (a)$20,490
Premium 1.6 petrol(hatch only)$20,990
Premium 1.6 petrol (a)$22,990

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