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Hyundai now speaks with premium Accent

Accent on premium: Hyundai shoots directly at Fiesta and Polo with upmarket new sedan and hatch range.

Premium price for Accent as all-new Hyundai light-car range goes on sale from $17K

Hyundai logo27 Jul 2011

HYUNDAI has continued its slow but steady march upstream by releasing its all-new Accent light-car range with a $16,990 (plus on-road costs) starting price, matching European B-segment luminaries like Volkswagen’s Polo and Ford’s Fiesta.

Full details of the redesigned Accent’s Australian model line-up will not be released until its national media launch on August 8, but its sub-$17,000 base price is likely to bring more standard equipment than either the Fiesta or Polo, which only offers three doors and a 1.4-litre petrol engine for that price.

Like the base Fiesta five-door, all new RB-series Accents – including five-door hatchback and four-door sedan body styles in three specification grades - are powered by a 1.6-litre petrol engine, which in this case delivers 90kW.

A four-speed automatic transmission adds $2000 to the price of the standard five-speed manual, which costs $16,990 in both entry-level Active hatch and sedan form, making the base Accent $500 more expensive than the cheapest Indian-built i20 five-door ($16,490 for the 1.4 Active).

1 center imageThe base price of the Accent, which made its Australian debut at the Melbourne motor show earlier this month, is also higher than top-selling light-cars like Toyota’s Yaris (from $15,690), Holden’s Barina (from $14,790) and sister brand Kia’s Rio (from $14,990), all of which will be replaced by new models within coming months.

Hyundai said is took the unusual step of announcing prices for its newest light-car, which hits a red-hot segment that next year will be further bolstered by a new Micra/Sunny sedan from Nissan and a redesigned Mitsubishi Colt, weeks ahead of its official launch because stocks are now available in showrooms.

As we’ve reported, Hyundai has ruled out selling its pint-sized i10 city-car in Australia in its current generation, meaning the i20 Active three-door ($14,490) will become the Korean giant’s most affordable model when final stocks of the top-selling Getz (from just $12,990 drive-away) dry up within months.

Just months after fledgling Chinese brand Chery set a new-car low water mark of just $10,990 drive-away for its J1 city-hatch, it will be the first time Hyundai will be without a sub-$14,000 since it turned Australia’s light-car market on its head with the bargain-basement Excel in 1986.

Mid-range Elite versions of the all-new Korean designed and built Accent hatch and sedan are priced at $18,490, while the flagship Premium hatch and sedan variants cost $20,990 and metallic paint is a further $375 on all models.

Should sales of the new Accent and i20 range not meet its expectations in the absence of the giant-killing Getz in Australia’s booming light-car segment, Hyundai has the option of adding cheaper 79kW 1.4-litre petrol-engined Accent sedan and hatch models.

Such a move would echo the recent addition of a new entry-level 2.0-litre version of the i45 medium sedan and a new base 2WD V6 variant to open the previously all-diesel Santa Fe SUV range.

Just as a 66kW 1.4-litre turbo-diesel engine is ready to be added across the i20 hatch range should demand require it, Hyundai has also received Australian Design Rule certification for a 94kW 1.6-litre turbo-diesel engine across the Accent range, also matched with six-speed manual and four-speed automatic gearboxes.

Hyundai’s Accent nameplate returns to Australia after an 18-month hiatus, following the discontinuation of the previous model here in January 2010, when the base three-door 1.6 was last priced at $15,490.

Slotting in below the small i30 hatch (from $19,590), which has this year superseded the Getz as Hyundai’s Australian best-seller, the new Accent goes on sale just a month after the release of the Elantra small sedan (from $20,590), from which the Accent borrows its ‘fluidic sculpture’ design language, along with the mid-size i45.

Like both those larger sedans, the Accent wears Hyundai's signature hexagonal grille, swept-back headlights incorporating a two-piece black bezel and deeply chiselled bonnet and bodyside surfaces, along with a symmetrical Y-shaped dash with premium metallic and piano-black finishes.

The 2011 model action doesn’t stop there for Hyundai, however, with the mid-size diesel-powered i40 Tourer wagon due to join the i45 petrol sedan here in October, followed in December by the cheeky Veloster 2+1-door coupe.

The affordable new Hyundai sportscar will bring a new Gamma 1.6-litre four-cylinder direct-injection petrol engine that is said to deliver highway fuel economy of up to 5.9L/100km, matched with either six-speed manual or new six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmissions.
Hyundai Accent sedan and hatch pricing:&nbsp
Active $16,990
Active (a)&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp $18,990
Elite $18,490
Elite (a) $20,490
Premium $20,990 (Hatch only)
Premium (a) $22,990

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