You could argue that, at this stage in its life, Hyundai’s Accent, the brand’s practical and keenly priced mid-size hatch, is struggling to have its voice heard in the cacophony of newer, shinier models from the Korean marque’s Aussie line-up.
In the face of this, HMCA has decided to streamline the Accent range into a single variant called the Sport, ditching the previous duo of the entry-level Active and higher-spec Accent SR. Prices will start at $15,490 and will remain identically priced for the hatch and the sedan, representing a mere $500 increase from the outgoing Accent Active while offering a much better equipped package.
It’s essentially the same car, with many of the additions fitted to the previous Accent SR. Now, the Sport makes the more powerful 1.6-litre GDi naturally-aspirated four-cylinder motor as the sole powerplant, generating 103kW and 167Nm, mated to either a 6-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed automatic (the CVT now sleeps with the fishes).
Visually, it gains the same 16-inch wheels previously exclusive to the Accent SR. It’s within the cabin that the most evident changes are brought to the fore, such as a new (and sportier) gear knob and multi-function steering wheel with integrated cruise control toggles.
Bluetooth streaming and Apple CarPlay compatibility is delivered through the 5-inch touchscreen audio system, but its lower-ranking status within the Hyundai line-up is made evident with its cloth interior and manual air conditioning.
Of course, this fourth-generation Accent presumably still maintains its 5-star ANCAP safety rating given in upon its Australian introduction in 2011. The 2017 car, notably, comes with 6 airbags, stability control and brake assist but lacks any sort of active or collision-prevention safety features.
- Accent Sport - 1.6 GDi - 6-speed Manual - $15,490
- Accent Sport - 1.6 GDi - 6-speed Automatic - $17,490
The automaker is expected to reveal an all-new generation of their Accent hatch for sale in 2018.