The "Hyundai" name comes with a variety of pronunciations. (Rhymes with "Sunday" say company execs.) But success is a word everyone can pronounce, they add, to describe the loyal following the Accent compact has received in the decade it's been sold to American buyers.
Outside and inside, the Accent has updates for 2008, in both sedan and three-door hatchback models. Mellow Yellow joins exterior colors as a bold statement. All models get standard tire pressure monitor systems.
The front-drive Accent comes in four-door GLS sedan, and three-door GS and SE editions. The GLS and SE get a new instrument cluster design. The sport-tuned SE has a new, short-throw B&M racing shifter as standard. Available 15-inch alloy wheels get a fresh design as well.
Promised for later in the model year are two in-demand items, an auxiliary input jack for playing MP3s and iPods through the audio system, and XM Satellite radio with three-months of free service as standard equipment.
High on the corporate list has been attention to the safety factor. Accent comes equipped with six airbags, including side curtains to protect both passenger rows. The combined systems helped the four-door model win top frontal crash test ratings.
The exterior appearance of the Accent isn't as dramatically lined or sculpted as some competitive vehicles. Rather, it has smooth, unbroken trim lines and a somewhat rounded appearance. The shape promises to provide more interior volume. It's also the kind of look that says it should wear well over time, longer than some competition that could seem less trendy in a few years.
Accents have manual transmissions as standard equipment, with a four-speed automatic available for the GLS. All come with a single 1.6-liter, 110-HP inline four powertrain with continuously variable valve timing (CVVT).
Expect an entry price of $10,775 (GS model) but plan to pay much more if upgrades or amenities are a must. All versions get estimated mileage of 27/32. And all get Hyundai's long-standing 10-year warranty.