The 2000 Accent GL sedan is longer, wider and roomier than the previous sedan, but remains a subcompact. A revised 92 horsepower 1.5 litre four cylinder engine and added sound insulation have reduced interior noise levels significantly. Handling and ride have also been improved due to a longer wheelbase and revised, independent suspension. Accent’s are a good value: my fully loaded four-door GL test car came to just $14,245.
A lot of car for under $15,000
Freshly redesigned for 2000, the Hyundai Accent is roomier, quieter and more comfortable than the previous model – but what I like best about it is its price: base Accent GS hatchbacks start under $12,000, and even fully-loaded Accent GL 4 door sedans go for under $15,000.
Though 2000 Accent prices have increased about 4% since last year, they are comparable with Korean competitors like the Daewoo Lanos and Kia Sephia, and considerably cheaper than Japanese rivals like the Suzuki Esteem and Toyota Echo.
Bigger Accent is More Refined
The 2000 Accent two-door hatchback and four-door sedan are bigger and roomier, although they’re still subcompacts. The hatchback is 97 mm longer and the sedan is 118 mm longer, while both cars are 50 mm wider, and their common wheelbase has been stretched by 40 mm to 2440 mm (96.0 in.). In addition, the roofline near the front of the car is higher. As a result, the passenger cabin is noticeably roomier with increased hiproom, legroom and headroom. This is particularly important in the rear seat where three rear passengers have more width.
The other big change for 2000 is how much quieter the standard 1.5 litre four cylinder engine is under acceleration. Previous Accents tended to be rather noisy when given the boot, but the new Accent lets out a muted engine growl that settles down to a mild buzz when cruising on the highway. Hyundai claims a three decibel reduction in engine noise.
A number of factors contribute to the Accent’s quieter cabin. The extensively revised 1.5 litre SOHC 12 valve four cylinder engine has been made more rigid, and is now mounted to the chassis with hydraulic engine mounts to reduce vibrations. Also, the Accent’s body is more rigid, there’s more sound insulation and new double door seals help to stop outside noise from leaking into the cabin.
Easy To Drive
The 2000 Accent sedan is what I would call a ‘city-friendly’ car. Its small exterior size and good outward visibility make it easy to park, and it’s tight turning diameter of just 9.7 metres (32 feet) makes it easy to maneuver in town. Its power rack and pinion steering provides just the right amount of boost for good steering feel. (Power steering is optional on GS hatchbacks, and standard on GSi hatchbacks and GL sedans. )
The 2000 Accent feels more stable and less ‘twitchy’ than the previous Accent, in part due to its longer wheelbase and wider track, and in part due to changes to its fully independent suspension. Revised front suspension geometry has reduced lift and dive when accelerating and braking, and a raised rear roll centre height has improved roadholding.
Being a lightweight car (1024 kg/2254 lb.), the Accent has a good power to weight ratio. Its standard 92 horsepower 1.5 litre SOHC 12 valve four cylinder engine provides plenty of pep from a standing start and during highway passing – although the engine strains heading up long hills with five passengers and their luggage on board. On the highway, the Accent is acceptably quiet and comfortable, with the engine turning over just 2200 rpm in top gear at 100 km/h.
The 1.5 litre four cylinder engine features a number of refinements for 2000 designed to increase durability and reliability. Maintenance-free hydraulic valve-lash adjusters, a Bosch engine management system, and a one-piece exhaust manifold and catalytic converter assembly are all new. The engine also has distributorless ignition, multi-port fuel injection, and knock sensors – features designed to reduce maintenance and enhance reliability.
My test car had the optional four-speed automatic transmission with an on/off overdrive button on the shift lever. When accelerating, this transmission tends to ‘slide’ from gear to gear, however, on more than one occasion, it shifted up with a ‘thunk’ that seemed unusual.
The Accent’s light curb weight assists braking as well as acceleration. Front disc/rear drum brakes are standard, and for 2000, the brake pads have been changed to reduce brake shudder and brake ‘squeal’. Unfortunately, anti lock brakes are no longer available on the Accent.
The Accent’s new-look interior has upgraded dash and seat materials, particularly in GSi and GL models. A simple and sensible dash layout includes round gauges easily visible behind the steering wheel, a centre stack with extra large stereo buttons and heater controls, and a simple, easy-to-reach floor shifter. My GL sedan had metallic silver-coloured trim on the console, and matching cloth seats and door inserts. A handy covered storage drawer just to the left of the steering wheel is useful for coins and small items.
I had a couple of small criticisms: my top-of-the-line GL did not have a centre armrest/storage bin, and I found the Seek control on the radio difficult to operate.
There’s a surprising amount of headroom and legroom in this small sedan, and the trunk is pretty big too. The trunklid is easy to open and close, has a low liftover height, and the trunk has a flat, carpeted floor. A 60/40 split folding rear seatback is standard in sedans.
Standard safety features include front head restraints, front seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, rear child seat tether anchors, and rear child locks on four-door models.
Two body styles, three trim levels.
Accents come in two body styles: two-door hatchback and four-door sedan. Hatchbacks are offered in base GS trim and sporty GSi trim, while sedans come in GL trim only.
Base GS hatchbacks, which start at $11,995 are fairly spartan. Five-speed manual transmission, cloth upholstery, dual mirrors, rear defroster, variable intermittent wipers, tachometer, folding rear seatback, adjustable driver’s seat and 155/80R-13 inch tires are standard – but power steering, radio, automatic transmission and air conditioning are optional.
However, Accent options are fairly inexpensive: power steering is an extra $400, and an automatic transmission is $750.
, which start at $13,995, include standard power steering, AM/FM/CD stereo, larger 185/60R-14 inch tires and alloy wheels, manual sun roof, central door locks including the hatch, rear washer/wiper, rear spoiler, front fog lamps, sporty seat cloth and door trim, white-faced gauges, leather wrapped steering wheel and shifter, and sport tuned suspension.
Four-door Accent GL sedans, starting at $13,245, come equipped with power steering, tilt steering wheel, 60/40 split folding rear seatbacks, AM/FM/cassette stereo, tachometer, dual outside mirrors, and driver’s seat with lumbar/tilt features.
A combination option package which includes power windows, power door locks, power mirrors, and automatic transmission is an extra $1000.
A fully loaded Accent GL sedan comes to $14,245 – very reasonable for this level of equipment.
It should also be remembered that Accent’s come with an inclusive 3 year/60,000 kilometre warranty which includes 24 hour roadside assistance, and a 5 year/100,000 km powertrain warranty. Hyundai’s warranties are transferable to a second owner during the warranty period with no fee.
Suggested Retail Prices
2000 Accent manufacturer’s suggested retail prices are as follows: GS hatchback $11,995; GS hatchback with power steering $12,395; GS hatchback with automatic transmission $12,745; GS hatchback with power steering and automatic transmission $13,145; GSi hatchback $13,995; GSi hatchback with automatic transmission $14,745; GL 4 door sedan $13,245; GL 4 door sedan with automatic transmission and power group $14,245.
A freight charge of $320 is additional.