2000 Hyundai Accent GSi

This was a fun car to drive (even if I wished for more power), made even more enjoyable by what is one of the best driver’s seats to be found in a subcompact car – five way adjustable, with front and back seat height controls and three position adjustable lumbar support.

Fun to drive and easy on the wallet

The Hyundai Accent is a little like Clark Kent. Without the tights and cape, Clark looks just like an ordinary guy. But he’s still Superman even if he doesn’t look the part.

Likening the Hyundai Accent GSi to Superman is stretching an analogy, I’ll admit. But the point is that underneath the boy wonder exterior of the GSi is pretty much an ordinary Hyundai Accent, a great driving little car that is still one of the best deals going.
Targeted at young buyers who want a sporty but economical car, the Hyundai Accent GSi is good value for money. It is one of the few things that has remained the same on a car that has changed quite a bit for the 2000 model year.

Hyundai calls the styling of the new Accent “a sophisticated European look,” which I thought was just as much an overstatement as comparing it to Superman, until a colleague remarked that the shape reminded him of a BMW. And viewed from the side, with its strong shoulder line and upswept trunk, the Accent does resemble the German car.

The rear spoiler on our GSi test car further accentuates the high trunk line and gives the car a more muscular look.

2000 Hyundai Accent Base
Available as a two-door hatchback or four-door sedan, the base GS hatchback is well equipped for $11,995 with full carpeting, centre console, dual outside mirrors, dual vanity mirrors, rear window defroster, retractable dual cupholder, remote fuel filler release, variable intermittent windshield wipers, digital quartz clock, tachometer, tinted glass and five-way adjustable driver’s seat.

Priced at $13,995, the GSi adds power steering, rear spoiler, 14″ alloy wheels and P185/60R14 tires, stiffer shocks and springs, sunroof, side sill molding, fog lights, rear wiper/washer, sporty seat cloth and door trim, leather wrapped steering wheel and gear-shift knob, Clarion AM/FM/CD stereo radio, central power door locks, and white faced gauge cluster.

Air conditioning is a dealer installed option on all Accent models and costs approximately $1500 in the Ottawa area.

In updating the Accent for 2000, Hyundai engineers have concentrated on improvements that reduce noise and vibration from earlier models and improve overall safety.

Compared to the previous generation, the new Accent is longer (40 mm), wider (50 mm) and, just like Superman, stronger. Longer and wider results in a smoother ride and more interior room, while foam injection in the reinforced A and B pillars, floor panels with special vibration absorbing materials, and a new front sub-frame reduce vibration and make the Accent a stronger and safer car.

Stronger has a price however. The 2000 Hyundai Accent has bulked up a bit – gaining 33 kilograms in three door hatchback form, and now weighs 992 kilograms – but is still remarkably light.

As a result the Accent doesn’t need a lot of horsepower to motivate it. All Accents are powered by a revised 1.5 litre, four cylinder, 12 valve, single overhead cam motor that produces 92 horsepower at 5500 rpm and 97 ft-lb of torque at 4000 rpm.

While these specifications are the same as last year’s engine, it is not really the same at all. A strengthened block, smoother operating crankshaft and hydraulic engine mounts all contribute to reduced vibration and noise levels inside the car.

Hyundai’s efforts to reduce noise and vibration have paid off. Yes, you can hear the motor, but it is not intrusive or bothersome. At 100 km/h in fifth gear, the engine turns over at a quiet 2600 rpm – very tolerable.

Most Accent buyers will be quite happy with the 1.5 litre motor which provides more than enough power for everyday acceleration, but it doesn’t really live up to the sporty image of the GSi. While first gear pulls really well right to the redline, I found myself impatient with second and third while merging onto the freeway.

The GSi will not win at the drag strip, but it might have a chance at the slalom. The car felt light and very nimble. Steering was quick and direct and handling was excellent, both on twisty roads and in traffic.

2000 Hyundai Accent
This was a fun car to drive (even if I wished for more power), made even more enjoyable by what is one of the best driver’s seats to be found in a subcompact car – five way adjustable, with front and back seat height controls and three position adjustable lumbar support.

Other revisions to the interior provide more headroom, leg room and hip room, although the major beneficiaries are front seat passengers. Standard Accent gauges include a tachometer and are white-on-gray with red needle pointers. The GSi features a white faced gauge cluster with black markings, that turns to a pleasant aqua blue at night.

Another feature of the GSi is a manual sun roof that can be flipped up or removed. Unfortunately, ours leaked during heavy rain. In fairness our tester had only 1000 kilometres and warranty work can be expected on any new car.

However, two other potential problems caught our attention. With the GSi’s central door locks, unlocking the driver’s door also unlocks all other doors – not a good idea in dark or deserted parking lots.

Second, a move to a half sized radiator on manual transmission cars could be a problem for cars that are not equipped with air conditioning. Without the AC condenser there is a large hole between the grill opening in front and the alternator. This could cause problems down the road in the land of salt and slush. Best to keep winter’s filth off the electrical components and connections.

A nice feature on the GSi was the terrific Clarion stereo with CD player. While only a four speaker system, the sound was better than many six speaker systems and certainly top of the line for an entry level vehicle. It also had a detachable face to help prevent theft. The only drawback on this system was the single touch ball control, which operates all major functions. Difficult to operate without looking, functions other than seek and volume are better performed when the vehicle is stopped.

Technical Data:

2000 Hyundai Accent GSi Hatchback
Base price (GSi hatchback) $13,995
Price as tested $15,570
Type Subcompact 2-door, 5-passenger hatchback
Layout transverse front engine/front-wheel-drive
Engine 1.5 litre 4 cylinder, SOHC, 12 valves
Horsepower 92 @ 5500 rpm
Torque 97 ft-lbs @ 4000 rpm
Transmission 5-speed manual (4-speed automatic optional)
Curb weight 992 Kilograms
Wheelbase 2440 mm
Length 4200 mm
Width 1670 mm
Height 1395 mm
Fuel consumption City: 8.4l/100km
  Hwy: 6.0l/100km
Warranty Three years/60,000 km
Powertrain Waranty Five years/100,000 km

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