2000 Hyundai Accent

2000 Hyundai Accent

Hyundai Accent arrived in Australia in June 2000 as a replacement for the Excel, a car that had proven to be a big hit downunder. Accent never did manage the huge sales of the Excel, but there are plenty of them out there in used-car land.

There’s good interior room in this small-medium Hyundai and buyers with pre-teen children can use the Accent as a family car. The boot is roomy and easy to use and has a good shape that’s reasonably easy to load.

Hyundai’s Accent has good handling and the feel through the steering is better than average for an Asian import. There’s some understeer if you push hard but the car is reasonably neutral until then. A good set of tyres can markedly improve things in the handling department and won’t set you back a huge amount of money.

Later Accents had an increased presence in the Australian tuned suspension and steering departments, try those from 2011 to see what you think.

Hyundai’s build quality, which was a bit hit-and-miss in the company’s earlier years, had improved noticeably and the Accent benefited from being an all-new design. The later the car you buy the better it’s likely to be.

 2006 Hyundai Accent

2006 Hyundai Accent

In September 2003 the Accent received a facelift to move it away from the somewhat bland look of the original model. The Accent’s engine was increased in size from 1.5 to 1.6 litres. Performance from the new unit made the Accent reasonably zippy on the road. You wouldn’t call it sporty, but it is certainly nicer to drive.

An all-new Accent arrived here in June 2006, bigger in all dimensions it has improved cabin and boot space. This body has had a lot of attention paid to its rigidity, giving it a slightly more sophisticated feel on the road. Can’t say we were excited by the new shape, but that decision is yours.

The latest series was launched in July 2011 and given a substantial makeover in August 2015. The 2015 revamp attracted quite a few sales so, while it’s still rare on the used market it introduced quite a few decent secondhand cars added to the used lot and these may be on sale a good prices to try and clear the rush.

Accent body choices are three and five-door hatch and four-door sedan, however, not all were offered at all times. If you need a station wagon, then the Hyundai i30 can be considered as a further option to the Accent range.

Hyundai is a well established as part of the Australian automotive scene. The dealer network is large and widespread, though as is often the way in a car in this class, representation in the bush can be on the sparse side.

We have heard of no real complaints about the cost of servicing or spare parts.

The Accent is a simple design and has good underbonnet space, so it’s quite easy to work on. A lot of routine stuff can be done by a good home handyperson. Always leave safety related items to the professional. Having a workshop manual on hand before starting your own servicing and repairs is always a smart move.

2011 Hyundai Accent

2011 Hyundai Accent

Insurance charges are moderate and there doesn’t appear to be a great deal of difference between companies as to the premiums they charge. Shop around but, as always, make sure you are doing a full apples-with-apples comparison before making your final choice.

The main structure of the Accent generally holds up well when subjected to the rigours of rough Australian roads. Anything that squeaks and/or rattles, particularly inside the cabin, during your test drive should be checked.

Look over the interior, including the boot, for signs of rough usage.

Do an engine check for easy starting and smooth idling. Where possible this should be done with the engine cold, preferably after it has been sitting overnight.

Turn the steering wheel all the way from one side to the other whilst travelling at a very low speed and listen for clunking noises near the front wheels. These probably mean the universal joints are worn. Not an expensive job.

Feel for a manual gearbox that baulks during fast gearchanges, especially during the three-two downchange.

Automatics are from the old school and usually last well. One that holds onto gears to long, or skips up and down unnecessarily may be due for an overhaul. If in doubt, get a quote before settling on purchase.

Rust isn’t normally a problem, but look at all the lower body areas and around the front and rear windscreens to be safe. Any cars we have seen with rust in their bodies have been poorly repaired after crashes.

The more popular a car is, the more there are on the used market at any one time. Take advantage of this by shopping around in for the very best for your needs.

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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