Hyundai has the mojo moving forward now, and truly, the sky is the limit -- is that the Azera? That's a different Hyundai, and a far less important vehicle than the other one they introduced at the 2005 New York International Auto Show - the new 2006 Hyundai Accent. This is the Korean automaker's entry-level car - the one that arguably put them on the map, and the one that appeals to a steady demographic of young buyers who want as much as they can get for as little money as possible.
The new 2006 Hyundai Accent looks like it will give 'em everything they want - and maybe a bit more. Redesigned from the ground up, the Accent combines traditional Hyundai strengths of value and coverage with top-shelf safety equipment, an improved design and more room on the inside.
Introduced at the 2005 New York International Auto Show, the 2006 Hyundai Accent is the latest upgrade to an aggressive product lineup that features two SUVs and an array of coupes and sedans.
What it is
If you're looking for an inexpensive small car that offers a great warranty and a solid array of safety features, the 2006 Hyundai Accent should be at the top of your list.
Why it matters
Though the Hyundai lineup is quickly going mainstream, the entry-level 2006 Accent remains a core vehicle. Often the first car someone will buy with a Hyundai logo on it will have the Accent logo on the back. Young people - and their parents - who are shopping for an Accent need its safety equipment most of all, and they will also appreciate Hyundai's bumper-to-bumper warranty of five years/60,000 miles and the ten-year/100,000 limited powertrain warranty.
When you can buy it
Available for purchase in the fall of 2005, the 2006 Hyundai Accent will be available as a single trim - the GLS.
How much it costs
Pricing has not been announced, but expect the new Hyundai Accent to stay within close range of its existing sticker price. Standard equipment includes an AM/FM/CD audio system, a tilt steering wheel, an eight-way driver's seat with adjustable armrest, driver and passenger vanity mirrors, front seatback pockets, and a 60/40 split fold-down rear seat that has a folding center armrest with dual cupholders. Air conditioning and a Convenience Package are available.
How quick it is
Under the hood, the 2006 Hyundai Accent has what the company claims is the most powerful engine in its class, a new 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that produces an estimated 110 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 107 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,500 rpm. The engine is mated to either a five-speed manual transmission or an optional four-speed automatic.
What it looks like
As a lucky recipient of a complete makeover, the 2006 Hyundai Accent gets high marks for simplicity and low marks for excitement, Overall, it's an improvement over the 2005 Hyundai Accent, with the possible exception of the thin molding that runs halfway up along the sides.
What we think
Value. It boils down to the most important aspect of a new, entry-level car. But just because you want a good value for a low price doesn't mean you have to suffer a poor ride or cramped interior. For 2006, the Hyundai Accent offers all the things a young buyer needs: nice style, new and improved engine, side curtain airbags, a great warranty and plenty of room.
Engine: New 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, producing an estimated 110 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, and 107 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,500 rpm
Transmission: Five-speed manual transmission or an optional four-speed automatic
Brakes: Front disc, rear drum
Wheels: Fourteen inch, with 15-inch available
Emissions: Expected to receive a ULEV rating
Photos by Erik Hanson and courtesy of Hyundai Motor America