- Stylish interior
- Roomy back seat
- Good fuel economy
- "Power" is a relative term
- Engine noise
- Shifter quality
The 2008 Hyundai Accent delivers econocar basics with a high-quality interior and fun handling for a great price.
The 2008 Hyundai Accent, the Korean car company's smallest and least expensive model line, includes the GS and SE two-door hatchbacks, as well as a four-door GLS sedan.
It's not a great-looking car, but at least the Hyundai Accent is efficient with its space. It packs more interior room into its stubby 159.3-inch overall length than the much larger Chevrolet Cobalt or Ford Focus coupe models. There is nothing cramped about the interior, and even the rear seating area offers plenty of leg-, head-, and shoulder room for an average adult male.
The seats are fairly comfortable. And while it's no luxury car, the Hyundai Accent's interior looks good and feels durable, though TheCarConnection.com recently tested an Accent with some ill-fitting dash trim.
"Power" is a term used loosely with the 2008 Hyundai Accent's 1.6-liter four-cylinder. It makes just 110 horsepower, which is enough to feel zippy at city speeds. Fuel economy is good but not spectacular at 27/32 mpg; the Honda Fit turns in 28/34 mpg. The Hyundai Accent's basic suspension and light steering give it a fun handling profile, and the SE versions feel even better with their specific tires and suspension settings. The brakes felt strong, but the Accent's manual shift linkage can feel imprecise. Engine noise is a problem, too.
All Accents come standard with front, side, and curtain airbags. Anti-lock brakes are optional on some models. The government hasn't crash tested the new Accent, but the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has, and the news isn't good. Frontal crash protection is rated acceptable, while side impact protection is deemed poor.
Most features are optional on the Accent. But outfitted with fog lights, a CD player, XM Satellite Radio, and tire pressure monitors, a 2008 Hyundai Accent SE stickers for about $14,000.