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Power windows, doors and locks are part of the recipe, as is a leather-wrapped, multi-function steering wheel and a matching shift knob.
Hyundai proved hip to that trend with the new Elantra, but not here. You won't find a sunroof (available on the Nissan Versa and the Fiesta), navigation (Versa, Fiesta, and Fit), heated seats (Versa and Fiesta), or leather (Fiesta).
In a role reversal, the sedan is now the cheaper of the two body styles, with the basic wagon being more than $2000 dearer than the cheapest four-door.
Car and Driver
Hyundai says that the most expensive buildable Accent will carry a price of $16,795
The base GLS sedan is the least expensive option, and its $12,445 price tag doesn't include air conditioning, power mirrors and windows, or a stereo. To get those features and still keep the standard six-speed manual transmission, you need to opt for the Comfort Package, which raises the price to $14,195 and adds a stereo with USB input and power mirrors.
The 2012 Accent comes in three different trim levels, though the sedan comes only as a GLS and the hatchback, in GS and SE editions.
The sedan's now the base car, a turnabout from before, when the hatchback was the under-$10,000 value leader. The four-door GLS model comes with the requisite safety gear, including stability control and six airbags, as well as anti-lock brakes. But unlike other versions, it's missing a radio, air conditioning, power windows and mirrors. For $13,205 out the door, it does offer power locks, tilt steering, and 14-inch wheels, if you're interested in absolute bargains without many frills.
That same GLS in automatic-transmission form adds on a CD player, power windows and mirrors, and air conditioning. A Premium package tops it off with steering-wheel audio controls, Bluetooth, a USB port, cruise control, fog lights and 16-inch wheels.
In the five-door Accent, the base version is a $15,355 GS. It's outfitted with air conditioning; an upgraded 172-watt stereo with rich sound, a CD player, XM satellite radio, and a USB port; and a rear defroster. Cruise control comes standard when the GS is ordered with the automatic transmission.
The five-door Accent SE hatchback fills out the features list with cruise control, Bluetooth, steering-wheel audio controls, a sliding armrest, and 16-inch wheels. With an automatic transmission, the Accent SE is the most expensive version you can buy, and it tops out at $17,555.
On all versions, a special iPod cable is required to connect the radio and steering-wheel controls to run the Apple device, and it's a separate charge of about $60.
Missing on the Accent entirely are options for leather upholstery, a navigation system, and a sunroof. Some or all of those features are available on the Accent's competitors, so shop carefully if your purchase hinges on one of those features--and don't forget your cell phone could be the cheapest, most portable GPS you can buy.
Power features, a USB port and Bluetooth are standard on the hatchback, but the 2012 Accent is no longer the cheapest car in the land.