The Hyundai Accent (X3) was introduced as a replacement for the Excel for the 1995 model year. It continued to be called Excel in some markets, such as the Netherlands and Australia. In France, it was called the Hyundai Pony.
In Australia, the X3 proved so popular (due to its low price) that it was the third best-selling vehicle in the country in both 1996 and 1998. In the latter year, it achieved more than 44,000 sales (a 5.5% share of the total market), a record figure at the time, for an imported car. Between 1994 and 2000, some 200,000 X3s were sold in Australia, making it arguably the most successful imported vehicle in the country's history.
The Accent was sold in saloon (sedan), hatchback, and coupé form in the UK, with a choice of three engines for each: a 1.3 12v (85HP), 1.5 12v (92HP) and a 1.5 16v (105HP) petrol. There was no diesel option (until the 2003 redesign). A GSi spec car was the top-specification Accent with front power windows and a radio/cassette player.
The MVi-spec coupé version won particular praise for its handling agility in the UK. Although the Accent was cheap to buy and insure, its engines were quite thirsty; the 1.5-litre returned 33 mpg average according to list figures.
Though manuals exist for Accents before and after 1999, a manual for 1999 Hyundai Accent has not been published. Also 1999 Hyundai Accent owners were informed by their dealers that the horsepower of the 1.5L engine is actually rated at 88.
The redesigned 2000 Accent (LC) sported a more angular body and increased dimensions. It received a minor facelift in 2003, and was given the model code LC2. When the Accent sedan underwent a 2006 redesign, the hatchback continued on sale during 2006 only in Canada, since the hatchback skipped the 2006 model year for the United States. But for Korea, it was the first model with the new nameplate: Verna.
The Accent got new 1.5-litre 12-valve SOHC and 16-valve DOHC engines: the 1.3 continued unchanged. A 1.6-litre replaced the 1.5 engine for 2000. This Accent was also the first to get a diesel version, with a 1.5-litre 3-cylinder direct injection turbodiesel, which was badged CRDi.