The Hyundai Accent (sold in some regions as the Verna and until 2000 in Australia as the Excel) is a small family car produced by Hyundai in South Korea, India, Russia, Turkey, and Iran.
The Accent is produced for the Chinese market by Beijing Hyundai Co., a joint venture with Beijing Automotive Industry Corp. For Russian market it is assembled by TagAZ plant in Taganrog. In Mexico, the Accent is marketed by Chrysler as the Dodge Attitude, previously Verna by Dodge. In Venezuela, Chrysler marketed the Brisa de Dodge until 2006. The Brisa is assembled by Mitsubishi Motors at its plant in Barcelona, Venezuela. Since 2002, the Accent had been the longest-running small family car sold in North America. In Puerto Rico, it has been sold as the Hyundai Brio.
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.
Trim levels were GSi, CDX and MVi: this was standard on most export versions, although some European markets had their own designations with names like DynamicVersion etc. Some markets used LS and GLS.
In North America the Accent was available in GL, GLS and GT trim levels only, with the 1.5-litre engine at first, then the 1.6-litre engine from 2003. The GT version was similar to the MVi version marketed in Europe and Australia.
During 2003 in Canada, the hatchback was offered as a GS or GSi with a 1.5L or 1.6L engine, respectively.
- 1.5L 12-valve SOHC Alpha I4, 92hp (69kW) @5500 rpm and 97ft·lbf (132Nm) @2900 rpm
- 0-100kmh: 12.0 sec., top speed: 181 km/h
- 1.5L 16-valve DOHC Alpha I4, 101hp (75kW) and 98ft·lbf (133Nm)
- 0-100kmh: 11.6 sec., top speed: 185 km/h
- 1.6L 16-valve DOHC Alpha I4, 104hp (78kW) and 106ft·lbf (144Nm)
- 0-100kmh: 10.9 sec., top speed: 189 km/h
- 1.5L CRDi Alpha I3, 108hp (78kW) and 106ft·lbf (144Nm)
- 0-100kmh: 11.8 sec., top speed: 179 km/h
Hyundai introduced a new-generation Accent (MC) at the 2005 New York International Auto Show. A new exterior, larger interior, and CVVT engine are the notable features.
A single trim level, GLS, is available in the United States for the sedan. This sedan includes 6 airbags, air conditioning, power steering with tilt, four-wheel disc antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution, and a 6-speaker CD stereo. Pricing starts at US$12,665, nearly $2,000 more expensive than a base 2005 model. A premium sport package, priced at $1,350, includes air conditioning, 15 in. alloy wheels, power windows and heated mirrors, and remote power door locks. An automatic transmission retails for $1000, bringing the price of a loaded Accent to $15,015.
Hyundai began selling the 3-door hatchback in the United States during the spring 2006 as a 2007 model year vehicle. The 3-door is available in two trims - GS and SE. The GS is equipped much like the GLS sedan, with some equipment deleted for a base price of US$10,415. The SE replaces the former Accent GT, offering a sport-tuned suspension, 16 in. alloy wheels, and other sporting features, along with available dealer-installed performance parts such as a cold-air intake and suspension stress bar. The SE is sold as the Verna Sport in Korea. The Hyundai Accent SR is exclusive to Canada and only 500 have been made, this version is like the Accent SE, but in addition has the fender flares, front lip, rear lip, and exhaust tip. Also included with the SR version is the Clarion sound system with , 4channel Amplifier with 400 Watts, 7 speaker Audio System, with 10-inch (250mm) Subwoofer in a custom made box. Dash also has a Carbon Fiber Trim Kit added to it.
The Accent is presently the third-bestselling small family car in the United States, trailing after its rivals the Chevrolet Aveo and Toyota Yaris.
In Europe, this model was heavily promoted by the motoring press, and even Hyundai themselves, as a "stopgap" model - that it was intended merely to plug the gap in Hyundai's range until a brand new small family car was launched in 2007. This new car, the Hyundai i30 fills the void left by the Accent and the larger Hyundai Elantra. The name change came about so as to help distance the i30 from the budget reputation of the Accent, and also to highlight that the new car can truly compete in the small family hatchback sector - something the Accent was slightly too small to do, and the Elantra too large. The Accent will continue to be sold in the U.S. in 2008 with an instrument panel overhaul and standard rear cupholders in the SE model.
- 1.4 L I4, 95hp (71kW) (for the European market)
- 1.6 L CVVT Alpha II I4, 112hp (84kW) and 107lb·ft (145N·m) (for the North American market)
- 1.5 L D I4 turbodiesel, 110hp (82kW) and 174lb·ft (236N·m) , fitted with common rail direct injection and variable geometry turbocharger
In Mexico, this is marketed as the Dodge Attitude: trim levels are 1.4 GL and 1.6 GLS. Hyundai does not have any official representation in Mexico.
Interestingly, in India, it is marketed as Hyundai Verna. Previous generation is also under production and that is marketed as Accent.
Hyundai Accent 2006-present road test:
The new Accent is available with two engines(1.6L DOHC engine 112 hp/1.4L DOHC engine 95 hp)
- 4-Door sedan with 1.6L DOHC engine, 112hp (84kW). 0-100 km/h: 10.8 sec., 12.4sec. Top speed: 192 km/h, 185 km/h. MT, AT respectively.
- 3-Door hatch with 1.6L DOHC engine, 112hp (84kW). 0-100 km/h: 10.1 sec., 12.0sec. Top speed: 188 km/h, 180 km/h. MT, AT respectively.
Hyundai debuted a demonstration version of a hybrid (MC/JB) Accent at the 2005 Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition in Guangzhou, China. It uses a 90 hp (67 kW), 1.4 L engine with continuously variable valve timing and a 16 hp (11.9 kW) electric motor to achieve 44% better fuel economy. Though originally scheduled for production release in the 2006 model year, introduction of the production version has been delayed indefinitely, along with the Kia Rio hybrid.
The hybrid Accent is expected to be introduced at the same time as a hybrid version of the Kia Rio, the Kia twin of the Accent. A concept model of the Kia Rio hybrid was shown at the 2007 Geneva Auto Show.
1st gen Hyundai Accent had been crash tested by Euro NCAP and showed rather poor performance, scoring only 4 points of 16 for frontal impact. Though the Swedish insurance company Folksam is rating the 1st gen Accent as one of the safest cars in its weight class.
Pre-2003 model (a 3-door hatchback) had been crash tested by Australian ANCAP under the same rules as adopted by Euro NCAP. It performed much better, scoring 10.76 out of 16 points for frontal offset impact and 10.96 out of 16 in the side impact test.
The same un-restyled model, this time a 4-door sedan (which is still in production in Russia) had been crash tested by Russian magazine Autoreview in 2005. Test was carried out to the same Euro NCAP regulations. Despite the lack of airbags (which are not available in the cheapest version of Accent on the Russian market) it scored 9.9 of 16 for frontal impact.
The 2003 restyled model was tested by ANCAP, too. The 3-door hatchback scored 9.19 of 16 points for frontal impact and 9.76 out of 16 in the side impact crash test.
New Hyundai Accent had been tested by ANCAP in 2007. It scored 9.37 of 16 in the offset crash test and 10.85 out of 16 in the side impact crash test.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety the Accent received an Acceptable overall score in the frontal crash test and a Poor overall score for in the side impact test.
Hyundai's Accent World Rally Car competed in an official capacity, spawning three generations, in the World Rally Championship from 2000 to 2003. Although an E2 version made a points-scoring debut in the torrential wet conditions of the 2001 Portugal Rally, the car, in E3 form, was eventually retired from service before its final season was out, with no major victories or podiums. The car, though, in such capable hands across its lifespan as four-times driver's champion Juha Kankkunen, ex-Subaru rally-winning and former Group A Champion Kenneth Eriksson and former British Rally Champion Alister McRae, albeit the former two in the twilight of their careers, was reasonably competitive at times and showed some promise. Belgian Freddy Loix and 1991 Rally Catalunya winner Armin Schwarz were among the other drivers so long synonymous with life in the works-fettled Accents.
Excel Rally Series
In Australia the X3 Excel (first generation Accent) is the basis of a one make rally series, and is the most popular one of its type in Australia.
The Excel Rally Series has a website and forum where current and potential competitors can ask questions, discuss the cars and competition, and learn how to become involved.
Junior Formula series
In India, Hyundai is the sole engine supplier for Formula LGB Hyundai, built by the Chain and Sprocket giant LGB. The single make series is promoted at grassroots level acting as a launch pad for future Formula 1 hopefuls. The Accent engine is supplied in Stock form albeit after some ECU modifications.
- Winner Australia's Best Small Car in 2000.
- Winner Australia's Best Small Car in 2001.