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At $9,970, the Hyundai Accent is once again the cheapest new car in America, beating out the Versa by $20. [Kicking Tires] (Photo: MSVG)
If things keep going the way they’ve been, I might have to get rid of my Colorado (piece of crap anyway) and pick up one of these.
The Versa is a LOT more car, though. 2 extra doors, a lot more space, and a little more cachet (and probably resale value). Sure, Hyundai makes terrific cars and have great warranties, but this just seems like apples-to-oranges bragging rights.
@The Name’s Ash78, Housewares: Terrific cars? I’ll give it to them they’ve come a long way, but I still wouldn’t touch anything Korean.
@downwithmonstercable: Not even a “masseuse”?
@uncooperative: Oops sorry, I didn’t mean to rule out ANYTHING korean
@uncooperative: Nah, at least not if i could have my choice of Korean or Japanese.
@downwithmonstercable: These entry-level econoboxes are much to behold, no matter who makes them. But the Sonata is already the best value among all midsize sedans (I’d take it before Camry or Accord, at least).
And the Genesis is doing right now what Lexus was doing in 1990, amid plenty of criticism that “the Japs will never match the Germans in luxury cars”
@The Name’s Ash78, Housewares: The difference that I see though, is that Lexus was create as a premium luxury brand, designed to compete with the Germans. Hyundai is a brand that markets themself as “we give you the same features but a 3/4 the price”. The Lexus LS was priced similarly to comparable luxury models with similar/slightly better/more features. Hyundai is trying to do too many things with themselves. They need to market themselves the same as Honda/Toyota did, and then create a separate brand for their high-end models like the Genesis.
Kia on the other hand, is a lost cause.
@downwithmonstercable: The Lexus LS when introduced was priced significantly less than competitive luxobarges. It was only after Lexus built their reputation for high-quality vehicles and butt-kissing service that Lexus raised their prices to be similar to their competitors.
@GearheadGeek: The LS was priced at $36,000 in 1990 when it debuted, which was only a few thousand less than a 7 series. I think that’s pretty similarly priced. In comparison to the Genesis, which MSRP is $32,000-$37,000, compared to a 5 series that’s anywhere from $45,000-$80,000. Then again, the Genesis takes shots at the 7 series, so maybe they are trying to compete with that? Those bad start at $75,000.
@downwithmonstercable: *should have said “those bad boys” not “those bad”
Don’t forget it’s stablemate – The ES250. Helluva car. I had one (with a 5 speed,2.5 L V-6) and could have driven it forever. Although heavily based on the Camry of those years, it still had a luxury feel and the best fit and finish I have seen before or since. I had a trick that I played for my gearhead friends that simply astounded them : After the car passed 250,000 miles ,I could start the engine and balance a nickel on the valve cover at idle – the engine was that smooth.
After owning one, I never even looked at an American brand again…
The Hyundai Genesis is an impressive car, but it may suffer the same fate as the Volkwagen Phaeton (or even the Passat W8). They were fantastically-engineered vehicles that could match (or beat) competing luxury models in performance, comfort, looks and features. Their only flaw was the badge on the grille and trunk lid!
Hyundai has already seen this happen first-hand with the Azera. I’ve driven the Azera and I’ve also driven a Lexus ES 350. Regardless of price, the Azera was the more appealing of the two. For $6k less, the Azera should be a no-brainer! It is now entering its fourth year on the market and has barely sold at half the rate originally projected!
Personally, I’d buy a car like the Azera or Genesis and enjoy looking at Lexus and Mercedes drivers knowing that I have the better car AND a wad of cash in my savings account! =) Unfortunately for Hyundai, most consumers are far too “image conscious” and gleefully waste thousands of dollars for the perception of an established brand. Apparently, it’s much easier to do that than to evaluate all the options available and form an opinion of their own!
@PiperFan01: @The Name’s Ash78, Housewares:
We bought our mom an ES350 and on a biz trip, she had an Azera for a rental….she was blown away and couldn’t stop talking about how nice the quality, ride, options, etc were… I thought she was full of it…but I rented one on a trip later on, and it really is an amazing car!
I’ve test drove the Genesis and would recommend it to anyone…the sound system is mind blowing, the leather on the dash looks ultra-lux, and the general fit/finish is top notch…for example, the weight and feel of the glovebox when you close it is in BMW territory. The power is definitely there, and it’s smooth and handles decently…..better than most cars, but that’s one area in which BMW cannot be beaten.
In other words, don’t hate a Hyundai because it’s a Hyundai!
@downwithmonstercable: I own a Sonata. The top of the line LX, every option available (not that there’s a lot to start with, and the dealership orders them that way), and have had it for 2.5 years. It’s been a joy to drive, and a joy to my wife who doesn’t even drive it that much. And it still looks better after than than six months after her POS 2000 Saturn bottom of the line LS did after six months. Probably due to four kids, 14 and 9 (twins). But I’ll go with my assumption that the Sonata is the better car. It certainly gets better gas mileage with it’s V6 versus the Saturn four banger. Then again, the ’90 Marquis V8 that got replaced had better mileage. 5th gear was NOT overdrive in the Saturn!
The only thing I miss from the Marquis is the ride. I never noticed the bumpiness of the Buckman bridge in it, it was always a smooth ride. Which was why another Marquis was my second choice.
@The Name’s Ash78, Housewares: We should probably compare the cheap models feature to feature. I can’t speak on the Hyundai, but the $10k Versa is lacking such things as air conditioning and a radio and only has 14″ wheels, and choosing the automatic option (requirement for the majority of America, sadly) requires also adding the AC, making the $10k stripper closer to $12k.
@EndlessMike: Good points, all. I haven’t seen a US-spec car without A/C in my lifetime (even my grandfather’s old late-80s Mazda 323 with no radio and no passenger mirror). I always heard rumors that manufacturers would sometimes strip A/C for Canada, but my young mind could not comprehend any place that didn’t hit at least 90 degrees in the summer.
Anyway, $12k Versa vs. $10k Accent sounds like more of fair comparo.
@The Name’s Ash78, Housewares:
Definitely AC is optional in cheap cars in Canada. I think it even cost extra for my 2001 Corolla. I love to joke about how the clock was $100, so I didn’t get it (yes, it’s true, I suppose it’s not a joke). And I’m still looking for a junkyard Corolla that hasn’t had the clock stripped from it…
Back then, it was worth it. Now, to be honest, I use it maybe 10 times in the summer. For the extra gas to lug around the AC unit and the gas to run it, I’d just leave the windows open. And no, I’m not way up North. About 1 hours drive from the border. Yes, it does get hot here, often breaking 30 C. I just don’t care.
@The Name’s Ash78, Housewares: My father bought a new 1984 Impala without AC in IL, also no rear window defroster, and an AM radio with two speakers in the front.
“The Accent gets 27/33 mpg city/highway.”
That’s rather pathetic for such a small car. My 1994 four-door Saturn sedan w/ a 4-banger at one time got about 24-32 MPG.
@blackmage439: The new EPA numbers underreport real life experience, especially highway (at least for people who know how to drive for economy). Their testing methods bowed under the pressure of the leadfoot constituency
@blackmage439: I get 40 mpg around town with my Accent, and around 38 on the highway.
@blackmage439: I get an average of about 29-32 with my much larger 4-cylinder elantra.
I do have to admit though, the new 3-door Accents look hot, especially considering I don’t really need the extra space on my Elantra.
i bet your 94 saturn had less hp and did without the requisite airbags, stability control, and reinforced frames that add a lot of weight to modern cars in the name of safety.
@smrtypants44: True. It is one of the classic Saturns with the plastic doors and bumpers.
Remember that the new MPG figures are based on the new standards, not applicable to your ’94 Saturn.
@californiadude99: If you go to http://www.fueleconomy.gov you can see the “new” numbers for the old cars. In this case, the ’09 Accent does 27 city / 33 highway (29 combined) versus the ’94 Saturn’s 24 city / 34 highway (28 combined).
My ’01 Saturn SL1 (which has dual front airbags, but doesn’t have the optional side ones) is rated 25/36 (29), and I actually manage to do about 30/39 (33).
@blackmage439: The best car I could afford in the time I had to buy one (No car, community college needed me to be mobile quickly) was a $7,000 PT Crusier, which only gets 20 MPG 90% of the time, and can sometimes hit 24 MPG on a really good day. I would love this mileage, and I plan to look for a car with better mileage when I’m done with school and have made some money.
Aw, I had an Accent in high school. It was a little white tin can; I called it “the Marshmallow”. Puttered along and looked kind of ridic (wasn’t a hatchback, but still, silly), but was reliable and easy to take care of.
@dorsia: “wasn’t a hatchback, but still, silly” means that you think a hatchback is necessarily silly? Actually the little tiny-sedanlet form factor for small cars looks silly to me (the base Versa being compared to the Accent, for example), the trunks are uselessly small and the small opening makes it even worse.
The good news is “Hyuandai Accent Cheapest Car In Amerca”
The bad news is “You Drive One”
I’d pay the extra $20 for a Versa. My first car was an Accent, and the engine blew up with only 20k miles on it. It wasn’t covered under that “amazing” warranty, either.
@parkavery: Loved the car. Hate the company, FWIW.
@parkavery: Seriously? The drivetrain has the 100k warranty on it. The only reason I’d see them not covering it is because during that entire 20k you never changed the oil or something…
They’ve already replaced a window motor and headlamps for me under warranty and I’m about to ask them to replace my steering wheel too (the vinyl is falling apart).
@Oranges w/ Cheese: I wish I was kidding. I learned the hard way that it depends a lot on your dealer. It’s impossible to get anything out of HMA corporate, but if your dealer is nice they can do whatever they want. My dealer was not nice, unfortunately.
(I changed my oil as required, btw)
Why wasn’t the engine covered?
@jzief128: It was a faulty water pump, which HMA covered after three weeks of arguing with them. The rest of the engine ($1,000+) that was fried by their faulty water pump wasn’t covered.
To fry an engine it needs to get rather hot and is usually indicated on the temperature gauge. In many cases subsequent damage is covered under the manufacturers warranty, when it involves driver neglect it is not.
Engines isn’t considered part of the “drive train”? What did the warranty cover?
Still, it’s more of a care than the Chevy Sprint I used to drive.
I’m sorry, every time I hear “Nissan Versa” I hear it in Hiro Nakumara’s voice.
@BuddyGuyMontag: Same thing here! I wonder if I can time travel in one too.
@BuddyGuyMontag: Nissan Versa! Nissan Versa!!! Choice of time-and-space warping drivers everywhere!
I have about 32k on my 3-year-old Elantra, and so far I have nothing but good to say about Hyundai. I easily get 35 MPG hwy, and it’s a plenty spacious car.
I don’t imagine I’ll keep it through the life of the warranty, but who knows, I just might. And if I continue to have no problems with it and decide to sell it, I’ll probably buy another Hyundai (the Genesis is rather sexy).
I’ve had 4 Accents, and every single one of them was awesome. I put over 100k miles on two of them without any problems at all. I rolled a 2001 Accent (4-door) end over end going 60 mph on the highway, and walked away with out a single scratch. That, plus the 35-40 mpg I got resulted in taking the insurance check to the nearest Hyundai dealer.
@SimonDolon: ” I rolled a 2001 Accent (4-door) end over end going 60 mph on the highway, “
That sounds awesome. Exactly how did you manage to do that?? I mean without the help of hollywood pyrotechnics and stuff.
@SimonDolon: how have you gone through four Accents, all with more than 100k miles on them? i can’t imagine what your commute is.
Hyundais have improved immensely in the past few years. My daily driver is an 8 yr. old Sonata and I don’t really have all that much to praise about it. Conversely, I’ve had the opportunity to drive several newer Sonatas this year (the most recent being while my car’s alternator crapped out last weekend) and absolutely love them.
I have also driven a friend’s Elantra a fair bit and it’s a decent car. Right now, I’m torn between a Yaris and an Accent for my next purchase.
I currently own 2 Accents(a 98 and an 03) and had an 01 before that. Love them, they run great, last forever as long as you change the oil and perform basic maintenance(fluid changes, belts at 60K, etc) the ’98 I turboed and it runs excellent even with boost and 146K, and the 03 has 115K on it and again, runs excellent(and I own both of them flat out = no payments!)
I’m still driving a 2001 Accent that I got when I was in college. The price was almost the same in Nov 2000 that a new one is now — I guess I actually paid more when you factor inflation. Great warranty — it’s had a few minor problems over the years but nothing unusual. I guess I’ve gotten more than my money’s worth out of it, and the MPG is better than decent.
Although I’m ready for something better now.
I was looking at the Accent’s a year or two ago and they were up above 10k for the basest of base models. I couldn’t believe it.
But, for 9970 I can drive a stick and deal without AC and a radio. That’s what they make Ipods for. Even for that, I only drive 4 miles each way to work, so I wouldn’t be in the car that long.
Wow, so much hate for Hyundai here. We’ve owned Santa Fe’s for 4 years now (yes, plural; hubby and I each drive one) and they are awesome. Now that we’re close to being empty-nesters, we’ll look to downsize to one of their smaller cars. I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to buy one. (Our previous cars were all Japanese: Toyota, Subaru, Mitsubishi.) Hyundai has come a very long way since those pieces of crap they first imported here.
@ElizabethD: to be fair, the pieces of crap they first imported here were Mitsubishis produced under license.
Yeah, Hyundai’s are great on gas but are a pain otherwise. A brake job on the rear brakes alone can cost nearly $1000. The transmission on my 2002 Accent died back in August at 90,000 and apparently the transmissions on Hyundai Accents are made pretty badly – the transmission guy had 4 other Accents at the shop waiting to be fixed, and Hyundai apparently won’t fix them under warranty unless your maintanence records are impeccable. I’ve had more problems with mine than I can count, and as soon as I can afford a new car, I’m buying a Toyota or a Honda, to hell to with Hyundai.
I hear they sell them by the 6-pack at Sam’s Club.
My wife had a ’98 Accent (w/ 120,000 miles on it) that we drove from south Texas to Oregon a few years back. Granted, its clutch cylinder needed replacing in California, but besides that incident it was an amazingly trouble free and solid car. It had been in several deer collisions before she’d bought it and had nary a dent on it.
We drove it from OR to Idaho several times after that trip before selling it to her parents this year, who then drove it BACK to Texas. Sadly, their neck of the woods is rather unlucky for cars, as it soon had its back window shot out and its AC fail.
When we were visiting a few months ago, the passenger door (thats handle had broken last winter when I yanked it trying to break up the ice stuck to it) finally broke from the inside. I suggested we weld the doors shut, paint it orange with the Korean flag on top and call it the General Tso. The in-laws didnt go for it, though.
Was Hyundai intentionally misspelled?
Used, I’ve only ever owned Toyotas but new, I own Hyundais. Hyundais are FANTASTIC cars and anyone who refuses to see them as such are stuck in the 90s. They offer the best warranty in America and the most value for your dollar bar none.
Hyundais are some of the most reliable cars on the market these days (c.f. Consumer Reports). I’ve owned two and have never had a bad thing to say about either.
Guffaw all you want, but I get 32 mpg out of my Elantra hatchback and can fit more in it than my neighbor can in her 22 mpg Honda CRV. Paid 30% of what she did, too.
Did anybody notice that it is spelled “Hyundai” and not “Hyuandi” as evidenced in big ol’ bold letters and in the tagline??????
I’m the proud owner of a 2006 HYUNDAI Sonata, which at 50,000 miles, has been trouble-free except for two very minor problems (stuck back door lock switch and power mirror control). Will I buy another HYUNDAI? Yes.
I bought a 1994 Toyota Tercel for $1000 with no rust and a 4-speed manual just to get me through the gas crisis since my truck has never gotten better than 15 mpg. It averages 40 mpg combined. If you need a gas sipper to commute with, a new car is not the best idea.. They’re uncomfortable and way more than you need to spend, even for 10k.
The low price seems more impressive when you realize that the Hyundai has a 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty. The Nissan (and none of the major Japanese competitors) have anywhere near that length of coverage!
My EX had a Hyundai she could NOT get fixed…Long story short, after 6 trips for various problems, she just defaulted on the loan and they seized her Hyundai…Now she drives a 2006 Honda I pick out for her…and she LOVES it.
I bought a new ’09 Versa about three weeks ago. It’s a great little car and honestly fun to drive (I got the $13k one with manual transmission and A/C – NEED A/C here in the Summer). The only problem I have with it are the tires.
I’ve come to believe that Hyundai has taken measures to improve their offerings in the past 10 years. Having lived in S Korea for 3 years back in the 90s, I still could never bring myself to buy one of their cars. Such elegant looking CRAP I’ve not seen in my lifetime. Give me Japanese any day, given the choice. I’ll pay extra for the peace of mind I’m buying.
Bought my first Hyundai this year – a 2005 Tuscon GL with about 1yr8mo left on the warranty. It replaced my Grand Prix GT (which I loved, but just had too much go wrong with it), and I’m never buying American again. I don’t think I’ll be buying Japanese anytime soon, either (first three cars were Nissan and Toyota). Hyundai is really pretty rad, and their cars look a lot nicer now. I wasn’t a fan of the old Sonata, but the new one looks like a Camry or a Civic…very nice.
I tell you what, I bought a 700 dollar ’89 acura integra, and threw a couple thousand at it to get it roadworthy and up to snuff and now I have a very solid car for around 3k that gets 35-45. There’s definitely something to be said for the simple 4 bangers that honda made in the late 80′s into the 90′s.
I’ve owned at lot of Hyundai cars….
The 2000 Elantra (when that new warranty came out) was phenomenal. My wife has a 2006 Kia Optima LX V6 and that thing is sweet. It surprised me, even.
Hyundai is what the Japanese used to be until the late ’80s/early ’90s… Reliable performing cars at a reasonable price…
I’m sorry there’s just something wrong when you can pay $20k for a Toyota Corolla…
I drive a 2000 accent. I’m getting new tires today. It has 87,000 miles on it, ran pretty good for 5 years, but the last few years has been a steady decline. I do regular oil changes, a few repair shop visits, and I hope to get another year out of it after maybe one more trip to the shop. Overall: Worth the money
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