Hyundai Accent: A History of Capable Comfort

The Hyundai Accent doesn’t get a lot of attention, largely due to the fact that it lives in the less-flashy subcompact “affordable” market of cars. Today, people are so focused on high-tech upgrades, luxury crossovers, and showing off their style that few people set out to get a simple, solid, reliable piece of transportation like the Accent. This little car actually packs quite a punch, offering plenty of features and optional upgrades in newer models with an affordable charm that comes from a place of necessity.

The Beginning

The Accent first debuted in 1994, when it was introduced to the market as a replacement for the Excel model for the 1995 model year. The car was initially sold under multiple names in various countries, including:

?       Dodge Brisa (Venezuela)

?       Hyundai Excel (Netherlands, Belgium, Australia)

?       Hyundai Pony (France)

?       Kia Qianlima (China)

The first Australian Hyundai Accent cars were debuted in November 1994, available in three different models and four trims: Sprint and GX three-door hatchbacks, LX four-door sedan, and GLX five-door hatchback. Power steering came standard on all models except the Sprint. Special editions were released to the market in 1996, 1999 and 2000, providing advanced performance and sporty upgrades. However, the Sprint remained the most popular model with its three-door compact size, reasonable pricing, and standard power steering after 1998.

Safety from the Start

High-tech systems weren’t always an option for safety in cars. Before the advent of modern vehicle technology, cars relied on their construction, airbags, and other physical safety features to keep passengers safe. The Accent has always provided airbags and other basic safety features standard. Newer models include optional emergency braking assistance, front collision protection, and other systems for a guaranteed safer ride.

Folksam, a Swedish insurance company, rated the first generation Accent among the safest cars in the subcompact weight class. The third generation continued to improve on safety, with optional upgrades, additional airbags, and other features. Fourth-generation models were rated four stars by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), including models manufactured in 2012.

Accent Rally Cars

Hyundai has also had a number of hands in the racing industry around the world. The Accent WRC and WRC2 joined the World Rally Championship from 2000 to 2003, being driven by world champions and top rally drivers through a number of events. Australia also features the X3 Accent sold under the Hyundai Excel name, which is used for racing in the Excel Rally Series. There are strict guidelines regarding modifications, to help reduce costs and encourage fair competition.

A Humble, Capable Car

Despite its many changes and variations over the years, the Accent has always remained what it was intended to be: a capable, affordable subcompact for budget-conscious shoppers and first-time drivers alike. Modern models are being designed with more optional performance and technology upgrades to keep up with the competition.

At the end of the day, this car remains a humble, “just-right” option for those who choose it. Find the right Accent sedan for you at your local Hyundai dealer!

Categories: Accent

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