Craig Scime: Rated best in class for cargo space, roominess, fuel economy and price, the new Hyundai Accent's a very classy and very practical subcompact.
Amanda Salas: That's right. It's available as a four-door sedan or a five-door hatchback. The Accent competes with subcompacts like the Honda Fit and the FIAT 500, but the Accent is so roomy that the government has ranked it a compact car.
Craig: In spite of its size, the Accent weighs less than many cars in this category. That's one reason for its best-in-class mileage: 28 miles per gallon city, 37 highway.
Amanda: Another reason is Hyundai's 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine. It's the only engine in its class with direct fuel injection, and it produces a peppy 138 horsepower.
Craig: And buyers have the choice of a six-speed manual transmission or an optional six-speed automatic like the one we have here today.
The interior is well laid out and finished with quality materials, and the 60/40 fold-down rear split seat adds plenty of versatility. Optional equipment includes a six-speaker stereo with XM satellite input jacks, iPod/USB and Bluetooth connectivity.
Amanda: Plus steering-wheel-mounted cruise control and audio system controls.
Craig: All right, so the Accent may not qualify as a fast car, but the engine's got plenty of punch, and the only concern I might have is that the ride feels a bit soft.
Craig: The Accent is pretty comfortable, but there's not much road feel or feedback, especially in the GLS version like we have here.
Amanda: On the plus side, although this is far from a luxury car, it comes with lots of practical features. Stability control and traction control come standard, as well as emergency brake assist.
Craig: The Accent is still a price buster. It sells for less than any car in its class, starting at $12,445 and topping out at just above $17,000 with most of the options added. And of course, for true peace of mind, you gotta love Hyundai's legendary 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Amanda: It may be tempting to overlook the Accent in favor of other well-known brands. But for a roomy small car that's great value for your money, the Hyundai Accent is tough to beat.