2008 Hyundai Accent


$2,829 - $3,943

2008 Hyundai Accent Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2008 Hyundai Accent was new.


Performance: 6.5

The Accent has become a more rigid, better handling car over the years, but most test drivers are still underwhelmed with the engine. "Up to about 40 mph, the Accent feels pretty zippy," BusinessWeek writes. "Short and closely spaced gears help that happen, but the pull to highways speeds reminds you that this is an economy car, not a performance car."

There were some high points. When parking, Automobile.com finds "turn-in is accurate, and it's easy to place the Accent where you want it." But besides steering, the compliments are few. Many reviews state that the Accent's speed is mediocre, even for its class. As Newsday notes, "the three or four of you out there who actually adhere to 55 mph speed limit around these parts will have no problem." Another issue note is noise. Notes the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "Simply put, the ride is harsh and the interior noisy. And I'm not saying it's a little bumpy or a little noisy. It's a whole lot of both."

Acceleration and Power

Lift its lid and you'll find the 2008 Hyundai Accent has a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine good for 110 horsepower, which helps the sedan receive an Environmental Protection Agency fuel economy rating of 27 miles per gallon in the city and 32 miles per gallon on highways, using a manual transmission. With an automatic, the Accent should achieve 24 mpg in the city and 33 on highways. Reviewers make no comment concerning the Hyundai Accent's fuel performance during test drives.

While auto writers tend to enjoy test driving with manual transmission, these reviews had more fun when using automatic. MSN says "performance with the automatic transmission is good in town," but Velocity Journal's reports shift leakage during its test drive with manual. "It's not so swell. Notchy is a kind descriptor. That said, we never missed a shift, but that's like saying the steering is OK because we never ran over a curb," the reviewer says.

Handling and Braking

The 2008 Hyundai Accent has a MacPherson strut system in front and a torsion beam axle in back, and front and rear stabilizer bars are standard. The Accent also has a power rack-and-pinion steering system with a 33.1-foot turning circle. According to Hyundai's Web site, the Accent's suspension is fine-tuned, but Car and Driver claims "surprise by the veracity of that claim." Car and Driver also notes the Accent "rides nice but gets a bit oingy-boingy on the twisties."

Brakes on the 2008 Hyundai Accent vary according to trim. Those choosing the GS model will find 10.1-inch ventilated four-wheel discs, but the SE has four-channel, four-sensor anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake force Distribution. New Car Test Drive rates a GLS with the anti-lock brakes and finds the sedan "seems to stop efficiently…allows the driver to maintain steering control in a braking situation by preventing wheel lockup…improves stability in hard braking situations by balancing brake force front to rear."

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