What Is It?
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What Is It?

A four-door hatchback version of the Accent is being released this year, in addition to the four-door versions of the compact car.

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How Much?
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How Much?

Starts at $12,445 of the GLS four-door version with 6-speed manual transmission, $15,195 for automatic transmission. The hatchback GS version starts at $14,595 and the SE five-door starts at $15,795.

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Key Stats
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Key Stats

-Base model has a 1.6 liter, 16-valve transverse-mounted inline engine with gasoline direct injection and dual continuously variable valve timing.
-138 horsepower
-Fuel economy 30 mpg city and 40 mpg highway for the manual and automatic.
-Standard anti-lock brake system
-Low rolling resistant silica tires
-Standard power windows and power locks. USB jacks and iPod connectors standard

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What's The Competition?
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What's The Competition?

The Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit, Nissan Versa, Chevy Sonic, Ford Fiesta and Mazda2.

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What We Like
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What We Like

Senior Editor Sharon Carty: This is one of the quietest economy hatchbacks on the road, a big plus if you're a commuter who spends a long time in the car. Add in good fuel economy and an interior that, while certainly not plush, doesn't feel cheap, and you've got a car that you can feel good in. It feels large inside, and so does the trunk. The two-tone seats add a nice touch of style, without being obnoxiously trendy. And the steering is stiff but not exhausting to drive.

Autoblog: Given the Accent's focus on fuel economy, we expected a somewhat limp driving experience, and while this isn't the sportiest vehicle in the segment (hello, Mazda), we weren't disappointed by the hatchback's acceleration, handling or on-road manners. The environment behind the wheel is quiet and stable without the jitteriness of most short-wheelbase subcompacts, and the six-speed manual transmission of our tester was easy to row. Based on this first drive, the new Korean hatch has all the makings of one of the best all-around vehicles in the segment. With plenty of power, space and fuel efficiency in a low-cost package, Hyundai has hit all the right notes.

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What We Don't Like
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What We Don't Like

SC: There's not much to dislike. There is no optional navigation system, but drivers can always opt for their own off-the-shelf GPS instead. The new model is a bit more expensive than the older version – about $2,500 more for the base version. And it's not the sportiest car in its segment – the Mazda2 is more fun to drive.

AB: The clutch is a bit light and vague, but it provides a progressive release that makes for an easy commuter. While full power comes on fairly high in the rev range, this isn't a vehicle that enjoys a flogging. The 1.6-liter four-cylinder isn't a particularly quick-revving mill, and its mpg-minded rubber doesn't provide enough grip for any serious corner carving.

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Bottom Line
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Bottom Line

The Accent is a pretty great car, and could help Hyundai continue to increase its ever-growing market share. It should do well in the market, at least until new models come out from competitors Nissan, Chevy and Kia later this year.

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