When I went back to the Hyundai stand the Accent was ready for some glamour shots, though it looks like someone forgot to put the makeup on the model. Let me clarify – the car is much better looking than the outgoing Accent, but too derivative for those looking for something different. The place where people spend the most time, inside, has gotten most of the work. The car on display had a two-tone design that gives it a more expensive look at first glance. More about the Accent at the link.
The Accent is now 3 inches higher allowing the interior designers to move the seating position up 2 inches giving the driver a better view outside. Standard equipment includes an AM/FM/CD audio system with 4 speakers, tilt steering wheel, 8-way driver?s seat with an adjustable armrest, driver and passenger vanity mirrors and a 60/40 fold-down rear seat that includes a folding center armrest with dual cup holders.
The 2006 Accent will only be available in one body style, the GLS sedan which will offer a Convenience Package, which we bet will be on a lot of people?s option list along with the AC. The Convenience Package includes power windows, locks and mirrors, keyless entry, 6 speaker upgrade and illuminated door switches.
Although the car has only grown 1.8 inches longer, interior and storage space grew due to better packaging. Trunk space grows 0.8 cubic feet to 12.4 cubic feet. Bottle holders and storage trays are available for front and rear passengers.
Safety is a major concern in smaller cars and Hyundai packed Accent with airbags galore. Front passengers are protected with front and seat mounted side-impact airbags while the outboard rear passengers share the roof mounted side curtain airbags. ABS is available as an option.
Power is delivered by a new 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine with CVVT sending 110 horsepower and 107 lbs-ft of torque to either a standard 5-speed or optional 4-speed automatic transmission. The engine is projected to receive Ultra Low Emission Vehicle certification.
No word on pricing; we would have to guess a little higher than the current car just by the amount of upgrades that the new car includes, but Hyundai has surprised with price points before. I sat in the new car and the interior look and feel was impressive and the higher seating position offered more room than the current Accent. I?m just hoping a sportier looking model makes it to the line up as a hatchback for those that are looking for something a little less sterile-looking.
More exclusive pictures of the Accent here.