The Hyundai Accent SR can be best described as a slightly warm hatch, with 103kw and 167Nm it’s the most powerful model in the accent range.
While the SR badge suggests it’s a sportier model it’s looks are rather conservative, understated and hide the sporty nature of the car with front fog lights, 16inch alloy rims and tiny rear spoiler I mean it is rather hard to pick from other models in the range.
On the inside I found it a touch under done as well, the steering I found too thin, hard and slippery.
The seats while being comfortable enough I thought were a touch flat and lacking support in corners. The dash was easy to read in all light and has a large tacho on the left and speedo on the right with a small lcd screen in between.
I like the contoured shape of the dash but the hard plastics make it seem a touch low rent although that seems to be the norm for most cars in this class and certainly at this price point you can’t expect it to be like something more expensive.
The centre stack is home to the multimedia system complete with 5 inch touch screen, USB input, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity.
I found the system easy to use and the Bluetooth was simple to get your phone connected to it.
Rear leg room was decent enough for a car of this size, at 370 litres the boot space is good and benefits from the split fold rear seat.
As I mentioned before the SR is powered by Hyundai’s 1.6L naturally aspirated 4cyl developing 103kw and 167 nm of torque.
While it doesn’t look like a lot of power on paper the Accent SR weighs under 1100kg, which means it’s a decent enough performer it does feel a touch sluggish off the mark but once it starts to pick up some rev’s it picks up nicely.
The engine is fairly tractable although you have to put your foot down a little bit to keep up when traffic moves off.
The 6 speed auto is smooth enough and it does a good job of keeping the Accent in the right gear for any given speed. It does come with a sport shift but I didn’t really use it that much (more on that later on).
Compared to other Accents in the range the SR benefits from a sports suspension set up, which means the SR’s ride is a touch on the firm side.
It does however handle bumps at low speed rather nicely and feels composed over the bigger ones.
On one of Sydney’s typical crappy back roads the firm ride means you do feel the bumps more but not really enough to be off putting for me although I do prefer slightly firm suspension setups.
The steering is light enough to make parking and wheeling it around tight back streets an easy,but I found while it’s progress enough when going into corners it is lacking on the sharpness front that would make it a more entertaining drive.
Safety wise the Accent SR has received 5 star ANCAP safety safety rating and as you would expect has a full compliment of safety including Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control System (TCS), Anti-skid Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and six airbags. However it does lose points for not having reverse sensors and even more for not having a rear view camera.
So far after a week I really wanted to like the Accent SR more as it does have some good points to it it handles ok, the engine has some peppiness to it that I liked plus you do have the piece of mind of a 5 yr unlimited km warranty, but there are a few bad points that out weight the good.
While it could be a somewhat entertaining drive the steering which was hard and slippery to grip prevented any thoughts I had of driving it enthusiastically.
If you’ve read my public interest article on children’s driveway safety then you would know I take safety seriously so the lack of reverse sensors and/or a rear view camera really counts against it as well specially when they are standard fit on many of it’s competitors.
So really while the Accent SR could be a decent little car it does feel a little under done compared to others in it’s class and it would not be my first choice if I was looking at a small car.
Big thanks to Hyundai Australia for the loan of the Accent SR for the week for more info on Hyundais range of cars check out their website http://www.hyundai.com.au