Far from the bare bones fit and trim, the new Accent Diesel is now endowed with a lot of goodies similar to its cousin, the Kia Rio. From the factory, it comes equipped with dual airbags, anti-lock brakes, rear disc brakes, leather steering wheel, 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, and either a four-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission.
Yes, I know you're itching to know about the new CRDi diesel engine under the hood. Well it’s an oil burner, all 1.6 liters of it. Coupled with a VGT (Variable Geometry Turbo), it provides a nifty power package driving around the city. It’s rated at 128 hp and has 260 Nm of torque between 1,900 to 2,750 rpm. Strip it down from the brochure’s numbers and creative descriptions; it's actually a good car.
How good is good? It’s frugal enough to enjoy traffic without worrying so much about your fuel consumption and comfortable enough with its soft suspension setup and amply-weighed steering wheel for those long drives to the provinces. Interior space is also generous, which was a surprise when we packed it with five burly men without looking like a sardine can. And in the event you need to haul ass, the engine will willingly push the car out on the overtaking lane.
The exterior is not that bad either. The newly-grown bump looks like a mix between a Hyundai EON and Ford Fiesta, which isn't a bad thing. HARI also has plans to bringing in more exciting colors such as Electrolyte Green Shade found in the test unit. In fact, during our short test, I found myself lost in limbo when I stared at it from a distance. Halfway through that blank stare, I felt a snicker and a smile bubble up; the look actually grows on you.
If the new Hyundai Accent Diesel Hatchback goes to college, I would probably classify it as a well-rounded pupil or an average performer which would probably get a straight B+ on all subjects. But in the world of compromises that car designers have to juggle, the Accent Hatch is top notch.
Sans the non-local-spec sunroof and two-tone interior found in the test unit, the new Hyundai 1.6 CRDi VGT Hatchback will finally go on sale this year. Though HARI has yet to announce how much it'll be priced, we're expecting that both GL and GLS variants will hit local showrooms.