New Accent fails to better predecessor

29 November 2006 - 02:00
By unknown

Musa Zondi

Musa Zondi

The problem with a good first car is that is virtually impossible to make a better sequel.

It's like the movies. The Whole Nine Yards was good, but the sequel failed to live up to expectations. Oceans 11 was bound to be better than Oceans 12, even with the same cast.

The Hyundai Accent of yore is a good car. A lot of them are still on the road and look pretty good. Even Delia da Silva drives one and swears by it.

The sequel is just not as good. Yes, it is bigger, but it felt a lot less certain and proud than its predecessor. Maybe I am just a nostalgic old fool, but the new Accent fails to move me the way the first one did.

The 1,6litre engine is supposed to be gutsy. I suppose it is. But it just moves the body forward.

But I agree with the manufacturers on this: "Open the boot and you will be surprised by the deep luggage space, stretching far into the car. With 60:40 split rear seats, the new Accent can take loads of unusual size.

"A full-size 14-inch spare wheel stored under the cargo floor matches the standard rims, eliminating the need for urgent replacements in the event of a damaged wheel."

I could easily disappear in that boot.

But there is no magic in the car like there is in the Getz. Now that is a good Hyundai and a car I would have any time without reservation.

The 1,6-litre DOHC CVVT engine delivers 82kW with 145Nm of torque, giving the car a top speed of 190kmh (176kmh for the auto).

Hyundai Automotive has a three-year or 100 000km warranty and a two-year or 45000km service plan for the new Accent.

Unfortunately, we had not been told of the anti-hijack system and as we drove out its alarm started sounding and I thought: "Houston, we have a problem."

Luckily John is always available and helped us to determine the way forward - pun intended.

It is not a bad car, but nostalgia gets the better of me. Now where is that old Accent?

The car retails at between R115900 and R139 900.

Specifications include air-conditioning, electric windows and power steering.

Other features are radio-CD, front and rear cup holders, digital clock, intermittent windscreen wiper action and tilt-adjustable steering column.