The 2008 Hyundai Accent might be one of the better economy-minded cars available. Edmunds.com compares it to the Honda Fit, Nissan Versa and Toyota Yaris. I haven’t driven those cars, so I can’t compare. Overall, the entry-level Hyundai Accent seems to be a value-filled economy car ready for the daily commute grind, although, hopefully not too far of a commute.
The Hyundai Accent is certainly affordable; the five-passenger SE compact hatchback I drove was priced at $15,370.
The Accent is equipped with 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and 110 horsepower. Mileage estimates are 27 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway with the five-speed manual I drove. All models include standard front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Antilock brakes are standard on SE coupes.
The Accent’s design is simple with a feeling of roominess from the driver’s seat but not for our young daughter or for my golf clubs. Visibility is good and the short hood allowed for a panoramic view.
Though certainly not quick, the 2008 Hyundai Accent performed aptly. I thought of it as my do-it-myself car. I’ve been driving cars priced at $25,000 and above for quite some time and it had been a while since I drive a standard transmission.
The car did not tell me where to go or how to get there. There were no beeps or whistles to indicate when someone was passing or in the lane where I was heading. There’s No DVD player for back seat passengers, nor satellite radio. And there were considerably less than the 89 buttons I counted on a review vehicles I test drove.
My wife described the Accent as noisy. She’d never ridden in such a small car with a standard transmission. Our baby had the biggest complaint. The back seat was not very car seat-friendly and passing the baby over the front seat and through the hatchback had similar results — Ouch! I was able to fit the mini-SUV-sized baby buggy in the back but the width of the vehicle would not accommodate my golf clubs.
In order to transport my clubs, I had to lay down one side of the back seat which necessitated removing the baby car seat. Baby or golf clubs? No man should ever be forced to make such a decision.
Still, it was refreshing to drive a car I was in control of. From the standard shift to the steering, radio and safety (no camera when backing up), I had to drive the car, and if I didn’t push a button, nothing happened. It was not like cars where I just sat and steered as they motored along. I enjoyed being in control . . . at least for the week.
Warranty — Bumper-to-bumper, 5 years/60,000 miles; Drivetrain: 10 years/100,000 miles; Corrosion: 7 years/unlimited miles; Roadside maintenance, 5 years/unlimited miles.
Safety — Front, front-seat side and side-curtain airbags.
Mileage Estimates — 27 mpg (city); 32 mpg (hwy).
Mileage Range — (manual transmission) 321.2 miles (city), 380.8 miles (highway).
Price (as driven) — $15,370.
Article Last Updated: September 8, 2021.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.