I want to send out a big public thank you to Hyundai for making the 2009 Accent the most low-tech car of the 21st century. Do y'all realize how much extra car companies are charging us for unnecessary features? This was my first car, and all I wanted was a reliable car with good fuel efficiency and cheap. Y'all would be surprised to know how elusive that combination is in modern automobiles. I didn't want key faubs, or Bluetooth, GPS, or side view mirror turn signal lights. Nuh-uh! Thankfully, the '09 Accent was designed without all these useless amenities. Not only that, they got rid of features I didn't even know I didn't need. No cruise control? Well, how hard is it to just keep your foot on the accelerator? With most newer cars, you can press a button to lock all the doors at once. Not so with the Accent. You've gotta lock each door manually just like our 20th century ancestors did. Hey - If I'm saving a few bucks, I can do that. I can crank the windows by hand, no problem. I will say, though, that I did want one specific feature. I really wanted my car to have an AUX port so I could listen to tunes from my phone through the speakers. And guess what? The Accent has it! This car is perfect!
I bought this car in 2009. With the cash for clunkers rebate and other discounts it was 7,800 out the door. I changed the required items and maintenance at 100,000 . At 200,000 I replaced the water pump, thermostat , timing belt, hoses and spark plugs. Oh yes, brakes at 150,000 and three sets of tires. This was the most basic model, stick shift and roll up windows. Best car I've ever owned!
I bought it new. It ran efficiently for six years...I was about to celebrate it's 100,000 mile birthday when the timing belt shredded and killed my whole engine...after one year of no car payments, is it worth the grief now...
2009 Hyundai Accent Hatchback SE 2dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M)
I've owned the car for over 2 years now. I bought it used with ~52k miles on it back in the fall of '13. It is the SE with all the options and a MT. I just turned over 80k miles this month.
What I like: For a hatchback, it looks kinda neat. I like the tail lights and the stubby spoiler. The cloth interior is nice, it's the charcoal with rough texture and that's right up my alley. For a 110 HP engine, it sure feels like more, so I've been alright with the power, even though I'm accustomed to more powerful vehicles (200 HP Taurus, 220 HP Eclipse GSX). I like the amount of space in the engine bay for repairs and maintenance. The engine has the capability of going into high RPMs. I like the hatchback and the cargo area, especially with the rubber floor mat. Liked the Sirius XM radio. I've never had the car break down on me or leave me stranded or fail to start.
Things that I like less: 5th gear really really needed to be longer. I run on the freeway to commute, and at 70 MPH, the engine is at ~3,500 RPM. How great the MPG could have been if the final gear left me at 2,000-2,200 RPM! I had the same complaint with my Eclipse GSX. These engineers really need to lengthen the final gear, it's not for acceleration, it's for cruising! Unfortunately, the MPG is not what I expected out of a car this size. I expected 34-35 MPG but average somewhere just under 30 MPG. The tires. Oh my the tires. Firstly, why a tiny hatchback comes with 16" rims is beyond me. You feel every bump with these low profile tires, and let me tell you, they are easy to pop! Lost one along with a dented rim in a pothole. Lost a second on a gravel country road. These are simply not made to be durable or comfortable. To add the cherry on the top, tire shops do not stock this size! Blow a tire? Guess you're waiting a day or two for your size to come in! Do yourself a favor and "upgrade" to the stock 14" rims off a GS and put normal tires on it with a higher sidewall. Squeaky clutch pedal. Don't know how to fix it, it's always squeaked. Asked the dealership to lube it or something, they couldn't fix it. Cheap dashboard that's guaranteed to scratch. Seems to be the industry standard these days. Sirius XM will mail you to get you to sign up. Seems like the little birdies told them I bought a car equipped with XM radio. Did not appreciate that. Car feels like a kite in the wind. You will fight the gusts and be tossed about on the highway. I honestly contemplate how I can add extra aerodynamic enhancements to keep this thing grounded in the wind. It's so low to the ground already, how is it this bad? It's low to the ground. As in, you can't use normal ramps to change your oil. I mean, you can, but you will certainly scuff up your front bumper cover. And after numerous times of doing that, it will eventually crack. The suspension. Dear me, even worse than the rim/tire fiasco. These cars are notorious for having suspension components that wear out far too rapidly. Be prepared to listen to the lovely sound of popcorn being made for the life of this car. Sway bar end links. Tie rod ends. Ball joints. Shocks/struts. It's all garbage, and it all needs to be replaced at least once (or more) under 80k miles. Some say Moog aftermarket will help. Metal shift knob is heavy and looks good, but it gets HOT in the summer and COLD in the winter. Watch out for both. Sun visors - utter garbage. Work well until they simply break. Want to get a replacement? OK, $80. Great... The sound system is very 'meh'. Almost no bass. Back seat latch rattles anyone? Yeah, you know what I'm talking about... Depreciation. WOW that is a killer. This car lost $6-7K value in the 2 years I've owned it. Ouch. I thought with the gas prices being high that the need for small, economical hatchbacks would be worth something to somebody. Nah, gas came down. Looks like dealer trade in is only around $3,500 now. Almost pays to just keep it and drive it into the ground.
With all the nit-picky things, I still think it's a decent car. If I bought a Hyundai again, I would opt for a slightly higher make.