Several years ago I swore that I would never own a Hyundai. We are very pleased with our decision to purchase the accent. At 10,000 miles so far, we've seen a low of 34mpg and a high of 43mpg, with 38-40mpg for our typically city driving. It's not fast, but it's nearly hybrid like economy for tens of thousands less and much more fun to drive. I'd have given perfect marks if it came with better tires and cruise control.
I had this car for about 2 weeks. Only had 10k miles on the odometer. I put about 1000 miles on the car. At first this vehicle did not impress me. This is by far the smallest cheapest car I have ever driven. However the highlights are the seats, the stereo, and shiftronic automatic. This car turned out to be quite comfortable even for a 4 hr drive. However I had a problem with this car. One day the turnsignals quit working. Checked everything and everything else works fine. I believe there may be a problem with the modulation control for the turnsignals in this model I had. In all this car seems like it would be a solid buy other then the one issue.
I spent many hours researching cars and test driving them, found this little Accent to be the most roomy, efficient new car you can buy for the money. My criteria was it had to be able to carry 2 adults and two car seats (2 kids). Zippy enough to take over the pass loaded. The trunk is roomy enough for weekend trips. I was able to get mine for $13,600 + fees for a base model. The manual transmission is very slick and the clutch is very light. Low wind noise on the freeway. Handling feels tight, but still soft over bumps.
I work at home, so I'm not running up miles as a commuter. My car has a very small wheelbase, a great turning radius that lets me get in and out of tight parking spaces, and it has a lot of zip, too--acceleration when needed, and power to spare. I recently drove it 2400 miles from Los Angeles to Asheville NC in seven days, moving with traffic or at the speed limit. We stopped four or five times a day for food, fuel, bathroom breaks and overnight lodging. My average fuel mileage for that trip was a little over 41 miles per gallon. We encountered hail and chain lightning in New Mexico, electrical storms in Texas, and a cloud burst of near-Biblical proportions on the mountain road between Knoxville, TN and Asheville, NC. Nothing fazed this car. But living in a mountainous community with four seasons is very different than the mostly flat Los Angeles basin. I traded this car in on a somewhat larger, all wheel drive Subaru, and got exactly what it was worth, according to three Internet pricing services. Bye bye Hyundai. I don't miss it. I would have replaced it with a larger, AWD model, but the sales staff at the local Hyundai dealership were such jerks that I couldn't stand to be around them. So I bought a Subaru Forester and lived happily ever after.