2015 Hyundai Accent Sport 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 6A)
I started looking around for an economical car that could replace my 2015 Accent Sport hatchback and based on very favorable reviews of the Yaris iA, I figured it would be a good replacement. There are many advantages on paper for the Toyota Yaris. It has things not available on my Accent, mainly a back up camera, low speed autonomous breaking, push button start and a 7 inch infotainment screen. Plus the trunk of the Yaris is slightly bigger than the hatch space with the seats up. Of course, the Accent cargo storage is more flexible since this is a hatchback, but I was willing to forego the flexibility of a hatch if everything else was good. So I spent 2 days and over 500 miles in the Yaris and here are the things that stood out. Two major pluses for the Yaris are the fuel economy and road handling on twisty road. As for handling, the difference is negligible on a freeway or on city streets but on a curvy 2 lane road, the Yaris wins easily – and this did not surprise me because it is a Mazda underneath the Toyota badge. The other and perhaps the biggest advantage of the Yaris is the fuel economy. I got between 42 and 46 on 3 fill-ups and that included some time spent fighting major congestion along the Oregon coast. I have almost never achieved 40 mpg in my Accent and it is usually only about 34 in mixed highway/city driving. Some things are almost equal – road noise is perhaps slightly less in the Yaris but wind noise is less in the Accent. The difference is most pronounced on the freeway when a truck passes. This is quieter in the Accent. The engines are almost equal although the Mazda engine revs a bit more freely. Engine noise is very muted in both cars unless you really push the engine when you can then hear some noise. The suspension seems equal to me although at times I thought that the Yaris was a bit better – but this is a very subtle difference. But then the Accent wins on some very important measures. First and foremost, the Accent seats are wonderful with nice lumbar support. I was never comfortable in the Yaris seat for lack of lumbar support and the seat, even when adjusted for height, still makes one feel that you are in a bit of a bucket. My passenger felt the same and commented that he felt very confined in the Yaris, whereas the Accent gives you space to move around a bit. The floorboard space in the Accent is much better. We all like to adjust our legs after a while but Yaris really restricts you here. The visibility in the Accent is better in the front and on the sides. Neither car has good rear visibility. So overall comfort in the Accent was really the big difference, although there were additional advantages in the Accent. You have retained power in the Accent to listen to the radio or raise/lower windows but everything dies in the Yaris immediately when you turn off the engine. This is a bigger irritation than it sounds in everyday use. Also the rear windows in the Accent go all the way down but not in the Yaris. The Accent has a nice center armrest with storage underneath – but not in the Yaris. Front door storage is better in the Accent. The sun visors in the Accent can be adjusted to block out more sun when it is coming in from the side. Not available in the Yaris. The steering wheel is leather in the Accent, vinyl in the Yaris. The Accent sport has rear disc brakes, drum brakes in the Yaris. The Accent has fog lights but not yet available in the Yaris. The Accent has Sirius radio (which I like a lot) and the infotainment system in the Yaris does not. I will admit that the Yaris screen is much nicer and larger and you do have HD radio (something lacking in my Accent). I also like the Compass and elevation info that you can get in the Yaris. I am a geographer and love having that elevation data and it seemed quite accurate based on some roadside elevation markers that we passed.
In summary, I was expecting that this Yaris would be my next car. But the comfort level is significantly lower in the Yaris and it is missing some niceties standard in the Sport version of the Accent, and so I am sticking with my Accent for now.
The car delivers a solid experience in terms of driving experience and reliability. I owned it for my wife initially but started to use it interchangeably with my Jeep and it always felt a nice drive. I totally recommend the car and the make to anyone.