Why a Hyundai Accent diesel is a good buy
First off, let me tell you that I am not selling a car. I am just telling you why I think this car is a good buy. So, if you want details that are normally dished out by car salesmen or dealers, whether their claims are real or not, please check out their websites. This is all about an actual experience with a car not some kind of a "push" for a car.
Hyundai Accent Diesel
I scanned the driver’s manual of this vehicle the day I have driven it from the dealer’s lot. I was looking for the section on how to break-in a 2015 Hyundai Accent. The only restriction I saw was not to keep the car at a certain speed. That I should drive it at varying speeds.
It didn’t have the old school instruction that a new car in its first few thousand kilometres should not be driven faster than 60 kph.
My unit is a sedan. It has 6 speed manual transmission, a 1.6 engine displacement and...
IT RUNS FAST!
You know, that moment when you were driving leisurely and you come upon a vehicle that hampers your normal speed? You step on the gas to pass it, right? Except, the other guy wants to stay in front of you and will not let you overtake...
I tapped the gas pedal momentarily thinking that I’ll make the car jump from 90 to maybe 100 kph but it immediately leapt to 130 kph and I barely noticed the change in speed!
Some cars would make you feel like you are already running too fast at 80 kph! Their engine will be too loud and angry and the car becomes harder to handle. It was the ease by which this car warps into high speed that steals my heart. This baby just does it without you even knowing it. As if, at 180 kph, it is still asking you if that is all the speed you needed.
But it is not the top speed of this car that I think made it faster than most agile vehicles on the road. I think that it was that “ease” that makes it different. Like, if all our cars can run only at say 100 kph max, and we are all from the same starting point and going to the same destination, but my car can easily get to 100 in a few seconds (while all the others struggle a few seconds longer to get to 100) my car will get to our destination well ahead of everyone else’s.
It is that ratio between the car’s body weight and its engine displacement that makes the difference.
From 3rd Gear to what...?
When you drive a vehicle, you normally shift gears sequentially, right? From 1st to 2nd to 3rd to whatever your highest gear is, especially if you are picking up speed. When you slow down you downshift in reverse sequence depending on how slow you went from your previous speed. Like, when you slowed down a bit from 5th, you go to 4th before going back to 5th again and continue your previous speed. That’s the normal way.
In most cars, you cannot go from say 4th to 6th gear, no matter how hard the acceleration, without feeling the gap – that brief moment of slowing down- and fear that your car just might stall. Because it’s like “Dude, you can’t skip the 5th!”
Not in this car. You drive with that button at the lower right side of your panel set to ECO (economy), step hard on your gas pedal in a freeway (better if there’s no car in front of you), and watch the number that flashes near your speedometer in the dash board. If it says “6” you can shift your gear to 6th from the 3rd and feel it surge faster (without the gap) - like you’ve lingered on the 5th gear for far too long!
This beast really knows how to run.
IT SIPS, NOT GULPS
If you have a car that zips thru great distances like a rocket, or a bullet, you will be concerned with what kind of fuel it uses – and how fast it burns them!
My Hyundai didn’t give me what they claim to be Accent’s 36 Kms/liter economy on the highway. To me, that is still hype, a tall tale that needs to be proven. Even if it is true, but only a handful of expert drivers can attain it, it is still a false claim to me since it gives the impression that ordinary drivers can do it.
But at current prices (P25.00/l diesel vs. 45.00/l gasoline), that’s like 44.4% less expense in peso terms. Add that to its “real” (real, because that is what I was able to get) mileage of 20kms/L on the highway, that is still a lot of economy for a 1.6liter engine. In comparison, my other car has a 1.3 liter engine and it can only go as much as 15 kms/Liter on the highway.
I am not inclined to measure the mileage of cars in city driving since I don’t know how to compute the consumption of a car that is standing still while idling in eternally unmoving traffic of Metro Manila.
I only have a base car. An entry level unit, if you may. But it has:
power side mirrors
its trunk opens by remote control
its driver’s seat is adjustable three (3) ways
and, if you ask me, the car excels in negotiating both mountainous and flat terrains.
How did I know this?
In that first outing, the day I drove the car from the dealer’s lot, my destination was Laoag, Ilocos Norte, we passed thru three (3) expressways. NLEX, SCTEX and TPLEX which, by this time, already extends to Binalonan, Pangasinan. In all three, not a single vehicle has overtaken us and we went past every single vehicle we saw on the road, bar none!
IF IT CAN RUN, IT CAN STOP
I heard somewhere that one of the issues Accent had in the past was its inability to tame itself from a high speed run. Meaning, it is unable to stop right away when it needed to – which is not at all nice! But that is not the case with the 2015 model. In fact, I have to make conscious adjustments in the way I step on the brake every time I use my other car after using the Accent and vice-versa. If I don’t, I will be at risk of rear-ending the car in front of me if I am using the other car (as my foot will be very light on the brake pedal) or the car behind me will be always be at risk of kissing the butt of my Accent if it is the one I am using (since I have to step harder on the brake if I am using the other car).
Baguio City has Six (6) entry points from the lowlands: Naguilian Road, Marcos Highway, Kennon Road, Aritao-Benguet Road, Bagabag-Banaue-Bontoc road and Tagudin-Mankayan Road.
On the way back from Laoag City, we took the Tagudin-Mankayan Road and it didn’t mind the ridiculously high grades (inclinations) of the road from Cervantes, Ilocos Sur to Buguias, Benguet. And we were not exactly travelling light. There were four of us in the car plus all our luggages.
Okay, before you guys accuse me of being easy, falling for a car after a whirlwind romance, allow me to say that it has been six (6) months since that first trip, the day I have driven the car from the dealer’s lot. My odometer now reads 17,250 Kms.
I was made aware several times that the normal mileage of a privately owned car is between 10,000 to 15,000 a year. How did my mileage jump so fast? You be the judge. Upon our return to Manila from that first trip the car had to go back right away to the Service Center for its first 1000kms Preventive Maintenance Service (PMS) - except mine has already logged 1,500 kms! Since then the car has already gone thru three (3) more PMS’s. Twice in Manila, once in Laoag City and the last one was in Naga City.
NOT A PERFECT CAR
Like what they say, nobody’s perfect. Neither is the Hyundai Accent 2015. The other car which I always refer to in this post is a 2006 Vios. It feels better in cornering. If you have driven from Manila to Sorsogon City using the old route to Camarines Norte, you will know how a vehicle behaves in curves. The Accent was a little uncertain, the Vios feels like it is sure footed. It is more stable.
This base unit has no camera for driving in reverse, visibility is quite limited at the back.
Another thing that goes against it is maintenance cost. It is a tad higher than a gasoline fed vehicle, and I cannot understand why it should. But there you go.