Wednesday, 14 March 2018

2018 Hyundai Accent Preview

Fast Facts:
  • Improved performance and dynamics
  • New cascading grille features expressive and upscale design
  • Vehicle architecture includes 54.5% advanced high-strength steel
  • Standard rearview camera with dynamic guidelines
  • Advanced connectivity with available Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Hyundai Blue Link telematics, and SiriusXM satellite radio

The 2018 model year introduces the fifth generation of the sub-compact Hyundai Accent—only, with increased interior space, it’s now classified as a compact. The new model features improved dynamics, a quieter ride, attractive exterior, and a high-tech interior, Hyundai says. The new model’s key feature is advanced high-strength steel, which composes 54.5% of the vehicle: up 13 percentage points from the fourth generation. Hyundai also points out that the Accent’s torsional rigidity improves by 32%.

Exterior Features
The 2018 Hyundai Accent for sale is wider than the previous generation by 1.2 in., and the overall length has increased by 0.6 in., while height remains unchanged. The wheelbase has also increased by 0.4 in., pushing the wheels farther to the corners and improving interior roominess.

The 2018 Accent’s more rigid chassis improves noise isolation and overall driving dynamics, according to Hyundai. The new exterior design features Hyundai’s cascading grille—a visual signature integral to the company’s identity—flanked by wraparound headlights and available LED signature daytime running lights. The sweeping roof profile and sharp character lines run the length of the car, meeting available slim LED wraparound tail lights. The new Accent features standard 17-in. alloy wheels and side mirror LED turn signal indicators. The underside of the car is sculpted for aerodynamics, and Hyundai points to a new front-lip spoiler and lower ride height as contributors to the Accent’s efficient design.

Interior Features
The driver-friendly interior layout features improved roominess, intuitive controls, and premium soft-touch materials. Technology features include a wide instrument panel that features a standard reversing camera system with a 5-in. or optional 7-in. color TFT LCD display. Beneath the screen, the control panel features a horizontal layout, with buttons and controls logically grouped by function. The lightweight but strong seat frame helps to keep occupants steady in collisions. Heated front seats are available. The standard rear seats fold with a 60/40 split. Total interior volume is 103.9 cu. Ft.

Optional Features
Available features on the 2018 Accent include projector headlights with LED DRLs; power sunroof; fog lights; 6-speed automatic transmission; larger touch screen; Blue Link Connected Services with 3 years of standard complimentary service, including remote start; hands-free smart trunk release; dual USB charging; heated front seats; proximity push-button start and automatic temperature control; and forward-collision avoidance assist.

Under the Hood
For 2018, the new Accent receives an updated standard powertrain that includes a 1.6-liter gasoline direct-injection (GDI) engine, which produces 130 horsepower and 119 lb.-ft. of torque. Compared with the previous-generation Accent, Hyundai says, the engine’s powerband has improved, with increased low-end torque to make drivability easier. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard; an automatic transmission is optional. The automatic transmission includes the company’s Drive Mode Select feature to adjust both powertrain performance and steering calibration, allowing the driver to customize the driving character by selecting two modes—Normal or Sport—by touching a button on the center console.

Fuel Economy
Fuel efficiency has also been improved by an estimated 7% overall, Hyundai claims. According to the EPA, the 2018 Hyundai Accent returns 28 mpg in the city, 38 mpg on the highway, and 32 mpg combined with the automatic transmission, and 28/37/31 mpg with the standard manual transmission.

The 2018 Accent features several collision-protection improvements. The front crumple zones have been increased; front side airbags have been upgraded; and reinforcements have been added to improve the car’s collision-energy management performance, especially in small overlap crashes. The greater proportion of high-strength steel also improves collision-energy management without adding weight, Hyundai says.
New for 2018 and for the segment, the new Accent offers available forward collision-avoidance assist that employs a front forward-facing radar to detect a vehicle and warn the driver of a potential collision. If the driver does not react to avoid the impact, the system will automatically apply emergency braking.

Improved ride comfort, handling, and stability are achieved through key developments in the suspension. The standard Motor-Driven Power Steering (MDPS) system instantly adjusts to changing driving conditions for greater precision and steering feel while improving fuel economy, Hyundai says. The new Accent offers a proximity key with push-button start, so drivers never need to pull out a key from their pocket or purse. The optional 7-in. touch screen features both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for seamless and intuitive operation of the most commonly used smartphone functions, including app-based navigation, streaming audio, and voice-controlled search capabilities. Blue Link integrations for Amazon Alexa and Google Home allow remote start and climate control.

If you’re in the market for the good looking, innovative Hyundai Accent - find a Group 1 Hyundai dealership. Find out more about Group 1 Hyundai’s Hyundai Accent for sale and test drive a Hyundai Accent today.

Friday, 23 February 2018

Test Drive: 2018 Hyundai Accent

At a glance, it looks like they shrunk down a Hyundai Sonata, and that’s just fine. The 2018 Hyundai Accent is a small car (compact, technically), but it’s also a real looker. It’s bold. Blocky. Edgy. Probably, nobody will say it looks “precious”. It looks like a big car, just smaller.
Be careful with your speed on the highway: here’s one of those cars that can easily sneak past the limit on the sly if you’re not using the cruise control.
At writing, the all-new-for-2018 Accent was the freshest, newest and most recently redone car on offer in its segment, and shoppers after the latest from the great big world of affordable cars should include it on their test drive hit-list.
For decades, small cars had the structural strength of a warmed and lightly buttered ciabatta bun. This is not the case with the new Accent.
A fun fact follows: Hyundai builds their own steel, in their own factories. Some of this steel is called Advanced High Strength Steel, or AHSS. This sounds fancy, but it just means “really, really strong steel”.
By building this super-steel themselves, Hyundai can use more of it, on the cheap, in the construction of cars like the new Accent. There are benefits, relating to the fact that AHSS is strong and light. One of these is that, by building key parts of the car’s skeleton from it, you wind up with a car that’s stronger and more rigid, but without becoming obese and heavy like a prenatal rhinoceros who enjoys routine poutines. Actually, the latest Accent is loads stronger and more rigid than its predecessor, and bigger, but only about 10 kg heavier.
You can’t see the Accent’s AHSS, though you can feel some of the benefits on a test drive. Most of these relate to refinement, ride quality, and noise levels.
Accent’s mega-stiff structure enables a quieter ride, since the stiffened-up body resists deflecting over bumps which can pump air throughout the cabin and create a dull, drumming noise. It’s not Cadillac quiet, but head down a rough road, and it’s decently muted, with no rattles, and no sensation of flimsiness. Even at a good clip, it’s hush enough for front-seat pals to chat without voice raising.
On most roads, noise levels are kept nicely within limits. On the same rough roads that make some affordable cars feel like delicate rattle-traps, Accent feels hearty and sturdy, and ride quality remains fairly consistent. That’s because of another AHSS benefit: the stiffened structure allows engineers to more precisely tune the suspension that it rides on. So, for noise levels, and often ride quality, Accent typically feels like a bigger and heavier car.
There is one catch: the tester’s thin and sporty (winter) tires resulted in increased noise and jaggedness on severely neglected roadways. On perfect to moderately rough roads, ride quality and comfort are nicely dialled in towards a semi sporty-taut feel that’s more athletic than floaty. On the really rough stuff, though, there’s a good bump in noise and harshness, even though the overall feel of durability remains.
Drivers who appreciate a sportier and more athletic feel will find the ride quality to be just fine, but head to the roughest road available on your test drive to confirm where the ride quality of the Accent you’re considering lands within your preferred ride-quality spectrum.
Few will find issue with on-board space or functionality. The Accent feels bigger than it looks, each seat is easily accessed, headroom is generous, and the rear floor is free of a central hump which munches into passenger foot space. Four average sized adults should fit satisfactorily, and rear-seat legroom is more than suitable, though headroom evaporates quickly for the tall.
Heated seats are included in both front and rear. This is swell, because heated rear seats make your carpool friends like you more, so they’ll pay for your coffee at the drive-thru.
The driver perches behind a simple and tidy instrument cluster with a clean central driver computer display. There’s a proper armrest, which is great if you have arms, which is a thing that is likely. Numerous cubbies, bins, and compartments, as well as power points for juicing gadgets, are within easy reach.

The trunk is deep and wide and easy to access, so tackling a weekend road-trip for four and their gear should prove no problem.
Power comes from a 1.6L four-cylinder engine with a strong-for-its-size 132 hp. This year, some tweaks expand the range at which the bulk of the engine’s torque is available. From the driver’s seat, this means more responsiveness at lower speeds, and stronger, quieter responsiveness more of the time during gentle driving.
Punch it, and Accent is relatively peppy. Most shoppers will find performance to be adequate or better. Be careful with your speed on the highway: here’s one of those cars that can easily sneak past the limit on the sly if you’re not using the cruise control. The Accent has enough grunt, even if the sound doesn’t back it up: pushed hard, the engine sounds like it’s working harder than my heart after downing a family-sized bacon cheeseburger poutine. Don’t judge me.
Most of the time, you don’t even realize the six-speed automatic transmission is doing anything, since shifts are velvet-smooth and typically occur at low revs, where the engine isn’t yet making much noise. That’s a good thing, since the transmission often toggles heartily between fifth and sixth gear on the highway. Sixth gear keeps cruising revs down in the interest of your fuel bill but is only available when the Accent is under very light load. As such, even a slight hill or headwind triggers a downshift. There’s a lot of shifting going on while you cruise, but if you’re not watching the tachometer, you’d hardly ever know.
Brakes perform well in emergency stops. When engaged, the ABS system is a little noisy but smooth, and pulls the Accent down from speed quickly and with little drama or squirming. The action at the pedal is more precise than the norm in this segment – often a feeling like the braking system is made of wet shoelaces and cheese-whiz. Seems like engineers worked the brake pedal out to inspire confidence when a fast stop is required, and even on snow and ice, Accent pulls down from speed with appreciable urgency, in a straight line, and without making a scene.
Note that the tester was wearing quality winter tires. Without these, you’re about 734 percent more likely to skid into a bus or ditch during an emergency stop instead.
There’s a similarly fine-tuned feel to the handling. Should drivers find occasion to push the Accent a little on some winding roads, it performs eagerly within a wide comfort zone. Again, and like the brakes, it’s a touch more responsive and fine-tuned than average. Drivers who appreciate tidy handling and an alert and eager feel will appreciate the setup.

At low speeds, a feather-light steering feel and relatively small turning circle make Accent a cinch to manoeuvre around parking spaces and to zip through traffic in crowded areas. At highway speeds, your writer wished the steering was a touch heavier to help lock the car more firmly into place within its lane, and to reduce the need to issue corrections to its position. Engaging the “sport” drive mode recalibrates the steering (among other things), which seems to help.
A few other notes. The tested GLS-grade Accent flaunted some must-have upscale feature content. Favourites included (very powerful, like seriously) heated seats, a heated steering wheel finished in the sort of creamy-smooth leather that wouldn’t feel out of place in a twice-the-price ride, and Android Auto functionality, which effectively upscales key smartphone interfaces (including the “talk to Google” Android Assistant voice command system, and Google Maps), into the main screen. Elsewhere, the central command interface is straightforward, responsive, and highly logical to use.
The Accent also heats up appreciably fast when it’s very cold outside, and I can confirm that it starts like a champ without being plugged in overnight, even at 25 below.
Further, headlight performance is good – at or above average as small cars go – which addresses one of my biggest complaints of the last-generation Accent.
Gripes? Some will wish for a more upscale materials palette and a splash more colour in the Accent’s cabin. Much of this cabin is shaped nicely, but the colours are drab. Further, the trunk lacks an inner grab handle, so closing it in winter months will require touching gross salt.

End of the day, and once again, here’s a top test drive candidate for a small car that thinks big when it comes to space, a feeling of durability and density on real-world roads, and especially, styling and feature content bang for the buck.
At writing, pricing was yet to be announced, but should be in close to the outgoing 2017 unit. We will update this article when full pricing becomes available.
2018 Hyundai Accent GLS

PEAK HORSEPOWER: 132 hp @ 6,300 rpm
PEAK TORQUE: 119 lb-ft @ 4,850 rpm
FUEL ECONOMY: 8.3/6.2/7.4 L/100 km cty/hwy/cmb

If you’re in the market for a Hyundai Accent - view Group 1 Hyundai’s available offers on the Hyundai Accent or simply test drive the Accent to get a feel for what it has to offer.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Buying a used car in SA: 5 tips to get the best deal

Not everyone can afford a new car, well, with exception of the 36 794 fortunate South Africans who registered their new cars in January 2017.
New car sales in SA  have flitted around the 35 000 mark for the last five years, even though that means that 547 442 units were sold in 2016, compared to 617 648 in 2015.
But new vehicles sales are clearly the junior partner when compared to used car sales.

SA car industry
According to WesBank, data showed that application volumes for new vehicles amounted to 38 343, versus 89 390 for used vehicles in May 2016.
Sure, everybody loves that new car smell but a second-hand car offer better value, while leaving your wallet intact, if you follow a few simple steps.
Used cars are also likely to attract a much lower insurance premium than new cars, and feature-for-feature, you can usually get more bang for your buck.
Yes, let’s set aside your fears of being stuck along the side of the road with these tips on how to pick your new (used) car, without having someone take advantage of you.
Even you have an 'OBD2 code' reader, some sellers are able to clear codes without fixing problems.

Step 1: Don't think with your heart
The first step is often the hardest; don’t fall in love with a car. For a used-car dealer, a smitten customer makes for easy pickings and they will easily sell you a rolling disaster. It could be the vehicle you dreamt of owning as a child, the car of your first kiss, or that sports car you loved when it came out... don't think with your heart.
When you set out to buy a car, the trick is to search far and wide and consider all your options. The internet can be your friend in this regard.
This might not work for everyone, but I’ve purchased a lot of cars and have a rule of not even considering the first three cars I look at; In fact, those viewings are minimally more than scouting expeditions.
Find out what's there and weigh-up each vehicle's pros and cons - ask a Group 1 Hyundai representative about the used Hyundai i10 for sale.

Step 2: Stay mainstream
If you’re buying new, by all means go berserk and purchase something exotic. If you're searching the second-hand market, mainstream is safer, and here’s why; You may have minimal or no factory warranty so the cost of maintenance will come straight out of your pocket.
An oil filter for a Toyota Corolla can cost as low as R60 but for a Renault more than R200. This escalates if you own a high-performance model.
But it’s more than simply considering the cost of parts.
Once the dealer cuts you loose, you need to explore independent service stations to keep your car in tip-top shape.
Typically, these mechanics will charge a premium for working on cars where the engine bay is more covered up than a mummy.
In terms of performance, you should ask yourself 'If this GTI, Type R or M3 is so good, why are they selling it?'
It’s hard to make generalisations but you would do well to stay away from high-performance cars mainly because those are the ones more likely to have been driven to death before they are sold. Unless you are knowledgeable about cars, have a decent mechanic and be prepared to pay a premium for parts.

Step 3: Watch people, not cars
This strategy has worked well for me buying several cars; Watch the seller while you talk about the car. Shifty behaviour is usually a sign that there’s something dodgy with the car.
Walk around the car and point out parts. Watch the sellers body language.
Look for signals that the seller is uncomfortable and follow your gut. There’s no harm in walking away, rather than being stuck with a lemon.
I once saw a great-looking model for sale but the private seller seemed rushed to make the sale. Luckily, I had a mechanic with me who pointed out a soapy residue in the oil – a tell-tale sign of a blown head-gasket.

Step 4: Testing and more testing
Don’t ever let on that you know anything about cars; rather have the seller talk about the car’s good points – and be sure to check the things he doesn’t talk about.
Specifically, check brake discs for uneven wear, check the colour of the oil (it should be golden brown, and not a dark colour) battery terminals should be clean, tyres should be in good condition with even wear, and the body should be straight. Check the body seams in the engine bay and boot to see whether it was repaired after a smash.
While the handbrake is up, give the car a mighty heave. Of course it should not move.
Be suspicious if the car has a "new" battery. Think about it, why would a person wanting to sell a car give you a battery worth R1000? Perhaps it's to hide something such as a faulty loom or alternator.
Ditto for new tyres that may be attempt to mask serious suspension or steering problems. And watch out for paint on body panels that may appear to be a different shade to the rest of the vehicle - this indicates the car has been in a crash.

Step 5: How to test drive
Never begin your test drive by jumping in and heading off.
Instead, have the seller switch on the ignition and let the vehicle idle. Walk around the car and test the wipers, lights and listen to the engine noise. Once it has been idle for awhile, switch it off.
Attempt to start the car with the headlights still on. If it doesn’t start immediately there may be an electrical problem. Check all light, aircon, electric window and mirror switches.
During your test drive, make sure you test all the gears, and include some kind of incline on your route. Feel for any “flat spots” in acceleration.
(Flat spots are where the acceleration momentarily stops, and picks up again. It could indicate ignition or injector issues.)
Listen for funny (not ha-ha) noises. Grinding sounds when you brake or change gear may indicate a serious mechanical fault and it’s best to walk away from a car that makes those sounds. There should also be no high-pitched squealing from V-belts.
Take a couple of minutes after the test drive to see if any fluids have leaked onto the ground. Oil or coolant could indicate a serious issue with oil seals, engine or cooling system.
Finally, does the vehicle “feel right” to you (this is where your gut comes into play)? If yes, do the deal.
Group 1 Hyundai offers great deals on pre-owned vehicles, such as a used Hyundai i10 for sale. Visit a Group 1 Hyundai dealership today, if you want to buy a used Hyundai i10 for sale that you can still rely on for years to come.

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