Hatch offers reliable, affordable transport | Motoring | Small Business Connect

The Accent Hatch 1.6 Fluid offers reliability.

There is a very small gap between the i20 and the i30 models in the Hyundai hatch range. So says Hyundai.

It’s called the Accent Hatch – not to be confused with the Accent sedan.

The Accent Hatch is a value-for-money model that stands out from the usual range that targets the company car niche.

The hatch looks quite modern on the outside and is plain, but pleasant on the inside. It is a “no frills” offering from the Korean value-car brand.

It is not a car you would buy based on an emotional response. It is practical, affordable transport. It is bland enough that your bookkeeper would buy one, much like he or she would have bought an old Toyota Corolla 15 or 20 years ago.

In a way, the Accent Hatch replaces the Toyota Conquest niche in the market.

This is not a bad thing.

The interior is much like the sedan with which it shares many components.

The seats remain comfortable even after 30 minutes and appear to have a durable cloth covering.

Leather is an option for R8 000.

The fit and finish is good and the material, although not luxurious, is alright.

Equipment includes steering wheel-mounted audio controls, USB and aux ports for multimedia, integrated bluetooth for phone calls and music streaming, a height-adjustable steering-wheel, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, a four-speed air-conditioner, and park distance control.

On the road the Accent performs acceptably. Steering is a little light for my liking, but effective. It is a steady and economical.

Hyundai claims 6.4 litres or 100km in general use. In reality it is more like 7.4 litres, which is still good.

I found the road noise to be more than expected. On the open road it has a bit of a whine or drone which I found irritating.

The six-speed manual gearbox is good, but the rather ancient four-speed automatic should be treated with circumspection.

Don’t get me wrong. This is not a shabby offering, it’s just not exciting. It is a practical car solution for somebody who just wants reliable wheels. It is worth a look.

The car as tested costs R234 900, which I feel is a little expensive. I would rather go for a Suzuki Swift at R188 900.

Also, look at the Ford Figo, VW Vivo, Kia Rio, Hyundai i20, Toyota Yaris, Suzuki Swift or Renault Sandero.

The manufacturer’s warranty is for a good five years or 150 000 km and the service plan is for five years or 90 000 km.

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