Hyundai is a company on the move. The Korean maker has been slowly navigating its way out of the bargain basement as its cars have improved – although its biggest sellers are still the cheapest ticket items including hyundai elantra and sonata.
Earlier this year, Hyundai was battling with Ford and Mazda for a chance on the podium behind sales leaders Toyota and Holden. By October however, Ford had gapped them, leaving Hyundai and Mazda in a race to become first of the place-getters.
It’s a telling tale: who’d have thought 10 years ago that Hyundai’s cars would be as popular as Ford’s or Mazda’s?
Hyundai vehicles took a noticeable step up in quality about three years ago, and most cars introduced since then have been strong class contenders. But Hyundai hasn’t always got it right. On at least two occasions Hyundai has had to expedite changes to just-released models following a lukewarm reception to the cars from the media.
The i45 sedan underwent suspension surgery and the ix35 softroader got a new steering system within months of going on sale. Will Hyundai get the all-new Accent small car right, straight out of the box?
The design looks sharp and the quality of the materials inside is good – certainly a cut above Holden’s Korean-factory quality – although small details such as the power window switches don’t reflect the improvements made elsewhere.
The testers also commented on the overwhelming odour of the cabin plastics – other cars didn’t rate a mention.
These aren’t deal breakers, but they indicate Hyundai shouldn’t be resting on its laurels just yet.
As with most other cars here, the majority of mod-cons are covered such as Bluetooth, 3.5mm and USB inputs, and two 12V power sockets.