Hyundai has always had a reputation for producing excellent compact cars and small family cars including the likes of the Atos and the Getz in the past. With the likes of the Accent Hatch, Hyundai has progressed in leaps and bounds in terms of what is on offer in this fantastic vehicle.
At the Hyundai Roodepoort dealer, I meet with Gary van der Berg who is the Dealer Principal, and learn that his nine years of commitment to the motoring industry lead to him being head-hunted for this position some time ago. With experience across numerous brands, Gary is a firm believer that there is a vehicle to fit each unique person, and that Hyundai have the right recipe when it comes to delivering these vehicles. With old-school ethics that include a neat, professional first impression, Gary is confident in his team, and is proud of the development his Sales Manager has undergone to rise to the challenge of overseeing the sales team.
Sales Manager Robert Nelson joined the Dealership as he felt Hyundai is an up-and-coming brand that produces quality that inspires confidence in the product. Naming the extensive (and class-leading) warranties on Hyundai vehicles as an example of the brand’s assurance in their vehicles, Robert feels that Hyundai can stand proud and fits amongst the top names in the industry. With a full revamp underway at the Dealership, Robert also notes his excitement about the future for them as a team, but also for the brand who are hoping to launch new, exciting and well-priced vehicles during the rest of this year and early next year. He hints that there may even be a double-cab bakkie on the horizon for Hyundai.
Zolile Luthuli is the Sales Representative allocated to show me the Accent Hatch; having been with the Dealership for the past five years, Zolile loves the Hyundai brand and notes that a happy customer is what drives him to be the best. Ensuring that he also follows up with his customers, Zolile focusses on building relationships with his clients in order to serve them the best. Releasing the Accent Hatch to me, Zolile loves the vehicle for its fuel economy.
The name of the derivatives for the Hatch is “Fluid” for a very good reason. The vehicle is beautifully styled along this design concept, but is also noted for its ability to easily adapt to suit your needs. In terms of exterior appearance, there is a great combination of edgy and sporty style elements (such as the fog lamps that seem to flow into the body, as well as 16-inch alloy wheels) and luxury (seen in the long, elegant curves and elegant character lines along the bonnet). The Accent also has a longer wheelbase, giving the driver and passengers room to spare inside.
Speaking of the interior is, I find there to be a balanced sense of technology and features for a vehicle in its class without overwhelming the driver. The dashboard looks great (and modern) and is also well laid out and practically designed to be both convenient and comfortable. With integrated Bluetooth and steering-wheel controls, your safety and ease-of-use are prioritised as the driver. I love that is has rear park assist (as manoeuvrability is high on my list of must-haves’) and a full-sized spare wheel under the floor of the boot. Although not cavernous, the boot provides a solid 370 litres of packing space, and will easily take on boxes, groceries and general luggage, making this a good vehicle for families with children, or the travelling salesman needing a good-looking, yet practical, ride.
Being a family woman, safety is paramount to me and as such, the Accent receives good ratings from me in this regard. With six airbags, including dual-stage front airbags, front-side airbags, and curtain airbags, the Accent provides for not only the driver, but all the passengers too. Additionally, the vehicle base is designed around a high-tensile steel safety cage that provides additional protection for your passengers, and results in a really great, tight suspension feel as a bonus.
Released with a 1.6 litre CVVT engine, the Accent produces 91 kW and 156 Nm of torque. I find this to be satisfying, impressive as well as remarkably efficient. With fuel consumption rates noted at 6.4 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres, the Accent Hatch is on par with leading competitors in its segment. There is sufficient pull at take-off to be reminiscent of the hot-hatch segment, without the fuel-guzzling aspect of needing a turbo. I found it to be quite effortless to handle in traffic as well as on the open road, with a nice solid sense of gravity in terms of handling. It feels fantastic to drive, is responsive and precise with great feedback.
With Hyundai Roodepoort set to undergo a full revamp, customers can expect to see an all-new showroom as well as a refurbished parts and workshop department in the near future. I note the full commitment the team offers to their clients in their sentiment that they would rather suffer a loss than see a customer unhappy. The sense of excitement about positive change and new releases on the horizon seems contagious amongst the team at Hyundai Roodepoort, and I am looking forward to seeing what more they have to offer.
Dealership details can be found at: Hyundai Roodepoort
Journalist: Desh Bechan
Reporter: Inge Stols
Editor: Belinda Anderson