There is a uniquely endearing charm to the flowingly rounded lines of the 2010 Hyundai Accent 3-door hatchback. It is a trait that is missing from the rather more soulless 4-door sedan variant that looks a bit like it should be serving double duty as a taxicab in Seoul, South Korea.
This unique Easter Egg-like shape of this particular Accent is also why the 3-door variant can pull off some lurid paint schemes like “Mellow Yellow,” “Apple Green” and “Ice Blue” (which is really just a kind way of saying “powder blue”). Such colors on the rather frumpy looking sedan would look ridiculous but on the Accent hatchback they are cute and just a little bit sassy.
Don’t fear, however, if you are too much of a shrinking violet for such outlandish colors as the 2010 Hyundai Accent 3-door comes in shades of gray, silver, black, blue and even red. Heck, with Hyundai’s low prices a Mercedes S-Class buyer could pick up a uniquely colored Accent 3-door for every day of the week. Or perhaps not.
For 2010 the Hyundai Accent 3-door has seen the introduction of the “Blue” trim-level to delineate the stripped out $9995 base model that has no air conditioning or radio. If you can only afford the “Blue” model line buy a used car. Second up the food chain is the GS model which starts at a highly reasonable $11,995 and nets you air conditioning, more sound deadening and body color mirrors and door handles.
Smart shoppers will order their GS with the $1,550 Premium Package which adds ABS with electronic brake force distribution, power windows, door locks, a 6-speaker audio system, power mirrors and iPod/USB connectivity. When equipped with the standard 5-speed manual, this very well equipped Accent GS will only cost you $13,765 to drive off your local Hyundai dealer’s lot. Not bad for a smart looking hatchback with all the modern necessities and the backing of that killer 10 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty.
At the top of the 3-door Hyundai Accent food chain is the $16,195 SE variant which loads this economy hatchback with features you may or may not need. The SE comes with a sport suspension, sporty looking alloy wheels, a racy B&M shifter on manual transmission models, a sunroof, ABS, power windows, locks, keyless entry, fog lights, a 172-watt premium audio system and a leather wrapped steering wheel. What may border on feature overkill to bargain hunters may seem like the absolute necessities to the modern day downsizer moving in to the itsy-bitsy Accent from a family sedan or SUV.
All 2010 Hyundai Accent 3-door hatchbacks come equipped with a peppy 110 horsepower 1.6 liter 4-cylinder that may make the occasional buzzing noise at high RPMs but has been proven to be near bulletproof in reliability. The standard five-speed manual is a bit notchy but seems to suit the engine’s powerband a little better than the (admittedly smooth shifting) optional four-speed automatic.
The ride in the 3-door Hyundai Accent is surprisingly compliant for such an inexpensive small car. Hyundai obviously takes its reputation as a budget automaker as seriously as it took the design and engineering of their new Genesis luxury sedan.
Steering feel is good although the 2010 Accent can sometimes tramline in the grooves left by 18-wheelers on well worn sections of the freeway. Such is the price paid by the small standard tires that also aid in giving the 3-door accent an EPA economy rating of 28 city/34 highway.
Another surprise is the sensibly shaped cargo hold that is positively huge when you fold down the split rear seats. The 2010 Hyundai Accent may look small on the outside but it also feels rather roomy on the inside especially if you are riding up front. If you are over six-foot, however, you might want to think twice about sitting in the back.
Looking at the 2010 Hyundai Accent 3-door as a package there is a sure logic to the purchase of the mid-level GS model with Premium Package. So equipped this Accent undercuts rivals at both Toyota (Yaris) and Honda (Fit). When you move up to the $16,000 plus SE, however, you are also unfortunately competing with the much larger and more powerful Hyundai Elantra Touring. At that price the Elantra Touring may not be as cute as the 3-door Accent but it makes a much more logical buy.