What Changed for 2009:
- Powertrain revisions boost gas mileage three to eight percent
- Accent GS 3-door A/T, GLS 4-door A/T, SE 3-door A/T get 35 mpg on highway
- Cruise control now available in SE Premium, Popular Equipment packages
- SE models with manual transmission get a B&M sport shifter
- Rear armrest with cupholders standard on SE
- New color choices include Apple Green, Wine Red, Mellow Yellow
Inexpensive entry-level cars long have been a key part of Korean automaker Hyundai's strategy to lure first-time buyers into its family. High gas prices have put a new emphasis on the subcompact market, and the Accent faces newer rivals from several mainstream Japanese manufacturers, including the Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit and Nissan Versa. Chevrolet's Aveo and the Scion xD also compete. Still, Hyundai offers an Accent lineup that's fairly fresh-the Accent GLS sedan was redesigned in 2006, while the 3-door GS and SE models joined the lineup in 2007-and one that has been updated often.
Hyundai offers the 2009 Accent as a 4-door sedan in GLS form or as a 3-door hatchback in GS and SE trim. The GS hatchback serves as the entry-level model. It offers power steering; tilt steering wheel; 6-way-adjustable driver's seat; and a rear seatback that reclines, splits 60/40 and folds. Standard fare also includes a rear spoiler, rear window defroster, and variable, intermittent wipers. A Popular Equipment package adds air conditioning and an AM/FM/XM stereo with MP3-capable CD player. Both are also included in the GS Premium Equipment package, along with power windows, mirrors and door locks; remote keyless entry; alarm; and body-color mirrors and door handles.
The GLS 4-door sedan comes with dual vanity mirrors; air conditioning; power steering; and a tilt steering column. Body-color door handles and mirrors; a 172-watt, 6-speaker AM/FM/XM/CD stereo; and anti-lock brakes (ABS) are available in a Popular Equipment package, while the GLS Premium package adds those items plus cruise control; power windows, mirrors and locks; and remote keyless entry with alarm.
Topping out the range is the sporty 3-door Accent SE, with a sport-tuned suspension; air conditioning; 172-watt AM/FM/XM/CD/MP3 stereo; power windows, mirrors and locks; remote keyless entry; ABS; 16-inch alloy wheels; leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter; and a B&M Racing sport shifter for cars with manual transmissions. A sunroof and cruise control are optional as part of the Premium Equipment package.
Both 2009 Hyundai Accent sedan (GLS) and hatchback (GS and SE) models feature a dual-cam, 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine with continuously variable valve timing (CVVT) that puts out 110 hp at 6000 rpm and 106 lb.-ft. of torque at 4500 rpm. EPA fuel-economy estimates are 27 mpg city/33 mpg highway with the standard 5-speed manual transmission, 26 mpg city/35 mpg highway with the optional 4-speed automatic transmission.
The sport-tuned suspension in the SE model gets a 24-percent stiffer front spring rate, 11-percent stiffer rear spring rate, larger stabilizer bar, and unique strut valving. It also includes 205/45R16 tires. Combined, Hyundai says, the Accent SE has a 70 percent roll control improvement over the Accent GLS.
The 2009 Hyundai Accent is equipped with front air bags; front-seat-mounted side air bags; and two-row side curtain air bags. Anti-lock brakes are optional on the GLS and standard on the SE.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash-tested the 4-door model and awarded it a perfect 5-star rating in the front-impact test. For side impacts, the rating was 4 stars for front-seat passengers and 3 stars for rear-seat passengers. The rollover rating was 4 stars. However, the Accent sedan did not fare as well in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) crash tests. The 2006-2008 Accent GLS scored \"Acceptable\" (the second-highest mark) for the frontal crash test, but \"Poor\"-the lowest possible mark-in the side-impact test. Neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS has tested the 3-door Accent hatchback.
The 2009 Hyundai Accent employs a continuously variable valve timing (CVVT) system, which gives the engine a broad torque range, according to Hyundai. The CVVT system also helps the engine run cleaner, and indeed the Accent achieves ULEV (Ultra Low Emission Vehicle) standards, as rated by the EPA.