You are here: Home / Car Reviews / Hyundai / Accent / 2007 Hyundai Accent Compact Economy 3-Door Hatchback Coupe

2007 Hyundai Accent Compact Economy 3-Door Hatchback Coupe

Exterior front, side view of the 2007 Hyundai Accent Compact Economy 3-Door Hatchback Coupe

What was tested? 2007 Hyundai Accent SE 3-Door ($13,915).

Options: Sun & sound package ($1,250), sporty floor mats ($85).

Price as tested: $15,250.

One of the most annoying aspects of the automotive industry is its incessant need to make cars more "upscale," no matter how humble their background.

Take Volkswagen. This company spent decades building a reputation for cheap, efficient, well-engineered cars. That was fine until one day someone at Volkswagen woke up with a mental disorder that made him decide to produce a $100,000, V12-powered luxury car called the Phaeton. It was a wonderful car -- one of the best luxury cars the world has ever seen -- but still came with a VW symbol on the hood, so it sold like snowshoes in Hawaii. Just 820 Phaetons were sold in 2005, making it a bigger flop than the Edsel. Korean brands are trying to do the same thing. Instead of building their reputation for high-quality economy cars, as the Japanese did in the 1970s, the Koreans are trying to move their cars upmarket so they can fetch a better price.

Exterior rear, side view of the 2007 Hyundai Accent Compact Economy 3-Door Hatchback Coupe

That's why I love how Hyundai, a company that's bending over backward trying to convince the world that it can produce high-quality, luxurious vehicles, still makes a perfectly good tin can.

The 2007 Accent doesn't have gobs of power. It doesn't have a giant cargo area that can hold sheets of plywood. It doesn't have squishy seats. It doesn't have soft leather. It doesn't have an air-conditioned glove box for keeping your drunks cool.

And really, it doesn't need all that stuff.

The Accent is a very basic car with a very basic mission -- to save you money. It costs just $10,415 in its cheapest form and gets a thrifty 37 miles per gallon on the highway.

My test car, the two-door Accent SE, wasn't quite as stripped down with a $13,915 base price. Even at that affordable level it came with air conditioning, power everything, keyless entry, a decent stereo and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Interior dash of the 2007 Hyundai Accent Compact Economy 3-Door Hatchback Coupe

OK, so they couldn't completely avoid that "upscale" temptation.

The Accent drives about how you'd expect from an economy car, perhaps a tiny bit better. It feels like it has the same suspension as a skateboard and the same engine as a Lionel train, but it's not bad for commuting and basic trips around town. In fact, it was good enough to make me wonder why so many people buy huge cars and SUVs when, for 99 percent of the trips we make, a super-efficient car like the Accent will do perfectly fine.

The Accent also looks like it benefits from Hyundai's decision to make nicer, fancier cars. The build quality isn't bad, certainly far better than the Hyundai cars of just a few years ago, and I never once felt deprived while behind the wheel.

Whether you want an affordable new car with a great warranty or something to save money at the gas pump, the Accent is worth a close look.

Just pray Hyundai doesn't decide to make an Accent "Prada Edition" next year.

Pros: It's basic, efficient transportation at a great price. It comes with a new-car warranty for the price of a decent used car.

Cons: A used car might drive better and be more comfortable.

RATINGS (1-10)
Style: 5
Performance: 3
Price: 10
Handling: 6
Ride: 4
Comfort: 4
Quality: 7
Overall: 6