Ac­cent de­sir­able de­spite its class

In world of crossovers, a re­li­able sedan that stands out

Metro Canada (Edmonton) - - Wheels - Ben­jamin hunt­ing

Af­ter nearly a quar­ter cen­tury of de­vel­op­ment, there’s lit­tle won­der that Hyundai has com­pletely nailed the Ac­cent for­mula. More im­pres­sive is that the brand has elected to stay the course with the car on a par­al­lel track to its sport-util­ity ef­forts.

I spent a day out on the sun­bleached as­phalt that sur­rounds Las Ve­gas, Nev., split be­tween the base SE and top-tier Limited trims of the 2018 Ac­cent. “Ac­cent or equiv­a­lent” has long been a part of car counter con­ver­sa­tion, and this year’s model re­veals why so many fleet buy­ers have helped to bol­ster the sedan’s sales fig­ures.

Slightly longer and a touch wider, the car of­fers enough in­te­rior room to qual­ify for com­pact sta­tus from the gov­ern­ment, de­spite what its mod­est pric­ing and ex­te­rior di­men­sions would sug­gest. The trunk can hold 487 litres of cargo.

The Ac­cent’s cabin also main­tains a sense of cheer, even in hub­caps-and-ba­sic-stereo trim. The L’s avail­able two-tone black

Record traffic

Los An­ge­les is the most con­gested city for driv­ing, ac­cord­ing to data from Reg­Trans­fers. and tan in­te­rior colour scheme does well in dis­tract­ing from the var­i­ous harder plas­tics that adorn the door pan­els and dash. And the sim­ple en­ter­tain­ment sys­tem (five-inch touch­screen, Blue­tooth, but no satel­lite ra­dio) is matched with easy-to-read in­stru­men­ta­tion that of­fers the driver a func­tional trip com­puter.

Pric­ing has yet to be re­leased, but don’t ex­pect to be shelling out all that much for the new Ac­cent, as the win­dow sticker should hew fairly close to pre­vi­ous years. This means an ask of roughly $14,000 for sedans equipped with a sixspeed man­ual trans­mis­sion (an L-only perk), and roughly $20,000 for the GLS.

The 1.6-L, four-cylin­der en­gine that’s stan­dard across the board in the Ac­cent de­liv­ers with­out much fuss. The provo­ca­tions of its six-speed au­to­matic gear­box are en­hanced some­what when put into Sport mode, but for the most part, the Hyundai was con­tent to cruise through the red cliffs of the Val­ley of Fire and past the dry shores of Lake Mead at a more re­laxed pace.

There’s a lot to be said for the non-as­pi­ra­tional au­to­mo­bile, and the 2018 Hyundai Ac­cent is a cham­pion of this class of car. Eas­ier to park and more fru­gal to op­er­ate than a larger cross­over, the Ac­cent is in­tended to eat up miles for driv­ers who value ba­sic trans­porta­tion over baubles.

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