2001 Hyundai Accent L 1.5 SOHC 12v gas from North America
Good little car, but avoid avoid avoid the manual transmission!
Check Engine light on, but no one can seem to figure out what the codes mean. Doesn't affect the performance of the car, though.
Had to replace both the clutch and transmission at 85k miles.
Driver's side front caliper seized and had to be replaced at about 55k miles.
I use this car as a courier, and except for the transmission issues, it's near perfect for the job.
The gas mileage is great; I tend to get between 33-45 mpg. It's super easy to park due to its minuscule size, and handling is OK. Boy, is this car noisy, though. The engine definitely makes significantly more noise than power. Hyundai clearly didn't spend any time or money on sound insulation.
I have to say that the interior has to be one of the best designed that I've ever seen, as far as layout and appearance. The layout has an almost Toyota-like cleanness to it; very logical and well-thought out. Until you touch it, that is. Cheap plastic is everywhere. You can scratch up the plastic with your fingernails, it's so cheap. Plus, as the car is getting older the plastic that started out gray is turning a particularly nasty shade of booger green. Some of the plastic in the trunk area has actually become brittle and crumbly after being exposed to the sun for so long.
I'm a little angry about the transmission. I've heard other people talk about their manual Accents and it seems that I'm lucky to have gotten 85k miles out of mine. A mechanic at one of the dealerships that I have service at said that the 2001-2003 Accents all have weak clutches and transmissions. Wish I'd have known that before I bought it. For what it's worth, the automatics seem to be pretty reliable.
The routine maintenance costs for this car are a lot to take. The 60k service costs $850 for a manual trans version, and $975 for an auto trans version. Compare that with my Oldsmobile Alero, which didn't need a major service until 100k, and that cost $700.
Given the transmission issues, I probably wouldn't buy another Accent. I wouldn't rule out Hyundai in general, though. They've come a long way.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 14th April, 2006
Automatics are not so reliable. Mine had some issues at 90k, which the dealer did not cover under warranty, there are a half-dozen TSBs for it (all of which I can relate to), and the transmission finally gave out at 103520. It did this as I was shifting into reverse sitting still.
You mentioned cheap plastic--apparently Hyundai doesn't stop with the interior--the gearsets are held with plastic snap-rings. When one lets go, half the gears will not engage.
I've got a 2001 Accent w/the base 1.5l engine and 5 speed manual transmission. I beg to differ with the other commenters. I've got over 230,000 miles on it and it still has the original transmission, the original clutch and it's still running strong. I have no issues of any kind with this car. It's been dependable to the nth degree and I would not hesitate to buy another.
Jim in Minneapolis
I guess sometimes it's a matter of how you drive it... if you're learning to drive standard on your Accent, I'm sure the clutch and transmission will go out sooner than if you take care while shifting.
I hear you Jim. Manual transmissions last longer than automatics when one drives it properly without riding the clutch, and wearing it out before its time.