2004 Hyundai Accent 1.6 from North America
Cheap and tons of smiles
The transmission was bad when I bought the car (for $850). The previous owner changed the axles, and never filled the transmission with fluid and ruined 5th gear. I bought a used transmission from a junkyard for $150 and changed it in my driveway, during the winter.
Recently the front passenger wheel bearing went out, but it's a $20 fix.
The windshield is cracked due to the previous owner, but doesn't affect visibility.
The car pulls left, but I live on a country road with lots of potholes.
Passenger side door handle stopped working from the outside.
Great car for a low budget do it yourself person. I don't just buy a random car, I study what's in my budget, and I hit the junkyard and see how many cars I want are there.
I bought the car with a bad tranny. I have limited mechanic skills (I changed a water pump on my diesel truck, changed the clutch for my F150, and some brake work on my Mopar). Took me 3 days by myself, a floor jack, 2 jack stands and 3 cinder blocks. To be honest front wheel drive transmission removal and installation is a nightmare. To be fair, this car has more engine space to work with than my wife's PT Cruiser.
For a little over 1k, I got a car that was 10 years old, less than 200k miles, cold A/C, hot heat, and access to hundreds of Accents in the junkyards.
The best MPG I got was 47. The worst was 32, and I was beating on the car.
I still have airbags, power steering pump, A/C and cheap junk yard tires.
I'm sure I could squeeze more MPG out, but I have a lot of projects.
The stock transmission it had was a one wheel spinner. I pulled a tranny from a sedan and now I have LSD. I leave two tire marks on command. And chirp the tires into 3rd gear.
The clutch is easy going, not like my diesel. I usually shift gears between 2k and 2.5k for economy.
I get a lot people that will stare, but I don't care.
The 1.6 seems to fall on its face past 5,800-6,000 RPM, but the car wasn't made for that lifestyle.
From the gas light to full is about 8-9 gallons; less than $40 to fill up.
Since I have a hatchback, it can be a pain to get a baby from the back. I'm 5'9" and I have no problem getting my son on sunny days, but with a winter coat and snow boots it can be challenging.
The car is loud when driving over 65, and it's not the best on cornering when keeping up with a Nissan 350. Crosswinds it could be questionable when driving at unsafe speeds.
Another thing is the DOHC timing belt; replace it, a cheap fix to avoid costly expense.
The clear coat is crappy, but I don't care about looks.
Also, I drive a lot, my diesel had 35k miles and my Altima had 30k put into it last year. Cheap, fun and tons of smiles.
The cup holders kinda suck. It's in front of the shifter.
Shop around, if you can take some time and do it yourself.
And if you think this car is expensive to own, get a diesel truck and look up injectors, clutch replacements and a water pump at a shop. This car is cheap to own.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 11th October, 2014