29th Jul 2001, 23:47
YA, this is one NASTY car indeed - makes me nervous on long trips (being towed once doesn't help) It's been good for about 2 weeks now and I got a 800km return trip this weekend - wish me luck :)
5th Aug 2001, 21:56
Well I'm back from my trip, but my Accent GL isn't. It almost made half a trip (pretty good for this less then 5yr old car).
About 300km into my 400km trip, (800km round trip) the "check engine" light came on (no surprise for this car), on Friday night of the Aug. long weekend on one the most accelerating highways in Canada (QEW). The engine still ran but barely and power was very limited. But being a proud and determined North American I MADE this poor excuse of a car finish the trip. With top speeds from 45km going up hills and a little faster going down hills I did make it there!
Won't know what's wrong with this waste of metal until Tuesday because of the long weekend. In the meantime I signed my ownership and left it with my sister to sell, I truly feel sorry for the person who buys it, but my pocket book can't afford this car even if the warranty covers it. I hope I never see this car again!
11th Oct 2001, 14:21
All of the outside door handles have broken off of my 1996 Accent, all with normal use!!
23rd Jun 2005, 08:29
Wow, too bad you guys had all that bad luck. I drove my 1999 Accent from NY to LA last July. Even through the desert with temps reaching 120F and the A/C on not one problem! Car still runs perfect!
By the way, NEVER buy a small car with an automatic. What did you expect?? Learn to drive manual - you will be glad you did.
9th Dec 2007, 17:10
My impression after owning 2 '96 Accents, is that they are reasonably well built, have a good engine, and provide a nice driving experience for a tiny, cheap car.
Overall build and mechanical quality was just too low though. Interior/exterior door handles broke ridiculously easily. The sheetmetal on doors and fenders seemed very thin and easily dented. The driver's manual window went off track in my hatchback.
The transmission stopped engaging overdrive altogether by 108k miles in the hatchback. I had to spend $1,100 to have a used transmission installed, even though I wanted the original one rebuilt. The mechanic told me they do not make it possible to rebuild the transmission in these cars.
AC and heat worked wonderfully though.
The ride quality was beyond crude. Very stiff and you feel every pebble in the road.
Paint quality didn't seem too bad actually. My purple hatchback started having an issue with the clearcoat peeling off, but that wasn't until after 100k miles and 8 years. On my green sedan, it just got dull around the same age. I didn't think this was unreasonable given the age of each.
The engines ran wonderfully with a bit over 100k miles on each. No major leaks or problems. Always started right up in cold weather. A 1.5L 92hp 4cyl. was just too weak of an engine for the Accent though. They felt reasonably peppy around town, but felt scarily underpowered trying to accelerate uphill, onto the highway, and passing at highway speeds, at 70-75mph, they both had to downshift just to attempt passing at all, and at those speeds the engine winds up very high and it's very unsettling.
Considering how small of a car it is, with how small of an engine it has, it didn't seem too terribly great on gas. I would get about 35mpg on the highway. Generally speaking, for what I'm used to, that's very good. For such a tiny car with a tiny engine though, that doesn't seem so great. My current 4cyl. Chrysler LeBaron 2.5L 4cyl. can average about 32mpg on the highway, so the Accents aren't all that efficient after all.
After driving a friend's '97 Escort wagon recently, the Escort seems like luxury compared to the Accent. It's a little quieter, rides MUCH better, gets about the same gas mileage even though it's a larger car with a larger 2.0L 110hp 4cyl. engine. The Escort seems much more practical for everyday driving. It has A LOT more acceleration power, but not so much on the highway like the Accent. The build quality of the Escort really impressed me. Very solid.
I don't recommend the Accent at all. There are much more dependable, practical, small cars out there for just a little bit more money.