There are obviously some happy Accent owners out there, which is strange. Maybe the dealers in the US does a great job, I don't know. But I can list some facts from some of the European markets about Hyundai and about Accents in particular, as well as my personal impressions:
Among the lowest consumer confidence and dissatisfied customers, Hyundais Accents are some of the least durable cars on the roads (based on average age when scrapped), Accents rusts badly and is "market leader" in this respect for both 98-99 and 01-02 models (you heard it right, 4 years old cars have serious corrosion problems), has medium to low reliability based on road stops, is among the top 20% when average number of repairs for 3 year compact cars are counted.
Personally I don't know a single Hyundai owner that is satisfied, based on people I know from work and from family experiences. It's tragic to see people I know get ripped off by the Hyundai dealers, latest example is a approx. 2000$ brake job a colleague of mine had to do (ABS pump w some electronics, hand-brake, 2 sensors out due to corrosion, front disks and pads). And she spends sums like this every year, and it's less than 5 years old. With Accents there is always an array of smaller and bigger issues, maybe not when new, but after some few years. The only reason people buy these cars is that they are cheap, not that they are quality cars. In the end it's you as the consumer that are the looser.
I love my 2002 Elantra, and somehow it seems that the majority of reviews are positive...
At least the North American ones.
My now 5 year old Elantra had some body rust that I took care of, but that is about it...
I live in Montreal Quebec, where we have over 6 months of winter, heavy snow, and super salted roads filled with HOLEs in the summer.
Guess what, my Elantra still runs beautifully.
I personally dislike Hyundai dealerships; I know they will try to rip me off... I never took my car to Hyundai, and never will.
I have 2 local garages that I take the car to; one for simple stuff, the other for quality performance aftermarket parts. They both agree that Hyundais are very reliable cars in their experience.
Sorry for your bad experience, but the original reviewer seems pretty happy, and I hope it will keep on going that way.
Just as an update, my little blue Accent GT was traded in last February 2007 for a Chevrolet Colorado mid-sized pickup truck. Not that I was in any way dis-satisfied with my Accent. Just ran out of room for all the fishing gear. My son & I have really gotten involved with salt water fishing.
Needed a truck. Offered the wife my Accent GT, she wanted nothing to do with it... ofcourse she drives a Jeep Wrangler.
The Accent had just over 32,000 miles when traded. The car was purchased 2 days after it was traded in. I guess if there was any one thing I did not really care for in the Accent GT, it was the automatic transmission. The tranny functioned well, smoothly, no problems but, all in all I would have rather gotten a 5 speed stick.
Now if I had to would I purchase another Hyundai Accent GT??
Yes, I would!!