If you go test-drive a new economy compact - any new economy compact - you will discover something the car industry would probably prefer to keep quiet: There are no latter-day Chevettes or Pintos. There's nothing embarrassing about any of them.
You might want to spend more to get a high-performance car, or maybe a larger car, or a car that has This or That. But for the first time in automotive history, the bottom feeder is history. The '12 Hyundai Accent proves the point.
WHAT IT IS
The Accent is Hyundai's lowest priced model - but far from the Cracker Jack Box prizes of 10 years ago. It's available in sedan or hatchback wagon versions, with the base sedan starting at $12,545 and the base hatch wagon starting at $14,695.
It competes in the same class as other economy-priced compact sedans/hatchback wagons like the Ford Fiesta, Chevy Sonic and Mazda3, among others.
WHAT'S NEW FOR 2012
The '12 Accent is all-new.
Lowball price - but still really nice. Strong for the class standard engine (138 hp). Class-leading fuel economy (40 highway) with standard engine.
WHAT'S NOT SO GOOD