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Hyundai's cheapest car gets a makeover (photos)

Hyundai has done an excellent job redesigning its lineup, offering the new Sonata and Elantra, but now it's time for Hyundai to give its smallest, cheapest car some attention. The Accent, which bases at $12,445, gets a makeover.

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Wayne Cunningham

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HyundaiAccent_SS01.jpg
1 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET
Sitting at the bottom of its model lineup, Hyundai's subcompact Accent bases at a price of $12,445. But the 2012 model, debuted at the New York auto show, looks more expensive. Hyundai updated the design to conform to the Fluidic Sculpture language used by the Sonata and Elantra, and fitted it with a new engine and cabin appointments.

Back to 2011 New York auto show.

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2 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET
Hyundai fits the Accent with one of its line of direct-injection engines, a 1.6-liter four cylinder making 138 horsepower. That engine gets the Accent 30 mpg city and 40 mpg highway. Buyers will have the choice of a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic, which uses torque converter lock-up to maximize efficiency.

Back to 2011 New York auto show.

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3 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET
The new Accent's slammed roof gives it a much sportier look than the outgoing model. But that design makes rear seat room cramped, both in leg- and head-room.

Back to 2011 New York auto show.

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4 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET
Along with the sedan, the Accent will also be available as a five-door hatchback, replacing the previous-generation three-door hatchback. This car gets the same engine and transmission choices as the sedan.

Back to 2011 New York auto show.

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5 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET
The higher roofline of the hatchback leads to better headroom for rear-seat passengers than in the sedan. The rear seats also fold down, allowing for maximum cargo space of 47.5 cubic feet.

Back to 2011 New York auto show.

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6 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET
Some of the controls in the cabin feel chunky, but the overall interior has a surprising quality feel, considering the car's segment. Buttons on the steering wheel indicate a full array of cabin tech.

Back to 2011 New York auto show.

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7 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET
A USB port and auxiliary input sit in front of the shifter. The iPod label between these ports indicates the need for an adapter cable for iPod integration with the car.

Back to 2011 New York auto show.

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8 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET
Another surprise in this subcompact car is the availability of navigation, a flash-based system.

Back to 2011 New York auto show.

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