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Old 12th September 2005, 20:03   #1
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Default An Ode to a Gracious Car - (Hyundai Accent)

Its a little late to be doing this, but I owe this to my previous car...


23rd June 2002 was when the white Hyundai Accent GLS came into our family. It was to remain with us for three years, over which time we grew quite fond of the little Korean.

The Hyundai was picked up after test drives of comparable vehicles - the Ford Ikon 1.6, the Opel Corsa 1.4 and the Fiat Siena 1.6 as well as the Mitsubishi Lancer. I went for the Hyundai because it offered a decent mixture of all deliverables - power, fuel economy, looks, comfort. The two negatives that I identified during the comparison stayed with the vehicle throughout its lifespan - rear suspension too soft and wavy + poor headlamps. The most important factor was how easily things fell to hand once inside the car and the quality of materials used. Having used various vehicles abroad, I was instantly impressed by the Hyundai while all the others felt cheap. Other than that, the comfy setup of the suspension tended to soften the impact of our roads on the vehicle.

The car came with most stuff standard, and I spent about Rs.23,000/- extra for the Security System (Hyundai Cobra, made by Autocop, Rs.15,000), Teflon Coating (Rs.3,000), Underbody Coating (Rs.2,000), Pioneer head unit (Rs.3,000). Subsequently I also did an Engine Coating which cost Rs.1,750/-. Total cost on the road therefore came to Rs.6.17 lakhs plus Rs.0.25 lakhs.

Drove the car out of the showroom in Trichur (bought from there since I have an apartment next to the showroom/service station) straight to an ancient Ganesh temple in Cochin. Thereafter drove her straight to Trivandrum to pick up the family who were at my wife's place. The overwhelming feeling while driving this vehicle was 'SMOOTH'. Everything about it was smooth - the engine, the ride, the controls, and the over-servoed steering. It was a breeze to drive, and I realised that I was doing serious speeds on the highway without realizing it. One wasnt supposed to go over 90 kmph in 5th gear till the first service at 1,500 kms but I was comfortably doing 120...

Since the car was still 'new' we decided to go on a driving holiday on the way back to Cochin and therefore took a long-winded route from Trivandrum to Cochin, stopping over at Varkala (Taj Garden Retreat) and Aqua Serene, driving through the lakes around Kollam to the MC Road and thereon to Pala and Vagamon before taking the famous Kottayam-Alleppy route back to NH 47. As anybody who knows the area will tell you, that was one majorly roundabout way of driving between Trivandrum and Cochin. As a result, the car was ready for its first service at the end of this trip (1,500 kms). I didnt have any complaints or issues to sort out at this service interval.


Once registration formalities were completed and the RC book was in hand, we left for Bangalore via Coimbatore, Ooty, Masinagudi, Gundlepet, Nanjangud and Mysore. The vehicle was a breeze to drive and we didnt suffer much on the 8 km steep descent from Ooty to Masinagudi which was full of potholes. Covered it in quick time too, Ooty-Mysore coming up in just over an hour. We were regularly doing 120 plus now, and thats when I heard wind screeching into the car at over 140 kmph. Initially thought it was a tyre shredding or wheel screeching, till we found that this happened only over 140 and disappeared when I pushed the front window down to listen to the sound. Obviously an issue with the beading on the driver's door.

From Bangalore, we went over to KGF to our 'ancestral home' and proceeded to Tirupathi via Mulbagal, Palamnel, Chitoor. Dropped in to Veloor Christian Missionary Hospital on the way back to see an ortho about my back which had been deteriorating oer the last 2 years or so. The return trip from Veloor was quite adventurous as we took a deviation from Vaniyambadi to Salem through secondary roads. Trouble was, the roads soon turned to tertiary roads and there wasnt much of civilization between occassional villages. It was the middle of the night and both wife and kid were uneasy on account of the dark roads with no traffic whatsoever. I started clipping, doing speeds of over 100 kmph on secondary/tertiary roads that winded their way through farmlands and wide empty spaces. The car took a few hits along the way, as there were trenches and craters that I couldnt avoid since I was doing those speeds. In retrospect, I shouldnt have done that. Soon we came to a ghat-like section which was pitch dark and had no civilization whatsoever. Noticed some boards put up by the TN forest department and thats when we realized we were in a forest...needless to say the vehicle was zipping through the roads and screeching through corners by now. Pretty soon we came down the ghat and after a few kilometeres saw some streetlamps. PHEW!

It was now about 1/2 past midnight and we couldnt find any good hotels on the outskirts of Salem. Decided to push on to Coimbatore, reached there by 2 am and I was dead tired. Drove into Residency and practically slept all the way to the room. Got back home and did an oil change anyway since the vehicle had covered 5,000 kms. I had decided to do an oil change every 5k kms instead of sticking to Hyundai's 10 k kms service intervals in view of the quality of our fuel. Got Hyundai to check the driver's door beading (wind screech over 140 kmph) and the beadings were replaced and the door re-aligned just in case. No more problems at > 140 kmph.

I was scheduled to be in India for about 6 months at around this time and therefore the car did quite a bit of running between Cochin and Bangalore and 10,000 kms came up pretty fast, and I had two accidents in between. The first was when a scooter rammed into my front RHS fender as I was taking a right turn (indicators on, but the old man didnt see it). The old scooterist went flying over my bonnet onto the road beyond and I barely had time to jump out of the car and pull him out of the way of oncoming traffic. Old man in hospital and car in the Service Centre. Old man survives and agrees that it was his mistake (thought you were overtaking someone, saw the indicators too late, couldnt brake in time...obviously he was planning to overtake a car which he thought was overtaking someone else). Front RHS suspension replaced on my Accent since his scooter hit the wheel bang on, thanks to New India Assurance. There was an option to repair, but we decided to replace the whole assembly instead as the incremental cost to me would be about Rs.3,500 and I was willing to pay for it.

Thereafter a bus shaved my car on the Trichur-Calicut highway. I say shaved, because he judged the distance SO finely that he left a line of paint from his bus on my car and NO dents...just a fine line running the length of the car and a shattered ORV mirror that he immediately paid for, along with the cost of a quick polish job at the Hyundai service centre nearby that took his paint off my car. There was a thin line on the paint that was touched up at the 10 k kms service (service interval 2) that came up within 3 months of buying the car.


With the vehicle odo reading 14,500 kms a few months down the road, I embarked on the first major trip on this car when I was down from Christmas that same year. Changed oil, put in Castrol Synthetic, checked the car and set off on a wonderful trip that lasted 10 days. The route was: Kochi-Mangalore-Udupi-Kollur-Gokarna-Karwar-Goa-Sawantwadi-Ratnagiri-Poladpur-Mahabaleshwar-Panchgani-Pune-Satara-Karad-Kolhapur-Ichalkaranji (deviation to pick up Sarees) - Belgaum - Hubli-Dharwad-Jog Falls-Dharwad-Chitradurga-Shimoga-Bangalore-Salem-Coimbatore-Cochin. Needless to say, the car went in for regular service #3 (20,000 kms) at the end of this. NH 17 was reasonably free of traffic and the Pune-Bangalore road (especially the Hubli-Dharwad byepass) begged to be ripped on. By the time the trip was through, I knew I would have to change the OE Bridgestones pretty soon.

The OE Bridgestones were finally replaced at 24,640 kms, and I upgraded to 14" BSA alloys and MRF Zigma rubber. The trip to Trivandrum immediately after the rubber change was painful, with the wheels totally unbalanced and rattling away at any speed. To make matters worse, I tore a brand new MRF tyre on a sharp stone sticking out of the road surface like a blade. Bye Bye Rs.3,000/

After about 2,000 kms the MRF settled down very nicely with less tyre noise than the Bridgestones and road grip that was in no way inferior to the softer compound of the Jap tyres. These tyres lasted me all the way to 50,000 kms when I sold the car, with very little tread wear to show. The person who bought the car reckoned the tread would last another 20,000 kms, but I doubt if the tyre would be safe after a while regardless of the tread on it.


Things were quite uneventful thereafter, till about 42,000 kms when I had to replace the Front RHS wheel bearing (the one replaced after the accident early in the vehicle's life). This was covered by the extended warranty.

The only other replacement till I sold the vehicle at 50,000 kms was a pair of wiper blades. The intervening trips since the previous Maharashtra trip saw about 10 trips to Bangalore including 3 via Coorg, 2 trips to Chennai, 2 to Kollur (near Mangalore) 2 trips to Sabarimala and quite a few trips through the length and breadth of kerala.


The last trip to Bangalore about 2 months back was when I realized I needed a tougher and bigger vehicle. The Accent was fully loaded with 5 adults and a child plus a trunkful of luggage, and it took a whole lot of punishment on the Mysore-Bangalore road since I couldnt see the roads very well (headlights pointed upwards, raining like hell with unmarked speedbreakers and unexpected stretches of craters). The car was difficult to handle with its rear scraping the ground on various occassions. We also hit 2 speedbreakers at over 100 kmph, but a visit to Trident Hyundai the next day confirmed that no damage had been done to the vehicle.

Found a buyer at Rs.3.9 lakhs in July this year and went in for the Tata Safari Dicor. As a mark of respect for a vehicle that served us so well over 3 years, I took her for one last service and a wax polish before giving her away. She looked AND FELT just like she'd come out of the showroom 3 years ago, not a squeak or rattle to show for all those miles of hard driving, not a single bulb or fuse replaced. Felt a lump in my throat as I heard the muted gurgle of her engine for the last time on a very very rainy day.

I'll miss you, KL8 U 8936. Wherever you are!

POST SCRIPT
Emotions apart, this is a car I'd recommend wholeheartedly to anyone looking for a C segment sedan. For a car termed as 'not one for the performance oriented' it had loads of power in running - never a scorcher off traffic lights, it would come onto its own on the highway and was capable of beating any other vehicle in its class on the run. Fuel economy stayed at 11 kmpl throughout, with a worst of 9 kmpl and a best of 15 kmpl. The engine was smooth, except when it was pushed hard when it would howl but oblige you nevertheless. The front seats were quite comfortable, but the back seat is not meant for long journeys. It didnt matter to us because that seat was usually occupied by a 3-5 year old kid for whom it was a personal playground.

Ownership has been a pleasure with Hyundai's phenomenal service wherever we went in India. I will miss all the wonderful people at the MGF Autoplex in Cochin who were very patient and tried hard to listen to all those tiny noises that I thought were there in the car...and immediately rectified those that were real.

The real test of how good a car was is the reluctance with which the owner parts with it. I have parted with my with a lot of reluctance and misgivings from the rest of the family who grew quite attached to it. My wife still sulks at the brooding hulk of the Safari in our driveway everytime we get ready to go out, wishing it were the 'sweet little Hyundai' instead...
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Old 12th September 2005, 20:18   #2
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Nice one steeroid. After three years and countless kilometers you have put in, your car certainly deserves this parting note from you.
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Old 12th September 2005, 21:06   #3
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Nice review there Steeroid and written straight from the heart. CAn understand how it hurts when you let go of your prized possession.

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Old 12th September 2005, 22:31   #4
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nice one steeroid. just hope that your child was in a car seat while in the back.
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Old 12th September 2005, 22:58   #5
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steeroid, i share all ur feeling of having an accent. though it is rite now my dad's car it will be very soon owned by me. Hope god grants me this wish.

as far as selling of the car whifch u have treated like ur baby, i too felt the same when dad sold off the m800 on which i learnt to drive.

i fully realised the potemtial of accent when i went for the alibaug tbhp drive. and i know it can perform when needed.

shubbhi
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Old 13th September 2005, 00:04   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manaa45
steeroid, i share all ur feeling of having an accent. though it is rite now my dad's car it will be very soon owned by me. Hope god grants me this wish.
Manaa

All the best with your Accent. Try and get the rear struts changed to the gas-filled type that comes on the new GLS - it seems to make a world of difference to the handling.

I also forgot to add in my review the fact that the exhaust muffler was changed at about 35k kms - mine rusted away on account of prolonged stretches of non-usage when I am out of the country.

Last edited by Steeroid : 13th September 2005 at 00:08.
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Old 13th September 2005, 00:28   #7
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thks for all the suggestions in respect with the struts. i will discuss this with my husband when i get the car.

i have laways loved my dad's accent, has never given me any major problem except for the always deceiving fuel gauge. there was always some problem with it and my dad always keeps it to half.

shubbhi
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Old 13th September 2005, 00:33   #8
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Nice report Steeroind.

Do post some pics if possible

Happy 4 by 4ing!
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Old 13th September 2005, 00:58   #9
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Nice detailed report, Steer! It must be really tough to part ways with a car, you have got so attached to. Hope your Safari will soon take its place.
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Old 13th September 2005, 01:02   #10
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Nice write up...

I've fallen in love with my accent too...but then i was in love with my indica too, was very sad to see it go. I know how you must have felt.

Yeah my car may have its faults...but i love it for those faults. And i dont intend to sell this car. Just hope im able to hold on to it. 'cause i regret selling my indica till this day.

But on the other hand...you have a new companion the Dicor. Fall in love all over again mate!

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Old 13th September 2005, 01:03   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BUSA
Do post some pics if possible
Thanks Busa, RX....

What pictures can one possibly post of a white Accent?

However, this should give you an idea of how much fun some people had...

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Old 13th September 2005, 02:01   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeroid
The Accent was fully loaded with 5 adults and a child plus a trunkful of luggage, and it took a whole lot of punishment on the Mysore-Bangalore road since I couldnt see the roads very well (headlights pointed upwards, raining like hell with unmarked speedbreakers and unexpected stretches of craters)...
Nice report again. I guess the headlight adjusters (now mandatory on E-III cars) make sense. I never felt the need for it and wondered if it the added complication is worth it. But this is especially useful for Accents. I have seen many an accent going down the highway with the nose pointed skywards.

Anybody know if the CRDI springs are stiffer, they might help in the rear.
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Old 13th September 2005, 08:01   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower
Anybody know if the CRDI springs are stiffer, they might help in the rear.
They are...and it helps...no more driving in takeoff position when fully loaded.

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Old 13th September 2005, 11:56   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeroid
took a long-winded route from Trivandrum to Cochin, stopping over at Varkala (Taj Garden Retreat) and Aqua Serene, driving through the lakes around Kollam to the MC Road and thereon to Pala and Vagamon before taking the famous Kottayam-Alleppy route back to NH 47.
You dont like short cuts right?;-)
Quote:
Ownership has been a pleasure with Hyundai's phenomenal service wherever we went in India. I will miss all the wonderful people at the MGF Autoplex in Cochin who were very patient and tried hard to listen to all those tiny noises that I thought were there in the car...and immediately rectified those that were real.
.
You will love the fact that you bought a hyundai when you visit MGF Autoplex.Too good service..to the owner as well as to the car.
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Old 13th September 2005, 12:43   #15
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Great write-up Steeroid. Was very touching. Keep it up.

Cheers

Last edited by cnu : 13th September 2005 at 13:00.
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