Best light car - Hyundai Accent Active

RACV RoyalAuto magazine

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Hyundai’s recent update to Accent is a winner. The entry-level Active now has a 1.4L engine (down from a 1.6L unit) and a new CVT. Accent also got a $2000 price cut to make it an outstanding value-for-money proposition.

The 1.4L 4cyl petrol engine produces 74kW and 133Nm, which is fine around town. But when the speed picks up and the road gets windy, it falls behind others in handling ability. The new CVT is a step up on the dated 4spd auto on the old Accent. This combination of a smaller engine with a more flexible transmission has cut fuel consumption to a respectable 6.2L/100km.

While not affecting durability, the low-cost entry-level aspect of Accent is noticeable in build/finish quality and the internal layout. Plus it only has steel wheels.

However, it’s in its appeal to younger first-time buyers where Accent shows its mettle with, for example, all the modern connectivity.

Accent is the biggest of our finalists, with a large luggage area and good rear leg room. And despite its entry-level focus, it still gets a five-star ANCAP safety rating.