It seems the human mind likes round numbers – 10 year, a decade, all sound important. So here am I trying to grasp that it has been a decade since I bought my Hyundai Accent. Without any doubt it has been a journey, the car has seen a lot and I believe it is a good time for some thoughts.
Recently, I’ve re-read my reasoning to “why accent”, and at this point I wouldn’t be jumping the gun by saying: “I was right”. The vehicle got 241,702 kilometres on the odometer and never left me on the side of the road. Granted, I have always taken good care of the car and did proactive maintenance – complete log. It also doesn’t cost much to change out all fluids and filters earlier than needed, therefore the results are impressive – the car has plenty of life left in it. In addition, since it is a small car with small displacement, the amount of fluids required is also relatively small. Therefore buying high quality fluids is not a big deal. I remember after the purchase, my mechanic said: “this car will go for 300,000 kilometres easy” – back then I thought it was just wishful thinking, but now it seems more like a reality. The car is quite impressive in the reliability and repairability regard. I think one reason people don’t like cheap cars is because of perception: “cheap will break, but expensive cars will last”. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Recently I was reading up on Suzuki Jimny just for fun. One thing that stood out like a soar thumb is technology in the latest release of Jimny – by 2018 standards, it is hopelessly outdated. Even the most cheapest vehicles on the market had direct injection for a while now but Jimny doesn’t. So perhaps cost of the direct injection is not a factor, so why would any automotive engineer pass-up an opportunity to make engine more powerful and efficient? I believe the reasoning is: old technology is simple and proven by time. Jimny at its core is dead simple, rugged and the most reliable thing you can through into the wilderness. Let me make it very clear – old technology is not pretty on paper – fuel economy sucks, power output is embarrassing and the rest you don’t even want to see. But on the flip side, it is dead simple, accessible, and reliable vehicle that will work for a very long time.
Coming back to my Accent, the concept of reliability is the same as with Jimny – old, but simple and simple means reliable and cheap to fix. Now I’m not saying let’s stay with port injection and 4 valves per cylinder forever and ever. What I’m saying is that as new technology comes out and is fitted into expensive vehicles first, where it is being tested in the real world. By the time it trickles down to the cheapest of the bunch, the technology has been fairly tested, and so cheap vehicles receive proven tech.
Now 3 years ago I said that next car will be either another Accent or Miata. Well I bought a Miata which opened up my mind to such a different experience. Driving anything after Miata feels very dull, I believe Miata ruined my driving experience of any other car. Miata entrenched my opinion: either get a car that makes you feel good or simply don’t bother – get the cheapest. Nowadays when I drive Accent, I simply appreciate it as a simple transportation. I guess I would compare the experience to getting on a personal bus and slowly rolling to a destination, nothing more or less. Back in the day I often thought about upgrading, modifying and otherwise changing the character of my Accent, to give it more bite, more edge, more driving “feeling”. Well I’m happy I didn’t go for that. Accent is a car with its own character and when you buying one, it is imperative you understand what it is, then you will not be disappointed.
P.S: “If I needed personal transportation I would buy Accent again”, but unfortunately it is no longer an option in Canada. Hyundai stopped selling the Accent.
Everything passes, this too will passKing Solomon