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Immediately billed as an affordable subcompact, the Hyundai Accent was introduced to the marketplace in 1995. For much of its time on the market, practicality and one of the lowest new car purchase prices year-to-year gave the Accent notoriety. Offered as a three-door hatchback or a four-door sedan, the Accent was powered by a small 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Proving economical in many senses, the 1998 model year version of the Hyundai subcompact featured dual airbags and a stereo system featuring a cassette player. For 2000, the Accent received a minor design revision consisting of a longer appearance and a more detailed front grille. A 92-horsepower 1.5-liter engine on the revised 2000 Hyundai Accent allowed the vehicle to achieve average fuel economy of 32 miles per gallon.
For 2001, power for the Accent was bumped up to 104 horsepower when a 1.6-liter powerplant was added for the hatchback GS and the sedan GL model. For 2004, the three-door hatchback model of the Accent was dressed up with a new GT package. The 2005 Accent GT model included a stiffer, firmer suspension, aluminum alloy wheels and an enhanced interior with leather-wrapped steering wheel. A revised Hyundai Accent arrived in 2006 once again growing in length. Offered solely as a sedan, the 2006 model year Hyundai Accent was placed on a 98.4-inch wheelbase powered by a new 1.6-liter engine featuring CVVT (Continuously Variable Valve Timing).
For 2007, the three-door hatchback model of the Accent returned to the Hyundai line-up for the United States market. For 2011, the base model of the Accent could be purchased just under $10,000 becoming one of the only new cars sold in the United States at that level. A redesign of the Accent for the 2012 model year gave the subcompact a more sophisticated look and featured the availability of a 138-horsepower, direct-injected, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine.