I, assistant editor Sam Smith, claim publicly that the Hyundai Accent SE is more fun than a Honda Fit! The Fit may have torque and sheer horsepower on the Hyundai, but the Honda's chassis falls flat under aggressive cornering--and ultimately fails to provide the kind of cheeky, chuckable, small-car goofiness we look for in something its size.
Where the Hyundai excels (no pun intended) is in the wholeness of its commitment. The chunky, often balky short shifter--a dealer-installed, B&M aftermarket piece--may occasionally feel a tad too notchy, but it also provides a cool, all-of-a-piece feeling every time you flick it into gear. The Accent's engine may be hugely down on power for the class, but with the optional airbox-free cone air filter on it, it lets out a throaty whomp every time you stand on the gas.
You stand on the gas a lot in the Accent. You have to in order to keep from getting run over by other traffic (or, for that matter, asthmatic squirrels). But that's not the point.
The Hyundai, you see, is proof positive that this whole car business isn't always about pure speed.... Read full article