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October 1, 2013

Review: 2013 Hyundai Accent CRDi M/T

Photos by Ulysses Ang
“That's a nice car,” said my wife's officemate as I dropped her off. This just proves that the Hyundai Accent CRDi Hatchback, even its modest MT guise still evokes the looks and style that can make people comment like that. Hyundai may have destined the CRDi MT as a fleet-friendly car, but it still has the right stuff to be of serious consideration.

For starters, the Accent’s head-turning “Fluidic Sculpture” looks is still there. And graceful certainly comes to mind when you describe it. The Accent is sleek, dynamic, and futuristic. Designers gave the Accent a compact yet athletic face that has the trademark hexagonal grille and swept back headlights. There are hardly any hard edges on the Accent save for the side crease that runs the entire length of the side making it look organic in a refreshing sort of way.

However, priced at P 100,000 less than AT, plenty of content removal was necessary to keep the Accent CRDi MT at P768,000. And this begins outside, where you can’t help but notice how lacking this MT model is with the unpainted black plastic where the fog lamps are supposed to be, the plain side mirrors where they’re supposed to have LED repeaters, and even the 14-inch, yes 14-inch steel wheels (with hub caps) instead of the spiffy 16-inch alloys.

Inside, the Accent’s Y-shaped dash is clean, pleasing to the eye, and functional. The cabin is quite spacious with plenty of leg and headroom. It’s highly stylized too giving that sporty look with the all-black theme and trim accents. The cloth seats are also very comfortable with just enough side bolstering for support. Like the AT model, there are plenty of hard plastics inside the Accent but the overall fit and finish remain great. And at least, the interior contains most of the toys found in the AT model save for the leather steering wheel and the front passenger airbag.

Irritatingly, the Accent CRDi MT comes to the party equipped with the very same lackluster JVC audio system that I found so horrid with the AT version. It’s got small, fiddly buttons and a microscopic display. Thankfully, it does incorporate a Bluetooth hands-free system and can be operated using the steering wheel controls which Hyundai has retained for the Accent CRDi MT. Yipee.

Aside from the removal of more luxury-oriented features, the Accent CRDi MT still has an impressive list of standard features. It comes with an on-board computer, seat height adjustment, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, and even ISOFIX child seat anchors. It even comes with a 60/40 split-folding rear bench to accommodate large cargo such as a set of 18-inch rims (in boxes, if I may add).

Sharing the same engine with the AT variant, the Accent CRDi MT has a peak power of 128 horsepower and 260 Nm of torque. Like the AT, it gives a “pressed-to-your-seat” acceleration rush, perhaps even more so because you command the shifting yourself. The clutch is light and engages on the high side, but is fairly easy to master. Not once did I embarrassingly suffer from a dropped clutch stall. You can’t say the same thing with the 6-speed manual though which suffers from vague engagement, making me shift into a wrong gear more than once. Still, you can’t ignore 14.49 km/L in the city and an insane 32.35 km/L on the highway (comparatively, the CRDi AT does 13.33 km/L city and 29.41 km/L on the highway) when the shift light indicator’s followed religiously.

Despite having taller and narrower tires (175/70R14 vs 195/50R16 for the AT), the Accent is responsive, light, and stable on the road. More steering feedback is preferred, especially for higher speeds, but on the city, it’s more than good enough. On the handling/comfort equation, the Accent prefers to be more on comfort with a plush experience on our punishing pockmarked roads. The steering even feels vaguer than the AT due to the taller, economy tires though. There’s also greater degrees of understeer and body roll when going through tighter bends. Sadly, the tiny rear glass robs the Accent of some usable rear visibility. And it’s hampered even further than the AT because this MT doesn’t come with rear parking sensors. Despite the 4,115 mm overall length, the Accent is a bitch to park.

After all said and done though, even if Hyundai did remove some toys to keep the Accent CRDi MT cost down, it’s still an attractive option for those on the hunt for a new first car. Plus, it’s a stick shift, so all the better. And remember, it still has that wonderful diesel engine under that hood. However, if I were to place my own hard-earned money down, I’d personally have helped myself with the Accent CRDi AT and all the extra trimmings that go with it. I mean, P 100,000 isn’t much money and a set of aftermarket 16-inch alloys and tires plus the fog lamp would have cost you close to a 100-grand already.

2013 Hyundai Accent CRDi
Ownership Accent CRDi M/T
Year Introduced 2013
Vehicle Classification Sub-compact
The Basics
Body Type 5-door Hatchback
Seating 5
Engine / Drive F/F
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 1.6
Aspiration Turbocharged
Layout / # of Cylinders Inline 4
BHP @ rpm 128 @ 4,000
Nm @ rpm 260 @ 1,900-2,750
Fuel / Min. Octane Diesel
Transmission 6 MT
Cruise Control No
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 4,115
Width (mm) 1,700
Height (mm) 1,457
Wheelbase (mm) 2,570
Curb Weight (kg) 1,160
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, MacPherson Strut
Rear Suspension Torsion Beam Axle
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Disc
Tires 175/70R14
Wheels Steel with Cover
Safety Features
Airbags Driver
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes
Traction / Stability Control No
Parking Sensors No
Exterior Features
Headlights Halogen
Fog Lamps No
Auto Lights No
Auto Wipers No
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjustment Tilt
Steering Wheel Material Urethane
Seating Adjustment Manual
Seating Surface Fabric
Folding Rear Seat Yes, 60/40
On-Board Computer Yes
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes
Climate Control No
Audio System Stereo
No. of Speakers 4
Steering Wheel Controls Yes


  1. even i didn't see it's full boost from a crazy driver I admit this is also insanely quick with that weight and torque peak rpm and based on the hot fast hatches I see on road. AT on Highway of 70% and City 30% i guess, from a Lady owner paying only 700php for diesel liters from angeles to baguio back to angeles, is having a figures of 22km/l and up. I want to own this but I hope that the next generation cars has more GROUND CLEARANCE. those figures of km/l are real considering first the narrow tires for fuel economy, the weight of it versus the torque of it, and manual is the best choice for it. Nice review :)

  2. again, this is an "almost" beautiful subcompact...i almost love this car if not for its small, cheap looking car stereo in that big center more thing, 4speed AT, steel rims..WHY are you (HARI) killing this cool hatchback?..if not for those cons, this could've been better than fiesta or sonic or even jazz...

  3. wow! laking savings naman nito fuel! pero sana hindi naman bawiin sa periodic maintenance nito!
    totoo ba, mas malaki ang maintenance cost ng diesel engine sa gasoline?

    1. absolutely...gas 6mos or 10T kms which ever comes first..diesel 3mos or 5T (but im not sure about this) you have to change fuel filter every PMS on diesel cars...

  4. Hyundai calls the design "fluidic" but with the absence of good rear visibility for safety through the tiny rear window it ought to be called "fluidiotic".

  5. maintenance cost of diesel engile is higher than gas.

  6. maintenance should be mentioned when talking about fuel economy. whats the point of saving money on diesel when you still end up spending most of the savings on more frequent scheduled maintenance? 5000kms for diesel vs 10000kms for gas. noting that you spend about 5000 php for an oil change at HARI then you're probably netting zero savings.

    1. gas or diesel maintenace is the same.. every 5000..

  7. The maintenance cost of diesel cars is lower than gasoline fed cars for the first 6 years. The oil change can be extended by using higher grade engine oils. Do the math. Diesels are better.

  8. Wala din yung na save na fuel niyo sa taas ng PMS cost ng hyundai! Every 5k or 3 months kung ano man ang mauna ang kailagan sundin. Compared sa ibang makes na every 10,000kms or 6 months ang PMS interval so parang 2 full tank na din ng Gasoline yung na save mo by having 1 less PMS vs Diesel. Pag hindi mo naman sinunod void ang warranty mo

    1. I regularly maintain 2 Diesel SUVs and 1 Gasoline SUV kaya kabisado ko yung PMS cost.

  9. Math for 5000 km of both cars (gasoline car 13kpl vs diesel car 20kpl), 50pesos for unleaded and 45 petot for diesel

    (5000/13*50)-(5000/20*45)= 7980 pesos savings on fuel every 5000 kilometer.

    1. If this is how much you save from diesel, parang free na ang PMS! wow!

    2. diesel comes with a 100thou pesos premium.... thats about 2,000 liters of gas... about 26,000kms

    3. well depends on how long the car can live. it's now yet over after 26,000kms

  10. Resale value of Diesel car is much higher than Gasoline cars, that is a plus factor for Diesel Cars.


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