A year in an Accent…
All in all I’ve got to say I really like this little hatchback.
(You can stop reading there, really. Go get a cup of coffee or shoot a squirrel, whatever makes you happy. The rest of the post is basically just me babbling about the car.)
It has plenty of room for my extra (extra) large frame. The headroom is fantastic. There’s at least four inches between me and the roof. In my old Dodge Daytona I used to hit my head on the sunroof every time I went over a bump. No one’s gotten in the backseat and I really wouldn’t want to do that to anyone. There’s not a lot of room back there but it’s fine for coats assorted junk and my camera bag. The seats aren’t what you’d call luxurious but there’s good support and they’re not really uncomfortable. The rest of the interior is fairly nice for a sub-compact car. Gotta be careful not to scratch the hard plastic parts as the do mar fairly easily. The trunk has enough room for a week’s groceries or a half dozen 12-packs of soda. The lift-over opening is nice and low so getting stuff in and out is a breeze.
Other than a finicky control knob on the A/C occasionally turning on the system when you go over a bump everything works on this car. I think this is the first car I’ve owned in thirty years where the cigarette lighter works. Not that I smoke, but it works! Surprisingly the A/C blows ice cold. Having such a small engine (1.6l) I expected it to struggle but it doesn’t at all. I’ve had to turn the temp UP to keep from shivering, in my car, in Florida! Really!
Had to replace all four tires right after I bought it. The salesman’s misrepresentation of their condition, assuring me they were easily good for another year, got me a major discount on getting the timing belt replaced, a needed service due to the car’s age. I also had the radiator and transmission flushed right after we bought it. The oil’s been changed (lifetime FREE oil changes!) by the dealership every four months. Other than the cabin and engine air filters all I’ve really had to do was put gas in it, about once a month. Currently the car’s average MPG is 31.1 with quite a bit of slow driving around dirt roads while I photograph wildlife and not much highway driving.
It drives… good. It’s no sports car but handling is okay. It’s got a nice small turning radius. The ride’s firm without being jarring. The rear gets a little squirrely when you try to flip it around corners but no big deal. Even my 81 year old mom had no problem driving it and even enjoyed the couple weeks she had to chauffeur me around after I had surgery.
The car likes to get up and go. I’ve found I’ve got to keep an eye on the speedometer. On city streets it loves to cruise at 50 mph and on the highway even when the speed limit is 70 I find myself creeping up over that and hitting 75 – 80. The ride on the highway is surprisingly nice. The car has a, for its size, large profile but doesn’t seem to get blown
around by the wind. With the extra large windows open it’s loud as hell at highway speeds but with them closed and the A/C on it’s… not quiet but you can hear people speaking.
Some numbers and stuff…
Bought June 26th 2012 with 26,703 miles.
Insurance is $767 a year.
Have put on 3,957 miles.
Fueled up 14 times for a total of $343.97
Average MPG 31.1 (best – 34.9 worst – 27.3)
Fuel Rewards savings: $68.70
4 tires $378 (mount, balance, fees, lifetime rotate/balance)
Coolant and transmission flushes – $250
Timing & drive belts replaced – $80
4 NGK Iridium spark plugs installed $118 (I admit, I got burned)
Engine and cabin air filters – $17 (to replace each twice)
Not counting car washes, air fresheners and such junk the total to put the car on the road and keep it running for the last year was: $1,576
I’ll eventually have to fork over the money to get the A/C control fixed and I plan on replacing the power steering and brake fluids this year but I really can’t complain. It’s… fun to drive and gets me there and back again.
Hawk (♪♫♪ heading out to the highway… ♪♫♪)