The coming year will be one of record sales for Korean automaker Hyundai as it shakes free, in our collective memory, of the awful Pony and Excel; eats up the market share Toyota seems intent on throwing away; and strengthens its cachet as world's fastest-rising automaker. If you're buying a Hyundai in 2013, make it one of these five models. All will be contenders for Car of the Year.
MODEL: Hyundai Accent L 6AT
STYLE: CompactSTARTING PRICE: $14,499
AVG. FUEL ECONOMY: 7.1-5.3 L/100km
ACCOLADES:Automobile Journalists Association of Canada’s Best New Small Car (Under 21K)The hyper-efficient Accent Hatchback will appeal to the frugal driver, as its best assets are its tip-top fuel efficiency, abundance of features and a cozy interior. For a car that hangs its hat on practicality, it is has a surprisingly spunky appearance. Sadly, the 1.6L engine’s performance on the road makes for a somewhat limp experience. But if you’re not looking for a turbo-charged ride, there’s plenty to like about the Accent. The combination of Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control System (TCS), and Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) gives this hatchback a responsive, tight feel.