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Four ways the 2013 Hyundai Accent shows confidence

Long a leader in value and content, the 2013 Hyundai Accent seems to be moving away from its olf formula of lowest price - highest content., Could the brand be looking to move upmarket?

Not long ago you could count on one hand the number of brands that offered satellite radio in all of the vehicles it built. Now you would be hard-pressed to find a model that does not offer it. Air conditioning too was once an option, but in practical shopping buyers will rarely find any inventory that does not have air conditioning available for sale at any price point. In a press release today Hyundai released information regarding the 2013 Accent and it looks like the content and value leader has made the decision that it is now a good enough brand and has a good enough car to play to its strengths.

AC Came Late and Not the Cheapest
The 2013 Hyundai Accent now offers air conditioning in all trims. The 2012 Chevy Sonic already did. So did the 2012 Toyota Yaris. So did the Honda Fit. Should I go on? It looks like Hyundai is playing catch-up on this expensive option, but is it? Similarly, the Hyundai models always seemed to have a distinct price advantage at the low end of the marketplace. An analysis of the 2012 Accent vs. its peers does not show any real advantage here. Yes, there is the fantastic warranty, but Hyundai's confidence that this model will sell well without being the lowest priced in its class is coming from some other place. Hyundai is starting to think and act like the leader in the family car market that it has become.

Not the Most Powerful or Stylish Model Available
Glancing at the horsepower is interesting too. The 2012 Sonic can match it, but the Hyundai is now equally powerful to the best in the segment, no longer just an econobox. In terms of style, the fluidic sculpture that made the Sonata such a looker, and makes the Elantra the best looking car in its class, now adorns the Accent and it wears its big brothers' clothes confidently.

Perhaps Hyundai isn’t interested in dominating the bottom rung of the ladder anymore? Could it be that Hyundai has decided to pour its energy into the middle sizes and content models? Perhaps even as a strategy to no longer be thought of as the cheapest new car in the market (and thus, not much more)?

Hyundai could have loaded up the 2013 Accent with all of the features available and sold it for less than the competition, but the brand is growing up and maybe it doesn’t want to.