I had previously written about my test drive and initial impressions along with the fact that I bought a Forte5 SX.
After driving it some more, I now have additional, initial-er impressions. I said before that speed is relative, so going from a ‘09 Accent sedan that I’ve driven for 7 years to this new hatch is a massive change for me (also, I’ve driven about 8 cars in my entire life, up until last week when I test drove numbers 9 and 10) . Anyways:
- Going from the ~110hp in the Accent to 201hp is a nice change, but for real-world conditions I think the torque difference is what’s most noticeable: 106 lb-ft @ 4600 RPM in the Accent to 195 lb-ft @ 1750 in the F5SX. In my mind, it does feel like there’s a split-second where it doesn’t really get going and then the wave of power hits. Then again, I still haven’t floored in from a full stop yet. I still think it’s very quick - I’m really having to pay much more attention to the speedometer since I keep going much faster than I mean to.
- Power is smooth, and the six-speed auto shifts nicely when in full auto, and actually responds very well in the semi-auto mode with paddles. The shift is not instantaenous, and feels quicker on upshifts than downshifts, but it works fast enough where I can adjust to it. This may be a moot point with 2017 models which should come with a DCT, if it’s done well.
- It’s quiet and comfortable, although I wish it had adjustable suspension/dampers for comfort/sport modes. On Ottawa roads which have a lot of patchwork repairs and ongoing construction, a softer setting would have been nice. I think the way it’s setup lends well to spirited driving, though. Feels very stable and composed going through fast curves.
- I love the features and interior setup overall, but there’s still cheap-ish plastic about, although it’s overall impact is lessened by the leather trim on the wheel and seats. Nothing that puts me off, to be honest, but nothing spectacular. The seats and wheel all feel right to me, I’m an average build 6ft. tall male and I can find a perfect driving position and height.
- Stereo is good. Sounds is clear, lacks a bit of punch, although you can make up for a lot of it with the in-stereo EQ.
- Back to the driving: after playing with the steering modes, there is a noticeable difference between the Comfort/Normal/Sport modes, and it’s pretty much as you’d expect, a gradient of light-to-heavy steering. I find comfort to be uncomfortably light, so I stick to normal, and use sport when pushing it a bit more. The steering is setup more to dial out harsh feedback, so I don’t get as clear an idea of how the tires are gripping. However, I’ve been tuned to one car for seven years, so I think my senses with the car will improve over time.
Uh, that was more than I thought I would write.
Final note: I really do love the car. Even just that one step (or maybe 1.5 steps in this case) above econobox made a big difference. The fact that my Accent was the final generation before the refreshed, new Hyundais came around (you know, around the time of the swoopy Sonata) only accentuates the contrast between the old Korean cars and the new ones. It’s certainly not the greatest car, or even greatest hot hatch, but it came at the right price, the right time - it’s the most fun I’ve had driving a regular car.