Believe it or not, just a few months back, while driving some brand-new unit (I honestly forget which), I had to pull over for an emergency and I couldn’t, for the life of me, find the hazard lights.
The dashboard was just littered with all these switches, buttons and various other knobs that were, 1) distracting and 2) non-essential.
Getting from Point A to Point B only takes a straight line, or Waze can help if traffic’s really bad, but all that wizardry you’ve got in the car is just icing on the cake.
You can argue that it makes the quality of the drive better and you won’t be wrong. But at the end of the day, you can make the trip without it.
Here are five things you won’t find on the Accent 1.6 CRDi GL seven-speed AT that actually makes it a better choice.
No center console
It’s already a compact vehicle that’s slotted right under the Elantra so you know dimensions-wise, it’s slimmer and smaller than the average sedan. At this level, even elbow room is a premium and that’s why not having a center console becomes a boon.
The ‘extra’ roominess along the right side of the front row was immediately noticeable visually and then appreciated the longer the drive is. Sure, you may not have that little covered cubby hole but this Accent’s glovebox is pretty considerable, so you can opt to store stuff there.
No big touchscreen monitor
Unless you’ve got a rearview camera, the point of a large touchscreen monitor seems awfully moot. Yeah, it’s easier to simply tap controls but the lack of feedback sort of negates the benefit of ease-of-use because of the larger margin for error. You eliminate the mistake by looking at it but that’s exactly the point. Your eyes are on it and not on the road. If it’s just a music player you want, this 1-DIN Radio/CD/MP3/USB/Aux player is all you’ll ever need.
No steering wheel controls
As helpful as these are when you have it, keeping the number of switches and buttons to a minimum is the key. If the steering wheel spokes need to fit hands-free telephone functions, knobs for the multi-information display, plus audio AND cruise controls, then chances are high you’ll flick the wrong one at some point.
You’d be better off just having these in their respective sections of the vehicle because this way, association by function will help guide your hand to the proper controls even if you’re fully focused on the drive.
No dizzying array of buttons
The dashboard section of the vehicle already is loaded. There’s climate control, buttons for hazard lights, defogger, infotainment and in higher models, air-conditioned seats controls, drive modes, and switches for various safety features like lane assist systems, etc. Again, aside from the basic stuff, these are things the drive can actually do without. That’s less distraction in the car, more concentration for the drive.
With a hatch for a tail, this one is an absolute no-brainer — more storage space, period. Since it even comes with a cover, just dump all your precious items in there from laptops to luggage and worry not about being another parking lot incident statistic.
Maybe you’ll tire of its plain, almost bare appearance but let me explain why it’s better like this. At P828,000, this isn’t the base model but a trim that’s more mid-level. It ain’t exactly the cheapest unit out there, but considering the space and power you get — comparable to and can even rival models in the compact sedan segment — it’s an absolutely practical option.
If you don’t have disposable income to spare anymore, keep it as is and just spring for maintenance and fuel. But if you do, and this is where it gets good, you can spruce it up slowly with accessories you like and need based on a reasonable financial plan.
‘Less is more’ is a classic oxymoron that seems hard to believe — that’s until you see the Accent 1.6 CRDi GL seven-speed AT.
Text and photos by Eric Tipan