This is not my first dance with an Accent. We have a history.
But last time, I was left all alone at the prom and all I got was a kiss-off.
I drove a new two-door hatch base-model — it didn’t even have air conditioning — from 2000-2004. It was fire engine red, it was ugly and it got me where I needed to go.
That’s about all I can say. It was by no means fabulous. The interior was cheap looking, the steering suspect, the car was loud and it shook at higher speeds. But it did its job, was inexpensive and I was happy.
For a while, anyway.
Then came the breakup, a messy affair.
I contacted Hyundai early in the fourth year of the lease, when at 58,000 km — 2,000 kilometres under distance but two months past the three-year warranty — the clutch went. That’s a mulligan in my book. And I have never had a clutch go before (or since).
The local dealership wouldn’t fix it without approval from Hyundai HQ and my telephone experience with “Richard,” some corporate customer service lackey made me resolute that Hyundai would never see my business again. He actually cackled out loud when I asked to speak to his superior.
Goodbye Hyundai, hello Toyota. I leased a 2004 Echo — spent the extra coin on some bells and whistles — and have been exceedingly happy ever since. This is a relationship that works.
And now, here we are again. The Accent has come back into my life, trying to make it up to me, seduce me, convince me that it will be different this time.