There are some advantages to keeping the battery out of the engine compartment. One is the battery-killing heat. The Thermoguard® battery cover kept fresh air blowing on the battery to keep it cool. An insulating blanket came on OEM batteries to shield them. Many of these didn't fit a new battery and/or weren't transferred over to the new battery and go missing. The cab-forward design didn't give much topside room under the hood. The LX cars and some others have the battery in the trunk. Jumper cable connections are provided under the hood. Lowering the battery also lowers the vehicle's center of gravity. Batteries are a significantly heavy component. For jump starting, it is safer to connect to the +/- studs with the battery out of the way as batteries can emit explosive gases and have injured people. I had one pop the caps and spray me once when hooking up jumpers made a spark. As far as easy-to-get-to? All modern batteries are Maintenance-Free. Of course they are out-of-sight, out-of-mind and battery terminals are rarely cleaned or serviced, but they figure that a battery may only need attention about every 5-7 years. Most can be changed in 10-15 minutes anyways.