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Hyundai Accent Reviews | Hyundai Accent Price, Photos, and Specs
The Hyundai Accent is not the cheapest new car you can buy; that honor has belonged to the Nissan Versa for years now. Nor is it the roomiest subcompact—that would be the Honda Fit—or the most fun to drive in its segment, an honor we’d bestow on the Mazda-built Toyota Yaris iA. But while this humble Hyundai may not be able to claim many superlatives, the redesigned-for-2018 Accent, like its stablemate, the Kia Rio, has made strides in sophistication and refinement all while retaining its key tenets of affordability and efficiency.
The Accent’s newfound maturity starts with its design. A scaled-down ringer for the larger Elantra, the Hyundai has a hexagonal grille that makes a strong impression. Our Limited test car featured upscale detailing in the form of its modern-looking LED lighting accents and tasteful chrome trim. A sedan body style is all that’s on the menu unfortunately, as Hyundai has dropped the Accent hatchback in the United States (the new Rio still is offered as a hatch, however).
There’s still plenty of practicality built into the Accent sedan, as its efficient packaging makes for a spacious rear seat and a capacious trunk that swallowed six carry-on suitcases in our testing. A 60/40 split-folding rear seat is standard, which expands that capacity considerably to hold up to 18 suitcases—four more than the Rio hatchback could handle, in fact. The cabin has an airy feel for front-seat passengers, too, thanks to large glass areas and an unobtrusive dashboard shape.
We’re less convinced that the top-trim Accent Limited is worth its $3900 premium over the base-model 2018 Accent SE we tested. Yes, the Limited comes with a considerably more generous load of desirable equipment, including a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, heated front seats, automatic climate control, and proximity-key entry. But the Accent’s interior ambience doesn’t hold up quite as well at nearly $20,000 as it does at a sub-$16,000 price point. Sure, the plastics are nicely grained and the cloth upholstery is perfectly acceptable, but the loaded Accent’s price starts to bump up against more spacious and refined compacts such as the Honda Civic and the Volkswagen Golf.
Saddling the Accent’s 1.6-liter inline-four with a six-speed automatic transmission (standard on the SEL and Limited trims and optional on the base SE) also dulls the engine’s performance compared with the SE’s six-speed manual. While the automatic shifts smoothly, it slowed the Accent’s zero-to-60-mph acceleration by 1.4 seconds, to 8.9 seconds, demoting it from the subcompact segment’s hot rod to a merely average contender. And the automatic’s considerably lower result in our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test, 36 mpg to the manual’s 41 mpg, adds insult to injury.
The Limited’s larger wheel-and-tire package helps make up for some of its performance deficit, as it pulled a better skidpad result (0.85 g versus 0.81 g) and a shorter braking distance from 70 mph (169 feet to 173) than the SE. Its bigger 17-inch wheels, though, come with a downside: a less comfortable ride. It’s not harsh, but impacts are distinctly sharper in the Limited than in the cushy-by-comparison SE with its 15-inch wheels and narrower tires.
The newest Accent puts its best foot forward in its humbler guise. Unless the extra creature comforts are a must-have for you, we’d argue against paying more for the Limited trim level or the automatic transmission. It’s the value-tastic SE manual that’s our pick among the Accents and among our favorite lower-spec subcompacts overall.
New and Used Hyundai Accent: Prices, Photos, Reviews, Specs
The Hyundai Accent is the smallest four-door sedan in the South Korean car company's lineup. It's also the least expensive Hyundai.
With the newly revamped 2018 Accent, Hyundai has one of the bigger sedans in its class, although it's not very exciting to drive.
MORE: Read our 2018 Hyundai Accent review
The Accent is a competitor for vehicles such as the Honda Fit, Ford Fiesta, Kia Rio, and Chevrolet Sonic.
The new Hyundai Accent
The recently redesigned Accent adopts a new shape that mimics that of the bigger Sonata and Elantra sedans. It shares their six-sided grille, has a similar roofline, and a contoured dash that bears a strong family likeness. No hatchback model has emerged yet in this new generation–though the similar Kia Rio emerged new in 2018 with both sedan and hatchback body styles.
A 130-horsepower inline-4 powers the new 2,500-pound Accent. It's paired with either a 6-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual. The front-strut and rear torsion-beam suspension are matched with electric power steering, front disc brakes (all discs on more expensive models) and 15- or 17-inch wheels and tires.
The Accent can carry four adults, with front head and leg room put in priority position. The rear seats fold down to expand the Accent's already large, 13.7-cubic-foot trunk.
Hyundai gives every Accent a rearview camera, but automatic emergency braking only comes on the Limited trim level, which also comes with heated seats, 17-inch wheels, a sunroof, and a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Accent skips navigation, leather, power seats, and other nice things, but all models carry a base price of less than $20,000.
The 2012-2017 Hyundai Accent
The last Accent arrived for 2012, offered in four-door sedan and five-door hatchback body styles. It was larger than its predecessor, nearly a compact in size, and offered a more sophisticated experience to go along with improved efficiency. An updated 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine made 138 horsepower and was available with the choice of a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic.
It was a better performer, and was very well executed, with adult-sized room in front or in back, with a smooth powertrain that accelerated at or above the usual econocar pace—all with a level of fit and finish a notch above the rival Fiesta and many other subcompacts. Not only that, it proved to be better equipped, with available Bluetooth, power features, and standard curtain airbags and stability control.
The Accent's fuel economy, however, was not as good as was initially marketed. In November 2012, the 2012-2013 Hyundai was found to have misstated gas-mileage figures for the Accent and several other models due to what it termed "testing errors," for which it compensated owners of the affected models. While the 2012 Accent was initially rated and promoted at 30 mpg city, 40 highway, the EPA deemed its actual fuel efficiency to be 28 mpg city, 37 highway. Owners were asked to register with Hyundai to receive reimbursement for the gas consumed above and beyond expected levels at a website, HyundaiMPGInfo.com.
Over its lifespan, this Accent tumbled as crash tests became more difficult. The NHTSA gave it four stars out of five overall, but noted some excessive intrusion in the side-impact test. The IIHS gave it a poor score in the new small front-overlap test and an acceptable score for side impact protection, with good scores in the rest of the testing.
In the second model year of this new body style, Hyundai gave the Accent more standard features in base GLS sedan form such as air conditioning, cruise control, and power windows—but raised the base price by $2,000 accordingly. The Accent was mostly unchanged for 2014.
The 2015 model year brought a light restyling, with a new grille design up front. Accent GL and GLS models also got revised headlights, and the GLS adopted its own taillight look. Some features were moved around and repackaged, and the lineup was pared to three models: SE sedan, SE hatchback, and Sport hatchback. No major changes were made for the 2016 and 2017 model years.
Hyundai Accent history
Originally available in GL, GLS, and GT trims, with a choice of 1.5-liter and 1.6-liter engines, the Hyundai Accent has been simplified over the years. The first-generation car was a low-priced, often low-quality mode of basic transportation.
The second-generation Accent was offered from 2005, and trim choices eventually were reduced to a trio: the GLS model, with a choice of continuously variable (CVT) or manual transmissions, was offered in the sedan body style, while the hatchback was offered in GS and SE trims, with the SE replacing the previous GT trim as the sportier take on the Accent. This generation was powered by a lone powertrain: a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder good for 110 hp. The car offered good interior space and storage capacity, as well as standard air conditioning and a 60/40-split rear seat for cargo flexibility. It didn't fare too well in safety tests; U.S. versions got some extra reinforcements, but still did not excel in side-impact collision testing.
2018 Hyundai Accent Prices, Incentives & Dealers
Hyundai Accent Overview
The Hyundai Accent is a subcompact car that has been highly competitive with regard to similarly priced vehicles, such as the Toyota Yaris, Nissan Versa, Chevrolet Sonic and Honda Fit.
The Accent is officially classified by the EPA as a compact, and has gotten bigger and roomier since its introduction in the 1995 model year. The vehicle is now in its fourth generation, which started with the 2012 model year.
In the fourth generation, the Accent is available as a four-door sedan and a five-door hatchback.
Styles and Pricing
The four-door sedan version of the Accent is called the GLS, while the five-door hatchback is available as the GS or SE. The SE comes with standard performance options such as sport-tuned steering, four-wheel disc brakes and 16-inch alloy wheels instead of the 14-inch wheels that come standard on the GS and GLS.
When it comes to pricing, the Accent is very reasonably priced, making it highly competitive with other entry-level subcompact or compact vehicles. The 2013 Hyundai Accent GLS has an MSRP in the starting range in the low $15,000’s while the GS falls in the mid $15,000’s. The SE trim level checks in with an MSRP in the high $16,000’s. Adding an automatic transmission will add around $1,000 to the MSRP, depending on the model. Of course as a member you will always get an up front price with guaranteed savings and a no-hassle buying experience at your certified dealer.
All three trim levels of the 2013 Hyundai Accent come with the same 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder engine. It produces 138 horsepower at 6,300 RPM and 123 pound-feet of torque at 4,850 RPM. This might not sound like a lot of horsepower, but since all three trim levels check in at approximately 2,400 to 2,600 pounds, the power is enough to get the spry Accent moving.
It’s worth noting that the Accent got a bump in power from the third to fourth generation. During the third generation (2006 through 2011 model years), the Accent produced 110 horsepower and 106 pound-feet of torque.
All three trim levels come standard with a 6-speed manual transmission, or an optional 6-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC. This is a combination transmission that allows the driver to move the shift lever over into a mode that has two positions. The driver can then manually upshift and downshift, but will not be able to run the engine past the red line or stall it out.
With gas prices increasingly high, consumers will be happy to know that the Accent gets particularly good fuel mileage. The Accent gets an EPA estimated 28 miles per gallon in city driving, 37 miles per gallon on the highway and 32 combined when it comes with a manual transmission. The automatic transmission doesn't lose much, with the city and highway numbers staying the same and the combined mileage dropping to 31 miles per gallon.
Style and Features
The GS and SE are available in a variety of bright colors. Clearwater Blue is a light blue with a touch of metallic coloring. Century White is a standard white, a bit less reflective than some of Hyundai’s other white offerings. Ironman Silver is a normal gray color, Ultra Black is a deep black without too much of a reflective finis and Cyclone Gray is a dark gray. Mocha Bronze is a browner bronze than some of the alternatives, Marathon Blue is similar to a royal blue, Boston Red falls about halfway between a bright and deep red and Electrolyte Green is a bright, bold, neon green. The GLS is available with all of those colors except Electrolyte Green.
The exterior is significantly more sleek and dynamic in the fourth generation than the third. It takes the Accent from a basic option for those seeking a reliable car that’s easy on them at the fuel pump to a car that offers those options with better exterior and interior styling.
The interior comes in black or gray on the GS and SE trim levels, but is available in beige or gray in the GLS. The Accent’s interior has a surprisingly sleek look for its class of vehicles, and the interior space is a cut above the subcompact class as well, checking in at 111.3 cubic feet. That’s the reason the EPA classifies it as a compact.
The Accent has a standard fold-down rear seat for storing larger, longer items. It also has a bevy of storage compartments and pockets and a sliding armrest storage console.
When it comes to audio, the Accent includes both SiriusXM Satellite Radio and an iPod or USB input jack. It has six speakers.
You can also keep your hands on the wheel while controlling just about everything inside the car with an optional package that has audio and cruise control buttons mounted on the steering wheel.
As far as prices are concerned, the Hyundai Accent falls in the middle of the road for comparable cars. It’s cheaper than the Chevrolet Sonic and Honda Fit, similarly priced to the Nissan Versa and more expensive than the Toyota Yaris.
It offers good value for the money, and should certainly be considered along with those other models. The fourth generation of the Accent in particular should give buyers pause to reconsider their old notions of the Hyundai Accent as a basic, no-frills vehicle.
The Accent’s styling, interior features and power now give it a much more interesting design and feel while still maintaining an affordable price point.
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Hyundai Accent Review - Research New & Used Hyundai Accent Models
Since its 1995 introduction, the Hyundai Accent has served as the company's entry-level small car. Although grouped with similarly priced subcompact cars, the Accent sedan and hatchback have always fallen under the EPA's classification for a compact car, which translates to a surprisingly roomy interior. Other typical Accent advantages include generous standard equipment, a choice of hatchback and sedan body styles and long warranty coverage.
The latest Hyundai Accent has made great strides toward front-runner status in this competitive segment, which is a welcome change from past models. It is now larger inside and out, and the overall look of the car is certainly more dynamic. Performance and overall quality have been notably improved as well. Prior to the current-generation car, older Accents suffered from low safety ratings and an overall level of quality that didn't match up to some competitors.
Current Hyundai AccentAvailable as a sedan or a four-door hatchback, the Accent comes with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder producing 138 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, while a six-speed automatic is also available. Power output is impressive for the class, and the Accent gets excellent fuel economy as well.
The sedan comes only in base GLS trim, while the hatchback comes in GS and the top-line SE trims. The GLS is nicely equipped with air-conditioning, full power accessories and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio and iPod/USB/auxiliary input jacks. Option highlights including foglights, alloy wheels, keyless entry, upgraded interior trim, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control and Bluetooth are available. The GS hatchback adds a few extra features. Stepping up to the SE hatchback gets you pretty much all of the optional features as standard.
Inside, the Hyundai Accent has a look and feel that's a cut above most rivals, with patterned upholstery, a sculpted dash and a modern overall design. Although some drivers may be bothered by the lack of a telescoping steering wheel as standard equipment on most trims, taller passengers will find all but the rear center seat roomy and comfortable. Cargo space is also quite accommodating, especially in the hatchback models.
On the road, the Accent's four-cylinder engine pulls significantly stronger than the power plants of its major competitors. Both the six-speed manual and the six-speed automatic transmissions make good use of that output, too. What it lacks in sporty handling dynamics, it compensates for with a quiet, comfortable ride and good overall composure -- criteria likely more important to buyers shopping this segment. That the Accent performs this well overall while still rating an EPA-estimated 31 mpg combined is impressive. Overall, the Hyundai Accent stands as a front-runner in the subcompact segment.
Used Hyundai Accent ModelsThe Hyundai Accent was fully redesigned for 2012, marking its fourth generation. Compared to the previous generation, this Accent is roomier inside, with a more stylish design and a more powerful and fuel-efficient engine. There haven't been any major changes since, although the optional telescoping steering wheel didn't become available until 2014.
The third-generation Hyundai Accent was built from 2006-'11. It's a cost-effective choice for a used car, though not a particularly exciting one. All third-generation Accents were powered by 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that produced 110 hp and 106 lb-ft of torque. Transmission choices included either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic.
During its run, a steady progression of changes and improvements were implemented. Initially, a sedan body style and single trim level were available. In 2007, a two-door hatchback was added to the lineup along with additional trim levels: the GS and SE were offered on the hatchback and GLS was the only sedan choice.
GS models were modestly appointed with the bare necessities. The SE added 16-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, power accessories, a CD player, a sport-tuned suspension and quicker steering. The GLS sedan included air-conditioning and the audio system as standard, with power accessories and alloy wheels optional. A sunroof and an upgraded audio system were optional on the SE.
There was a slight bump in fuel economy for 2009, as well as available cruise control. For 2010, the entry-level Blue trim joined the lineup as the new value leader, but was renamed the GL one year later. In the meantime, the GS received standard air-conditioning. USB connectivity was added to the available auxiliary input in 2010. Used car shoppers should pay special attention to whether or not an Accent has antilock brakes, as the car's braking distance grows excessively long without them. Antilock brakes weren't even an option for the GS until 2010. Finally in 2011, all Accents featured it as standard.
In reviews, we found the third-generation Accent to be a decent choice for those seeking basic, fuel-efficient transportation, but plain styling and cheap materials kept appeal fairly low. Still, there was enough interior space for average-sized adults to get comfortable in the front or rear. Driving the Accent offered no revelations in performance, but the brakes were strong (with ABS) and ride quality and handling were acceptable for an economy car. Power was adequate for driving around town, but sluggish at highway speeds in automatic-transmission models. One final aspect to consider is the Accent's crash test scores; it performed very poorly in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's side-impact crash test.
The second-generation Accent was sold in sedan and hatchback form from 2000-'05. Initially, this Accent was offered only with an 89-hp, 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine (horsepower varied slightly over the years). A 104-hp, 1.6-liter engine joined the lineup in 2001 and replaced the 1.5-liter altogether in 2003. Acceleration was adequate even with the 1.5-liter engine, however, and both the automatic and manual transmissions perform acceptably.
Handling and braking capabilities were modest on second-gen Accents, mainly because of the car's undersized 13-inch wheels and tires. Hyundai did offer the 2004 and '05 GT hatchback with 14-inch wheels and a firmer suspension, but if you're buying any used Accent, it's a good idea to set aside some money for better tires. Unfortunately, antilock brakes were optional only on 2005 Accents. Front seat-mounted side airbags were standard on 2003 GL sedans and hatchbacks, and on all 2004 and '05 models.
Sold from 1995-'99, the first-generation Hyundai Accent was also available as both a compact sedan and a three-door hatchback; it replaced Hyundai's shoddily built Excel subcompact (1986-'94). All Accents of this era came with a 92-hp, 1.5-liter engine, except for the 1996 and '97 GT hatch, which had a DOHC, 16-valve version of this engine good for 105 hp. ABS was optional on automatic transmission-equipped Accents sold from 1995-'98, but this safety feature was discontinued entirely for 1999 and didn't turn up again until 2005.
Read the most recent 2018 Hyundai Accent review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Hyundai Accent page.