The Hyundai Accent is a subcompact car, the smallest model offered by this Korean manufacturer. Available in sedan and hatchback body styles, the Accent is a value leader among small cars.
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2017 Hyundai Accent Overview
What's New for 2017
Hyundai adds a mid-level Value Edition trim to the sedan line.
Choosing Your Hyundai Accent
The Hyundai Accent is a front-wheel drive subcompact model available in four trims: SE Sedan, Value Edition Sedan, SE Hatchback, and Sport Hatchback. This model seats five.
All models are powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with 137 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque. Both SE models offer a standard six-speed transmission or an optional six-speed automatic transmission. The two other trims are outfitted with the automatic. The Accent is EPA-rated as high as 27 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway.ccent is offered in just two trim levels:
Sedan models offer 13.7 cubic feet trunk space. The hatchback supplies 21.2 cubic feet of cargo space, which grows to 47.5 cubic feet with the rear seat folded.
Every model comes with a six-speaker audio system with a CD player, MP3 audio, and satellite radio. USB and auxiliary input jacks are included. Prices range from $14,745 to $17,495, plus a $835 destination fee. No options packages are offered, and only a handful of accessory items are available, including mud guards ($115) and carpeted floor mats ($125).
The Hyundai Accent lacks a few features widely available in nearly all cars today, including navigation and a rearview camera. It also doesn’t fare especially well in crash tests. Nevertheless, if you have your heart set on an Accent, the Value Edition sedan and Sport hatchback are your best choices. If you can’t live without the missing features, a move up to the compact Hyundai Elantra provides more choices for a relatively small increase in price.
2017 Hyundai Accent Review
The Accent tries to strike a balance between a low purchase price and Hyundai's reputation for quality and refinement. It succeeds in being functional and well-finished but struggles to match its competitors in important considerations like available features, safety, and general driving satisfaction.
Pricing and Equipment
The Hyundai Accent is available as either a sedan or a five-door hatchback. Either body style is powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine which makes 137 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on the base SE trim level; an automatic is optional on the SE and included with the Value Edition sedan and Sport hatchback. Fuel economy estimates for an Accent with a manual transmission are 27 miles per gallon city, 37 highway, and 31 combined according to the EPA; automatic transmission estimates subtract one from each of those numbers.
As noted above, two trim levels are offered for each body style. The SE is the base trim for both and is equipped with necessities such as:
- Air conditioning
- Power locks, windows, and side mirrors
- An AM/FM/SiriusXM radio with a CD player, USB port and 6 speakers
The SE sedan has a starting MSRP of $15,580 (all prices listed here include an $835 delivery fee) and the automatic transmission adds an even $1,000; hatchback SEs start at $15,830, with the automatic costing an additional $1,200. The Value Edition sedan adds alloy wheels, rear disc brakes, Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control and a multifunction steering wheel for a total price of $17,285 – the Sport hatchback incorporates these and adds a number of interior upgrades at a sticker price of $18,330.
- The driving experience emulates that of a larger car, with a deliberate feel and good noise damping.
- Fuel economy numbers are very good, especially considering the Accent's powerful-for-its-class engine.
- The engine's 137 hp looks good on paper but lacks verve on the road - especially when that motor is bolted to the automatic transmission.
- The suspension tuning manages to be both uninspiring in daily driving and uncomfortable on rough roads.
- Crash test scores are average - except for the front small-overlap impact rating, which is low.
- The cabin is very roomy given the Accent's petite dimensions – it's technically a compact car instead of a subcompact, according to EPA interior measurements.
- A dose of well-placed trim helps brighten a straightforward and logically-arranged dashboard.
- Materials quality is a step or two ahead of some rivals.
- Several desirable quality-of-life features common on competitors – rearview camera, sunroof, navigation – are unavailable on the Accent.
- Seat comfort wears thin on longer drives.
- Rear head room takes a hit in the sedan.
The Most Pleasant Surprise
It's not easy to design a good-looking small car - and even harder for any design to retain its appeal after a few seasons - but the Accent still holds its visual punch five years after its introduction.
The Least Pleasant Surprise
The Accent may have been competitive when introduced back in 2012, but it has not kept up with class standards – or Hyundai's reputation – for equipment and safety. Useful features like a rearview camera should be available by now.
The Bottom Line
If you're in need of basic everyday wheels and prefer the security of a new-car warranty, the Accent does the job. We do recommend taking a serious look at some of the Accent's better competitors like the Honda Fit or Ford Fiesta – or waiting a few months for details on the 2018 Accent – before committing.
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