Subcompact models were at one time devoid of style or substance, but the Hyundai Accent offers proof that neither is true, at least not with this small sedan. The 2019 Hyundai Accent derives styling elements shared with other models throughout the brand. This model is nimble on city streets and offers a quiet cabin. It doesn’t match the top models in this class with its fuel efficiency, however.
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2019 Hyundai Accent Overview
What's New for 2019
Hyundai calls the 2019 Accent a carryover, but there are a few changes of note. LED headlights are offered for the first time and come standard on the Limited trim. A chrome grille, previously restricted to the Limited model, now appears on the SE. Fog lights and chrome beltline molding come to the SEL range.
Choosing Your Hyundai Accent
Powering all models is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with 130 horsepower and 119 pound-feet of torque. Hyundai pairs this engine with a six-speed manual gearbox in the base model. A six-speed automatic is available and is standard with the two top trims.
The 2019 Accent earns an EPA-estimated 28 mpg in the city, 37 mpg on the highway, and 31 combined with the manual transmission. Models equipped with the automatic transmission have a slight edge in fuel economy, coming in at 28/38/32 mpg (city/highway/combined).
Hyundai offers the Accent in SE, SEL, and Limited trims. This subcompact front-wheel-drive sedan seats five. Among the standard features are halogen headlights, adjustable side mirrors, cloth seats, air conditioning, and an audio suite. No packages are available across the model line.
There's just $1,735 separating the SEL and Limited trims for the 2019 Hyundai Accent. Upgrading to the Limited brings in features unusual for this class, including LED lighting all around, heated seats, and forward collision avoidance.
2019 Hyundai Accent Review
The 2019 Hyundai Accent excels at being an affordable vehicle for getting around,maneuvering around tight roads thanks to its compact size. Good fuel economy numbers and a decent amount of interior space for the class also help the vehicle stand out. The lack of a hatchback model and high-tech safety features, at least on lower trims, are concessions buyers will have to make for getting into an affordable car.
The hatchback body is gone, only leaving the sedan body style. There's only one available engine for the Accent: a 1.6-liter four-cylinder that cranks out a modest 130 horsepower and 119 pound-feet of torque. Entry-level SE trims come with a six-speed manual transmission as standard, but a six-speed automatic transmission is an extra $1,000. The mid-level SEL and range-topping Limited come with the automatic transmission as standard.
The base SE comes with 15-inch steel wheels, cloth upholstery, a six-way adjustable driver's seat, air conditioning, Bluetooth, power windows and door locks, remote keyless entry, a five-inch touchscreen, four audio speakers, an auxiliary input jack, and a USB port as standard.
While the SE isn't a barebones option, the range-topping Limited trim is the best value option. Over other trims, it adds 17-inch alloy wheels, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, LED taillights, heated exterior mirrors, a power sunroof, heated front seats, automatic climate control, voice recognition, a seven-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a six-speaker audio system, and dual USB charging.
Here's how we'd configure our own Accent:
- Model:2019 Hyundai Accent Limited
- Engine: 1.6-liter four-cylinder
- Output:130 hp / 119 lb-ft
- Transmission: Six-speed automatic
- Drivetrain:Front-wheel drive
- MPG:28 City / 38 Hwy
- Options: None
- Base Price:$19,965 (including an $885 destination fee)
- Best Value Price:$19,965
Compact economy cars like the Accent aren't about all-out performance, which is pretty obvious. Instead, the Accent prioritizes fuel economy and ease of use – good things for consumers looking for a daily-driver. With its zero-to-60 mph time of roughly 10 seconds, you won't be winning any drag races with the Accent, but you'll be able to keep up with traffic, which is really the only thing you need from a car.
Thanks to its small stature, the Accent is a breeze to drive in urban areas and it's also easy to park. The sedan's suspension does an adequate job of handling rough roads. It's also surprisingly agile out of the city, being able to handle a windy road in stride.
Fuel economy for the Accent is average for the segment, as the EPA rates the vehicle at 28 miles per gallon city, 38 mpg highway, and 32 combined with the automatic gearbox. Those figures aren't stellar, but they'll definitely help you save some money at the pump.
With its upscale styling that the Accent shares with some of its more expensive and larger stablemates, it's easy to confuse the compact for being one of Hyundai's larger cars. The Accent doesn't suffer from having a cheap look, like other economical compacts on the market. Hyundai's stylish grille and triangular taillights are highlights on the sedan.
There's no getting around the hard plastics and low-end materials in the Accent's cabin, but Hyundai's done a great job trying to draw attention away from them with a good mix of textures and grains. Fit and finish is also above average for the segment and up to par with what we've come to expect from Hyundai. The impressive amount of cargo space in the trunk, which measures in at 13.7 cubic feet, is also noteworthy, as is overall interior space.
The Best and Worst Things
Affordable compact cars are just that: affordable and compact. But with some stylish cues and high-end features that are borrowed from larger offerings, the Accent manages to not be boring.
Performance is satisfactory, at best, and the drone that makes its way into the cabin under acceleration is cumbersome. The lack of a hatchback model and high-end safety features on the entry-level and mid-level trim are drawbacks.
Right For? Wrong For?
Need something small and cheap to drive every day? With its stylish exterior, impressive amount of interior space, and compact size, the Accent is an option worth looking into.
Limited safety features and the lack of a high-performance version could have some buyers looking elsewhere.
The Bottom Line
For urbanites that need cheap transportation in a package that's easy to drive, but doesn't feel cheap, the 2019 Hyundai Accent is up to the task. It's hard to look past the stylish design, extensive warranty, and good fuel economy, even in the competitive compact segment.
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