The 2021 Hyundai Accent is a carryover model with the exception of a new hue of gray exterior paint, while a previous gray and beige are no longer options. With no changes, this means the Accent carries on as an affordable subcompact sedan where competitive safety and technology features aren't found until you move up the trim range.
Choosing Your Hyundai Accent
The Hyundai Accent is available in three trim levels: SE, SEL, and Limited. Pricing starts at $16,390 including destination for the base SE and only climbs to $20,495 for the Limited.
The 2020 model year brought updated engines and transmissions to the Accent with a clear focus on improved fuel economy figures. The 1.6-liter four-cylinder motor generates only 120 horsepower and 113 pound-feet of torque. These figures are on par with its class competitors and is generally sufficient given the car’s 2,500-pound curb weight.
The base trim is equipped with a six-speed manual transmission and offers a continuously variable transmission (CVT) for $1,100. The CVT is standard on the other two trims. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive isn't offered.
The manual Accent earns an EPA-estimated 29 miles per gallon city, 39 mpg highway, and 33 combined. The CVT ups those figures to 33/41/36 mpg (city/highway/combined). This, again, is on par for the small car segment.
Passenger and Cargo Capacity
What the Accent’s sedan shape adds to fuel economy, it takes away from the overall interior capacity. Its 172.6-inch length is nearly a foot longer than the Honda Fit, yet rear leg room and cargo volume are far less. It only offers 33.5 inches of rear leg room and 13.7 cubic feet of cargo space. The Accent can seat five, but good luck fitting three passengers in the back.
The Accent is equipped with the government-mandated rearview camera, but not other active safety features as standard. The SEL gets a driver's blind-spot mirror, while only the Limited is equipped with automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning.
At least the Accent carries a four-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA.
The base trim includes a 5-inch touchscreen display with Bluetooth, one USB port, and a four-speaker audio system. Most buyers will be interested in moving up to at least the SEL to get the 7-inch touchscreen complete with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. A six-speaker audio system and two USB ports are also included at this level.
The Limited trim integrates Hyundai’s Blue Link remote connectivity services to enable locking, unlocking, and remote engine start, among other vehicle status functions.
The Hyundai Accent SE is expectedly light on features but avoids looking and feeling like a cheap econobox. Body-colored side mirrors and door handles help dress up the exterior, which also features 15-inch steel wheels and a chrome grille. Inside, cloth seating, a six-way manual driver's seat, keyless entry, and power doors, locks, and windows provide a fair level of convenience and comfort.
The mid-level SEL trim adds a bit more style by ditching the plastic hub caps and installing 15-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, and chrome trim along the beltline. The headlights are automatic and the side mirrors are heated. This is also the trim that comes with the 7-inch touchscreen and smartphone integration.
Despite the Accent’s basic start, the Limited trim includes some eyebrow-raising features for the price. LED headlights, daytime running lights, and taillights; a hands-free trunk; 17-inch alloy wheels, mirrors with integrated turn signals; chrome door handles; and even a sunroof are among the exterior upgrades.
Inside, the driver gains a 3.5-inch digital display in the gauge cluster and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shift lever. Heated front seats, automatic climate control, push button start, and automatic emergency braking extend a sense of luxury.
There are no illusions about the intended mission of the 2021 Hyundai Accent. The SEL provides a good level of convenience with the upgraded touchscreen while being covered by Hyundai’s lengthy standard warranty.