2018 Hyundai Accent: Grown Up Sedan, Hatch is Gone

By Frank A. Aukofer, December 9th, 2017

For more than two decades, the Accent has been Hyundai's entry-level economy car, providing dependable, low-cost transportation to customers world-wide. About 1.2 million have been sold in the U.S. since its introduction in 1994.

The Accent has been marketed as a subcompact against such competitors as the Toyota Yaris, Ford Fiesta, Chevrolet Spark, Kia Rio and the defunct Mazda2, which now is sold by Toyota as the iA.

The 2018 Hyundai Accent could be described as a charlatan because it pretends to be something it is not. For 2018, though it still masquerades in that class, the Accent has grown.

It is 14 feet 5 inches long with 90 cubic feet of space inside for passengers and a trunk that can hold 14 cubic feet of stuff. With that and a curb weight of 2,502 to 2,679 pounds, the Accent qualifies as a step-up compact sedan, though it remains as Hyundai's entry-level model.

And yes, it is a four-door sedan only. In a move that will disappoint lovers of economical small hatchbacks, the Accent no longer is available with a hatch. As a captive of U.S. buyer preferences, Accent sedans have been outselling the hatchbacks three to one, so the company decided to focus on the more popular model.

That places it in an interesting tussle with its sibling company, Kia, which also has an all-new car in the entry-level category. But the 2018 Kia Rio continues to be sold as both a four-door hatchback and a sedan.

The Accent's larger size not only delivers a more substantial and stylish image, it can compete with the best-seller in the entry-level class, the compact Nissan Versa, which also is marketed as a subcompact. However, Nissan also sells the Versa Note, which is a hatchback.

An important selling point for a small car like the Accent is that it is modern, with up-to-date safety and convenience features. Hyundai planners are aware that about 50 million people buy used cars in the U.S. every year, and have noted that one-third of Accent buyers trade in cars that they bought used.

Seeking to entice more used-car owners, the Accent features full-blown safety equipment and even items that you don't expect to find on a car in its category. However, leather seating is not available, though the cloth upholstery is handsome and comfortable. The Accent comes in three trim levels with two transmissions and one engine: a 130-horsepower, 1.6-liter four-cylinder with gasoline direct-injection that delivers 119 lb.-ft. of torque. On the base SE model, customers can order a six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed automatic transmission. The automatic is standard on the SEL and Limited versions.

As is customary with South Korea's Hyundai and Kia brands, the $15,880 SE is uncommonly well equipped with fundamental safety equipment plus a rear-view camera and tire-pressure monitoring. Also standard is hill-start assist, which keeps the Accent from rolling backward starting off on a hill.

Other SE equipment includes air conditioning, remote keyless entry, a temporary spare tire, steering-wheel mounted audio and cruise controls, and a tilt (though not telescoping) steering wheel. Accent SEL and Limited models get the telescoping function.

The Limited also gets such desirable features as blind-spot warning, forward collision avoidance, motorized glass sunroof, fog lights, SXM satellite radio, automatic climate controls and headlights, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, pushbutton starting and-a whopper in this class of car-a "smart trunk" that opens with a wave of the foot.

Driven for this review were the base SE with the manual gearbox and the top-line Limited. Either satisfies, though it's too bad the stick shift is not available across the lineup. It is as slick as any manual on the market, with easy clutch action that makes shifting enjoyable even in traffic.

On the road, regardless of the trim, the new Accent is a model of silent running, so quiet that muffled wind, road and mechanical sounds rival that of some six-figure luxury cars.

Though the acceleration is anything but neck-snapping, the Accent feels lively off the line and never challenged in urban or freeway driving. The suspension system soaks up all but the worst road imperfections and the ride-with decent seat comfort-is not tiring over long distances. All in all, exemplary affordable wheels for the masses.

Specifications

Base price $14,995 (as tested: $15,880)
Curb weight 2,502 lbs.
Displacement 1.6-liter
Engine type 16-valve DOHC 4-cyl. w/ GDI
Epa mileage rating 28 mpg city, 37 mpg highway
Fuel capacity 11.9 gal.
Horsepower (net) 130 at 6300 rpm
Overall length 172.6 in.
Torque (lb.-ft.) 119 at 4850 rpm
Transmission 6-speed manual
Vehicle type 5-passenger FWD subcompact sedan
Ford EcoSport: Small Entry-Level Ford Crossover

08/11

Ford EcoSport: Small Entry-Level Ford Crossover

The Ford EcoSport is a small four-door crossover sport utility vehicle that's actually an international vehicle. Though the version sent to the U.S. comes from India, the EcoSport also is manufactured Romania, Russia, China, Thailand, and Brazil.

BMW X4: All-New for 2019

08/04

BMW X4: All-New for 2019

I really don't get the appeal of a four-door crossover SUV with a coupe profile. If you want an SUV, get an SUV. If you want a coupe, get a coupe. This design mutation of a coupe-like-SUV does nothing for me, however, the all-new 2019 BMW X4 does look a lot more pulled together when it is compared to its predecessor.

Lexus ES 350: Elegant Sedan is All-New for 2019

07/21

Lexus ES 350: Elegant Sedan is All-New for 2019

The all-new 2019 Lexus ES (for Elegant Sedan) not only brings a more dynamic exterior, it's also the introduction of the first-ever ES F Sport.

Off Lease Vehicles

Hundreds of one owner, off-lease cars, trucks & SUVs with low mileage at a great price!

Additional Resources

Most Researched

2018 Honda Accord EX
EX 4dr Sedan
2018 Jeep Cherokee Latitude
Latitude 4dr SUV
2018 Audi A4 2.0T ultra Premium
2.0T ultra Premium 4dr Sedan
2018 Toyota RAV4 LE
LE 4dr SUV
2018 Ford F-250 Super Duty XL
4x4 XL 2dr Regular Cab 8 ft. LB Pickup