The Hyundai Accent is an attractive, value-oriented subcompact that comes in two body styles. Of the two body styles, the five-door hatchback offers the best utility and looks, but the two versions are otherwise the same.
All models come with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with a choice of 6-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmission. Accent is EPA-rated at 26/37 mpg City/Highway with automatic, 27/38 mpg with manual gearbox.
Rated at 138 horsepower, the Accent needs to be revved to generate acceleration performance but even then it’s very slow to get going. The Accent rides well on smooth roads but rougher roads bring vibration and harshness.
The roomy passenger compartments seats four, with lots of legroom and headroom for driver and front passenger. The seats are not comfortable for long trips, however.
Launched as a 2012 model, the current-generation Accent was updated for the 2015 model year and carries over to 2016 unchanged.
The 2016 Hyundai Accent comes in two body styles: five-door hatchback and four-door sedan. All models are equipped with the same 1.6-liter engine with a choice of manual or 6-speed automatic transmission.
The 2015 model year brought revised styling. This generation of the Accent was introduced as a 2012 model. The design has stood the test of time well, and it echoes the styling theme of other Hyundai models.
Some of the plastic trim on the doors and center console appear to have been selected primarily for their low cost, but overall the Accent is finished better than expected for an aging subcompact. No sunroof is available.
The back seats are reasonably roomy for the class. They flip down easily for added cargo space. In this regard, the hatch offers the best utility.
Cubby storage is good, with a big glovebox and various bins, including a tray for phones.
The Accent rides comfortably on smooth roads, winding or straight. Potholes and rippled highways can be rough going, however, the suspension designed for simplicity, space efficiency and, most important, low cost. The electric steering in the Sport models offers the best feel.
Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 26/37 mpg City/Highway with the popular automatic transmission, 27/38 mpg with the manual gearbox. That’s comparable for other subcompacts, except the more-expensive Honda Fit, which delivers significantly better fuel economy.
Accent’s 1.6-liter engine is rated at 138 hp and 123 foot-pounds of torque. It has to be revved when acceleration performance is needed, but the best fuel economy comes when taking it easy.
Accelerating from a standstill to 60 mph
An Accent with the 6-speed automatic is capable of accelerating from in 10 seconds, a sluggish performance easily beaten by nearly every car on the road, including electric cars. And that’s with just a driver on board. Add a couple of passengers and it’s taxed.
The manual gearbox is a nice option with its light clutch effort but the automatic works well and includes a Sport mode and manual shifting control.