2021 Hyundai Accent

By December 2, 2020

The 2021 Hyundai Accent is a cheerful little four-door sedan with excellent fuel economy. It’s a lot of car for the money, one with available automatic emergency braking and a large infotainment touchscreen on the top model, the Limited.

The Accent is unchanged for 2021.

The front-wheel-drive Accent is powered by a 1.6-liter inline-4 mated to either a 6-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The CVT gets better gas mileage. No matter which transmission you choose, acceleration is moderate, while the ride is as good as can be expected given the price and size of the car.

The Accent is EPA-rated at 29 mpg city, 39 highway, 33 combined with the manual transmission, and 33/41/36 mpg with the CVT.

In safety, the NHTSA gives it four stars overall.

Model Lineup

The Accent comes as SE, SEL and Limited.

For about $16,000, the SE comes equipped with power features, cloth upholstery, a 6-speed manual transmission, dual USB ports, Bluetooth, cruise control, air conditioning, and a 5.0-inch touchscreen. The CVT costs $1,000 more.

The SEL adds the CVT, a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, six-speaker audio, and automatic headlights.

The Limited for less than $20,000 adds automatic emergency braking, heated seats, LED headlights, keyless start, 17-inch alloy wheels, and a sunroof.

All Accents get a great 5-year/60,000-mile warranty.

Exterior

The good-looking Accent has uncomplicated lines, while adhering to Hyundai styling with a six-sided grille, gently curving roofline, boomerang-shaped taillights and LED headlights on the Limited. It’s not outgoing, but there is enough adornment to not be called humble.

Interior

The cabin is sensible and predictable. The relatively few controls are logically placed. The cloth seats and plastic trim somehow come across as cheerful. Except for the 5.0-inch touchscreen in the SE, and seats that could use more padding and bolstering, and a need for more sound deadening, the materials don’t shout “budget car.”

There’s good storage space for small things such as phones and water bottles. The SEL and Limited have tilt/telescoping steering wheels to enhance driving position.

Head room both front and back is ample, even for 6-footers, thanks mostly to the curved roof. However the Accent’s small doors can be a challenge for big passengers, or for fitting child car seats.

The trunk is 13.7 cubic feet, which is impressive considering the size of the sedan.

Driving Impressions

Sprightly acceleration isn’t the Accent’s job. Its 1.6-liter engine makes just 120 horsepower and 113 pound-feet of torque. Even though the Accent weights just 2,500 pounds, that’s not enough power to manage more than average acceleration. The 6-speed manual gearbox is pretty rare, but the CVT works just fine. It tends to wind the Accent’s engine into a noisy part of the powerband, though.

Handling is basic economy-car class. The steering is light and helps the Accent cut its way through traffic. The ride is adequately damped in the Limited with its 17-inch wheels, which are big for a small sedan, but big bumps still make their presence known.

Final Word

The 2021 Hyundai Accent does its economy car job very well. It offers a low price, great gas mileage, steady performance, and a terrific warranty. It’s one of the few cars remaining that come fully equipped and cost less than $20,000—which makes it an excellent value even in the most expensive Accent Limited.

 

—by Sam Moses with driving impressions by The Car Connection

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