Entry-level Hyundai Accent is new, impressive and right for just about any budget.
If “entry level” represents the 2018 Hyundai Accent, then you find yourself in a laudable position. Hyundai’s smallest model has always had its accent on value, but its latest version is handsome, nimble and supplies a quiet cabin.
The Hyundai Accent remains one of the few new models you can buy for about $15,000 with a well-equipped Limited coming in at just under $20,000. Now in its 24th year and launching its fifth generation, the latest model comes as a five-door sedan only. Canada and Mexico continue to enjoy a five-door hatchback too.
2018 Hyundai Accent Overview
The 2018 Accent is a front-wheel drive, subcompact model with room for five. It is available in three trims: SE, SEL and Limited. My test model was the Accent Limited with a final price of $19,905.
Hyundai is always aggressive with its retail cash and/or financing offer. We have not seen a lease on the Accent in about a year — my recommendation is to buy one. If you must finance, you will likely acquire the title within five years. That leaves another five years of Hyundai’s powertrain warranty to keep you covered.
Hyundai Accent by the Trim
Customarily, I review models as a whole, leaning heavily on the trim presented to me. That almost always means the top trim, which also means you do not always have an accurate picture of the models available.
So, instead, we will break things down by trim and include pricing information. However, we do not include the $885 destination fee or taxes, tags, insurance or other expenses. As for discounts and other specials, you will need to head over to the Hyundai retail site for the current details.
Accent SE ($14,995)
All 2018 Accent models come with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with an output of 130 horsepower and 119 pound-feet of torque. Hyundai pairs this engine with a six-speed manual transmission. If you prefer the six-speed automatic standard elsewhere, add $1,000 to your price.
Standard exterior equipment includes power side mirrors and 15-inch steel wheels. Inside, you will find power windows, power door locks, a tilt steering column, air conditioning, cloth seats and a 60/40 split-folding rear bench seat.
Tech features include a 5-inch color display, a four-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, and USB and auxiliary audio ports. Among the safety highlights you will find a rearview camera with dynamic parking guidelines.
Accent SEL ($17,295)
As is usually the case, moving away from the base model brings with it important benefits. Typically, this is where we recommend shoppers start their search as there are multiple amenities not available elsewhere offered there.
To begin, the Accent SEL comes with automatic headlights and puts disc brakes at all four corners. You will also find heated side mirrors and 15-inch alloy wheels. Inside, Hyundai adds a center console with a sliding cover and includes a front passenger seatback pocket.
Among the tech items, there is a six-speaker audio system with satellite radio. Hyundai also brings in Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a rear USB charging port and a seven-inch color display. The Android and Apply smartphone features are a big deal for many drivers.
Accent Limited ($18,895)
The Accent Limited is the model that seems most like the Sonata, Hyundai’s popular midsize sedan. In fact, if you called it a “Baby Sonata” you would not be too off the mark. This model has chrome touches on the grille and beltline molding and LED daytime running lights and LED tail lamps.
Further, Hyundai includes projector headlights, front fog lights, 17-inch alloy wheels and a power moonroof. Inside, Hyundai supplies a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, heated front seats, automatic temperature control and an information display.
On the tech front you will find a proximity key with push-button start (the car senses your presence and unlocks the driver’s door), a hands-free trunk and the Blue Link connected car system. Here, you get a three-year complimentary Blue Link subscription, what provides such features as remote engine start (not on the manual), in-car maintenance scheduling, remote lock and unlock and car finder. It works with your iPhone, Apple Watch, Amazon Alexa, Android, Google Assistant and smart watches powered with Wear OS by Google.
The Accent Limited also supplies forward collision-avoidance assist, not available on the other trims.
Packages and Accessories
What you won’t find with any Hyundai Accent are packages as everything comes built into the respective trim.
On the other hand, you can opt for dealer-installed accessories, including a cargo tray ($80), mud guards ($115) and carpeted floor mats ($125). The Accent’s appeal is for budget-minded owners and it succeeds in that endeavor.
On the Road: 2018 Hyundai Accent
Regardless of trim, all models have a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine. With an output of 130 horsepower, you will enjoy considerably more horsepower than what similar-sized engines produced just a generation ago. Hyundai uses gasoline direct injection, delivering gasoline directly into the combustion chamber of each cylinder.
The technology means your Accent moves faster and burns less gas, although we noticed the engine is loud under hard acceleration. And as for efficiency, we’ve seen larger engines in bigger cars return a higher number than the 38 mpg highway for the Accent.
Although we cannot count on the workings of the manual, we can do with the automatic. The automated gearbox is best operated in drive mode where the shift pattern is cleaner. Yes, we noticed the Accent’s transmission has a tendency to stretch out gear shifts longer than what we like and at times hunt around for the right gear under full throttle.
Steering is light and loose feeling, not exactly supplying certainty or clarity on the road. Working in the Accent’s favor is its size, which makes it easy to enter and leave tight spaces. The Accent won’t win plaudits for ride comfort, particularly on washboard surfaces. At least you’ll know which portions of the road to notify the DOT of needed repairs. The front seats are supportive with ample head and leg room. Rear seat access is tight, but once you’re seated that space easily rivals some midsize cars. Just don’t expect to seat three adults, even in a pinch.
Hyundai Accent Parting Thoughts
The Hyundai Accent is the attainable car for consumers who might also consider a late-model used car. That said, if you are in a favorable financial position, then the Accent Limited is the best choice, simply for its many amenities.
Hyundai remains strong in the car space, even as some competing manufacturers pull back or limit their offers. Not only will you find the compact Elantra and midsize Sonata sedans, but a line of compact electrified vehicles under the Ioniq umbrella. This spring, the Veloster Coupe returns after a one-year absence, bringing with it a turbo and the first expression of the brand’s “N” performance line.
Finally, always seeming to work in the Hyundai scheme of things is its class-leading warranties. From its fully transferable new car warranty to its lengthy powertrain warranty and onto its roadside assistance plan, Hyundai offers maximum protection combined with a minimum price. That represents value with a capital V.
2018 Hyundai Accent Specifications
|Base Sticker Price||$14,995 ( plus $885 destination charge)|
|Price as tested||$19,905|
|Standard Engine||1.6-liter, inline-four|
|Horsepower||130 @ 6,00 RPMs|
|Torque (lb.-ft.)||119 @ 4,850 RPMs|
|Transmission||Six-speed manual or automatic|
|Curb Weight (pounds)||3,439 to 3,638|
|Head room (f,r…inches)||38.9; 37.3|
|Leg room (f,r…inches)||42.1, 33.5|
|Shoulder room (f,r…inches)||54.2, 53.7|
|Hip room (f,r…inches)||51.7, 50.8|
|Storage (cubic feet)||13.7|
|Gross vehicle weight (pounds)||3,439 to 3,638|
|Payload (pounds)||937 to 979|
|Fuel Tank (gallons)||11.9|
|EPA Fuel MPG (city/highway)||28/37 (manual); 28/38 (automatic)|
|Manufacturing Plant||Ulsan, Korea|
This article was originally published by Auto Trends Magazine.