Overview & Reviews
Since its 1995 introduction, the Hyundai Accent has served as the company's entry-level small car. Although grouped with similarly priced subcompact cars, the Accent sedan and hatchback have always fallen under the EPA's classification for a compact car, which translates to a surprisingly roomy interior. Other typical Accent advantages include generous standard equipment, a choice of hatchback and sedan body styles and long warranty coverage.
The latest Hyundai Accent has made great strides toward front-runner status in this competitive segment, which is a welcome change from past models. It is now larger inside and out, and the overall look of the car is certainly more dynamic. Performance and overall quality have been notably improved as well. Prior to the current-generation car, older Accents suffered from low safety ratings and an overall level of quality that didn't match up to some competitors.
Current Hyundai Accent
Available as a sedan or a four-door hatchback, the Accent comes with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder producing 138 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, while a six-speed automatic is also available. Power output is impressive for the class, and the Accent gets excellent fuel economy as well.
The sedan comes only in base GLS trim, while the hatchback comes in GS and the top-line SE trims. The GLS is nicely equipped with air-conditioning, full power accessories and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio and iPod/USB/auxiliary input jacks. Option highlights including foglights, alloy wheels, keyless entry, upgraded interior trim, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control and Bluetooth are available. The GS hatchback adds a few extra features. Stepping up to the SE hatchback gets you pretty much all of the optional features as standard.
Inside, the Hyundai Accent has a look and feel that's a cut above most rivals, with patterned upholstery, a sculpted dash and a modern overall design. Although some drivers may be bothered by the lack of a telescoping steering wheel as standard equipment on most trims, taller passengers will find all but the rear center seat roomy and comfortable. Cargo space is also quite accommodating, especially in the hatchback models.
On the road, the Accent's four-cylinder engine pulls significantly stronger than the power plants of its major competitors. Both the six-speed manual and the six-speed automatic transmissions make good use of that output, too. What it lacks in sporty handling dynamics, it compensates for with a quiet, comfortable ride and good overall composure -- criteria likely more important to buyers shopping this segment. That the Accent performs this well overall while still rating an EPA-estimated 31 mpg combined is impressive. Overall, the Hyundai Accent stands as a front-runner in the subcompact segment.
Used Hyundai Accent Models
The Hyundai Accent was fully redesigned for 2012, marking its fourth generation. Compared to the previous generation, this Accent is roomier inside, with a more stylish design and a more powerful and fuel-efficient engine. There haven't been any major changes since, although the optional telescoping steering wheel didn't become available until 2014.
The third-generation Hyundai Accent was built from 2006-'11. It's a cost-effective choice for a used car, though not a particularly exciting one. All third-generation Accents were powered by 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that produced 110 hp and 106 lb-ft of torque. Transmission choices included either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic.
During its run, a steady progression of changes and improvements were implemented. Initially, a sedan body style and single trim level were available. In 2007, a two-door hatchback was added to the lineup along with additional trim levels: the GS and SE were offered on the hatchback and GLS was the only sedan choice.
GS models were modestly appointed with the bare necessities. The SE added 16-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, power accessories, a CD player, a sport-tuned suspension and quicker steering. The GLS sedan included air-conditioning and the audio system as standard, with power accessories and alloy wheels optional. A sunroof and an upgraded audio system were optional on the SE.
There was a slight bump in fuel economy for 2009, as well as available cruise control. For 2010, the entry-level Blue trim joined the lineup as the new value leader, but was renamed the GL one year later. In the meantime, the GS received standard air-conditioning. USB connectivity was added to the available auxiliary input in 2010. Used car shoppers should pay special attention to whether or not an Accent has antilock brakes, as the car's braking distance grows excessively long without them. Antilock brakes weren't even an option for the GS until 2010. Finally in 2011, all Accents featured it as standard.
In reviews, we found the third-generation Accent to be a decent choice for those seeking basic, fuel-efficient transportation, but plain styling and cheap materials kept appeal fairly low. Still, there was enough interior space for average-sized adults to get comfortable in the front or rear. Driving the Accent offered no revelations in performance, but the brakes were strong (with ABS) and ride quality and handling were acceptable for an economy car. Power was adequate for driving around town, but sluggish at highway speeds in automatic-transmission models. One final aspect to consider is the Accent's crash test scores; it performed very poorly in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's side-impact crash test.
The second-generation Accent was sold in sedan and hatchback form from 2000-'05. Initially, this Accent was offered only with an 89-hp, 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine (horsepower varied slightly over the years). A 104-hp, 1.6-liter engine joined the lineup in 2001 and replaced the 1.5-liter altogether in 2003. Acceleration was adequate even with the 1.5-liter engine, however, and both the automatic and manual transmissions perform acceptably.
Handling and braking capabilities were modest on second-gen Accents, mainly because of the car's undersized 13-inch wheels and tires. Hyundai did offer the 2004 and '05 GT hatchback with 14-inch wheels and a firmer suspension, but if you're buying any used Accent, it's a good idea to set aside some money for better tires. Unfortunately, antilock brakes were optional only on 2005 Accents. Front seat-mounted side airbags were standard on 2003 GL sedans and hatchbacks, and on all 2004 and '05 models.
Sold from 1995-'99, the first-generation Hyundai Accent was also available as both a compact sedan and a three-door hatchback; it replaced Hyundai's shoddily built Excel subcompact (1986-'94). All Accents of this era came with a 92-hp, 1.5-liter engine, except for the 1996 and '97 GT hatch, which had a DOHC, 16-valve version of this engine good for 105 hp. ABS was optional on automatic transmission-equipped Accents sold from 1995-'98, but this safety feature was discontinued entirely for 1999 and didn't turn up again until 2005.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 951.00
Enjoyable ride - 2015 Hyundai Accent
By Bob Drumtra - January 14 - 12:04 pm
This is the second Hyundai I have owned the first being a 2001 Elantra. I had it for 13 years and was very satisfied. So far this car has proven to be almost like the Elantra. Since my other car is a Lincoln MKZ, it is hard to compare the comfort level and overall components. Let's just say I'm satisfied with what I have purchased.
2011 Hyundai Accent at 90k miles, happy so far! - 2011 Hyundai Accent
By Matthew Gamboa - December 17 - 2:30 pm
I was sad to read the latest review just prior to mine, in which the owner had several problems early on that sounds like a rare lemon for this brand. I bought my Accent in 2012 from a dealer at that time it had 35k miles on it. The fuel efficiency has been great! It feels rather roomy for having such a small footprint, which I have been thankful for as I live in the SF bay area and parking spots are quite small. I'm 6'2" and have had at least on one occasion traveled with three other people in the car who are roughly my same size they all said that they were comfortable. The only maintenance issue I've had were the power coils going out. The first coils that went out were covered under the 60k warranty. The remaining coils went out around 8k later, otherwise it has been a trooper. The downsides have been mentioned before. Acceleration is not the best, particularly with highway merges. Also the interior feels a bit cheap and gets dirty fairly easily, but then again this is a cheap car. It is a bit noisy driving on the highway, but that might also be a common issue with subcompacts. If you're on a budget and want a car that is a dream to park in cities, then this is the car to get!
Hyundai Accent - 2003 Hyundai Accent
By Marianne - December 9 - 10:19 pm
It is a great little car to get around.
Who actually sets out to buy this car. - 2015 Hyundai Accent
By Roland Kelly - November 26 - 2:34 am
My 2013 Jetta was damaged in an accident, while being repaired the other party's insurance was kind enough to add insult to ingury by inflicting this car on me as a rental. This car accelerates at the speed of smell. Any and all road noise is heard and felt. The car rides like an unbalance washing machine. It didn't fit my dog comfortability let alone my small children. And to top it all off comes without a spare tire.
[non-permissible content removed] on the planet! - 2007 Hyundai Accent
By F. Yurchey - November 8 - 3:53 pm
Before you purchase a vehicle like this from a dealer obtain absolute proof of prior maintenance records. I purchased this vehicle for around $8,000.00 from a local dealer. The dealer claimed that it had a lifetime power train warranty, found out that was a lie. Had to invest in replacing the flex pipe to the tune of around $400.00 not too long after purchase. Three days after purchase discovered valve train noise that started when the vehicle was cold and would end when the engine warmed. A week ago the timing belt went and I can't afford the repairs! The value of this vehicle has dropped significantly, KBB values this car in running condition, at around $3000.00. I've owned this vehicle for eight months, and I owe over $7000.00 on it. The car is sitting in my garage and I am doing the repairs myself. BUYER BEWARE if you want to buy a vehicle like this. Be absolutely sure that everything is taken care of (maintenance wise) before you pay what a dealer is asking.
I just LOVE my Tiny Little Road Dawg ! - 2015 Hyundai Accent
By Ted Adam Green - November 5 - 11:25 am
I have had this for about a 16 months and have about 50,000 miles on it already as I drive a lot for work (over 60 hr a month on average), and I still just LOVE this car I have affectionately named The Tiny Little Road Dawg. (yes I am a UGA Alumni that why I call it Dawg). For many months I tracked the MPG and you can view it a FEULY.COM under Road Dawg. Basically I get about 35 mpg real world (the car's tracker is always about 3mpg high), up to 40+ if only doing long road trips at 55-65mpg. If going faster, or doing city driving it drops off. But if you drive the speed limit or near, you will do very well. We had a 2 door Accent in the mid-90's and even with a stick it only bested 27mpg. Things have come a long way. This car is waaaaay nicer and more advanced and gets better MPG without even trying. It is a perfect "inexpensive commuter car". The car is always comfortable and feels safe, even in bowels of Atlanta traffic as well as the country back-roads of deep-woods rural Georgia. For someone who is looking for a versatile hatchback to get around in, I could not recommend this car enough. It is the perfect combination of CHEAP and QUALITY and GOOD Lastly, with the USB port plus my iPhone on top of dash via a magnetic clamp, I have my own GPS, music streaming and podcasting ... all the tech I would want in ma car for short jaunts or looooong road trips.
Great vehicle - 2015 Hyundai Accent
By joel - November 4 - 4:58 pm
there is nothing not to love about this car, and this is coming from a Honda buff. Love this car, made a great decicion by getting this car, i drive it everywhere and like it more then honda accord sport with same manual transmition, i take 3 kids to school (including car seat in rear) and they all fit confortably. If you still thinking about Hyundai beeing that car company from 80's you wrong, test drive them and you will see.
thumbs up! - 2013 Hyundai Accent
By Jerome - October 26 - 2:40 pm
love this little car, almost as much as my old 1981chevette ! I frequently drive 300 miles at a time with one tank of gas, and no backache! Handles very well, although it bounces around at times still the traction has been there when I needed it. Fantastic mileage!
good little car - 2013 Hyundai Accent
By g.a.scalf - October 21 - 10:17 am
I have had my car for just over two years. When i bought it new it had only 6 miles on it, it now has 113,000. I have done my own maintenance on it. I have replaced the tires once. I have also replaced the battery. The sensor valve stems are fragile and break very easily and are expensive to replace. My current issues are a vibration sensor that sometimes comes on and then goes off without me having to do anything. The cruise control switch is acting up, but other than that it has been a good little car. My complaint would be the road noise while driving and the radio only going up to 32. You see when you can't hear the radio because of road noise so you turn it up, you are out of luck once you reach maximum and still can't really hear. Also, car companies, not including a spare is really a bad idea. Yea it saves them money, but if you have a blow out in the middle of no-where that inflator that they include will not work, so again you are out of luck. Incidentally, to buy a spare from the dealer was over $200 so i went to discount tire bought a full-sized universal rim and tire for $70. The best mileage I ever got was 56 hwy, (I even took a picture of it since no one would believe me) now after so many miles I get around 37 combined.I fear that hyundai should focus on the electrical more and resolve the issues there and include a full sized spare tire or at least a donut instead of the blow up kit.
CAR HAS ISSUES - 2007 Hyundai Accent
By James - October 7 - 5:30 am
Check engine light comes on every 5 to 8,000 miles. Coil pack keeps going out when this happens and the car sputters and misses. Also driver airbag not working(red warning light is on). Brakes are not the best either.