2009 Hyundai Accent Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Hyundai Accent

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Hyundai Accent Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.6 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 110 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 27/33 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2009 Hyundai Accent

  • The enjoyable and value-packed 2009 Hyundai Accent proves that an entry-level economy car needn't be a penalty box.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Supportive seats, refined highway ride, roomy interior, unusually satisfying stereo for this segment, impressive warranty coverage.

  • Cons

    Low side-impact crash test scores, sluggish acceleration with automatic transmission, harsh ride over irregular surfaces.

  • What's New for 2009

    The 2009 Hyundai Accent receives a slight bump in fuel economy, and cruise control and a sunroof are now available.

Full 2009 Hyundai Accent Review

What's New for 2009

The 2009 Hyundai Accent receives a slight bump in fuel economy, and cruise control and a sunroof are now available.


A flagship vehicle is one that's been chosen to serve as a gleaming representation of its manufacturer's ideals and philosophies. The 2009 Hyundai Accent isn't Hyundai's flagship; the upscale Genesis takes that honor. Still, one could argue that the Accent is a more appropriate ambassador, since it's the most affordable car offered by a manufacturer that has built its brand on affordability.

The Accent is a back-to-basics economy car that's easy on the pocketbook, yet it's actually pleasant to drive, and the stereo is one of the best you'll find at this modest price point. Performance and refinement levels are now fully competitive with leading rivals, and the Accent delivers on Hyundai's promise of extraordinary bang for the buck. In fact, this pint-sized Hyundai qualified as an Edmunds "Most Wanted Sedan Under $15,000" two years ago.

The 2009 Hyundai Accent receives powertrain and other tweaks that boost fuel economy from 3-8 percent over last year's figures. There are also content upgrades, including the addition of cruise control, keyless entry and power accessories on specific trim levels. As before, enthusiasts on a tight budget will want to check out the SE coupe, which delivers more exciting performance thanks to its sport-tuned chassis and B&M sport shifter for the manual-transmission model.

This nifty economy car has a lot to offer, but there are other worthy picks to consider. The Mazda 3 is the class leader when it comes to entertaining driving dynamics, and the Honda Fit shines on the strength of its flexible interior and nimble handling. Both the Nissan Versa and the Ford Focus will be of interest to those seeking upscale options like Bluetooth connectivity. However, the Accent remains a worthy choice. If you're shopping for an entry-level economy car, we'd give the Accent a look.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Hyundai Accent is a five-passenger compact offered in three trim levels: GS, SE and GLS. The GS and the SE are two-door hatchbacks, while the GLS is available as a four-door sedan only.

The base GS two-door hatchback makes do without a standard stereo, but it does feature 14-inch steel wheels, intermittent wipers, two 12-volt power outlets, a six-way-adjustable driver seat with a fold-down armrest and a reclining 60/40-split rear seatback. Air-conditioning, power accessories, keyless entry, an alarm and a 172-watt CD/MP3 audio system with satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack are optional. The Accent SE two-door hatchback includes the GS's optional features as standard equipment. It also comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, foglamps, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a rear center armrest with cupholders and a short-throw sport shifter on manual-transmission models. The Accent GLS sedan includes standard air-conditioning; otherwise, it mostly shares its options list with the GS. Cruise control is newly available on all models, and the SE can now be fitted with a sunroof.

Powertrains and Performance

The front-wheel-drive 2009 Hyundai Accent is equipped with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine delivering a respectable 110 horsepower and 106 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard on all trims, and a four-speed automatic is available as an option. The Accent's EPA estimated fuel economy is 27 mpg city/33 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined with the manual gearbox, while the optional automatic checks in at 26/35/29 mpg.


All 2009 Hyundai Accents are equipped with front-seat side impact airbags and full-length head curtain airbags. Antilock brakes are standard on SE coupes and optional on GLS sedans. In government frontal impact crash testing, the Hyundai Accent sedan scored a perfect five stars for front-occupant protection. Despite the standard side airbags, though, the Accent didn't fare as well in the side impact category, earning four stars for front occupant protection and just three stars for rear-seat passengers. In testing done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Accent received the second-highest "Acceptable" rating for frontal offset collisions but the worst-possible "Poor" ranking in side impact tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Hyundai Accent's thoughtful design pays dividends inside. There's more total interior volume than you'll find in either the Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla -- cars that are larger on the outside than the Accent. The Accent's interior layout is simple and functional, with a clean two-tone color scheme. Materials quality is acceptable, and the cabin is comfortable and offers good outward visibility. Cargo room is about average for the class, with more than 12 cubic feet in the sedan's trunk and nearly 16 cubic feet in the hatchback.

Driving Impressions

While no speed demon, the 2009 Hyundai Accent is a perfectly acceptable performer. The ride is compliant on GS and GLS models, while the SE's firmer suspension tuning trades some comfort for greater road-holding capabilities. The cabin remains relatively quiet during highway cruising. All in all, the Accent is one of the more endearing entry-level economy cars from behind the wheel.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

This is a great car

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Hyundai Accent SE 2dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M)

Of course it gets great MPG and is reliable. Our favorite thing about it, though, may seem a bit odd -- it is that it has a button that permits air recirculation for the fan, heater and AC. You may think this is common, but the difference is that once you set it to recirculate instead of pull air from the outside, it STAYS ON. Other vehicles will do an override, like our Ford, that will shut it off. Those types of vehicles think they are smarter than you are, and if the humidity or whatever gets to a certain level, off it goes. We really, really hate breathing pollution from the cars in front of us -- the fan will pull it right from their exhaust pipe into your face.

I love this car, 50mpg

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Hyundai Accent SE 2dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M)

I have had this car from new. It has been exceptionally reliable. I've never had a problem with it. I average 40-50 MPG on the highway and 30-40 MPG in the city. It is very fuel efficient for the price. My only issues that the seats are a bit uncomfortable on very long trips. I drive for two days each way to my summer vacation spot, and my back hurts after each run. Two doors was enough when I bought it, but limber passengers are a requirement to get into the back, though there is plenty of legroom back there. With the back seats down, the cargo area is enormous, we have shoved mountains of stuff in there. 100K on it so far, no issues.

Bad mileage

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Hyundai Accent GLS 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 4A)

I bought the car used a little over 2 years ago. It had high mileage but the price was right and I trusted the Hyundai brand. Boy was I wrong. The car functioned fairly well for the first 2 years, I was getting the street mileage ( 26 mpg) but was no where close to the highway mileage (35 mpg). Then in April my mileage suddenly dropped. Since then I now average 20 mpg, which is 200 miles per tank. Basically I can no longer afford to drive the car. I contacted Hyundai who told me to take it to their service dept. I have spent over $500 to try and figure out the issue. The only thing left to try is the fuel consumption test, which I am saving up for.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Wonderful car!

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Hyundai Accent SE 2dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M)

Bought this car used with 42,500 miles, and have put on another 5,000. This is a fantastic car for the city--very durable and fits into the parking spaces that are too small for everyone else. The car drives very nicely, and has a substantial feel for its size. Its handling is excellent, and although it doesn't have a huge amount of power (how much do you really need anyway, unless you're in the Indy 500?), the engine is very peppy with the manual transmission and it has more than enough oomph for day-to-day driving. Depreciation on Hyundais is still pretty bad (undeservedly so), which is bad for the original owner, but great if you want to get a high-quality used car at a great price.

Amazing car

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Hyundai Accent SE 2dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M)

I have owned this car for 3 years now and 170,000kms. Its been great. I tow a trailer with it and it will tow a small trailers with ease. I have done nothing to this car over the time ownership. I have done two sway bar links. 2 ignition coils under warranty. One blower motor, and anti theft module, connector and ignition antenna ring. Other then that just maintenance i haven't even worn through the brakes yet. This car is fun to drive with the factory 16" wheels it takes a corner fast. I'm tall and this car fits me well and gets great gas millage. This car was almost half the price of Japanese competitor but wayyy better.

Tire problems hyundai accent se

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Hyundai Accent SE 2dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 4A)

I have had my Hyundai Accent since 2009 August. I have been comepleting regular checkups at the dealership and the car has been performing well. I have driven for 5 years prior to buying this car. Other cars I have driven include the Toyota Corolla, Nissan Sentra and Kia Spectra. Obviously those are bigger sedans than the Accent. I have a clean driving record as well. One issue I have found is braking in poor weather conditions. Expecially when there is a layer of snow on the ground, the car tends to slip (compared to the other cars I have driven). The main conern I have had was the tires. I have had 3 bursted tires since I have bought this car. con't...

Talk About The 2009 Accent

2009 Hyundai Accent Discussions See all Started By

Inside you will find that all the silver accents are now chrome and the wood is darker with a different grain. The audio system (it did not have navigation.) has a larger display with a better pres...

Accent 2009 Sedan Review...

says 57. Also had that discrepancy with my 2006 Accent. I checked the gps with our 2009 Fit, and I think it was only 1 mph different. Is this Hyundai's stealthy way of getting its owners to driver a ...

Read more about the 2009 Hyundai Accent

Gas Mileage


  • 27
  • cty
  • 33
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
Have a question? We're here to help!
Chat online with us
Email us at help@edmunds.com
*Available daily 8AM-5PM Pacific
Call us at 855-782-4711
Text us at ED411