2012 Hyundai Accent Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2012 Hyundai Accent Sedan

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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 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 138 hp @ 6300 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 28/37 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2012 Hyundai Accent

  • Larger, sharper and more fuel-efficient, the redesigned 2012 Hyundai Accent deserves buyer consideration as an affordable, stylish new car.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Strong engine; plenty of standard and optional features; feels bigger than it is; engaging style inside and out; long warranty.

  • Cons

    Limited rear visibility in hatchback; competitors offer more options; fuel economy not as good as estimates suggest.

  • What's New for 2012

    Fully redesigned, the 2012 Hyundai Accent features a more powerful and efficient engine, a new four-door hatchback body style and upgraded interior.

Full 2012 Hyundai Accent Review

What's New for 2012

Fully redesigned, the 2012 Hyundai Accent features a more powerful and efficient engine, a new four-door hatchback body style and upgraded interior.


With Hyundai gripped by a frenzy of redesigns and new product launches, it was only a matter of time before the automaker sent its subcompact Accent to get fit. The 2012 Hyundai Accent is so thoroughly awakened from a life of invisibility that its transformation reads like a classic Hans Christian Andersen fable.

Before, the Accent perfectly represented the bland aesthetics and underwhelming excitement that most subcompact buyers settled for. This all-new version of the entry-level Hyundai now shares the sharp styling of the similarly reimagined Sonata and Elantra, making it more an object of pride than embarrassment for a new owner.

Offered as either a sedan or hatchback, the fourth-generation Accent's wheelbase has grown 3 inches, yielding a more accommodating interior that, like other new Hyundai models, features an attractive finish and a long list of standard conveniences. Equally noteworthy is the new 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that boasts strong power and fuel economy for the segment. A pair of new six-speed transmissions rounds out the powertrain upgrades.

The Accent's redesign now enables it to run with stiff competition. The Honda Fit offers a more versatile interior, the Ford Fiesta packs more technology, the Mazda 2 handles better, and the redesigned Kia Rio shares similar underpinnings but with bolder styling. Then there's the new Chevrolet Sonic, which is perhaps the most well-rounded of them all. Still, the Hyundai Accent is invisible no more and definitely deserves a look.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Hyundai Accent is a compact four-door sedan or four-door hatchback. The sedan is offered only in base GLS trim, while the hatchback comes in GS and the top-line SE trims.

The GLS sedan comes equipped with 14-inch steel wheels, power door locks, a tilt steering wheel, 60/40 split-folding rear seatbacks, a trip computer and an audio prep package with four speakers. Options include a Comfort package with air-conditioning, power windows and mirrors, cloth door inserts and the rest of the sound system (including a CD player, satellite radio and iPod and auxiliary audio input jacks). All of these features are included on a GLS with automatic transmission.

The Premium package offered on automatic-equipped GLS models bundles together foglights, 16-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, premium cloth upholstery, upgraded interior trim, a center storage console with sliding armrest, cruise control, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and Bluetooth.

The GS hatchback adds body-color mirrors and door handles, a rear window wiper, keyless entry and a driver seat armrest to the features included with the GLS Comfort package. Stepping up to the SE hatchback adds 16-inch alloy wheels, foglights, a rear spoiler, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and the equipment from the Premium package.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2012 Hyundai Accent's sole engine is a new 1.6-liter direct-injection four-cylinder that produces 138 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque. The front-wheel-drive Accent is available with either a standard six-speed manual transmission or optional six-speed automatic with a fuel-economy-boosting Eco mode. In Edmunds performance testing, an Accent GLS with the automatic went from zero to 60 mph in 9.8 seconds -- a fairly quick time for the class.

EPA fuel economy estimates with the automatic transmission are 28 mpg city/37 mpg highway and 31 mpg combined with the automatic transmission and 28/37/32 with the manual.


All 2012 Hyundai Accents come with a long list of standard safety features including antilock disc brakes with brake assist, stability and traction control, active front head restraints, front seat side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags.

In Edmunds brake testing, the Accent came to a stop from 60 mph in 123 feet, an average distance for this class of car.

In government crash testing, the Accent received four out of five stars for overall crash protection, overall frontal protection and overall side protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Accent the highest possible rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset and roof strength tests, but the second-best rating of "Acceptable" in the side impact test.

Interior Design and Special Features

Along with extending its footprint, the 2012 Hyundai Accent's new interior dimensions graduate it from the subcompact segment into the EPA's official "compact" class. Much of the Accent's additional space comes from the rear seat, with more headroom and legroom making the backseat ride comfortable for even 6-foot passengers. The sloping roof line does eat into some available headroom, however, and fifth passengers will find the rear seat's raised center section useful only when walking is the remaining option.

Although the front seats are suitably roomy, taller drivers may bemoan the lack of a telescoping steering wheel. The hatchback also features some compromised rearward visibility. But overall, the Accent's patterned upholstery fabric and updated dash, consoles, trim and storage nooks contribute to an upscale feel for a car of this class.

The Accent sedan offers relatively large trunk space at 13.7 cubic feet. The four-door hatchback, meanwhile, provides 21.2 cubic feet of cargo volume with the rear seats up and 47.5 cubic feet when folded.

Driving Impressions

In the times of 500-plus-horsepower supercars, the 2012 Hyundai Accent's 138-hp output might sound paltry. Yet this sophisticated direct-injection four-cylinder pulls significantly stronger than the power plants of its major competitors (with the exception of the turbocharged Chevy Sonic). Both the six-speed manual and the six-speed automatic transmissions make good use of that output, too. Under hard acceleration, the engine remains smooth but can get rather noisy.

On the road, the Accent provides both a comfortable ride and decent handling. What it lacks in sporty steering and suspension settings, it compensates for with balance and composure -- criteria likely more important to buyers shopping this segment.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

It's ok for a city

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Hyundai Accent GLS 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 6A)

It's been one year and half driving this car and 24000 km on it. I love the exterior and interior design. However I would expect more when driving it. This car makes an awful noise when accelerating from stop. It feels the engine is working very hard to move the car, and I totally gave up using the Eco driving because it makes the car even worse during shift transitions. I first bought thinking I could save a lot on gas, because of the 1.6L. But when I drove a Mazda 3 with Skyactive, I was able to do about the same fuel mileage as mine. Also the brakes of this car felt too weak when I had 5 passengers on it, and only 2 of them were a little above average. Had no mechanical issues so far.

Solid, reliable, excellent drive

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Hyundai Accent GLS 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 6A)

I bought my Accent after 11mo./23000km of use as a rental, during which time it had no accidents or service issues. After my 6mo./12000km it continues to perform without issue. Excellent fuel economy - I achieve or beat the ORIGINAL consumption rating regularly on the highway, though the city rating is a bit optimistic. Smooth ride, perfectly comfortable for long highway trips (I have many). The air conditioning/heating system takes a bit too long to warm up, but that's minor; also my windshield fogs up a bit too easily, but easily managed. Not top-end materials inside, but no problems with them. but Overall I am very happy with almost all aspects of the car and would fully recommend it.

2 of 20 people found this review helpful

Do not waste your money

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Hyundai Accent GLS 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 6A)

although the car is great at first everything starts to go with in the first year. I got my accent right of the truck my problems started before I had even had my car for a year, I had gotten oil changes tire rotations and alignments every 3,000 miles first my front left tire went followed by my back right and now my front right. The car doesnt shift until 6,000 RPMs and is not fun to drive at all. I have been trying to find somewhere to trade this car in at but no one will even take it. Never again will I own a Hyundai I didnt want one to begin with

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

No spare tire - get

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Hyundai Accent GLS 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 6A)

No spare tire in new cars is the current trend. In 2012 about 25% of all new cars sold did NOT have spare tires. It is a way for manufacturers to save mo0ney AND weight, to increase MPG and improve CAFE.

No spare tire, give me

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Hyundai Accent GLS 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 6A)

After we got a flat about 100 miles from home, late at night, I discovered that the car didn't come with a spare tire or donut. Spent a fun filled night at a motel dive waiting for the tire store to open the next morning. I'd like to know who the genius is at Hyundai that made the decision that a spare tire shouldn't be a standard item in their vehicles. This should be illegal. At least I now know what type of car I won't be buying next time.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

I'd put accent at the

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Hyundai Accent GLS 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 6M)

I am not sure why Accent was ranked lower than mazda, kia or ford... I'd like to put Accent at number 2 with Elantra being number 1 on the list (only because Elantra is a larger and more stylish model than Accent)... The Accent is a greater car than the mazda 2, ford fiesta, kia soul/forte or toyota yaris... Considering the performance and reliability (I got a 10-year/100,000 miles bumper to bumper on mine for a fraction of cost compared to other cars' base prices) it is the best option for quality/gas mileage/options... Just because ford provides two extra buttons on the steering wheel does not make it a better car... I'd buy a Hyundai over any brand on that list any given day...

Talk About The 2012 Accent

Gas Mileage


  • 28
  • cty
  • 37
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Identifix Reliability Ratings

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