Looking for a compact car with a satisfying combination of performance, utility, comfort and style? The 2017 Hyundai Accent might be a good match. Here's a quick rundown of what we like, what we don't and the bottom line from the Edmunds editors.
JOSH SADLIER: This is Edmunds editor Josh Sadlier, and here's an expert rundown of the 2017 Hyundai Accent. Subcompact cars like the Accent are sometimes hard to recommend because for just a little more money you could have a compact car-- more space, more power, and so forth. But the Accent's an exception. We've always liked this one in the subcompact class. It's got a peppy little engine, rides surprisingly comfortably, handles pretty responsively. And in hatchback trim, as you see here, it's pretty handy. You flip up the hatch and there's a decent amount of space in there, especially if you fold down the rear seat backs. Note that there's also a sedan version not shown here. We're not so high on that one. I think the hatchback's the way to go if you're going to get an Accent. We should mention that fuel economy is not an Accent's strong suit. It is a strong suit for most competitors, however. So it's worth running the numbers before you decide. The Accent's back seat is actually surprisingly spacious for the segment. Doesn't look like it here. I think a couple of NBA players put those seats back up front. But with the front seats in a normal position, there's actually decent space, especially for a subcompact. Up front the Accent has a dashboard that's kind of from a previous generation of Hyundai products. But the good news is the control layout is very sensible and straightforward. Everything's where you'd expect it to be, and the material's quality is decent for the class. The bottom line with the Accent is that if you're shopping for a subcompact car, you've got to drive it, especially in hatchback form. It's stylish, it's rewarding to drive-- it's a strong pick. For more Edmunds expert rundowns, click the link to subscribe.
There’s certainly nothing flashy about the 2017 Hyundai Accent, but in the humble arena of subcompact cars, that’s not a big deal. What’s more important is that the Accent checks off almost every box you could hope for from an economy car: plenty of room given its small dimensions, good fuel economy, plenty of features, a low price, and a long warranty that should justify buying a new subcompact car instead of a used larger one.
Because it’s an older design, you can’t get some common features (such as a rearview camera or a navigation system) and its crash scores are lower than those of newer competitors. On the upside, though, the Accent’s design has aged gracefully over the years, and it remains one of the few subcompact cars that look equally as good in sedan or a hatchback form. The interior is also pleasingly user-friendly and of a strong enough quality that you won’t constantly regret not paying extra for a bigger model.
Despite getting superior fuel economy to most cars on the road, the Accent can’t quite match the segment best. A 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine is standard and produces 137 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque — this is typical for the segment, as is its acceleration. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 30 mpg combined (26 city/36 highway) with the available six-speed automatic transmission. Sticking with the six-speed manual bumps each of those estimates up by 1 mpg.
Every Accent sedan and hatchback comes very well equipped given its low price. Even the base SE comes with air-conditioning, full power accessories, a 60/40-split folding backseat, and a six-speaker sound system with satellite radio and USB/auxiliary inputs. If you want a sedan, paying $700 for the Value Edition is a very good idea — it lives up to its name by adding an automatic transmission, alloy wheels, rear disc brakes, cruise control, Bluetooth, steering wheel controls, and a front center armrest and storage box. The hatchback is available in a Sport trim, which includes all of the above plus some flashier design elements, better headlights, sportier steering and a leather-trimmed steering wheel.
So, although you might find another subcompact car stronger in certain areas, it’s hard to argue with the immense value the 2017 Hyundai Accent provides and the fact that it doesn’t scream “value buy.” We think it can make a lot of sense, so make sure to use Edmunds to research further and check out local inventory for an Accent at a dealer near you.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.