2017 Hyundai Accent

2017 Hyundai Accent Review

The 2017 Hyundai Accent is a fine pick that offers a little bit of everything.
4.5 star edmunds overall rating
author
by Dan Frio
Edmunds Editor

Just as the market grows for ever-roomier sedans and crossovers, so does the demand for smartly packaged small cars that can perform tricks like their larger counterparts. The 2017 Hyundai Accent is a top choice in this category thanks to a satisfying combination of performance, utility, comfort and style. Choose a sedan if you want a trunk or a hatchback if you want maximum utility.

Though there's nothing flashy about the Accent, it's a handsome car in either sedan or hatchback style that will endure the daily grind with minimal fuss. It's one of the quicker cars in its class, which you'll appreciate with every merge into freeway traffic. It offers both manual and automatic six-speed transmissions with solid feel and tuning.

What's more, the Accent is surprisingly quiet and soft on the road, so even those with longer commutes won't regret choosing this Hyundai over a larger, more expensive car. Passenger space is also generous, with plenty of backseat room for two adults. (Technically it's a five-passenger car, so we can't recommend placing three friends in the backseat if you wish to remain friends.)

There are compromises. Not only are the Accent's fuel economy estimates lower than many of its subcompact rivals, we found it difficult to match those numbers in real-world driving. The hatchback's rearward visibility is also challenging, and there's no optional rearview camera.



what's new

For 2017, the Accent adds a Value Edition trim level for the sedan, slotted just above the base trim.

we recommend

Unless your budget is exceptionally tight or you just prefer a manual transmission, the $700 difference between the base SE sedan with automatic transmission and the Value Edition is negligible, especially considering that the Value Edition adds upgraded wheels, better brakes, cruise control, and Bluetooth connectivity. Same goes for the hatchback.

trim levels & features

The 2017 Hyundai Accent is available as a small four-door sedan or a four-door hatchback. Both seat five passengers. The sedan is available in base SE and Value Edition trims, while the hatchback comes in SE and Sport variations. Each uses a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine (137 horsepower, 123 pound-feet torque) and either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The Accent is front-wheel-drive.

The SE sedan comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, 14-inch steel wheels, keyless entry, air-conditioning, full power accessories, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-adjustable steering wheel, a driver-seat armrest, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, a trip computer, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio and USB/auxiliary inputs.

The Value Edition sedan adds a six-speed automatic transmission, 16-inch machine-finish alloy wheels, rear disc brakes, hill start assist, steering-wheel audio controls, cruise control, Bluetooth phone connectivity, and a center console storage box with a sliding armrest console. 

The SE hatchback shares the same features as the sedan but adds a rear window wiper. The Sport trim combines SE and Value Edition features and adds heated side mirrors (with driver's blind-spot viewer and integrated turn-signal indicators), a body-color spoiler, projector-beam headlights with LED accents, foglights, sport-tuned steering, a leather-trimmed tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, upgraded cloth upholstery and piano black interior accents.

trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2014 Hyundai Accent SE 4-door hatchback (1.6L 4-cyl.; 6-speed automatic). Some observations regarding visibility and cargo space will differ from the sedan. We've noted this where possible.

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Accent has received minor revisions to trim and feature content. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Accent. (Our SE test car car, for example, is roughly equivalent to today's Sport trim hatchback.)

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall4.5 / 5.0

Driving

4.0 / 5.0

Acceleration4.5 / 5.0
Braking3.0 / 5.0
Steering3.0 / 5.0
Handling4.5 / 5.0
Drivability5.0 / 5.0

Comfort

4.5 / 5.0

Seat comfort3.5 / 5.0
Ride comfort4.0 / 5.0
Noise & vibration5.0 / 5.0

Interior

4.0 / 5.0

Ease of use4.5 / 5.0
Getting in/getting out4.0 / 5.0
Roominess3.5 / 5.0
Visibility3.0 / 5.0

driving

edmunds rating
Not the quickest, most nimble or shortest-stopping in the segment, but the Accent SE is near the top in most performance measures. The Accent's drivability is one of the best in class, thanks to predictable gas pedal response and a well-tuned six-speed automatic transmission.

acceleration

edmunds rating
The 138-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine is one of our favorites, providing good initial response leaving a stop followed by steady acceleration. A quick 9.3-second sprint to 60 mph is one of the best in the segment.

braking

edmunds rating
The brake pedal feels responsive and confident. In simulated-panic stops from 60 mph, we recorded a 124-foot distance, which is average for the class.

steering

edmunds rating
The steering is precise enough but can feel too light and vague at times. Straight-line stability isn't a benchmark for subcompacts, though it's still better than in some rivals.

handling

edmunds rating
Handling feels sporty for the most part, but some bumps can overwhelm the very basic rear suspension setup.

drivability

edmunds rating
The Accent SE's overall drivability is excellent with above-average engine response, a well-calibrated six-speed automatic transmission that's not overly busy, confident brakes and direct steering. It feels less toylike than many.

comfort

edmunds rating
Though its seats are only average, the Accent's smooth ride and impressively hushed cabin make it one of the most comfortable cars in the subcompact class.

seat comfort

edmunds rating
The six-way-adjustable driver seat accommodates a wide range of sizes, and the front passenger seat adjusts in four directions. The seats have ample cushioning for the long haul and decent side bolstering. Three-across seating isn't realistic in back.

ride comfort

edmunds rating
It lacks the buttoned-down feeling of the best subcompacts, but overall the level of ride comfort is better than most. Grooved or uneven highways cause a bit of wander, but it's not busy or fidgety.

noise & vibration

edmunds rating
Whether accelerating hard onto a highway or just cruising along, the Accent is one of the quietest cars in its class. Engine noise is well isolated, and road and wind noise barely register. Quietness is one of the Accent's best qualities.

interior

edmunds rating
Keeping in mind that the Accent is a small, economy-minded car, its interior offers up excellent ergonomics and luggage space and reasonably easy access. But space and outward visibility are just merely adequate.

ease of use

edmunds rating
It's refreshing to find effective, traditional dials and knobs where many cars now flaunt button arrays and frustrating touchscreens.

getting in/getting out

edmunds rating
Large, tall doors, low sills, a fairly high roofline and seats mounted a good distance off the floor make getting in and out easy. The roof-mounted grab handles are a plus.

roominess

edmunds rating
Front passengers enjoy a reasonably wide-open cabin, but those in the rear will feel confined due to the rising window sills. Head- and legroom are competitive for subcompact cars.

visibility

edmunds rating
Forward visibility is excellent thanks to a low hood, a large windshield and slender windshield pillars. The rearward view is hampered by blind spots typical of hatchbacks, plus the center headrest obscures the view through the mirror.

quality

Unlike some others in this low-cost segment, there aren't any unshrouded bare-metal panels, and the overall material quality and graining of plastics are quite good. Exterior panel gaps and paint quality are also better than average.

utility

The rear seats don't fold completely flat, hampering some utility. The tall, wide doors and high roofline make rear-seat cargo loading easy.

small-item storage

Outstanding small item storage with numerous storage spaces, deep cupholders and sizable door pockets.

cargo space

edmunds rating
There's an excellent 21 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seat, but rear seats don't fold fully flat, resulting in just 47.5 cubic feet of maximum cargo space.

technology

Unfortunate dearth of tech options. Bluetooth isn't available on SE trims (not even as an option) and there's no smartphone app integration. The only concession is a USB port for charging or an audio signal.

audio & navigation

The basic audio system consists of six speakers, a CD player, satellite radio and a USB jack for playing music from a smartphone/device or thumb drive. No navigation offered at any trim level.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.