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.
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.
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.)
noise & vibration
ease of use
getting in/getting out
audio & navigation
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.