By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 6.7
The Accent may be Hyundai's entry-level model, but it sure doesn't look the part. Seductive styling and a bevy of standard features compliment the car's miserly yet peppy 4-cylinder engine, the latter backed by one of the industry's best standard warranties. The competition is clearly feeling the heat as we've seen recent improvements in both styling and content made to cars like the Nissan Versa, Honda Fit and Ford Fiesta. Of course, we think the Accent still has the advantage over many rivals in the area of looks, features and ride comfort. From its bright colors to its high-powered standard audio system to its rich 2-tone interior, the Accent scores big in the categories most important to younger buyers. Did we mention the 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty?
A thrifty budget doesn't automatically require sacrificing comfort, features and styling. Even in its most base form, the 2014 Hyundai Accent offers a lot of car for just a shade over $15,000.
If features like heated front seats, leather seating and factory navigation are on your must-have list, the Accent won't meet your needs. You'll need to look to cars like the Honda Fit, Nissan Versa and Ford Fiesta.
KBB Expert Ratings
The Hyundai Accent for 2014 gains sliding sun-visor extensions, a one-touch triple turn signal and a driver's-side blind-spot mirror. The SE Premium Package adds a tilt/telescopic steering wheel, projector-style headlights with LED accents and a driver's-side auto-up window.
Driving Impressions We gave our 2014 Hyundai Accent a thorough shakedown, running it through a variety of driving conditions ranging from stop-and-go city traffic to wide-open rural back roads. Our first impression...... was one of contentment, as the fuel economy regularly averaged between 35-38 mpg on the highway, and only a few ticks lower in around-town driving. The Accent's frugal 4-cylinder isn't stingy when it comes to power, but we were disappointed by the rubbery and vague 6-speed manual. We recommend the 6-speed automatic that provides smooth and precise shifts without any significant loss in fuel economy. We found the seats to be comfortable and supportive, although rear-seat legroom is lacking. If the Accent has a weak spot, it's the car's driving dynamics. We weren't expecting GTI-like maneuvers, but in a matchup with the Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit or Mazda2, the Accent doesn't even come close.
1.6-LITER GAMMA ENGINE
With more horsepower and nearly identical fuel economy as the engines in the Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit or Mazda2, the 2014 Hyundai Accent wins the power wars hands down.
STANDARD 172-WATT AUDIO SYSTEM
While some competitors don't even offer a high-output audio system on their cars, the Accent comes standard with a 172-watt, 6-speaker stereo featuring SiriusXM satellite radio and USB/iPod ports. Upgrade to the higher trims and the system adds streaming Bluetooth with voice recognition.
Although it doesn't have the same funky, futuristic feel as the Honda Fit and Ford Fiesta, the Hyundai Accent does have a decidedly refined interior for a car in its class. Using bold shapes and semi-metallic finishes, the Accent's looks on the inside complement its looks on the outside rather handsomely. We especially like the backlit buttons and knobs.Exterior
Using the same "fluidic sculpture" design language incorporated in other models in Hyundai's lineup, the 2014 Accent wears dynamic and sculptural lines that give the car an upscale look. Wraparound headlights and taillights, a high beltline and sculpted hood creases that flank the signature grille up front accentuate the car's aerodynamic look, giving it a sleek profile. Depending on the trim, the Accent has either 14-inch or 16-inch wheels as standard. LED headlight surrounds and a driver's blind-spot mirror are also welcome features.
The 4-door Accent is available in the GLS trim level, and the 5-door is labeled GS for the base trim and SE for the sporty and more highly equipped version. Regardless of the trim level, all Accents come standard with a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine, a 6-speed manual transmission, air conditioning, 172-watt 6-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3/satellite radio with USB/iPod integration, heated side mirrors and 14-inch wheels with wheel covers. The higher-trim SE 5-door adds to this list with even more equipment, including steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, Bluetooth, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, 16-inch alloy wheels and a roof spoiler.
The only options available for the 2014 Hyundai Accent can be found bundled into two packages. The GLS automatic Premium package adds rear disc brakes, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, premium cloth seats, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, piano-black accents, driver's-window auto-up, cruise control, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity with voice recognition, fog lights and 16-inch alloy wheels. The SE with the automatic transmission can be equipped with a power sunroof package.
The 2014 Hyundai Accent is powered by a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine producing 138 horsepower and achieving up to 38 mpg on the highway. Hyundai used an aluminum design for this engine, as opposed to a cast-iron block, in order to save weight and incorporated gasoline direct injection (GDI), which is mostly responsible for its impressive power and fuel economy.
138 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
123 lb-ft of torque @ 4,850 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/38 mpg (manual), 27/37 mpg (automatic)
A base 2014 Hyundai Accent GLS has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of just under $15,500, and adding an automatic transmission tacks on an extra $1,000. The 5-door GS trim level starts just under $16,000 and goes up $1,200 with an automatic, while the fully loaded SE trim can top out at around $19,500. Compared to other cars in its segment, the Accent's pricing is on the lower end of the spectrum. To get your best price, check the KBB Fair Purchase Price to find out what others in your area are paying for the 2014 Hyundai Accent. As far as projected resale value, the Accent has found its way into the middle of the class, as we expect it to hold values on par with the Toyota Yaris and Chevy Sonic, but not as well as the Ford Fiesta and Honda Fit.