New 2018 Hyundai Accent Sedan New 2018
Hyundai Accent Sedan

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KBB Editor's Overview

By KBB.com Editorial Staff

The 2018 Accent is Hyundai’s least expensive car, a subcompact that competes with rivals like the Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris, Ford Fiesta and Chevrolet Sonic. The Hyundai Accent is all-new for 2018, and for its 5th-generation revamp gains upscale looks, key technology like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, more safety features and slightly improved fuel economy. What it loses is the availability of a hatchback model, as this new Accent is offered only as a sedan. Like its cousin the Kia Rio, the Hyundai Accent boasts an exceptional warranty that includes 10 years/100,000 miles for the powertrain. As with other economy cars, the Accent is best suited for in-town duties, making it a great choice for students and others on a budget and with shorter commutes.

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You'll Like This Car If...

If you want a small, fuel-efficient sedan with an excellent warranty and stylish looks that belie its roughly $16,000 starting price, the 2018 Hyundai Accent checks the right boxes. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, standard in the two higher trims, will appeal to just about anyone with a smartphone.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you want a more versatile hatchback instead of a sedan, you’ll have to step up a class to the Hyundai Elantra GT, or go with a subcompact hatch like the Kia Rio, Honda Fit, Nissan Versa Note or another rival. The Accent offers automatic emergency braking, but only on the top trim, while the Toyota Yaris has it standard.

What's New for 2018

The Accent is all-new for 2018. Available only as a subcompact sedan, it brings the stylish and upscale looks of its larger siblings, and now offers more efficiency, automatic emergency braking, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration.

Driving It

Driving Impressions

The new Hyundai Accent certainly shares the nicely dressed style of its Elantra and Sonata sedan siblings, but not quite their ride quality. This is a reality of cars in this subcompact class. Like others in this segment, the 2018 Accent has a short wheelbase and smaller dimensions, and is powered by an engine that favors fuel efficiency over gusto. As such, the Accent is more than adequate for in-town driving. It’s best for shorter commutes and easily slotting into parking spots where larger vehicles would be squeezed. On the open highway, the Accent can hold its own, but the engine tends to drone when pushed, and the ride quality isn’t as supple at higher speeds as that of a larger car, though neither is it jittery unless pushed past legal limits. The rear suspension, though still a basic torsion beam, has been reworked for smoothness. Likewise, the 6-speed automatic transmission goes about its business with certainty and is eager to kick down when needed. There’s a button to engage Sport mode, but even when activated can’t magically make the Accent dynamic.

Favorite Features

ANDROID AUTO AND APPLE CARPLAY
These two smartphone systems are quickly moving from “nice to have” to “must have” in cars, and once you experience their seamless integration it’s hard to go back. While other automakers are still implementing them even in larger and more expensive models, Hyundai makes it readily available in its least expensive car.

AUTOMATIC EMERGENCY BRAKING
Here’s another system becoming more common in cars, and it has the ability to prevent accidents and even save lives. Through the use of radar, it can warn a driver if a collision appears likely. If the driver doesn’t take action, the car can ultimately apply the brakes to lessen or prevent a collision.

Vehicle Details

Interior

The 2018 Accent’s 5-passenger cabin is nicely laid out and, like its exterior, appears nicer than its price implies. It’s not until you start sitting in the seats and feeling the material that you’ll realize this is still a value-oriented car. There is plenty of hard plastic, and if we had a couple of requests it would be for more bolstering of the front seats and an armrest for rear passengers. Those nits aside, we appreciate the central touch screen that controls audio and phone functions, and the easy-to-reach dials for climate. We suggest skipping the base SE model for several reasons, among them that the steering wheel only tilts on that model and doesn’t telescope like it does in the SEL and Limited variants. Not surprisingly, rear legroom is at a premium. At 13.7 cubic feet, trunk capacity is better than expected, and the rear seats fold in a 60/40-split for added cargo-carrying versatility.

Exterior

Here’s one of the best parts of Hyundai’s new Accent. Look at that large (but not obtrusive) grille, crisp lines and taut metal. If this were solely a beauty contest, we think the Accent is at the top of the class. As we mentioned, this all-new Accent is only available as a sedan, and not with a hatchback variant as before. By default, the Accent is longer than hatch-only rivals like the Honda Fit. Opt for the top-line Limited trim, and you’ll get an even more dapper-looking Accent that has turn signals integrated into the side mirrors, chrome grille surround and door handles, and 17-inch alloy wheels. The Limited model also features a hands-free trunk that automatically unlatches if you approach with the key.

Notable Standard Equipment

The 2018 Hyundai Accent is offered in three trims: SE, SEL and Limited. Other than an automatic transmission on base SE models, there are no major options or packages. This makes it blessedly simple for choosing the right Accent for you: Just look at what each has and determine if that’s what you want and can afford. The least expensive Accent includes the basics like air conditioning, power windows and door locks, plus cruise control and a rearview camera. Its infotainment system features a 5-inch touch screen and a 4-speaker AM/FM radio with Bluetooth connectivity and USB/auxiliary ports. Like all new Hyundais, the Accent has an excellent warranty: a 5-year/60,000-mile transferable new-vehicle warranty, plus a powertrain that’s guaranteed for 10 years or 100,000 miles.

Notable Optional Equipment

Unless your budget has you tied to the base model or you really want a manual transmission, we suggest skipping the Accent SE and stepping up to the SEL or Limited. Mid-trim SEL models gain important features like an upgraded 7-inch infotainment system with CarPlay/Android Auto and voice recognition, rear disc brakes, automatic headlights, alloy wheels, heated side mirrors, and a steering wheel that tilts and telescopes. The top-line Accent Limited adds a sunroof, LED daytime running lights and taillights, automatic climate control, heated front seats, proximity key with push-button start, and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. If you want the forward-collision warning system with automatic braking, the Limited trim is the only way to get it. The Limited model is also the only trim to offer the Blue Link smartphone-enabled connected-services system (3-year subscription is standard).

Under the Hood

All 2018 Hyundai Accents use a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine. For this latest generation, it makes slightly less power than that of the outgoing model, but conversely is slightly more efficient. Base SE models use a 6-speed manual transmission. Most buyers, however, will opt for the 6-speed automatic that is optional on SE trims and standard on the SEL and Limited.

1.6-liter inline-4
130 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
119 lb-ft of torque @ 4,850 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 28/37 mpg (manual), 28/38 mpg (automatic)

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Pricing Notes

With a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $15,880 including destination, the 2018 Accent is Hyundai’s least expensive vehicle. In reality, expect to pay at least $1,000 more, as you’ll probably want an automatic transmission. Most buyers will want to step up to the SEL or Limited model, with prices of $18,180 and $19,780, respectively. In an age where the average new car retails for well over $30,000, the Accent’s price remains on the very desirable end of the spectrum. Even among rivals, the Accent is still quite a value. Rivals like the Toyota Yaris and Chevy Sonic begin near the same price, while the Honda Fit hatchback has a higher starting price. The Accent’s cousin, the Kia Rio, starts a little lower but is less well-equipped in base trim. The same holds for the Nissan Versa sedan, which still claims the spot of the least expensive new car. Before buying, be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying. The Hyundai Accent’s resale value has traditionally trailed leaders like the Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris iA.

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