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2021 Hyundai Accent Review

The 2021 Hyundai Accent places in the middle of our subcompact car rankings. It has plenty of passenger space and a user-friendly, though basic, infotainment system, but this small sedan can be slow to accelerate, and it's not as engaging to drive as some rivals.

Pros & Cons

  • Spacious seating
  • Straightforward infotainment interface
  • Above-average fuel economy with CVT
  • Limited cargo room
  • Underpowered engine
  • Unstable ride over rough pavement

Rankings & Research

The 2021 Hyundai Accent's #5 ranking is based on its score within the Subcompact Cars category. Currently the Hyundai Accent has a score of 7.7 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 23 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

7.7

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.9
Performance: 7.3
Interior: 6.9
Safety:
This rating isn’t available yet for the current model year. In the meantime, last year’s rating of 9.2 for safety is being used to calculate this vehicle’s overall score.
TBD
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Thinking of leasing a Hyundai Accent?

The U.S. News Best Price Program saves users an average of $3,206 off the MSRP, and a lower price equals lower monthly lease payments. That means you could see a savings of $90 a month on a 36-month lease.

 Is the Hyundai Accent a Good Car?

 Yes, the Hyundai Accent is a good subcompact car. Its attractive cabin and standard tech features belie its low price point. The Accent also boasts above-average fuel economy estimates along with adult-friendly rear seats. However, cargo space is lacking compared to most class rivals, and the ride can be uneven over potholes and bumps in the road.

 Why You Can Trust Us: 23 Reviews Analyzed

 We’ve analyzed 23 Hyundai Accent reviews, as well as performance specs, interior dimensions, fuel economy ratings, and more, to give you all the information you need to make a smart car-buying decision.

This 2021 Accent review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2018.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years of combined experience in the auto industry. To ensure our objectivity, we never accept expensive gifts from carmakers, and an outside firm manages the ads on our site.

Should I Buy the Hyundai Accent?

The Accent is a good choice if you’re looking for a daily driver that can regularly carry up to four adults comfortably but is also small enough to fit into tight parking spaces on city streets. However, you should look elsewhere if you prioritize an engaging performance or cargo space. Competitors worth considering include the more athletic Kia Rio and larger Hyundai Elantra.

Find a 2021 Hyundai Accent for sale near you »

2020 vs. 2021 Hyundai Accent: What's the Difference?

There are no notable differences between the 2020 and 2021 Accent.

Compare the 2020 and 2021 Accent »

Here are the key changes for the Hyundai Accent over the last few years:

  • 2017: Value Edition sedan trim joined lineup
  • 2018: fully redesigned with revamped styling, available Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and more available safety features; hatchback body style discontinued
  • 2019: no major changes
  • 2020: continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) replaced six-speed automatic; minor powertrain updates
  • 2021: no major changes

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2018 Accent, 2019 Accent, and 2020 Accent reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Best New Car Deals and Best New Car Lease Deals pages to learn about savings and discounts you can find on new vehicles.

How Much Does the Hyundai Accent Cost?

The 2021 Accent has a starting price of $15,395, which is average for the subcompact car class. Adding the CVT to the base trim costs an extra $1,100. The midlevel SEL trim starts at $17,750, while the top-of-the-line Limited trim starts at $19,500.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Hyundai dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Hyundai deals page.

Hyundai Accent Versus the Competition

Hyundai Accent vs. Kia Rio

The Kia Rio and the Hyundai Accent are corporate siblings that share a lot of the same attributes, but there are some notable differences that make the Rio a more well-rounded vehicle. While both are available as similarly sized sedans, the Rio is also available as a hatchback with lots of cargo space. Additionally, the Kia has a higher predicted reliability rating, a nicer infotainment system, a larger touch screen, more agile handling, and better fuel economy estimates. Go with the Rio.

Compare the Accent and Rio »

Hyundai Accent vs. Hyundai Elantra

The Hyundai Elantra is a larger version of the Accent, and with that comes a lot of benefits. Besides the expected additional passenger and cargo room, the Elantra also has more standard safety features, including forward collision warning with brake assist. In addition, the Elantra comes as either a sedan or hatchback, while the Accent is solely a sedan. Neither car is particularly exciting to drive, but the Elantra has a more powerful base four-cylinder engine as well as three powertrain options that are all stronger than the Accent’s lone offering. If you can afford it, we recommend opting for the Elantra over the Accent.

Compare the Accent and Elantra »

Compare the Accent, Rio, and Elantra »

Accent Interior: Generous Seating Space

Accent Cargo Space

This Hyundai’s cargo capacity of 13.7 cubic feet is below average for a subcompact car. Unlike the Accent, most competitors offer hatchback models with even more cargo space. The top-of-line Limited trim comes with a hands-free trunk lid.

How Many People Does the Accent Seat?

The Accent has seating for up to five people. There's enough space in both rows to accommodate adult passengers, but the standard tilt-only steering wheel can make it hard for the driver to find a suitable driving position. The seats are pretty comfortable, though bolstering and support could be better.

Accent and Child Car Seats

There are two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the Accent’s rear outboard seats. There's also a tether anchor for the rear middle seat. This LATCH system is mostly easy to use, though the lower anchors are set too deeply in the seats.

Accent Interior Quality

The Accent is Hyundai’s most affordable vehicle, and, not surprisingly, this is reflected in the use of hard plastics, as well as some other low-rent surfaces throughout the cabin. Still, reviewers say that the cabin meets the standards of the subcompact car class.

Accent Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The Accent comes standard with a straightforward touch screen, but it lacks Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the base stereo sounds muddy. The upgraded infotainment interface in the SEL is a better choice because of its larger touch screen and smartphone integration technology.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 5-inch touch screen, a four-speaker audio system, Siri Eyes Free, Bluetooth, and a USB port
  • Available infotainment features: a 7-inch touch screen, a six-speaker audio system, satellite radio, two additional USB ports, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and the Hyundai Blue Link telematics system
  • Other available features: automatic climate control

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Read more about interior »

Accent Performance: Solid Ride and Fuel-Efficient

Accent Engine

The Accent comes with a 120-horsepower four-cylinder engine. It's strong enough for your daily travels, but it struggles with merging and passing on the highway. A six-speed manual transmission is standard in the base SE trim, while a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is available in the base trim and standard in all others.

Accent Gas Mileage

With the standard manual transmission, the Accent gets an estimated 29 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway. These figures are average for the class. Models with the CVT deliver 4 more mpg in the city and 2 more mpg on the highway, making it one of the most fuel-efficient cars in the class.

Accent Ride and Handling

The Accent handles corners well but lacks the athleticism of some class rivals. Its ride is generally smooth, though it gets bumpy over uneven pavement.

Read more about performance »

Accent Reliability

Is the Hyundai Accent Reliable?

The 2021 Hyundai Accent has a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five.

Hyundai Accent Warranty

The 2021 Accent comes with a five-year/60,000-mile limited warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Accent Safety

Accent Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2021 Accent an overall safety rating of four out of five stars. The Accent earned five stars in the side crash test and four stars in the frontal crash and rollover tests.

At the time of writing, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not crash tested the 2021 Accent.

Accent Safety Features

Standard advanced safety features:

  • Rearview camera

Available advanced safety features:

  • Forward collision warning
  • Automatic emergency braking

Read more about safety »

Accent Dimensions and Weight

The Accent is about 14.4 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 2,502 to 2,679 pounds.

Where Is the 2021 Hyundai Accent Built?

Hyundai builds the 2021 Accent in South Korea.

Which Hyundai Accent Model Is Right for Me?

The 2021 Hyundai Accent comes in three trims: SE, SEL, and Limited. The SE trim’s standard features are pretty scarce, so we recommend stepping up to the SEL trim. It adds a standard continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), as well as nicer infotainment features like a larger touch screen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. All models come with a 120-horsepower four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive.

Hyundai Accent SE

The SE trim starts at $15,395. It comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission as well as cloth upholstery, a 5-inch touch screen, a four-speaker audio system, Siri Eyes Free, Bluetooth, a USB port, and a rearview camera. The CVT is an additional $1,100.

Hyundai Accent SEL

The SEL trim (MSRP: $17,750) adds the CVT, a 7-inch touch screen, a six-speaker audio system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio, two additional USB ports, and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel.

Hyundai Accent Limited

Starting at $19,500, the Limited trim gains heated front seats, automatic climate control, a hands-free trunk lid, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and Hyundai Blue Link, a telematics app that lets you access vehicle functions such as remote start from your smartphone.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Hyundai dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Hyundai deals page.

See 2021 Hyundai Accent specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2021 Hyundai Accent is a solid subcompact car. It has a good amount of passenger space, an easy-to-use infotainment system, a comfortable ride over smooth roads, and great fuel economy in models with the CVT. However, it doesn’t fare as well as some class rivals because its ride is jarring when the road gets bumpy, and its lone engine is short on power.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The 2021 Hyundai Accent is a subcompact sedan with a useful interior, decent levels of equipment and sharp styling that makes it look more expensive than it is." -- Autotrader
  • "… as a cheap-to-run commuter car or a college student’s first set of wheels, the Accent will provide sterling service." -- Kelley Blue Book (2020)
  • "The … Hyundai Accent represents the entry point to the Hyundai line, and as you'll see, it's a pleasant little sedan." -- Autoblog (2020)    

Buying

Expert Advice

Last Updated: October 8, 2020

Nosediving Demand: Hyundai dealers have sold 38.5 percent fewer Accents in 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. The Accent currently sells in the middle of the subcompact car class, and segment sales leaders like the Nissan Versa are outperforming it by almost 2 to 1.

Research more buying advice »
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