$3,130 - $4,771

2009 Hyundai Accent Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2009 Hyundai Accent was new.


Performance: 6.9

Most reviewers say the Accent's performance is merely adequate. And even though its powertrain, chassis and curb weight is relatively the same across trims, reviewers turn to the three door GS and SE models for the most driving excitement.

  • "The Accent is a blast to drive flat out on even the most pedestrian of roads since it lacks enough power or grip to be dangerous." -- Car and Driver
  • "The late LJK Setwright, legendary British auto journalist, mused that it's far more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow. While the Accent's not exactly a slow car, it is, like most modern subcompacts, a real hoot to drive." -- About.com
  • "Like most small engines in inexpensive cars, it's a bit noisy and thrashy at high rpm. Otherwise, our GLS rode and drove fairly well and scooted through turns with surprising response." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "While no speed demon, the 2009 Hyundai Accent is a perfectly acceptable performer." -- Edmunds

Acceleration and Power

With a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 110 horsepower, the 2009 Hyundai Accent is sometimes spirited, but never speedy. It does, however, have great fuel ratings. According to the EPA, the Accent should achieve 27/33 mpg city/highway with the five-speed manual transmission and 26/35 mpg with a four-speed automatic.

  • "Hyundai's 1.6-liter four-cylinder is a modern, sophisticated engine with dual overhead camshafts and continuously variable valve timing." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "Up to about 40 mph, the Accent feels pretty zippy. Short and closely spaced gears help that happen, but the pull to highway speeds reminds you that this is an economy car, not a performance car." -- BusinessWeek
  • "With the automatic transmission, acceleration is weak, as evidenced by the slow 11.1-second 0-60 mph time in our test of a GLS. At least the automatic downshifts promptly and smoothly for passing. Manual-transmission versions are quicker." -- Consumer Guide

Handling and Braking

The 2009 Accent's ride quality is nice enough, but several test drivers note the sedan's suspension is too soft and the steering too vague.

  • "The sedan's ride is on the soft side, softer than the Kia Rio, which gets sportier settings. The power assisted rack-and-pinion steering provides reasonable feedback and the handling proved to be acceptable." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "Comfortable over smaller bumps, but soft suspension tuning on the GS and GLS models allows moderate bounding over large high-speed humps. ... The steering is overboosted and lacks road feel. Fast cornering induces fair body lean. ... The SE has sharper moves." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The ride is compliant on GS and GLS models, while the SE's firmer suspension tuning trades some comfort for greater road-holding capabilities." -- Edmunds
  • "Our GLS rode and drove fairly well and scooted through turns with surprising response." -- Kelley Blue Book

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