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2010 Hyundai Accent Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2010 Hyundai Accent was new.


Performance: 6.8

While reviewers admit that the 2010 Hyundai Accent handles well enough for an affordable small car, no one would describe it as a strong performer. It will work well as a daily driver, especially given its excellent fuel economy, but there are better options available, like the Honda Fit and Nissan Versa.

  • "Ride, acceleration and handling: It gets good small-car marks in all three." -- The Washington Post
  • "Accent's engine buzzes from 3000 rpm on up, but it's never objectionably loud. Wind noise is modest for the class, and coarse-surface tire thrum is noticeable though not excessive." -- Consumer Guide
  • "While no speed demon, the ... Hyundai Accent is a perfectly acceptable performer. 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
  • "Hyundai's 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine generates 110 horsepower, but it's hardly a strong performer." -- Kelley Blue Book

Acceleration and Power

Most reviewers complain that acceleration in the Accent is poor, but it wasn’t designed to be a sports car. The important thing is that it can hold its own well enough in highway passing maneuvers. Accents come with only one engine choice, a 1.6-liter four-cylinder that makes 110 horsepower. A five-speed manual transmission comes standard, but a four-speed automatic is available on all models but the Blue.

Fuel economy is one of the Accent’s strongest points. The EPA estimates that the Accent gets 27/36 mpg city/highway, which means it has some of the best ratings in its class.

High-performance vehicles are few and far between in the affordable small car segment, but if you’d like something with a zippier ride, the Honda Fit might be worth a look.

  • "I would've preferred a larger engine in the Accent. And here's hoping that Hyundai creates a special iteration of the Accent with, maybe, a turbocharged 1.8 liter, four-cylinder diesel. That would make getting up Mine Hill Road here a lot easier than struggling along in second gear, which is what we had to do in the gasoline-fueled four-cylinder Accent SE used on this trip…Hint: The five-speed manual costs less and offers better driving performance." -- The Washington Post
  • "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… The manual transmission has positive, if somewhat clunky, shift action." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Sluggish acceleration with automatic transmission, harsh ride over irregular surfaces." -- Edmunds

Handling and Braking

The Accent gets mixed reviews for its handling. The general consensus seems to be that while higher trims are capable performers, the base trims are a bit unsteady on their feet in tight turns because of skinnier tires. For a smoother ride, consider the Nissan Versa.

  • "The steering is overboosted and lacks road feel. Fast cornering induces fair body lean. Skinny tires on the GS and GLS provide only modest grip. The SE is only slightly better; it still exhibits noticeable body lean." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Our GLS rode and drove fairly well and scooted through turns with surprising response." -- Kelley Blue Book

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