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2016 Hyundai Accent Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Hyundai Accent was new.


Performance: 7.5

The 2016 Hyundai Accent offers controlled handling, auto writers say, though it isn't as fun to drive as rivals like the Ford Fiesta and Chevrolet Sonic. Some reviewers think the Accent has good passing power on the highway, but others say it could use more.

  • "As for driving dynamics, the Accent is a capable car, but nowhere near as dialed-in as the Ford Fiesta or Chevrolet Sonic." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "It may not be the most thrilling vehicle I've ever driven, but I was pleasantly surprised by how satisfied I was with the driving experience." -- Automobile Magazine (2012)
  • "It has neither the nimble handling of a Mazda2 nor the crisp responsiveness of a Fiesta. What it does have is a comfortable, quiet and refined dynamic that customers who prioritize ease of use will appreciate." -- Popular Mechanics (2012)
  • "Overall, we were quite pleased with the eager Accent SE's performance. If you subscribe to the mantra that 'it's more fun to drive a slow car fast,' then you'll find much to like in this little hatchback." -- CNET (2012)

Acceleration and Power

The 2016 Hyundai Accent has a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 137 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic is optional. The 2016 Accent gets 26/37 mpg city/highway with the automatic transmission, which is below average for a subcompact car.

Some critics say the Accent doesn't offer much passing power and gets too noisy at higher rpms. However, others think the Accent is quiet at speed and has plenty of power.

  • "Under the hood, the little 4-cylinder remains quiet and reasonably well behaved even at high revolutions per minute, though it sometimes feels a bit short on energy for passing or merging." -- AutoTrader (2015)
  • "Although 137 hp doesn't sound like a lot, the 2015 Hyundai Accent is relatively quick compared with other cars in the subcompact class. Its 1.6-liter engine responds energetically when you the hit the gas pedal, and there's plenty of power on tap for highway merging and passing maneuvers. Under hard acceleration, the engine remains smooth but can get rather noisy." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "Regardless of transmission, Accent offers adequate acceleration off the line but only modest highway passing response." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "While the Accent has more power than others in the class, I wouldn't call it fleet of foot. When accelerating from a dead stop, the Accent strained, as do most in this class, and I was ferrying two other average-size adults in the car. It struggled even more up hills, but on the highway it passed with plenty of assurance." -- Cars.com (2012)

Handling and Braking

The 2016 Accent feels composed around corners, test drivers report, though it doesn't have the agile handling and responsive steering of sportier rivals like the Ford Fiesta. Reviewers praise the Accent's strong brakes and smooth, quiet ride.

  • "On the road, the Accent's compliant suspension makes for a fairly smooth ride, while the cabin is respectably quiet at highway speeds. Due to those soft underpinnings, however, the Accent isn't as entertaining in corners as the Sonic and Fiesta athletes." -- AutoTrader (2015)
  • "The [suspension] arrangement isn't overtly sporty but does provide a comfortable freeway ride." -- Left Lane News (2015)
  • "On the road, the Accent provides a quiet, comfortable ride and decent handling. Although competitors such as the Ford Fiesta have sportier steering and handling, the Hyundai feels balanced and composed and is well suited for daily commutes." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "The brakes have surprising grab; suspension is a bit firm but compliant over big (and I do mean big) bumps." -- Automobile Magazine (2012)

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