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2017 Hyundai Accent Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Hyundai Accent was new.


Performance: 7.7

The 2017 Hyundai Accent has an engine that delivers decent enough power for most driving situations, though it may occasionally feel underpowered on the highway. The handling is composed around turns, though nobody would mistake the Accent for an athletic car. The ride is smooth over most paved surfaces.

  • "The Accent SE's overall drivability is excellent with above-average engine response, a well-calibrated six-speed automatic transmission that's not overly busy, confident brakes and direct steering. It feels less toylike than many." -- Edmunds
  • "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 (2016)
  • "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)

Acceleration and Power

Regardless of body style and trim level, the Accent features a 1.6-liter engine that puts out 137 horsepower. Though that doesn't sound like much, the Accent's engine actually has more horsepower than several rivals' base engines, including the Honda Fit, Ford Fiesta, and Mini Cooper. You'll notice that we specified rivals' base engines; that's because unlike the Accent, many class rivals offer more than one engine option, and some of those available engines have more power than the Accent's.

A six-speed manual transmission comes standard, and a six-speed automatic is available. Either transmission pairs well with the engine to form a responsive powertrain, though it does struggle if you're trying to pass other cars on the highway. The Accent won't kill you at the gas pump, either. It earns an EPA-estimated 27 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. Those ratings are similar to the gas mileage that the Honda Fit and Ford Fiesta get. Still, there are other subcompacts that exceed the Accent's fuel efficiency by 3-4 mpg.

  • "The 138-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine is one of our favorites, providing good initial response leaving a stop followed by steady acceleration. A quick 9.3-second sprint to 60 mph is one of the best in the segment." -- Edmunds
  • "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)
  • "Regardless of transmission, Accent offers adequate acceleration off the line but only modest highway passing response." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

Handling and Braking

The front-wheel-drive Accent delivers a comfortable ride, and the cabin is well-insulated from outside noise even at higher speeds. The ride quality drops some when the pavement gets uneven, but that's pretty typical for a subcompact car. Though the Accent can't match class rivals like the Mini Cooper and Ford Fiesta in terms of sportiness, it remains poised around corners.

  • "It lacks the buttoned-down feeling of the best subcompacts, but overall the level of ride comfort is better than most. Grooved or uneven highways cause a bit of wander, but it's not busy or fidgety." -- Edmunds
  • "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)

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