2018 Hyundai Accent

Performance


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2018 Hyundai Accent Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 7.9

The redesigned 2018 Hyundai Accent features a four-cylinder engine with enough power for most driving situations, though acceleration feels slow. Fuel economy is so-so for a nonhybrid subcompact sedan. The Accent is surprisingly capable on winding roads, and it rides smoothly over most road surfaces.

  • Overall, we'd not call the Accent a driver's car, but we wouldn't call it a car built to disappoint drivers, either." -- Car and Driver
  • "The Hyundai Accent is all-new for 2018 with updated styling, tech-savvy features, and a surprisingly fun drive that proves an affordable compact doesn't have to be boring." -- Boston Globe
  • "But the Accent isn't supposed to be a speedster. It's meant to be a commuter, and it does that just fine. There was a bit of body roll when encountering the more interesting turns along our drive route but nothing alarming or even unexpected. And we passed many a towing trailer and looky-loo SUV to not be deemed the slowest thing on four wheels." -- New York Daily News

Acceleration and Power

The redesigned Accent features a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 130 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission comes standard, and a six-speed automatic is available (the automatic is standard in all other trims). The engine won’t blow you away, but it never feels overworked, even at highway speeds. Acceleration, however, might be a little slow for your taste.

With the automatic transmission, the Accent earns an EPA-estimated 28 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. Fuel economy is nearly the same with the manual: 28 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. These estimates are unimpressive but fairly typical for the class.

  • "Getting out of Las Vegas and on the freeway toward the Valley of Fire State Park, the little 1.6-liter I-4 pulled well. It has plenty of low and midrange torque on tap, so it doesn't feel lacking and had no trouble cruising at 75 mph even with three people. The six-speed automatic shifted smoothly and quickly, going about its business invisibly. When you drop the hammer, it downshifts immediately, putting you back into the engine's powerband. Sport mode makes the throttle more responsive and causes the transmission to hold gears longer." -- Motor Trend
  • There's one engine in the Accent range, a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder unit that makes 130 horsepower and 119 lb-ft of torque. Drive goes to the front wheels. For what it needs to do, it's an adequate amount of muscle, delivered in a smooth-enough manner." -- Autotrader
  • "Mated to the standard 6-speed manual gearbox (SE only) or available 6-speed automatic, the Accent drags its toes from rest to 60 mph in about 10.5 Mississippi's. I admit that I did not conduct a closed-course instrumented test, but trust me. The Accent is not fast. In Sport mode, it was maybe a second quicker but, overall, still unimpressive on acceleration." -- New York Daily News

Handling and Braking

The front-wheel-drive Accent isn’t overly sporty, but it handles better than many other subcompact cars. You can even have a bit of fun with it, as the Accent remains composed while taking corners at speed. The ride is smooth over most surfaces, but you might get jarred around a bit over rough pavement.

  • "Perhaps the most impressive part of driving the Accent is its handling. The expectation would be the typical lackluster economy car drive, but the Accent is something of a showoff. It maintains its composure even while taking tight corners hard. The ride is smooth, especially given the very comfortable front seats." -- Boston Globe
  • After exiting the freeway, we encountered some winding roads that are more ideal for a sport sedan; however, the 2018 Accent performed admirably. It's no sport sedan, but it handles securely. … The car's steering is reasonably weighted but could use a little more feedback. Ride comfort, on the other hand, has been improved. … However, because it retains the torsion beam out back, the rear end has a tendency to get unsettled and bounce around over less-than-perfect pavement." -- Motor Trend
  • "It isn't quick, but it's absolutely adequate for 80 mph cruises. It handles and rides better than the previous car, too." -- Automobile Magazine
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