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2019 Hyundai Accent Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 7.7

The 2019 Hyundai Accent features a four-cylinder engine with enough power for most driving situations, though it accelerates at a leisurely pace. Fuel economy is decent for the class. The Accent is surprisingly capable on winding roads, and the ride is comfortable if you stick to smooth pavement.

  • "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 (2018)
  • "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 (2018)
  • "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 (2018)

Acceleration and Power

The 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. This engine moves the car well around town and on the highway, and while it doesn't provide thrilling acceleration, it never feels overly taxed.

The Accent gets an EPA-estimated 28 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. Those ratings are in the middle of the pack for a subcompact car.

  • "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 (2018)
  • "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 (2018)
  • "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 (2018)

Handling and Braking

The Accent handles well, but it isn't as agile as rivals like the Ford Fiesta. The Accent makes a fine daily commuter vehicle, and it's easy to drive around town and on the highway. It also rides smoothly most of the time, but you might get jarred around a bit over rough pavement. Front-wheel drive comes standard.

  • "Hyundai has done a good job enhancing the driving dynamics of its sedan lineup over the last few years, though if you want a really dynamic ride you'll probably want to stretch your budget to move up to the Hyundai Elantra. The Hyundai Accent is more of a budget-minded commuter car or something a student might be able to afford for around-town driving." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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 (2018)
  • "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 (2018)
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