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2018 Hyundai Accent

$14,995 — $18,895 MSRP
Sedan
5 Seats
31-32 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 3 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Ride comfort, especially with 15-inch wheels
  • Safety, multimedia tech in higher trim levels
  • Easy-to-use manual transmission
  • Handling with 17-inch wheels
  • Straightforward controls
  • Impressive warranty

The Bad

  • Modest backseat space
  • Basic cabin quality
  • Ride quality with a heavy load
  • Highway wind and engine noise
  • Grip with 15-inch wheels
  • No more hatchback utility
2018 Hyundai Accent exterior side view

What to Know

about the 2018 Hyundai Accent
  • Redesigned for 2018
  • Sedan only; hatchback discontinued
  • Manual or automatic transmission
  • Standard backup camera
  • Available Android Auto, Apple CarPlay
  • Available automatic emergency braking

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

We recently had the chance to take a spin in the Accent's fifth-generation redesign. Does it raise the bar? Watch the video above to find out.

by Kelsey Mays - The Verdict:

Affordable subcompact cars are seldom a class consumers want to shop, but if budget or size constraints land you there, the redesigned Hyundai Accent is a prudent, if unexciting, choice.

Versus The Competition:

By competitive standards, the Accent's design, quality and roominess all underwhelm. But it drives quite well — something shoppers who aim to put serious miles on it will appreciate.

Hyundai gave its fifth-generation Accent sedan the green light for U.S. dealers, but a hatchback variant that's available elsewhere won't make it stateside. Hatch-o-philes can consider the redesigned Kia Rio, a platform sibling that's available as a hatch. Compare the Accent and Rio here, or stack up the 2018 and 2017 Accent here.

The Accent comes in SE, SEL and Limited trim levels (compare them here), all with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. The SE has a standard six-speed manual transmission or optional six-speed automatic; the SEL and Limited have only the automatic transmission. We evaluated a Limited and an SE manual.

Outside and In

The redesigned Hyundai Accent wears its scaled-down-Elantra styling well. Even SE models have painted side mirrors and door handles, avoiding the budget-car giveaway of black plastic. Alas, the dashboard blows that cover: It's an unremarkable dome-and-shelf routine with center controls slapped down the middle — a shape little different from any interior a decade ago. Styling is subjective, but the dashboards in a few other subcompacts — the Rio and Toyota Yaris iA spring to mind — have interesting layered designs. The Accent's does not.

The Accent's infotainment system is generous, at least. SE models get a 5-inch touchscreen, while SEL and Limited trims have a 7-inch unit with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Those are nice provisions for this small-car class, especially because all versions ...

by Kelsey Mays -

Hyundai gave its fifth-generation Accent sedan the green light for U.S. dealers, but a hatchback variant that's available elsewhere won't make it stateside. Hatch-o-philes can consider the redesigned Kia Rio, a platform sibling that's available as a hatch. Compare the Accent and Rio here, or stack up the 2018 and 2017 Accent here.

The Accent comes in SE, SEL and Limited trim levels (compare them here), all with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. The SE has a standard six-speed manual transmission or optional six-speed automatic; the SEL and Limited have only the automatic transmission. We evaluated a Limited and an SE manual.

Outside and In

The redesigned Hyundai Accent wears its scaled-down-Elantra styling well. Even SE models have painted side mirrors and door handles, avoiding the budget-car giveaway of black plastic. Alas, the dashboard blows that cover: It's an unremarkable dome-and-shelf routine with center controls slapped down the middle — a shape little different from any interior a decade ago. Styling is subjective, but the dashboards in a few other subcompacts — the Rio and Toyota Yaris iA spring to mind — have interesting layered designs. The Accent's does not.

The Accent's infotainment system is generous, at least. SE models get a 5-inch touchscreen, while SEL and Limited trims have a 7-inch unit with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Those are nice provisions for this small-car class, especially because all versions have proper shortcut buttons, plus volume and tuning knobs. All systems have Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, plus the soon-mandatory backup camera with dynamic guidelines.

Most controls feel weighty and secure, and SEL and Limited trims have a padded center armrest, but quality is otherwise spartan. The seats have rough-hewn cloth upholstery even in Limited models, and a mess of hard, shiny plastic surrounds them. Shoppers on a shoestring budget need not accept such limitations: The Yaris iA and Ford Fiesta, for example, have notably higher quality.

Agreeable Road Manners

Like the Rio, the Accent has generous ride comfort on its standard 15-inch wheels and high-profile P185/65R15 tires. The 17-inch wheels and P205/45R17 tires on Limited trim levels introduce some busyness and road noise over uneven surfaces, but the effect is well short of harsh. It's controlled, too, with little bouncing or floatiness over broken pavement, but it doesn't stay that way if you add weight — especially over the rear axle. Our Limited test car rode a touch firmer with two adults aboard, but a third adult in the backseat turned ride quality downright harsh, with choppy suspension response over bumps of all sizes.

At least the new Accent's pint-size four-cylinder is up to the task, with immediate accelerator response up front. And the 1.6-liter (130 horsepower, 119 pounds-feet of torque) delivers enough power at city speeds to sustain the oomph even with multiple adults aboard. Driving solo, highway passing is acceptable, if noisy — both from engine and wind noise. The six-speed automatic downshifts quickly, though it sometimes hunts for gears before settling on the right one.

The manual transmission has medium throws, a large shift knob and a light clutch. For parents who want to teach three-pedal driving to their teenage children — more for character-building than practical application at this point — the Hyundai Accent's stick is a quick learn, though it comes at a slight mileage penalty: 31 mpg combined in EPA ratings, versus 32 mpg with the automatic. Both figures are class-competitive.

Steering is free of the prior Accent's numb feedback, and its quick ratio evokes the Yaris iA or Honda Fit. Modest body roll limits the fun, but road-holding is impressive with the Limited trim's wider Continental tires, which stave off eventual understeer to impressive limits. Not so with the skinnier rubber on the SE and SEL (also Continentals). For all their benefit to ride comfort, they slide early and often.

Value and Safety

MSRP starts around $16,000 and tops out around $20,000. That's a bit north of the outgoing Hyundai Accent ($15,630 to $18,380), but the redesign has a pile of new features — some new just to the base model, others new for any trim — and its price range is in line with major competitors. The SE lacks a center armrest or telescoping steering wheel (higher trims include both), but it's reasonably equipped beyond that as subcompacts go. Standard features include the 5-inch touchscreen multimedia system, steering-wheel volume and cruise-control buttons, power windows and locks, remote keyless entry and air conditioning, and Hyundai's excellent warranty to boot. At the other end, an Accent Limited has keyless access and push-button start, heated seats, single-zone automatic climate control and a moonroof. Leather or vinyl upholstery, a feature some competitors offer, is missing.

Whether this redesign improves on the old Accent's middling crash-test scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety remains to be seen. Subcompact cars aren't known for good crash-test scores, but ratings on the 2018 Hyundai Accent are still pending. Still, the automaker missed an opportunity to leapfrog the competition with greater availability of forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking — important safety features that few competitors aside from the Yaris provide standard. Hyundai equips every Canadian-market Accent with it, but only the Limited trim gets it stateside. Bah.

Final Thoughts

I suspect many shoppers will cross-shop the Accent with its Kia sibling, which comes in both sedan and hatchback forms. The hatch has a roomier backseat versus the Accent's cramped bench, but the Accent gets more equipment in top trim levels. Few shoppers will benefit from that, however: Hyundai officials expect more than half of all Accent shoppers to buy the SE and just 10 percent to get the Limited.

In a value-conscious group like subcompacts, the 2018 Accent is acceptable in many ways and impressive in a few. That may not overcome shopper sentiment against a class that's under steady sales decline. But if you're among the shrinking group of consumers who want an entry-level sedan — and if you've read this far, I suspect you are — the new Hyundai Accent is worth a look.

Cars.com's Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com's long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don't accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com's advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.5
15 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.8)
Performance
(4.7)
Interior Design
(4.5)
Comfort
(4.5)
Reliability
(4.6)
Value For The Money
(4.5)

Read reviews that mention:

(4.0)

Best MPG car I've ownex

by Ted shockey from Moody texas on November 11, 2018

I bought this car to go to and from work which is 106 miles round trip. I was driving a 2500, 4x4 truck that gets 14 mpg . This accent has been getting 36 - 38 mpg and I drive 85 mph. The transmission ... Read full review

(4.0)

Nice, solid, stylish compact!

by Savage from Nfld. Canada on October 19, 2018

Recently purchased Canadian spec 2018 Accent GL 4-Dr H/B and it is very, very well equipped for the price! This is my second foray into Hyundai territory. First was a Y2K Accent H/B bought new, which ... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2018 Hyundai Accent currently has 0 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2018 Hyundai Accent has not been tested.

Warranty

New car and certified pre-owned programs by Hyundai

New Car Program Benefits

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    60 months / 60,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    120 months / 100,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    60 months / unlimited distance

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits

  • Maximum Age/Mileage

    Newer than 5 model years/less than 60,000 miles

  • Basic Warranty Terms

    5 years/60,000 miles (from remainder of original)

  • Powertrain

    10 years/100,000 miles and 10 years/100,000 miles for hybrid/electric vechicle batteries.

  • Dealer Certification Required

    150-point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All CPO Program Details

Latest 2018 Accent Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Accent received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*

Latch or Latch system

A

Infant seat

D

Forward-facing convertible

(second row)

A

Rear-facing convertible

C

Booster

(second row)

B
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.
For complete details,

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker