Understanding the Hyundai Accent

It doesn’t feel like it’s been 23 years since Hyundai’s subcompact car made its debut. Since that time, the Accent has solidified itself in the class, and the nameplate owns the distinction of being North America’s long-selling small family car.

Still, similar to a thick foreign “accent,” it can be difficult to identify what’s actually so special in Hyundai’s subcompact. Does the vehicle truly separate itself from the segment, or would you be better off pursuing one of the brand’s other impressive vehicles?

We’re here to tame any apprehension you may have about the Hyundai Accent. The vehicle is stylish (inside and out), and it’s full of impressive technological features. The vehicle also includes a powerful, dependable engine, and there are a variety of safety technologies that will help keep the driver and passengers safe.

Still, you may need a bit more convincing that the 2016 Hyundai Accent is the perfect option for you. Continue reading to understand why you should pursue the brand’s revamped subcompact car…

A Bold Design

Hyundai Accent Style

Sure, plenty of automotive engineers are constantly hoping to come up with the next big, innovative idea. However, many of these designers rarely see their plans to fruition, as it’s much easier (and safer) to carry over car features that have previously been well-received.

Luckily, Hyundai’s innovators are willing to take bold risks, and that’s evident in the Accent’s unorthodox design. The subcompact segment has seen an uptick in modern styling, but you still see signs of that boxy sedan or hatchback. Hyundai’s engineers have rethought the styles and included a rounder, more aerodynamic shape (the vehicle’s drag is a minuscule .28). Of course, they also added a number of luxurious features to the exterior, like the optional “jewel-like” projector headlights (with LED accents), the 16-inch alloy wheels, and the distinctive rear spoiler.

The customer has a say in the design of the Accent, especially when it comes to the vehicle’s color choices. There are seven options to choose from, including

  • Century White
  • Ironman Silver
  • Triathlon Gray
  • Ultra Black
  • Boston Red
  • Pacific Blue
  • Vitamin C

Just as Impressive Under the Hood

So we have an understanding of the Accent’s exterior, but what’s going on under the vehicle and under the hood? Unsurprisingly, what you’ll find is just as impressive as what you’ve already seen.

The eco-efficient 1.6-liter GDI engine can pump out an impressive 137 horsepower and 123 pounds-feet of torque, and these specs are accentuated due to the inclusion of the Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing. This unit is coupled with a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic transmission (with SHIFTRONIC).

Besides the D-CVVT, the Accent also includes the Active ECO System. The technology manipulates the engine and the transmission, which vicariously effects the fuel economy (a seven-percent increase, in fact). These technologies are a big reason why the Accent’s engine can deliver a 27 city/38 highway mile per gallon fuel economy, specs that are practically unmatched across the segment.

Considering these capabilities, you may be worried that you’re going to put too much stress on your new Accent (and the accompanying engine). Thanks to the Alternator Management System, electric power will be manipulated as it travels from the engine to the battery. This helps improve the engine and battery’s life.

A Roomy, Comfortable Interior

Hyundai Accent Interior

Sure, the Accent may be nice to look at, but what is it like when you actually get behind the wheel? Will your passengers (who presumably consist of your family and friends) enjoy the new ride?

All of the Accent’s occupants will appreciate the abundance of interior room and the accompanying technological features. With the Hatchback version, the driver can take advantage of the 111.3-cubic-feet of interior volume, and passengers will enjoy the amount of leg room (41.8 inches front/33.3 inches rear) and shoulder room (53.7/53.4).

Even the sedan delivers adequate dimensions, including 13.7-cubic-feet of cargo volume. These are quite the impressive specs, especially when you consider the Accent sedan’s classification as a smaller compact car.

Advanced Technology

Hyundai Accent Tech

One of the best ways to stay entertained during a long ride is the radio, so it’s comforting that the Accent’s engineers included one of the most advanced stereos in the class.

The SiriusXM Satellite Radio provides the driver and passengers with hundred of different stations. You can enjoy an assortment of music, talk, sports, and entertainment shows, and Hyundai even adds a free three-month trial of the service. You’ll be able to enjoy your music via the six-speaker audio system.

If your passengers would prefer to use their iPhone, they can charge it via the auxiliary input jack or the smartphone connection. You can even connect a USB stick, which will allow you to access your own music via the touchscreen radio.

A Variety of Convenience Features

The Accent may be full of amenities, but engineers cleverly designed these features so they wouldn’t interfere with the driver’s focus. For example, the glare-blocking sliding sun visors will present the driver with the best possible view of the road. Similar convenience features include a one-touch triple turn signal and an auto-up power window control.

To manipulate that previously-mentioned infotainment system, drivers can rely on the steering-wheel-mounted controls. You can easily adjust the volume and change the channel, all while keeping your hands on the steering wheel. There is also a Bluetooth hands-free phone system on the steering wheel, and the voice-recognition technology will allow you to call whomever you want, without taking your hands from the wheel.

Even the various storage compartments have been designed to be driver-friendly. Drivers can easily access their sunglass storage, cup holder, and storage tray without having to take their eyes off the road.

Preventative Safety Technologies

The Accent offers all of the safety features you’d expect from a dependable compact sedan or hatchback. This includes six airbags, active front head restraints, and front seatbelt pretensioners. Those safety features will play a role in protecting the vehicle’s occupants during a crash, but you’d presumably want technology that can prevent these accidents in the first place.

Luckily, engineers included a variety of technological amenities to help avoid any collisions. The Electronic Stability Control will help determine when the car is about to skid, and the brakes will be manipulated to prevent an accident. Meanwhile, the Traction Control System will help monitor wheel slippage, while the Anti-Lock Braking System will help prevent wheel lockup.

These various features and capabilities have clearly paid off, as the Accent received a four-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


The Hyundai Accent surely delivers a wide variety of features and capabilities, but those factors don’t even compromise the subcompact’s best attributes: the price. The Accent comes in at a very affordable $14,745, making it one of the least-expensive vehicles in the entire class. For comparison’s sake, similar vehicles run north of $20,000, making the Hyundai an absolute steal!

For that kind of price, you’re not going to find a combination of interior/exterior features, safety features, and technological features elsewhere. Plus, if you’re adamant about securing one of the brand’s best vehicles, you’re not going to find a better value. That sentiment is why the Accent has established itself on a tier of its own, and we hope you now have a better understanding on the vehicle’s “dialect.”

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