Hyundai Accent: 2019 Motor Trend Car of the Year Contender




WE LIKE Style and feature content

WE DON’T LIKE Lethargic, forgettable performance, dull interior

The Accent arrived with great expectations, having already seen two of its platform mates earn finalist nods in their respective OTY bids (this year’s Kona SUV and last year’s Kia Rio).

And the Accent drew kudos during the tire-kicking phase for successfully downsizing Hyundai’s handsome sedan language and proportions. Our Limited model’s roster of standard features also impressed, with heated seats, keyless entry and start, and a bright 7.0-inch color infotainment screen prepped for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with voice control of Bluetooth devices.

But once we got it out on the road, the Accent started to disappoint. It loafs to 60 mph in an inexplicably lazy 9.6 seconds. Last year’s Rio was nearly a second quicker with the same powertrain and essentially the same weight. In the Hyundai application, the engine also sounded coarse—when it could be heard over the noisy HVAC blower fan. And the fuel economy is only decent for the segment.




Mark Rechtin found the handling to be “predictable,” and Ed Loh described it as “forgettable—bad news if your name is Accent,” though the consensus was that it’s probably sufficient for the basic econobox segment.

Inside, although some praised the checkered seat fabric inserts, Alisa Priddle opined that “Hyundai didn’t make the savvy choices Kia made when spending minimal resources on the interior. While the Rio was a surprise and delight, the Accent feels like the entry-level model that it is.”

Angus MacKenzie captured our opinion best: “The Accent is one of those resolutely middle-of-the-road small cars that you forget about almost as soon as you stepped out of it.”

READ ABOUT 2019 SUV OF THE YEAR CONTENDERS:

2019 Hyundai Accent
Base Price/As tested $15,880/$20,090
Power (SAE net) 130 hp @ 6,300 rpm
Torque (SAE net) 119 lb-ft @ 4,850 rpm
Accel, 0-60 mph 9.6 sec
Quarter-mile 17.2 sec @ 81.9 mph
Braking, 60-0 mph 122 ft
Lateral Acceleration 0.81 g (avg)
MT Figure Eight 28.0 sec @ 0.59 g (avg)
EPA City/Hwy/Comb 28/38/32 mpg
Vehicle Layout Front-engine, FWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan
Engine/Transmission 1.6L DOHC 16-valve I-4/6-speed automatic
Curb Weight (F/R Dist) 2,679 lb (61/39%)
Wheelbase 101.6 in
Length x Width x Height 172.6 x 68.1 x 57.1 in
Energy Cons, City/Hwy 120/89 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 Emissions, Comb 0.61 lb/mile
















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