The 2019 Hyundai Accent carries over into the new model year as the automaker’s value leader.
For the new model year, the Accent sedan gets several new standard features. SE models gain a chrome grille, while the SEL adds fog lights and chrome beltline molding. LED headlights are now standard with Limited trim.
Accents come in three trim levels: SE, SEL, or Limited. Only one engine goes into Accents, with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. (Only the base SE model offers a manual shifter.)
Hyundai’s 1.6-â€‘liter 4-cylinder engine makes a modest 130 horsepower and 119 pound-feet of torque. Accents are not offered with the turbocharged version that’s optional in sporty Velosters, as well as Elantra and Sonata sedans.
Hyundai’s subcompact sedan performed reasonably well in crash-testing by the IIHS, which named Accent a Top Safety Pick. The NHTSA has not released crash-test results. Hyundai limits the best safety features, including automatic emergency braking, to the top Accent.
Drivers can expect good outward vision, thanks to the Accent’s light and airy roofline. SEL and Limited sedans include a tilt/telescope steering column, allowing nearly any driver to establish a good view of the road ahead and see the controls clearly.
Prices do not include $920 destination charge.
SE ($14,995 with manual, $15,995 with automatic) comes with 6-speed manual or automatic transmission, cloth upholstery, 15-â€‘inch wheels, power windows/locks/mirrors, keyless entry, height-â€‘adjustable driver’s seat, tilt steering column, and 60/40 split-â€‘folding rear seatbacks. Also standard are Bluetooth, a 5â€‘.0-inch color touchscreen, four-speaker audio, steeringâ€‘-wheel audio and cruise controls, and air conditioning.
SEL ($17,345) includes a 6-speed automatic transmission, telescoping steering column, automatic headlights, a 7.0-â€‘inch touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, satellite radio, fog lights, and dual charge ports.
Limited ($19,080) has a 6-speed automatic and adds 17-â€‘inch wheels, LED headlights and taillights, keyless ignition, a sunroof, heated front seats, automatic temperature control, and a hands-free trunk opener. Automatic emergency braking is standard.
Accent sedans might not be showy, but they’re pretty enough, blending in with their larger Hyundai siblings. Sheetmetal flows gracefully from nose to tail, echoing the profiles of Elantra and Sonata sedans. Quite a lot of details are borrowed from that larger duo, and they work well on the shorter Accent body.
Despite a hatchback-like roofline, Accents have a sedan’s trunklid. A gentle wedge is evident in the profile. The hexagonal grille and headlights pucker at the front, while the body flares modestly around the wheels.
Even more than the body, Accent’s cabin reflects the bigger Hyundai sedans, resulting in graceful appeal. In addition to creating good interior space, designers have avoided typical pitfalls in small-car styling.
Front seats could stand more bolstering, and their fabric tends to let occupants slide rather than grip them firmly in place. Rear seats provide comfort for two larger passengers â€“ or three smaller folks. Small door openings demand some manipulation to slip inside and to exit, but rear headroom is good.
Even though hard plastics abound, the cabin suggests good taste in colors, grains, and textures. Nothing looks cheap or spartan. Overall quality seems on par with larger Hyundai sedans.
Front-seat passengers get storage for smartphones in the sliding-top console. The dashboard is neatly divided into pods for instruments, climate controls, and a touchscreen.
Trunk capacity is 13.7 cubic feet. Rear seatbacks fold down to expand cargo space and accommodate 6-foot-long items.
The Accent delivers acceptable performance. Commuter duties are its specialty.
Although the suspension absorbs pavement flaws reasonably well, it cannot smother them. As with any short-wheelbase car, recovery from rough spots and speed bumps takes a moment. Still, the Accent copes adequately, settling down promptly after traversing major surface cracks.
The Accent’s steering wanders a bit on the interstate, but this subcompact sedan is nimble on city streets and suburban roads, handling with a light touch.
The Accent weights around 2,500 pounds, and its 130-horsepower engine provides modest acceleration. Acceptable passing on the highway demands full pressure on the gas pedal. When pushed hard, the engine can accelerate the Accent to 60 mph in about 10 seconds.
Hyundai’s 6-speed automatic shifts reasonably promptly; its responses are slightly quicker with Sport mode engaged.
Fuel economy is quite good, but not class-leading. Some larger Hyundai sedans are more thrifty, helped by more aerodynamic body shapes. With the 6-speed automatic transmission, an Accent is EPA-rated at 28/38 mpg City/Highway, or 32 mpg Combined. The manual transmission, offered only on the base model, is just a trifle less frugal at 28/37 mpg City/Highway, or 31 mpg Combined, with manual gearbox.
In each trim level, the 2019 Hyundai Accent comes with an appropriate set of standard features. Nothing is startling or dramatic about the Accent. This modest-size sedan simply gets its transportation job finished, without excessive fuss. Only the Accent Limited is equipped with automatic emergency brakingâ€”but all Hyundai models come with a terrific warranty.
Driving impressions by Martin Padgett, The Car Connection. James M. Flammang contributed to this report.