2018 Hyundai Accent Limited

2018 Hyundai Accent Limited

First, take a look at the lower trim levels.

By Cherise Threewitt, Contributor, Car-ED.com | July 2018

What is this vehicle?

The Hyundai Accent lineup has been fully redesigned for the 2018 model year. In base form, the subcompact Hyundai Accent is one of the most affordable new cars you can buy, and it is a great choice for shoppers on a very tight budget because it has above-average reliability scores and is backed by Hyundai’s excellent warranty. It is a good car for a young or first-time buyer or a buyer on a tight budget. The Accent Limited, however, is a slightly different story. The Accent’s top-tier trim, which is the model supplied by Hyundai for this review, is something of a distraction to the Accent’s entire purpose. Keep reading to learn why.

Who is this vehicle for?

If you are looking for a cheap new car on a very tight budget (think $15,000) the Hyundai Accent sedan is a great choice for you. There are only a handful of brand new cars available in this price range or less, and the Accent is better than most of them, thanks in large part to its fresh redesign. It’s not particularly fun to drive, but it is new, it has a good predicted reliability rating from J.D. Power, and it carries the benefit of Hyundai’s solid reputation for vehicles in this price range. 

Why is this vehicle important to you, the buyer?

If you need a new car for as little as possible, the Hyundai Accent should be on your short list. It’s considerably better than the subcompact cars available at the $13,000 price point (enough that you should consider adding a couple thousand more to your budget, if you can) and a solid alternative to the cars at the $15K-16K price point. Standard features include a rearview camera and Bluetooth wireless integration so you can stream music from your smartphone. The Accent’s redesign shows that Hyundai is serious about providing affordable entry-level cars equipped with modern technology.

Interesting facts about this vehicle!

Here’s the deal with the Accent Limited tested for this review: It costs about $4,000 more than the entry-level Accent. At that price point, you could get a Hyundai Elantra compact in its mid-tier trim, which has more power, most of the same features, and a smoother and more comfortable ride. This comparison demonstrates why we feel the Accent offers strong value in its lower tier trims, but there are smarter uses for your money than buying a loaded Accent.

Also worth noting, Hyundai did away with the Accent hatchback option for this redesign. The Accent is now available only as a sedan.

What Impressed Us / Top Likes:

We’ve driven a bunch of other vehicles in this class and at this price point, and the base Accent is a smarter buy than most of its competitors. It’s pretty well-rounded, and though its cost-cutting measures are apparent, they are superficial in nature, meaning that they won’t impact the Accent’s quality over the long term.

Despite our misgivings that the Accent Limited is as good a value as the base Accent (considering what else you can get for $19,000), it is really a decent little car. Heated front seats, a hands-free trunk. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and satellite radio are always nice to have, as well as safety features like forward collision warning with emergency brake assist.

Items to Make Better (Least Favorite Things):

Hard plastics abound in the Accent Limited’s cabin. Sure, costs need to be kept in check for cars in this class, but the difference in material quality between the Accent and the Elantra (which we recently tested) were still kind of a surprise.

At highway speeds, the Accent is a little sluggish and kind of on the noisy side. In the city, though, the 130-horsepower, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine is actually fine. In either case, the Accent hits hard over bumps and cracked road surfaces.

It’s kind of a shame that Hyundai shed the hatchback model during this redesign.

Segment and Competitors:

The Accent is designed to compete primarily in the subcompact car class, against models such as:

  • Ford Fiesta
  • FIAT 500
  • Chevrolet Sonic
  • Toyota Yaris and Yaris iA
  • Honda Fit

However, if you’re seriously considering spending $19,000 on the Accent Limited, consider moving up to the compact car class, which will generally provide more comfort and power even at low trim levels. Models in this price range include:

  • Kia Forte and Soul
  • Hyundai Elantra
  • Chevrolet Cruze
  • Nissan Sentra
  • Ford Focus
  • Mazda Mazda3
  • Toyota Corolla

Volkswagen Jetta

Unique Specifications:

The Hyundai Accent comes with best-in-class warranty coverage. Hyundai provides a five-year/60,000-mile limited warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, which should provide reassurance to budget-conscious buyers. The Accent also comes standard with a rearview camera, which is becoming increasingly common but is not yet the norm.

Pricing and Availability:

Pricing and Availability: MSRP starts at $14,995 for the base Hyundai Accent sedan. The Hyundai Accent Limited provided for this review has a sticker price of $18,895. The fully redesigned 2018 Hyundai Accent is available now.