Hyundai has released a new Accent sedan for the U.S. market. The entry-level subcompact sedan was released recently at the 2017 Orange County International Auto Show. According To Hyundai, the new 2018 Hyundai Accent looks more attractive and will offer better fuel economy. Hyundai will only sell the sedan version of the Accent in the U.S.; due to disappointing sales, the automaker decided to discontinue the hatchback version of the model. The hatch will however still be sold in the Canadian market.
2018 Hyundai Accent Exterior
On matters looks, Hyundai has made several changes inspired by the Elantra. The new sedan comes with a 6-sided grille which is flanked by projector headlights. On range-topping Limited trim, the Accent features LED DRLs as well as LED taillights. Other features remain unchanged compared to the 2017 model. Limited trims ride on 17-inch alloy wheels and also feature a sunroof.
Hyundai has also altered the dimensions of the model whereby the new sedan measures 0.6-inch longer and 1.2-inch wider while its wheelbase is 0.4-inch longer than the current model. Hyundai has also utilized light-weight materials to lower the model’s curb weight; the Accent’s platform is made up of 54.5% high-strength steel, a 13% improvement compared to the 2017 model. This has enhanced torsional rigidity by 32%. Use of high-strength steel has also reduced cabin noise making it more serene for passengers inside.
The cabin of the Accent looks rather conservative and like other models in this segment, space for rear passengers is rather tight. The model features a touch-screen display on the dash flanked by an array of knobs and buttons for climate and audio controls. Bas models feature a 5.0-inch screen while the SEL and Limited trim feature a 7.0-inch unit. The top trims also feature Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard. Other standard features include a rearview camera, Bluetooth connectivity as well as a small display between the gauges.
However, most of the attractive features are found on the Limited trim and are not offered as options to other trims, they include the push-button start, automatic climate control, heated front seats, easy-open- smart trunk and leather-wrapped steering wheel. Limited trims also feature an extra USB port which is mounted at the rear for rear passengers.
Compared to its rivals, the sedan lags behind in terms of safety with a feature such as automatic emergency braking only offered on the Limited trim.
The 2018 Hyundai Accent only offers 13.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear sets in place.
Engine and performance
The 2018 Hyundai Accent carries over with the same engine, a 1.6 L, 4-cylinder engine. It produces 130 hp and 119 lb-ft of torque. This is actually a decrease in output as the outgoing model produces 137 hp. However, Hyundai argues that the decrease in power has been more than compensated by enhanced torque delivery, improved drivability, and improved fuel economy. The engine is hooked with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic gearbox. Models with an automatic system are the most frugal with EPA rating them at 28 mpg city, 38 mpg highway and 32 mpg on combined drives. This improved fuel economy which is up by 7% brings the Accent close to its competitors’ ratings. The improvement is courtesy of use of new variable fuel pressure, low-friction piston rings as well as updated software control module.
Automatic models are offered with a revised drive mode selector which enables drivers to alternate between the Normal and Sport modes.
Price and release date
Hyundai did not mention the prices of the Accent during the launch of the sedan but I believe the model’s price won’t change significantly. The current SE sedan has an MSRP of $14,745. Due to competition in this market segment, Hyundai will seek to maintain prices as they are. The Accent sales will commence this fall.