Test Drive: Hyundai Accent offers high content, low price

Test Drive: Hyundai Accent offers high content, low price

February 10th, 2019 by Mark Kennedy in Business Around the Region

The 2019 Hyundai Accent Limited sells for $20,090.

Photo by Mark Kennedy /Times Free Press.

The 2019 Hyundai Accent Limited features heated front seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

The 2019 Hyundai Accent Limited features heated front...

Photo by Mark Kennedy /Times Free Press.

Hyundai's subcompact Accent sedan has to stretch on tippy-toes to reach the $20,000 mark.

And that's a good thing.

Although the base Accent can be had for about $15,750, a top-trim Limited model like our tester rings up at $20,090.

The upscale Accent Limited has features that five years ago could only be found on cars costing half-again more. For example, our tester — which was provided for a one-week test drive by the manufacturer — includes heated front seat, alloy wheels, a push-button ignition and an emergency braking system that just a few years ago was an exotic option.


* Model: 2019 Hyundai Accent Limited

* Exterior color: Admiral Blue

* Interior color: Black

* Engine: 1.6-liter, four-cylinder

* Horsepower: 130

* Transmission: six-speed automatic

* Fuel economy: 38 mpg highway, 28 mpg city

* Local Dealer: Long Hyundai, 6035 International Drive

* Price (as tested): $20,090

Accents are available locally at Long Hyundai at 6035 International Drive. Late last week the dealership had five Accents in stock.

WHAT IS IT? The Accent is a subcompact sedan which competes in a segment that also includes the Kia Rio, the Nissan Versa and the Honda Fit. Since the Accent's inception in 1994, Hyundai has sold more than a million of the small sedans in the United States.

HOW MUCH? Our Limited-trim tester has a list price of $20,090, about $4,340 more than a base Accent.

WHAT WE LIKED: Standout features of the Accent include a large trunk with 13.7 feet of cargo space, an expressive front end with fog lights, dual climate controls, a "sport" drive mode, leather-covered steering wheel and 17-inch alloy wheels.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: Our logbook included demerits for a less-than-smooth engine idle, rough-to-the-touch fabric seat covers and a small center storage compartment.

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IMPORTANT FEATURES: All Accents have a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine that makes 130 horsepower. Unlike many of today's smaller cars, the engine in the Accent is not turbocharged. It's good to keep this in mind when passing on a two-lane highway. The car is not under-powered, there is just not much in reserve for emergencies.

The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The "sport" mode tightens up the transmissions shift points and steering for a more spirited ride.

NEW FOR 2019: The only new feature on the Accent Limited for 2019 is standard LED headlights. All limited models also include the alloy wheels, emergency braking, a sunroof, heated seats, a push-button start and dual climate controls.

FUEL ECONOMY: According to the government, consumers can expect fuel economy of 38 mpg highway and 28 mpg city.

BOTTOM LINE: In Limited trim the Accent is a high-content automobile at a relatively low price.

Contact Mark Kennedy at mkennedy@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6645. Follow him on Twitter @TFPCOLUMNIST. Subscribe to his Facebook updates at www.facebook.com/mkennedycolumnist.