2018 Hyundai Accent: How Much Has the Small Car Changed? (First Drive Review)

2018 hyundai accent limited sedan economy
2018 Hyundai Accent Limited

Hyundai’s entry-level sedan, the Accent, is completely redesigned to offer more features and more efficiency. There is one engine option, two transmissions (6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic), three trim levels, and a healthy dose of style, especially with the top-of-the-line Limited model.

2018 Hyundai Accent

The 2018 Accent is powered by a 1.6L direct-injected four-cylinder engine that is good for 130 hp and 119 lb-ft of torque. You may notice that the power is down 7 horses from the outgoing model. Hyundai says the engine tuning is focused on improved emissions and efficiency. Indeed, the 2018 Accent is EPA rated at 28 MPG city, 38 MPG, and 32 MPG combined. The new entry-level sedan is 7% more fuel efficient, according to Hyundai.

The new Accent is 1.2 inches wider and 0.6 inches longer (with an additional 0.4 inches in wheelbase). The base SE model (which should comprise about 60% of Accent sales) comes with a 5-inch infotainment touchscreen, rear-view camera, power windows/locks, and a 60/40 split folding rear seat. Next, is the mid-grade SEL model that adds more features and 4-wheel disk brakes. Hyundai estimates that 30% of Accent sales will be the SEL models. Finally, there is the Limited model that includes a 7-inch display, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Hyundai’s BlueLink Connected system that offers remote start and even Amazon Alexa and Google Home integration.

2018 Hyundai Accent SE

The Accent competes among the sub-compact segment sedans and hatchbacks: Nissan Versa, Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris iA, Ford Fiesta, and Chevy Sonic. The interior passenger space categorizes the Accent as a compact car (not a sub-compact).

Once behind the wheel of the new Accent, one thing comes through loud and clear. The car feels larger than it is when you are rolling at highway speeds. The feels stable and in-control and the steering is tuned to feel a little heavier than you would expect, which just works. It’s not a sporty car, but it drives and handles with confidence.

The 2018 Accent goes on sale this month (November 2017). Pricing was not available at the time of this writing.

We have the video of the 2018 Accent first drive coming up very soon. In the meantime, here is a first review of the 2018 Kia Rio hatchback, which has a lot in common with the new Accent.