Cars and Trucks

2021 Hyundai Accent Review, Pricing, and Specs



If you’re not among the throngs of American car buyers lining up to buy a new SUV, it’s comforting to know that there are still well-built, affordably-priced small sedans available for sale. Witness the 2021 Hyundai Accent. With a starting price around $16,000, the Accent is one of the least expensive new vehicles today, but Hyundai doesn’t make any of its three trims a penalty box. All three are powered by an unexciting-but-efficient 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine bolted to either a six-speed manual or a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). All Accents come with features that only a few years ago would be considered luxuries in the subcompact car segment, including power windows, air conditioning, and a six-way adjustable driver’s seat. Moving up to the SEL and Limited trims adds even more modern-day luxuries such as a larger 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, heated seats, and push-button start. Best of all, the Accent will never make you feel—or look–cheap thanks to grown-up styling and a no-fuss interior.

What’s New for 2021?

Hyundai decided to leave well enough alone with the Accent for 2021, with the only change being to the car’s palette of available colors. New Forge Gray replaces Urban Gray while Linen Beige is discontinued.

Pricing and Which One to Buy

  • SE: $16,000 (est)
  • SEL: $18,000 (est)
  • Limited: $20,00 (est)

    It’s no secret that we’re fans of manual transmission cars, and it’s refreshing to find a good ol’ stick shift offered as standard in the Accent. Unfortunately, it’s only offered on the base level SE trim, which comes stripped down and lacking many of the features many car buyers might call essential. Still, it’s a decently equipped and inexpensive small sedan and it’s the one we’d suggest. For us, it’s missing just one feature: aluminum wheels. Hyundai hear our plea: Lose the cheap-looking steel wheels with wheel covers!

    Engine, Transmission, and Performance

    The Accent’s 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine makes 120 horsepower and drives the front wheels through either a six-speed manual or continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The four-cylinder was new for 2020 and we’ve not tested one, but we expect performance similar to the 2018 and 2019 models which offered 130 horsepower. It’s clear that ride comfort takes priority over deft handling. Still, the Accent feels lively, its small body is easily tossed into corners, and it’s even rewarding when pushed. Rough roads are smoothed out adequately by the suspension, but harsh impacts will generate vibrations through the cabin.

    Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

    Small cars are expected to deliver good fuel-economy numbers, and the Accent does just that. The new four-cylinder engine has improved fuel economy across the lineup: manual-transmission models are rated at 33 mpg combined and automatic models claim a 36 mpg combined rating. We haven’t had the chance to put the Accent’s new powertrain through our real-world highway fuel-economy testing, but the 2018 Accent’s less efficient engine impressed us with a 41 mpg result when equipped with the standard six-speed manual transmission.

    Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

    The Accent’s grown-up interior seems well built, but it lacks the cheeky style of the Kia Rio or the rear-seat spaciousness of the Honda Fit—which provides nearly six inches of additional rear legroom. Sporting a frill-free interior design, the Accent is uncomplicated and honest. Both of our test cars had a black interior, which, although well built, provided a somber, businesslike appearance. The optional beige interior imparts a richer feeling, with two-tone tan and black seats and a similar treatment for the dash and door panels. Despite its sedan body and a smaller amount of cargo space with the rear seats in use, the Accent had room for more of our carry-on cases than did its more practically shaped hatchback Rio. In fact, with its rear seats folded, the Accent held just two fewer cases than the especially spacious Fit.

    Infotainment and Connectivity

    A 5.0-inch touchscreen radio is standard and provides USB and auxiliary ports for connecting devices to the interface, but the 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system that comes on SEL and Limited trims is higher tech. The larger display also boasts Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity as well as a second USB port located on the back of the center console. Both systems offer Bluetooth phone connectivity, but the 7.0-inch touchscreen also comes with SiriusXM satellite radio.

    Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has only given the Accent a four-star safety rating, but the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named it a Top Safety Pick. Automated emergency braking and forward-collision warning are optional driver-assistance features not offered on many of the Accent’s rivals. Key safety features include:

    • Available forward-collision warning
    • Available automated emergency braking

      Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

      At 10 years or 100,000 miles, Hyundai and sister company Kia have the best powertrain warranties available, and the Accent is the latest in Hyundai’s lineup to carry this class-leading coverage. The company also now offers complimentary scheduled maintenance that bests mainstream rivals such as Toyota.

      • Limited warranty covers 5 years or 60,000 miles
      • Powertrain warranty covers 10 years or 100,000 miles
      • Complimentary maintenance covers 3 years or 36,000 miles


        More Features and Specs

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