Previous Hyundai Accents have sold largely on one criteria: Price. Stack 'em high, and sell 'em cheap.
The 2013 Hyundai Accent offers much more, and in doing so, it contributes to the rise in desirability, quality and performance offered by Hyundai products in recent years. Hyundai is pushing the Accent's good gas mileage, plentiful features, and a comfortable interior. But the Accent trades the fun and funky images of cars like the Ford Fiesta for a return to the idea that practicality and fiscal responsibility are the most appealing traits in a new small car.
That's not to say the Accent is bland to behold. It's now an appealing small car available in both hatchback and sedan body styles. The Accent is full of the same curves seen on Hyundai's larger offerings, such as the Elantra compact and Sonata mid-size sedan. The Accent hatchback is particularly successful; we'd even go as far as saying its looks beat those of the Fiesta, Honda Fit, Nissan Versa, Chevy Sonic, andYaris for style.
With a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine as standard, the Accent is no ball of fire in a straight line, but offers good gas mileage. That fuel economy became a heated subject recently, with Hyundai (and its partner Kia) admitting to errors in their testing procedures that led them to overstate mileage test results. So the Accent's initial 38 mpg highway rating has dropped to 37 mpg. You'll also get 28 mpg city, and with the manual transmission, 32 mpg combined. The six-speed automatic is rated at 31 mpg combined.
In terms of passenger space, the Accent's interior is vast for a subcompact. It can't rival the Honda Fit for space and versatility, but even tall passengers will find enough head- and legroom in the front seats. Hatchbacks have only about 8 cubic feet of storage space with the back seat up, but both Accents have big gloveboxes plus bins and trays for all those smartphones, energy drinks, and small change.
All the usual airbags and electronic assists are present in the Accent, and it comes with standard stability control (mandatory in all cars by 2012) and curtain airbags. We consider Bluetooth a safety feature, and it's available or standard on two of three Accent trim levels--and recommended. The Accent doesn't offer a rearview camera, however. The IIHS gives it good scores for front and rear impact protection, but only an acceptable grade for side impacts--and the NHTSA grades it at four stars overall, noting that the rear door met a four-star standard, but intruded more than usual.
Accent pricing for 2013 starts at $14,545 for the base GLS sedan. The GS hatchback has more features than the price-leading sedan, and the SE bundles most of the optional features in as standard equipment, while still topping out at just under $17,000. The 2013 Hyundai Accent is no longer the least-expensive new car you can buy--instead, it's a much bigger, better story than that.
For more details, see the full review of the 2013 Hyundai Accent on our sister site, TheCarConnection.
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