Hyundai says the new features on tap for the 2018 Accent will make the car more satisfying for customers. An efficient and affordable people mover in its own right, the new Accent is billed as a “class above” by Hyundai. SE buyers will see a handful of new standard features; those going after one of the upper trims will see an array of connectivity and styling enhancements.
Across the lineup, the Accent sees improved noise isolation and better driving dynamics when compared to prior generations.
Power & Performance
The 2018 Hyundai Accent is powered by a 1.6-liter Gamma four-cylinder engine, creating 130 horsepower and 119 lb-ft. of torque. The engine, complete with gasoline direct injection, is paired to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission; the latter shed four pounds during development. Upgrades, including low-friction piston rings, a variable fuel pressure module, and new engine software boost the Accent’s driving dynamics.
Ride & Handling
The 2018 Hyundai Accent is comprised of over 50 percent advanced high-strength steel, up about 13 percent from the prior generation. The marked improvement in torsional rigidity (32 percent) provides the driver with a solid on-road feel and reduced cabin noise. The advanced high-strength steel architecture is also beneficial for crash energy absorption and impact protection. Improvements were made to the front crumple zones and airbags. This, along with other reinforcements, ensure the Accent’s collision absorption performance is on point, particularly in small overlap crashes.
The rear roll center has been raised and the leverage ratio of the rear shock absorbers increased. Hyundai says this move, when paired with the standard Motor-Driven Power Steering system, bolsters handling and comfort.
Exterior & Interior Details
Hyundai’s cascading grille, the automaker’s trademark, is complimented by wraparound headlights and the available LED daytime running lights. A 0.28 coefficient drag is achieved through a new front spoiler, lower ride height, and a uniquely sculpted underbody.
The 2018 Accent also has more room inside when compared to a 2017. The new model is wider by 1.2 inches and longer by 0.6 inches; the wheelbase also increases by 0.4 inches, moving the wheels just enough to provide more interior room. Passenger volume grows to 90.2 cubic feet and cargo volume to 13.7 cubic feet, for 103.9 total cubic feet of interior volume. Both figures surpass the Ford Fiesta and Toyota Yaris, two of Hyundai’s biggest competitors.
Standard features for the SE include a color touchscreen audio system, rearview camera, Bluetooth capability, steering wheel mounted audio and cruise controls, a spare tire, and 15-inch wheels. Hyundai notes the additional standard content adds a modest $250.00 to the MSRP versus a 2017 model. Other features include auxiliary input jacks, six-way adjustable driver’s seat, sliding sunvisors, dual vanity mirrors, tinted glass, rear defroster, and front and rear door map pockets.
The mid-level SEL grade has a seven-inch Display Audio system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, dual charging USB ports, center console storage box with sliding armrest, and a driver’s blind spot mirror. Other SEL highlights include 15-inch alloy wheels, four-wheel disc brakes, and heated bodycolor mirrors.
The Limited trim adds a lot of styling flare with 17-inch wheels and a number of chrome elements, including the grille, beltline molding, and outside door handles. Up front, the Limited features projection headlights, LED daytime running lights, and fog lights. Niceties include a power sunroof, leather wrapped steering wheel and shifter, automatic temperature control, heated front seats, and push button start.
The Limited trim also includes a forward collision warning system. A forward-facing radar unit detects if the driver is closing too quickly on another vehicle. If there is no reaction, the brakes deploy automatically to either avoid or mitigate the collision.
Pricing & Availability
The 2018 Hyundai Accent is available now. Below is a complete pricing chart for each model.
Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan.