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#14

in Affordable Small Cars

MSRP: $14,645 - $17,395
Invoice: $14,248 - $16,874
MPG: 27 City / 38 Hwy
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Hyundai Accent Performance

Most reviewers say the 2014 Hyundai Accent should have plenty of power for most drivers and that it offers a comfortable, quiet ride. They say the Accent is fairly composed through turns, but isn't as sporty as rivals like the Ford Fiesta or Mazda2.

  • "The Accent's EPA fuel economy ratings are also very good (it gets 31 mpg combined with either of its transmissions), but we've had difficulty hitting these mpg targets in our testing." -- Edmunds
  • "We gave our 2014 Hyundai Accent a thorough shakedown, running it through a variety of driving conditions ranging from stop-and-go city traffic to wide-open rural back roads. Our first impression was one of contentment, as the fuel economy regularly averaged between 35-38 mpg on the highway, and only a few ticks lower in around-town driving." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "‘Shockingly quiet on the highway at 65-70 mph,’ wrote one CG editor. ‘Almost no noise; just a hint of tire and wind rush. Better in this respect than several midsize sedans. Impressive.’" -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "The car's no race rocket, but flinging something this small and light around on the road, working the gears, sawing on the steering and generally getting the most out of the car brings back some of the real fun of driving for me. Thanks, Accent." -- AutoWeek (2012)

Acceleration and Power

The 2014 Hyundai Accent has a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 138 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic is optional. Equipped with an automatic transmission, the Accent gets an EPA-estimated 27/37 mpg city/highway, which is good for the class, though not as good as rivals that achieve more than 40 mpg on the highway.

Most reviewers find that the Accent has adequate power for daily driving, but a few critics report that it could use more punch when entering the highway or passing other vehicles. Some test drivers say the manual transmission is more effective at transmitting power than the automatic, but others note that the shifter is imprecise. Those who prefer the automatic transmission say it shifts smoothly.

  • "Under the hood, the little 4-cylinder remains quiet and reasonably well-behaved even at high rpm, though it sometimes feels a little short on energy for passing or merging. The automatic transmission will be the most popular choice, but it blunts the engine's performance. We recommend the more responsive manual if you can shift your own gears." -- AutoTrader
  • "Although 138 hp doesn't sound like a lot, the 2014 Hyundai Accent is one of the quicker cars in the subcompact class. Its 1.6-liter engine responds energetically when you the hit the gas pedal, and there's plenty of power on tap for highway merging and passing maneuvers. Under hard acceleration, the engine remains smooth but can get rather noisy. Both the manual and automatic transmissions make good use of the engine's resources, but unless you're particularly fond of manual transmissions, it's hard to beat the convenience of the smooth-shifting automatic." -- Edmunds
  • "The Accent's frugal 4-cylinder isn't stingy when it comes to power, but we were disappointed by the rubbery and vague 6-speed manual. We recommend the 6-speed automatic that provides smooth and precise shifts without any significant loss in fuel economy." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Accent's 138-horsepower 1.6-liter engine offers sufficient power for city use. However, it lacks the needed punch that you sometimes need for merging and passing on the highway." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

Handling and Braking

Test drivers say the Accent delivers a comfortable and poised ride that should appeal to most drivers. However, critics note that the Accent doesn't handle particularly well in corners, adding that rivals like the Ford Fiesta and Honda Fit offer sharper steering and generally feel sportier behind the wheel.

  • "On the road, the Accent's compliant suspension makes for a fairly smooth ride, while the cabin is respectably quiet at highway speeds. Due to those soft underpinnings, however, the Accent isn't as entertaining in corners as athletes such as the Sonic and Fiesta. That may not bother you, but do pay close attention to the Accent's steering and see if it feels alright. We think it's a little too light and numb for its own good." -- AutoTrader
  • "On the road, the Accent provides both a quiet, comfortable ride and decent handling. Although competitors like the Ford Fiesta have sportier steering and handling, the Hyundai feels balanced and composed and is well suited for daily commutes." -- Edmunds
  • "If the Accent has a weak spot, it's the car's driving dynamics. We weren't expecting GTI-like maneuvers, but in a matchup with the Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit or Mazda2, the Accent doesn't even come close." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The car rides on a fully independent suspension with a MacPherson strut setup in front and a torsion beam at the rear. The arrangement isn't overtly sporty but does provide a comfortable freeway ride." -- Left Lane News (sedan)
Review Last Updated: 3/20/14

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