2011 Hyundai Accent Review

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The Car Connection
2018
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor
January 8, 2011

The 2011 Hyundai Accent, while a cheap and thoroughly adequate commuter car, lacks the sophistication and design flair seen in many other newer models its size.

The 2011 Hyundai Accent costs many thousands less than a typical late-model used car, and that's a significant part of its appeal. With a base price of $9,985, not including destination, the Accent is again the lowest-priced car in the U.S. market, and comes in three-door hatchback or four-door sedan models.

Visually, the Accent isn't very remarkable in either form, though. And next to some of the newest, hippest subcompacts like the Ford Fiesta or Mazda2, it's downright homely. The Accent sedan model is quite short and stubby from the outside, though the three-door looks a bit more stylish and sophisticated—especially for those who like the Euro-hatch look. Both models are inoffensively styled on the inside, but now looking very dated. Hyundai expected oval themes inside still hit the mark, but they look (and are) five years or more behind the new look of the 2011 Hyundai Sonata and Elantra.

All 2011 Hyundai Accent models remain powered by a 110-horsepower, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, driving the front wheels. The Accent does just fine in city driving with either the five-speed manual or four-speed automatic, but in either case, at highway speeds, passing involves some careful calculation. However running costs are low, and the Accent has enough power for most commuting needs.

Review continues below

For the most part, the Accent's interior feels cheap and cheerful in a most positive sense. Its packaging still holds up very well; compared to most other vehicles in its class, there's great passenger and cargo space. The interior looks good and feels durable, especially from the driver's seat, though there's evidence of cost-cutting with respect to cubbies, trim, and the cargo area. Trim fit and attention to detail aren't up to the standards of Hyundai's latest industry-leading designs either, and seats are skimpy, but the controls and displays are simple and straightforward.

Safety is especially critical in a lightweight small car, and here the news isn't particularly good; it's fair to say the Accent is near the bottom of its class. All Accents come standard with front, side, and curtain airbags, but Hyundai still skimps on anti-lock brakes; they're not even offered on the base GL model. Electronic stability control isn't available at all.

The 2011 Accent comes with quite a range of equipment; the three-door hatchback is offered in base GL, GS, and SE trims, while the sedan is available only in upscale GLS trim.

The base starts at less than $10,000 but includes a very slim set of features—there's no standard audio system, air conditioning, or power accessories. The GS hatch gets tilt steering and air conditioning, while the top SE model is the way to go for those who want a truly well-equipped car; it includes a sunroof, sport-tuned suspension, an upgraded six-speaker sound system with iPod and USB inputs, steering-wheel audio controls, power accessories, keyless entry, 16-inch alloy wheels, and fog lamps. The SE also includes cruise control, but for 2011 Hyundai has deleted the formerly standard sunroof to keep the price down. Also discontinued, for those who might have been looking for the highest mileage possible, is last year's Accent Blue, which brought a host of improvements, like taller gear ratios, to achieve 37 mpg highway.

A Bluetooth hands-free interface is also sorely lacking from the 2011 Accent.

6

2011 Hyundai Accent

Styling

Style-minded shoppers will probably want to steer clear of the 2011 Hyundai Accent sedan, but the hatchback isn't so homely.

Visually, the Accent isn't very remarkable. And next to some of the newest, hippest subcompacts like the Ford Fiesta or Mazda2, it's downright homely. The Accent sedan model is quite short and stubby from the outside, though the three-door looks a bit more stylish and sophisticated—especially for those who like the Euro-hatch look.

Both models are inoffensively styled on the inside, but now looking very dated. Hyundai expected oval themes inside still hit the mark, but they look (and are) five years or more behind the new look of the 2011 Hyundai Sonata and Elantra.

Review continues below
5

2011 Hyundai Accent

Performance

You might wish for a more power and performance, but the 2011 Hyundai Accent is good enough for most commuting needs.

All 2011 Hyundai Accent models remain powered by a 110-horsepower, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, driving the front wheels. The Accent does just fine in city driving with either the five-speed manual or four-speed automatic, but in either case, at highway speeds, passing involves some careful calculation. However running costs are low, and the Accent has enough power for most commuting needs.

Though the Accent is quite softly sprung, it's one of the numbler-feeling small cars, thanks to a well-tuned suspension—which feels just a bit sportier in SE versions. Brakes feel better than what you might expect for a vehicle of this price, but other tactile elements aren't quite there; the manual shift linkage is imprecise, floppy sidewalls on base models hamper response at times, and downshifts can be loud and jarring with the automatic.

Review continues below
7

2011 Hyundai Accent

Comfort & Quality

For customers who want practicality and comfort, in a new car, on a very tight budget, the 2011 Hyundai Accent delivers.

While the 2011 Hyundai Accent looks a bit dated and isn't at all an exciting performer, its packaging still holds up very well; compared to most other vehicles in its class, there's great passenger and cargo space.

The Accent packs more interior room into its stubby 159.3-inch overall length than some larger models, like the Ford Focus Coupe, and there's actually enough legroom and headroom for the typical adult male in the backseat of the sedan, and getting in and out of the hatch's backseat is a little easier than in other two-doors. Front seats are a little skimpy, though, with short cushions and limited support.

However, those with body types a bit outside the norm should be aware that the steering wheel doesn't adjust for tilt in base Accent GL models and it doesn't telescope in any of the trims.

The Hyundai Accent's interior looks good and feels durable, especially from the driver's seat, though there's evidence of cost-cutting with respect to cubbies, trim, and the cargo area. Trim fit and attention to detail aren't up to the standards of Hyundai's latest industry-leading designs either, but the controls and displays are simple and straightforward.

Ride quality and interior noise are relatively good with a light load, but editors have noted that the Accent's ride becomes noticeably louder and pitchier with several adults on board, while engine noise amplifies at higher speeds.

Review continues below
4

2011 Hyundai Accent

Safety

Poor crash-test performance and the lack of some key safety features could be a deal-breaker for the safety-minded.

While Hyundai's newer models have been getting top safety scores, the 2011 Hyundai Accent is lackluster at best with respect to occupant protection and has an unimpressive set of safety features.

Safety is especially critical in a lightweight small car, and here the news isn't particularly good; and it's fair to say the Accent is near the bottom of its class.

From the IIHS, frontal crash protection and roof strength are rated only 'acceptable,' while side impact protection is deemed 'poor.' The Accent hasn't yet been rated by the federal government in its tougher new testing and ratings system, but even in the old one the Accent earned unimpressive ratings, with just three and four stars for side impact.

All Accents come standard with front, side, and curtain airbags. Hyundai still skimps on anti-lock brakes; they're not even offered on the base GL model. Electronic stability control isn't available at all.

The one positive for the 2011 Accent in the safety department is that outward visibility is quite good.

Review continues below
5

2011 Hyundai Accent

Features

The basic GL hatchback version of the 2011 Hyundai Accent is a steal, but the rest of the lineup doesn't have the strong value proposition—or feature set—that distinguishes Hyundai's other models.

The 2011 Accent comes with quite a range of equipment; the three-door hatchback is offered in base GL, GS, and SE trims, while the sedan is available only in upscale GLS trim.

The base starts at less than $10,000 but includes a very slim set of features—there's no standard audio system, air conditioning, or power accessories. The GS hatch gets tilt steering and air conditioning, while the top SE model is the way to go for those who want a truly well-equipped car; it includes a sunroof, sport-tuned suspension, an upgraded six-speaker sound system with iPod and USB inputs, steering-wheel audio controls, power accessories, keyless entry, 16-inch alloy wheels, and fog lamps. The SE also includes cruise control, but for 2011 Hyundai has deleted the formerly standard sunroof to keep the price down.

And for sedans and the upscale hatches, price and value isn't the lure it is either for the base hatch or for other small cars in this class. The GLS sedan includes many of those features, but with GLS and SE models reaching into the $15k and $16k range, they approach the base price of the far more advanced, fuel-efficient (and desirable, in just about every way) 2011 Hyundai Elantra.

A Bluetooth hands-free interface is also sorely lacking from the package.

Review continues below
8

2011 Hyundai Accent

Fuel Economy

The 2011 Hyundai Accent is a green choice, but relative to other cars its size its mileage isn't especially noteworthy.

With EPA fuel economy ratings of 27 or 28 mpg city and 34 or 36 highway, the Hyundai Accent is at the high end of the green scale among all vehicles but not particularly remarkable in its class. Several hybrid models achieve higher mileage ratings, and several models the Accent's size or larger—including the Ford Fiesta and Chevrolet Cruze—now achieve 40 mpg or higher.

And with the deletion of last year's Accent Blue model, which added a host of fuel-saving extras and enabled a 37-mpg highway rating, the Accent's mileage has technically gone down a notch for 2011.

Meanwhile, the bigger, roomier 2011 Hyundai Elantra that's already on sale gets 29 mpg city, 40 highway. It would be safe to project that next year's all-new Accent will get even better mileage.

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October 14, 2015
2011 Hyundai Accent 3-Door HB Manual GL *Ltd Avail*

i have the3 door love it good in small place nice in the snow .I drive 50 km a day to work no trouble .nice

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I recommended to all of my friends that this car is easy on fuel and easy to maintain.Parts are inexpensive and a whole lot of fun to drive.
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Styling 6
Performance 5
Comfort & Quality 7
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Features 5
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