2021 Hyundai Accent

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2021
The Car Connection
2021
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director
March 4, 2021

Buying tip

Buy the Accent Limited, since it’s the only model to offer automatic emergency braking and a right-sized touchscreen.

features & specs

Limited Sedan IVT
SE Sedan IVT
SE Sedan Manual
MPG
33 city / 41 hwy
MPG
33 city / 41 hwy
MPG
29 city / 39 hwy
MSRP
$19,500
MSRP
$16,495
MSRP
$15,395

The 2021 Hyundai Accent is cheap and cheerful, but chintzy on safety.

What kind of car is the 2021 Hyundai Accent? What does it compare to?

The 2021 Hyundai Accent is a small four-door sedan that competes with other economy cars like the Kia Rio and Nissan Versa, and small hatchbacks like the Kia Seltos and Hyundai Venue. 

Is the 2021 Hyundai Accent a good car?

Review continues below

We give the Accent a TCC Rating of 5.0 out of 10, mostly for its features and gas mileage. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What's new for the 2021 Hyundai Accent?

Not much, other than a couple of discontinued colors. This year, Hyundai leaves the Accent alone while it focuses on the more exciting-looking Venue hatchback. That’s not to say the Accent isn’t handsome; it’s just rather plainly good-looking, with a functional interior that pushes no boundaries in style or in space. It’s basic, in a positive sense.

Hyundai powers the Accent’s front wheels with an inline-4 that ships its output through a 6-speed manual or a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Pay extra for the CVT, though it pitches the buzzy engine into the noisy part of its powerband. Acceleration is meager, and the ride’s as decent as a short-wheelbase car on 17-inch wheels can manage—but performance is not where one puts the Accent.

The Accent will carry four adults and 13.7 cubic feet of stuff in the trunk, but all the seats could use more bolstering. Small-item space for phones and iced coffees means the carpool won’t be so painful, at least until someone brings up politics or religion or their favorite kinds of cheese. (It’s remarkably contentious.)

Crash-test scores have been neutral toward the Accent, and it doesn’t come with the standard automatic emergency braking we expect to see in today’s new cars. It does come with power features, cruise control, and a skimpy 5.0-inch touchscreen.

How much does the 2021 Hyundai Accent cost?

Base cars cost about $16,000. Only the Limited gets the lifesaving automatic brake system and a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Choose it for less than $20,000—or choose Hyundai’s own Venue, which delivers better value and function for about the same price.

At the top end of the range, the Limited comes standard with heated seats, LED headlights, 17-inch wheels, and a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Where is the Hyundai Accent made?
In South Korea.

5

2021 Hyundai Accent

Styling

The Accent has plain appeal.

Is the Hyundai Accent a good-looking car?

It’s good-looking in a plain, uncomplicated way. It checks all Hyundai’s usual styling boxes with LED headlights on top versions, a curvy grille with a six-sided outline, a gently curved roofline, and boomerang-shaped taillights. It’s far from gregarious, but it’s not so unadorned as to come off too humble. It’s Midwestern-nice, translated into sheet metal.

The cabin’s sensible and utterly predictable. Put it to work, and the Accent’s office space puts all the controls in logical places—it just doesn’t have that many of them, since it’s a low-cost offering. The materials work well to evade a grim economy-car tinge, but base cars come with a 5.0-inch touchscreen that’s almost quaint compared to the wide touchscreens in Hyundai’s latest crossovers.

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3

2021 Hyundai Accent

Performance

Acceleration and cornering are daydreams for the petite Hyundai sedan.

How fast is the Hyundai Accent?

Not very fast at all. It uses a 120-horsepower 1.6-liter inline-4 with 113 lb-ft of torque to move itself along. Power goes through either a 6-speed manual or a CVT, and in either case, it’s as leisurely as polyester pool wraps even though the Accent weighs only about 2,500 pounds—not much more than a Miata. It’s noisy at full throttle, too.

Is the Hyundai Accent 4WD?

All Accents come with front-wheel drive.

The small sedan isn’t tuned for sporty driving, either. The ride is adequately damped on relatively large 17-inch wheels, but big bumps will resound through the body. The steering doesn’t offer much feedback, either. We give the Accent a 3 here as a result.

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5

2021 Hyundai Accent

Comfort & Quality

Remember economy cars? The Accent’s a good one, even in interior space.

Economy cars have lost their luster with some shoppers, but the Accent’s a good example of what they do best. Couple its good fuel economy with seats for four adults and decent trunk space, and it merits a 5 here.

Head room abounds for passengers in front and back, thanks to this sedan’s raised roof and height-adjustable front seats. Six-foot-tall front passengers fit well, but the SEL and Limited versions have tilt/telescoping steering that enhances the driving position. The Accent offers lots of storage bins for water bottles and smartphones, too.

The back seat’s fine for medium-sized adults once they’re in, but the Accent’s small doors can be a challenge for big passengers, or for fitting child car seats.

The Accent’s neatest trick is carving out a 13.7-cubic-foot trunk from its tiny footprint. It’s an impressive feat for a vehicle so small.

The Accent doesn’t harangue owners about its low price either. It could use firmer front seats and less of its raspy 4-cylinder engine note, but the Accent’s cloth and plastic-lined cabin comes across cheerfully, and it’s well-fitted for something that costs so little.

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4

2021 Hyundai Accent

Safety

Buy the Limited for the latest in safety.

How safe is the Hyundai Accent?

The IIHS gives the Accent good scores, save for passenger front impact, which is rated at Acceptable. The NHTSA gives it four stars overall, and the Accent doesn’t come with standard automatic emergency braking. It's a 4 here, with points deducted for those reasons, but with one added for good outward vision.

The feds also note that rear passenger test dummies experienced more collision force on their lower spine, not enough to lower its score but noteworthy.

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2021 Hyundai Accent

Features

The 2020 Hyundai Accent is well-equipped, but only if you pay for the top-tier Limited trim.

Which Hyundai Accent should I buy?

We’d steer you away from the base edition. We give the Accent a 6 for features based on the Accent SE, which comes with a great 5-year/60,000-mile warranty and offers great value, but it doesn’t have automatic emergency braking and its 5.0-inch infotainment screen is too small.

It’s otherwise equipped with cloth upholstery, a 6-speed manual transmission, power features, dual USB ports, Bluetooth, cruise control, and air conditioning. A CVT costs $1,000 extra, too.

The SEL gets the CVT included, along with a much-improved 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, six-speaker audio, and automatic headlights—but skip that model, too.

How much is a fully loaded 2021 Hyundai Accent?

We recommend the under-$20,000 Accent Limited since it comes with automatic emergency braking, keyless start, 17-inch alloy wheels, and a sunroof.

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2021 Hyundai Accent

Fuel Economy

Great gas mileage gives the Accent an edge over small crossovers.

Is the Hyundai Accent good on gas?

Gas mileage soars in the Accent to 29 mpg city, 39 highway, 33 combined when equipped with the manual transmission. Accents with the CVT earn EPA ratings of 33/41/36 mpg. Stick with the CVT, and the Accent will outdo many of the small crossovers that have eclipsed it in sales.

Review continues below
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The Car Connection Consumer Review

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$15,395
MSRP based on SE Sedan Manual
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5.0
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 5
Performance 3
Comfort & Quality 5
Safety 4
Features 6
Fuel Economy 7
Compare the 2021 Hyundai Accent against the competition
  • 2021 Hyundai Venue

    6.3
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  • 2021 Kia Seltos

    5.8
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  • 2020 Kia Rio

    5.3
    Compare Cars
  • 2020 Nissan Versa

    5.8
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2021 Hyundai Accent Pricing Insights

  • 2021 Accent is in stock
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