2020 Hyundai Accent

2020 Hyundai Accent Review: Gets The Job Done

by Roger Biermann

If you need an affordable, reliable sedan for getting around town or commuting to work - and not much else - then the Hyundai Accent is aimed directly at you. The sub-compact car doesn't offer much in the way of convenience and comfort features, with an equally sparse infotainment suite. What it does offer, however, is an interior that can comfortably seat four people of average size, or slightly above, while still providing a fair amount of cargo space and excellent fuel economy. True, rivals like the Kia Rio and Toyota Yaris can make similar claims, but the Accent delivers performance and utility with no frills and no fuss. With a decent amount of power for a compact sedan and impressive handling dynamics, the Hyundai Accent deserves a spot on your shortlist.

2020 Hyundai Accent Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2019 Accent?

For 2020, Hyundai has redesigned the 1.6-liter inline-four engine powering its compact sedan, reducing the power output by 10 horsepower in favor of better fuel economy. To the same end, the traditional automatic transmission has been swapped out for a Smartstream intelligent variable transmission, although a manual transmission is still standard on the base model SE.

Pros and Cons

  • Affordable price tag
  • Superb fuel economy
  • Spacious cabin
  • Very long warranties on new purchases
  • Attractive Hyundai styling, if a bit unremarkable
  • Light on features
  • Limited advanced safety features available
  • New powertrain can be noisy

2020 Hyundai Accent Trims

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
SE
1.6-liter Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Manual
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$15,295
SEL
1.6-liter Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$17,650
Limited
1.6-liter Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$19,400

Accent Exterior

While attractive, the design of Hyundai's smallest sedan is not particularly striking. A trapezoid grille with horizontal bars takes up most of the slim front fascia, crowned by a pair of wide but sleek halogen headlights. LED headlights, taillights, and daytime running lights come equipped on the top-most trim, with fog lights standard from the SEL up. The SE and SEL trims ride on 15-inch wheels, steel and alloy respectively, while the Limited gets 17-inch alloys. The top-tier trim also comes with a no-frills sunroof and a hands-free trunk release.

2020 Hyundai Accent Front View Hyundai
2020 Hyundai Accent Rear View Hyundai
2020 Hyundai Accent Three Quarter Front Right Side View Hyundai
See All 2020 Hyundai Accent Exterior Photos

Dimensions

With compact dimensions ideal for town maneuvering and packed parking lots, the Accent will seldom peek out of its parking spot at 172.6 inches long. A snug 101.6-inch wheelbase leaves enough room for a spacious cabin, with a width of 68.1 inches without mirrors. Despite its diminutive proportions, the sedan is average in height at 57.1 inches tall. However, it is quite light, with a starting weight of 2,502 lbs, climbing up to 2,679 lbs when equipped with the CVT transmission.

  • Length 172.6 in
  • Wheelbase 101.6 in
  • Height 57.1 in
  • Max Width 68.1 in
  • Front Width 59.3 in
  • Rear Width 59.5 in

Exterior Colors

A classical, albeit small, pool of colors is available to buyers of the latest edition of the Hyundai Accent. With Frost White Pearl and Absolute Black on either end of the spectrum, there is some variety in-between, with Urban Gray, Linen Beige, and a more regal Olympus Silver bolstering the more traditional offering. For those seeking to stand out a little more during their daily commute, Pomegranate Red and Admiral Blue add a splash of color to the otherwise monochromatic palette. No colors are restricted to specific trims, and none of the paints will add a cent to your bill.

  • Absolute Black
  • Pomegranate Red
  • Olympus Silver
  • Admiral Blue
  • Urban Gray
  • Frost White Pearl
  • Linen Beige

Accent Performance

Limited to front-wheel-drive, and with only 120 hp and 113 lb-ft at its disposal, the compact sedan won't really get your blood pumping on the road. This isn't uncommon in the economy compact sedan segment, though, with rivals being equally stingy in the drivetrains and engine options that they offer. In that vein, the Accent is designed to get you where you're going in a timely fashion, not to make you excited about driving - a job it performs quite well. It has more than enough low-end power to get it up to regular town-driving speed quickly, but making it to 60 mph from a dead-stop takes nearly ten seconds in real-world conditions with the new CVT, although the manual should improve things marginally. Try going any faster, and the engine will make you well aware of its displeasure. But if you're expecting rival compact sedans in this price range to offer any more punch, you'll be disappointed. The Kia Rio and Toyota Yaris both match the Accent's figures.

2020 Hyundai Accent Three Quarter Front Left Side View In Motion Hyundai
2020 Hyundai Accent Three Quarter Rear Left Side View In Motion Hyundai
2020 Hyundai Accent Engine Hyundai

Engine and Transmission

Hyundai decided to redesign the 1.6-liter engine under the hood of the Accent for the new year. The old 130-hp engine is now replaced with a similar design that drops some power in favor of better mileage figures, playing to the strength of this economy-minded compact sedan. The new engine develops 120 hp and 113 lb-ft. This is directed to the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission on the base model, while the optional continuously variable transmission comes standard on the upper trims. This may not seem like a lot of power, and it really isn't, but the light compact sedan doesn't need much of a kick in the pants to get it moving. Still, you won't be passing some of the sportier cars on the highway, although the low-end power is ideal for getting around town briskly.

  • Engine
    1.6-liter Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmissions
    6-Speed Manual, Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
  • Drivetrain
    FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

Affordable daily drivers aim to be reliable, safe, and durable. So don't expect them to tempt you to push their limits. The Accent follows this trend by delivering a truly middling driving experience.

The steering is perhaps its most lackluster characteristic, thanks to its nearly non-existent on-center feedback. At lower speeds around town, the wheels turn quickly and precisely, without any fuss, but the wheels won't tell you much about the road, even as they bounce over larger bumps. The brakes also fail to impress, with a firm, predictable response, but slightly longer than average stopping distance.

Nevertheless, the Accent handles well on the road, although it doesn't feel as cheeky as the Kia Rio. The Hyundai delivers adequate road grip, and it corners well thanks to its light and responsive steering, but there is almost no feedback from the wheels. None of this would appeal much to those who want to feel as one with their car, but if all you care about is getting to work without a fuss, then the compact sedan will meet your expectations.

Accent Gas Mileage

The 1.6-liter four-cylinder of yesteryear has been swapped out with a slightly weaker, but more refined version that improves the Accent's fuel economy by several mpg. When paired with the six-speed manual gearbox, the new four-cylinder can cover up to 29/39/33 mpg across the city/highway/combined cycles. The optional CVT improves this to 33/41/36 mpg, besting the Hyundai's closest rivals, aside from the Kia Rio, which shares the same engine and mileage figures. The Toyota Yaris is close behind at 32/40/35 mpg. With an 11.9-gallon tank of regular gasoline, the Accent can travel for up to 428 miles before refueling.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    11.9 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 29/39 mpg
* 2020 Hyundai Accent SE Sedan Manual

Accent Interior

You get what you pay for inside the Hyundai Accent. The interior is spacious but sparsely appointed. The few features that come standard with the base model are easily accessible, and operating them is equally simple. The styling is unimpressive, with a business-like approach to design. The seats are comfortable for short drives around town, but you won't want to go cruising across the country in the compact commuter. A few upgrades are available as you move up the trim levels, with mild improvements to creature comforts and convenience features.

2020 Hyundai Accent Infotainment System Hyundai
2020 Hyundai Accent Infotainment System 1 Hyundai
2020 Hyundai Accent Infotainment System 2 Hyundai
See All 2020 Hyundai Accent Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

Despite being a compact vehicle, the Hyundai sedan offers a pretty spacious interior. By not fussing too much over unnecessary frills, the Accent is able to accommodate up to five passengers in relative comfort. There is plenty of head- and legroom up front, while the rear feels only slightly less spacious. Still, you probably won't want to squeeze more than two average-sized adults in the back. Visibility is good all-round, despite one or two minor blind spots, and getting in and out of the vehicle offers no problems, although the seats are placed a little low. Finding an ideal driving position could be easier, but the manually adjustable seats can be strongarmed into the perfect spot.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 42.1 in
  • Front Head Room 38.9 in
  • Rear Leg Room 33.5 in
  • Rear Head Room 37.3 in

Interior Colors and Materials

Regardless of the trim level, the interior is always upholstered in cloth. Texture and stitching do vary on the SE and SEL, while the Limited gets a slight upgraded in the form of premium cloth worthy of its top-tier status, even as a budget sedan. The cloth is available in either Black or Beige, with available choices determined by your choice of exterior color. As you would expect from a budget vehicle, the Accent's interior is nothing to write home about. The build quality is excellent, but there are plenty of hard plastics all-round, and all of them are a shade of gray. The styling is generally quite toned down, emphasizing the sedan's no-nonsense approach to function over form.

Accent Trunk and Cargo Space

For a compact sedan, the Hyundai Accent provides a fair amount of cargo space, even if it doesn't offer a hatchback variant. Behind the rear seats, you will find 13.7 cubic feet of space to swallow up your groceries, or even a few carry-ons. This is on par with the Kia Rio, and only a smidgen less than what the Toyota Yaris can handle. The Accent's rear seats can be folded down in a 60/40 split to help accommodate larger items, but it isn't as useful as it could be if the seats folded down truly flat.

The compact interior doesn't offer much in the way of small-item storage. The door pockets are narrow, but they can fit a small water bottle at least. There are a couple of cupholders in the center console, with a larger one between the front seats. An extra cupholder and center console armrest are available for the rear seats if you choose to add them. The bins in the center console are quite spacious, though.

2020 Hyundai Accent Luggage Space With Seats Folded Hyundai
2020 Hyundai Accent Three Quarter Rear Left Side View Hyundai
2020 Hyundai Accent Right Side View Hyundai
  • Trunk Volume
    13.7 ft³

Accent Infotainment and Features

Features

To keep costs down, the Accent offers only the bare minimum of features in its standard guise. These include basic air conditioning, cruise control, a rearview camera, a six-way manual driver's seat, power windows and door locks, and keyless entry. Mild improvements are made as you move up the trim levels, including the addition of a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, automatic climate control, remote engine start, heated front seats, front and rear dual USB charging ports, and forward collision avoidance. Heated side mirrors with a driver's side blind-spot mirror and a hands-free trunk release feature are added to the exterior features for the Limited. The top-of-the-range model also gets a sunroof and a 3.5-inch driver information display.

Infotainment

Controlled via a five-inch touchscreen interface, the infotainment suite is pretty bare-bones. Only AM/FM/MP3 playback is supported, with sound channeled through a four-speaker sound system. Bluetooth is supported and a USB and auxiliary input jack are provided. The upper two trims upgrade this suite to a seven-inch touchscreen that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto while granting access to SiriusXM satellite radio. The Bluetooth function gains voice recognition and Blue Link is supplied with a three-year subscription. Two additional speakers improve the flow of sound throughout the cabin.

Accent Problems and Reliability

J.D. Power rates the Accent at 79 out of 100 for dependability and the sedan has passed the last several years with nearly no complaints. There have been no recalls issued for the Hyundai for several years, attesting to its dependability. The fact that it comes with a bare minimum of features, as an affordable daily driver, may contribute to this. The manufacturer offers a 60,000-mile/60-month limited warranty, while the powertrain is covered for an impressive 100,000 miles/120 months - the best in the automotive industry. Unlimited roadside assistance is available for 60 months.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    10 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    7 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles

Accent Safety

The NHTSA has not rated the Accent, but it did win the IIHS's Top Safety Pick award in 2019 with optional frontal crash prevention systems on the higher trims.

Key Safety Features

The safety suite in the Accent is a bit on the light side, but it covers the bases pretty well. You can expect the basics like ABS, EBD, traction and stability control, as well as six airbags: dual front, front side, and side curtain. But you also get hill start assist on the upper trims, although it can be added to the SE for a little extra, while the SEL adds a blind spot mirror. For those with safety fore of thought, the Limited is tempting with its exclusive access to the forward collision avoidance features - the only reason it was granted the 2019 TSP status by the IIHS in the first place.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2020 Hyundai Accent a good car?

When you consider the purpose for which it was designed, it would be hard to fault the Hyundai Accent for being a boring sedan. It doesn't engage with the driver at all on the road, and it offers little in the way of conveniences or creature comforts. But for the price you're paying, you can't really ask for more of the Hyundai than what it delivers. But what it does deliver is worth every penny.

For under $20k, you get a dependable daily driver that is perfect for running errands around town with its 13.7 cubic feet trunk, while the fold-down seats offer a level of flexibility. The interior is also spacious for passengers, comfortably seating four, while squeezing in a fifth person wouldn't be an unreasonable request. And if you spend an hour or two on the highway during your daily commute, the Accent has you covered with its very impressive fuel economy figures. So long as you temper your expectations, you can rest assured that the Hyundai Accent is an excellent buy. But if you can afford to shop in a slightly higher price bracket, there are certainly better sedans out there.

🚘What's the Price of the 2020 Hyundai Accent?

As an affordable compact sedan designed for daily errand running and commuting to and from work, the Hyundai Accent bears a very attractive price tag. However, for the low price of $15,195 for the SE with the manual gearbox, you get very little more than a bare-bones vehicle that will get you from point A to point B. However, if you want the better fuel economy offered by the CVT transmission, you will have to pin an extra $1,100 to this price tag. The SEL adds a few comfort features that kick the cost up to $17,550, while the top-tier Limited, with its advanced safety features, will only set you back $19,300. These prices exclude tax, registration, licensing, and Hyundai's $930 handling charge.

2020 Hyundai Accent Models

You can have the Hyundai Accent in your choice of three trim levels: SE, SEL, or Limited. The 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine under the hood develops 120 hp and 113 lb-ft and comes mated to either a six-speed manual gearbox (on the SE only) or a CVT.

The entry-level SE rides on 15-inch steel wheels and comes equipped with halogen headlights. Inside, it is upholstered in cloth, with a six-way manual driver's seat, keyless entry, and cruise control comprising the convenience features. The infotainment centers around a five-inch touchscreen display, through which you can access the AM/FM Radio, CD and MP3 playback, and Bluetooth features. A four-speaker sound system channels all this through the cabin.

Automatic headlights and fog lights are added to the SEL, while a tilt-and-telescoping steering column makes things more comfortable for the driver. The infotainment suite also gets an upgrade in the form of two additional speakers, and a larger seven-inch touchscreen interface that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The top-tier Limited replaces the halogen headlights with LEDs and sees the Accent ride on 17-inch alloy wheels. Inside, a 3.5-inch driver information display is installed in the instrument cluster, and forward collision avoidance is added to the safety features, while a sunroof, heated seats, automatic climate control, and hands-free trunk add some much-needed creature comforts.

See All 2020 Hyundai Accent Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

There aren't many ways to customize the Accent, with only the Cargo Package ($185) offered, comprising a cargo tray, a cargo net, and cargo hooks. Other standalone add-ons include wheel locks ($55), a first aid kit ($30), mudguards ($115), and a rear console armrest with cupholders ($65).

🚗What Hyundai Accent Model Should I Buy?

Considering how economical the Accent is, there is little reason not to go for the top-most trim, which still comes in at under $20k. And you get quite a lot for that low price, too. The Accent Limited comes equipped with the fuel-efficient Smartstream IVT as standard, along with some welcome comfort features like heated front seats, a smartphone-compatible infotainment suite, and a six-speaker sound system. The LED headlights and 17-inch wheels give the relatively bland sedan a bit of an edge, and the hands-free trunk release and proximity key with push-button start are designed to make your life easier. It is also the only model that offers a sunroof and the coveted forward collision avoidance system, making it the safest choice too. It's no wonder the Accent Limited won the IIHS's Top Safety Pick award.

2020 Hyundai Accent Comparisons

Kia Rio Kia
Hyundai Elantra Hyundai
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Hyundai Accent120 hp29/39 mpg$15,295
Kia Rio 120 hp33/41 mpg$15,850
Hyundai Elantra 147 hpTBCTBC

2020 Hyundai Accent vs Kia Rio

Not much differs between the Hyundai Accent and the Kia Rio, although the latter sports a more athletic profile. Both compact sedans are powered by the same engine, although the Rio combines its 120-hp inline-four with responsive steering and dextrous handling to deliver a more engaging driving experience, although it may tax the average driver a bit with the need for more manual input to keep the sedan on its best behavior. Much like the Hyundai sedan, the Rio comes equipped with only the most basic of features as standard, with modern conveniences like smartphone integration relegated to the upper trim. Trunk space is on par with the accent, but the Kia doesn't get any advanced driver assistance features unless you fork out extra for its packages. The Rio may seem pricier at first glance, but the base model boasts the more fuel-efficient CVT, which you have to pay extra for on the Accent, and the fully specced Accent will cost you more than the top-tier Rio. With all this in mind, there's not much reason to go for the Hyundai when the more playful Rio teases you with even better value for your hard-earned cash.

See Kia Rio Review

2020 Hyundai Accent vs Hyundai Elantra

With a starting price of a couple of thousand dollars above that of the Accent, the Hyundai Elantra is a slightly upper-scale compact sedan. But that's not to say it isn't still a bargain for the features you get. With a choice of three engines, ranging from the economical 128-hp turbo inline-four to a more potent 201-hp variant, you can choose to match the Accent's fuel economy figures or sacrifice a few mpg for a lot more power. The more advanced sedan also comes equipped with dual-zone climate control and forward collision avoidance as standard, while blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are available for just $500 more on the second-tier trim. The Elantra doesn't beat the Accent by much in terms of cargo space, offering only 14.4 cubic feet, but it's the available creature comforts and tech features that may tempt you. While the Hyundai Elantra may be better value for money, especially if you aim for the reasonably priced mid-tier trims, it doesn't handle quite as well as its cheaper cousin.

See Hyundai Elantra Review

Hyundai Accent Popular Comparisons

2020 Hyundai Accent Video Reviews

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$15,295 - $19,400
Price Range (MSRP)
Hyundai Accent