And it's not the first time Hyundai has decreased horsepower ratings for new models.
When automakers reveal a new version of a car, it typically receives a boost in horsepower, not a decrease. But in the case of the Hyundai Accent, it actually lost horsepower in 2017, going from 137 to 132 hp. It may seem odd to decrease a car's output but Hyundai had a pretty good reason for doing so. Decreasing power resulted in a 7% increase in fuel economy.
According to fuel economy rankings published by the EPA, we have reason to believe the Accent may yet again lose power when the 2020 model is introduced. As in 2017, the 2020 Accent will achieve improved fuel economy and will also include a new transmission.
Like the recently-revealed Venue crossover, which is based on the Accent platform, the 2020 Accent will ditch its six-speed automatic in favor of a continuously variable transmission (CVT). This is the same CVT found in the new Kia Forte, which is apparently a car many enjoy driving. The current 2019 Accent sedan with the six-speed automatic is rated at 28/38/32 mpg city/highway/combined and the 2020 model with the CVT is rated at 33/41/36, which is a significant improvement in fuel efficiency. For those who like to row their own gears, the 2019 six-speed manual Accent was rated at 28/37/31 mpg city/highway/combined while the new 2020 model with the same transmission gets an improvement to 29/39/33.
These new mpg ratings prove the CVT isn't the only factor improving fuel economy. Since the new Venue's 1.6-liter engine is rated at 121 hp, we have reason to suspect the 2020 Accent will have an identical power figure when it is announced. If our assumption turns out to be true, it means the Accent would actually lose another 11 hp in addition to the five hp it lost back in 2017. The Accent was never a potent car to begin with, but we suppose the loss of power is worth the gains in efficiency.