Subcompact cars are sometimes called penalty boxes, especially in their entry-level form. This is because they only offer the bare essentials, such as seats and manual windows, at a low price. But the past few years have seen automakers put more effort into their small vehicles. They have offered more daring designs, standard features and pleasant driving experiences.
A prime example of this is the 2018 Hyundai Accent. We spent a week in the base SE sedan and found it to be a very surprising subcompact.
The subcompact Hyundai Accent enters its final model year before a redesign with just some changes to trim level designations for the sedan and five door hatchback with features and styling all remaining the same as last year. Luckily for Hyundai that is no bad thing as the hatch is very European in its styling giving it a very sporty appearance whereas the four door sedan takes a more grown up and conservative approach. We could see them both appealing to different drivers but for our test we had a fully loaded Accent SE sedan which stickered for just over $17,000 putting it right in competition with models like the Honda Fit, Scion iA and Ford Fiesta.
We would mention the Nissan Versa sedan which is even less expensive but we don't like to relive the week we spent in that buzzing, rattling, slower than maple syrup and styled by a blind porcupine compact best seller. We can think of no reason to buy a Versa other than because it is cheap monetarily but then we think you will feel cheap and cheated when you get it home too. Thankfully, the Hyundai Accent we tested was full of so many "feel good" factors that we could easily see why this car appeals to so many.
In fact, we recently ranked the Accent right behind the Honda Fit as our second favorite subcompact on the market right now, that is, until we drove our new class favorite the Scion iA. In fact, that subcompact highlighted really the only notable flaw in the Accent package and it is something we blame on both the laws of physics and the age of its design. But still, we do recommend you check out the Accent if cross shopping the Fit or iA over competitors like the aforementioned Versa, Toyota Yaris or Mitsubishi Mirage. The Accent just feels a bit more grown up.
The 2013 Hyundai Accent is an affordable five-passenger subcompact car that provides a fun-to-drive, fuel-efficient and feature-laden means of reliable transportation in either sedan or hatchback model. Redesigned in 2012, this year Hyundai added standard equipment to the base sedan to make it more appealing to budget-conscious buyers.