The latest iteration of the subcompact Hyundai Accent introduces several performance enhancements and a revamped design. The model is available in three different trims: GLS, GS and SE. From the outside, the GS and SE 5-door hatchbacks share a similar design, but the SE possesses features that readily differentiate it from both the GLS 4-door sedan and the GS hatchback , such as lower frontal fog lights, 16-inch alloy wheels (versus 14-inch steel wheels for the other two trims) and the more imposing P195 tires (optional for the GLS) against the GS’s P175. Curiously, the interior space of all three trims is practically identical, but the sedan has a substantially lower cargo volume, at 13.7 cubic feet to the hatchbacks’ 21.2.
On the engineering front, the Hyundai Accent introduces several improvements, particularly in fuel efficiency, emissions, stability and safety. The model comes equipped with a 138 horsepower, 1.6L Gamma GDI engine and its Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing improves torque and fuel efficiency.
Other new factors enabling the model to achieve the EPA-estimated 37 MPG on the highway are its low rolling resistance silica tires, the sedan’s aerodynamic enhancements that endow it with an impressively small 0.30 drag coefficient, and an Active ECO System that improves efficiency through engine and transmission control.
On the stability front, the Hyundai Accent comes with a centralized management system – the Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) system – that coordinates the function of the model’s various safety and stability systems for optimal performance in the event of potential collision.
The system manages the Motor-Driven Power Steering, the Electronic Stability Control, the Traction Control System (TCS) and the Anti-lock Braking System so that they operate as one.
When it comes to safety, subcompacts are often looked at in an unfavorable light, as their small size and usually relatively low price-tags result in a less than perfectly safe vehicle. This model comes with several safety features of note. The active front head restraints are not static but rather respond upwards and forwards in case of rear-end collisions.
The model comes with six airbags, distributed on the front and both sides of the vehicle. The Bluetooth hands-free voice recognition system also allows the driver to talk on the phone without having to reach for it, also helping to prevent accidents.