TodayApril 15, 2022

2018 hyundai accent review – first drive

2018 Hyundai accent new car review

When the first Hyundai Accent came on the market in 1995, it was brought out with immense skepticism by the buying public. Hyundai’s success came when they offered a ten year or 100,000 warranty. Accent’s progress continues, partly, because Hyundai keeps improving the quality of the four-door sedan. Mike O’Brien, VP product corporate & digital planning worked on the first Hyundai Accent in 1994, which was sold as a 1995 model. O’Brien makes a poignant point that over 50,000,000 used cars are sold every year. Almost one-third of the Accents buyers, an entry-level car, are people that are moving up from a used car. That’s a lot of potential for an entry-level new vehicle that offers seven exterior colors, and two interior colors.

2018 hyundai accent review - first drive

2018 Hyundai accent nice view

Those buyers don’t like to think they are buying cheap cars; they don’t want interiors that are plastic, or a vehicle that has a high noise, vibration, and harshness. I talk to people that buy entry-level cars, and most of these people are looking for the best quality, most fuel efficiency, with the most safety their money can buy. Hyundai has shown their Accent buyers the respect needed to make this a contender by meeting those standards.

The 2018 Hyundai Accent is powered by a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder that can produce 130 @ 6,300 rpm horsepower and 119 @ 4,850 rpm torque with a conventional six-speed automatic is standard. It is listed as a compact four-door sedan (no hatchback), and it feels like a compact inside, rather than a subcompact. There isn’t a leather option, but the cloth interior feels gentle against the skin. If you are in need of more room, and leather consider the Elantra, otherwise go for the Accent.

2018 hyundai accent review - first drive

2018 Hyundai accent seriously good

You can see why car companies are trying to create dynamic entry-level cars; if they can get them out of a used car into a new entry-level sedan, they have created a new customer. The competitors are strong in the entry-level segment; Toyota Yaris, Chevy Sonic, Ford Fiesta, Kia Rio, Honda Fit, and the Nissan Versa.

The size and horsepower vary a bit between each vehicle that the Accent competes against, so customers are looking at pricing, mpg, the safety of each car versus the other, but they are also looking at driving dynamics.

2018 hyundai accent review - first drive

2018 Hyundai accent no longer basic

Hyundai said that of the three models, the SE, SEL, and the Limited the SE would garner the most sales, about sixty percent, the SEL about thirty percent, and the Limited about ten percent. You can buy a manual in the SE, but only about five percent purchase a manual. The manual is used more for the starting price bragging rights, as it is always the lowest in cost, and usually highest in mpg, and usually.

Hyundai starts its safety implosion in the SEL model, providing as standard Driver’s blind spot mirror, Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) system, Rearview camera with dynamic guidelines, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control System (TCS), Front seatbelt pretensioners, 4-wheel, 4-channel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA), Driver and front passenger advanced airbags (SRS), Driver and front passenger seat-mounted side-impact airbags (SRS), Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH), Active front head restraints, Front and rear crumple zones, Child safety locks (rear), Emergency trunk release (locate in the trunk), Remote keyless entry system with alarm.

If you live in the hills, consider the optional Hillstart Assist Control (HAC). If you want Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) and Driver’s blind spot mirror you will need to upgrade to the Limited version.

The infotainment starts in the SEL model with a 7-inch touchscreen display audio system, AM/FM/SiriusXM w/ Android Auto & Apple Carplay, and six speakers. Blue Link Connected Services 3-years is Standard on the Limited model. Bluelink is a service through your smartphone, wearable or smart speaker that allows you to have connected services such as remote start, which is used more than I realized – customers have performed more than 25,000,000 begins through bluelink.

2018 hyundai accent review - first drive

2018 Hyundai accent advanced safety features

The reason there is less horsepower over the outgoing model is the gearing, the drivability. Instead of concentrating on the instant thrust off the line, Hyundai focused on the 35-50 mph ability to climb a hill, the same way I compare cars. It’s a safety issue, once again, something people in this category look for and can be very elusive. One reason I think of this car as a good commuter car is the noise, vibration, and harshness during the ride is noticeably better.

It’s always a welcome surprise when someone asks me what I would buy for under $15,000, and I can tell them a brand new car. The Accent SEL or Limited is that car.

2018 Hyundai Accent pricing and mpg

2018 Hyundai Accent SE Manual
28 city/38 highway/32 combined miles per gallon (mpg)

2018 Hyundai Accent SE Automatic
28 city/37 highway/31 combined mpg miles per gallon

2018 Hyundai Accent SEL
28 city/37 highway/31 combined mpg miles per gallon

2018 Hyundai Accent Limited
28 city/37 highway/31 combined mpg miles per gallon

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.

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