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2018 Hyundai Accent: Say Hello to the Elantra's Mini-Me

Car and Driver logo Car and Driver 2/16/2017 JOSEPH CAPPARELLA

2018 Hyundai Accent 2018 Hyundai Accent: Say Hello to the Elantra’s Mini-Me - Official Photos and Info Now entering its fifth generation as a 2018 model, the new Hyundai Accent sedan looks more mature than ever, taking styling cues from larger Hyundais. A new chassis, a revised four-cylinder engine, and several new tech features look to make the redesigned Accent a more formidable competitor to other subcompacts such as the Toyota Yaris iA and the Ford Fiesta.

The 2018 Accent sedan is making its debut first, with the hatchback model to follow later this year. The car’s overall silhouette isn’t changed much, but new front- and rear-end designs give the Accent a look much like a shrunken version of the attractive Elantra sedan. The version pictured here likely is a higher trim level with its 17-inch wheels and LED lighting accents; thrifty shoppers should be aware that even more affordable models with hubcaps and less glitz surely will be available.

A wheelbase stretched by 0.4 inch, along with a slightly wider stance, gives the new model a smidge more passenger volume and cargo space than its predecessor. A full interior makeover finally brings the Accent into the 21st century, and the cleanly styled dashboard offers an optional 7.0-inch central touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. At long last, a backup camera, which wasn’t even available on the old Accent, is standard equipment.

A 1.6-liter inline-four with direct injection remains the only powertrain choice. Hyundai claims to have retuned the engine for more flexibility, although outright horsepower and torque numbers are down a bit, to 132 hp and 119 lb-ft. That should still be enough power for the roughly 2500-pound Accent. A six-speed manual is standard and a six-speed automatic is optional, and although official EPA estimates aren’t yet ready, Hyundai said fuel efficiency will rise by seven percent. For reference, today’s Accent is EPA rated for up to 37 mpg on the highway and 27 mpg in the city; opting for the optional automatic transmission drops 1 mpg from each of those figures. We suspect Hyundai is aiming for the magic 40-mpg mark with the new Accent.

2018 Hyundai Accent: Say Hello to the Elantra's Mini-Me© JOSEPH CAPPARELLA 2018 Hyundai Accent: Say Hello to the Elantra's Mini-Me

As consumer expectations for in-car tech continue to increase, even for lowly subcompacts, Hyundai rises to the challenge with optional automated emergency braking—a rarity in this segment. Keyless entry and push-button start also are optional, and automatic-transmission models have a sport mode that adjusts the steering and shifting calibration.

The 2018 Accent sedan is scheduled to go on sale in the third quarter of this year, with the hatchback model following by a few months. Despite its numerous improvements, pricing shouldn’t increase too much from that of the current car, which starts at $15,830.

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