Entry price: $15,195
Price as tested: $20,545
This week, we’re reviewing the sub-compact 2020 Hyundai Accent four-door sedan, now in its fourth-generation. Brought to market in 2018, this new generation Accent features more standard features and is available only as a sedan in ’20 as the hatchback trim was discontinued last year. The biggest mechanical change versus last year is a new continuous variable automatic transmission that replaces the six-speed automatic and adds several more MPG to both city and highway EPA numbers. The Accent’s 1.6-liter engine has also been upgraded.
Impressive is Accent’s exterior motif, which now closely resembles its larger siblings ala compact Sonata and mid-size Elantra. In particular, both front and rear designs of the Accent now look similar to the other Hyundai sedans to better assist in Hyundai’s overall marketing and corporate branding campaigns. Accent also delivers good fuel economy and the now famous 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty that still attracts lots of consumer interest.
Powertrain and aforementioned fuel mileage are different, as all three 2020 Accent trims arrive powered by a 120-horsepower, new design 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder that delivers 113 lb. ft. of torque. These numbers are 10 less in the horsepower category and nine less in torque than last year, but the EPA numbers are now highly improved at 33 city and 41 highway versus last year’s 29 city and 38 highway. The extra MPG comes thanks to Hyundai’s Smartstream Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT) as this new automatic replaces the Shiftronic six-speed automatic that came on the 2019 Accent trims. It is standard on SEL and Limited trims and optional on SE. For those who still like to shift, a six-speed manual transmission is available only on the entry SE model only, and fuel mileage drops to 29 city and 39 highway.
Inside, a functional cabin greets driver and passenger who will appreciate the roominess not found in prior gen Accents. Be it the entry SE that starts at $15,195 to mid-level SEL at $17,550 to our test-drive Limited, which starts at $19,300, all Accents are impressive. The rear seat is a bit tight if front passengers are 6-footers and seats are pushed back, but for a sub-compact it’s still acceptable.
Every 2020 Accent offers standard tilt steering wheel with audio and cruise control functions plus Bluetooth activation. There’s also Smartphone, USB, MP3 and auxiliary input jacks for numerous applications across the 2020 Accent standard feature lineup. When you move up to the SEL and Limited, upgrades include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto coupled with a nice stereo system on a 7-inch display.
Overall, all Accents offer some extra niceties, and then add more amenities corresponding to price increases for the SEL and Limited models. On the highway, the little Hyundai handles very well and is a pleasure to drive. It feels bigger than it is thanks to the new generation interior and 17-inch tires on alloy wheels come standard on the Limited. If you choose the SE, 15-inch tires on steel wheels with wheel covers are standard while the SEL adds alloy wheels with the 15-inch tires. If you opt for the entry SE, it comes with rear drum brakes instead of discs.
Standard only on the Limited is the highly regarded forward collision avoidance, which joins the other standard safety features found on each and every Accent like rearview camera, anti-lock four wheel brakes, all the airbags, traction controls and more. A driver blind spot mirror and hill start assist come standard on the SEL and Limited models, while both also feature an upgraded Bluetooth with voice recognition versus the standard non-voice Bluetooth on the entry SE. Again, if you want forward collision avoidance, it’s not available on the SE and SEL models, not even as an option. Ditto on the SEL’s standard heated front seats, also unavailable on SE and SEL.
Comfort and convenience deserve note, as the Limited features a power sliding sunroof, fog lamps, daytime running lamps, six-speaker Sirius XM with 90-day free service, hands free trunk opening, cruise control, all the powers, automatic temperature control with windshield defogging, leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob and more.
Important numbers include a wheelbase of 101.6 inches, 11.9 gallon fuel tank, 33.46 ft. turning circle, 2,679 lb. curb weight, and 13.7 cu. ft. of cargo space. All Hyundais come with the famous 10 year, 100,000 mile limited powertrain warranty.
The only options our Accent included were carpeted floor mats for $135, mudguards for $115 and a rear cup holder with console arm rest for $65 that brought the final retail to $20,545 with $930 freight charge included.
There’s much to like about these new generation Hyundai Accents, so if you are shopping this smaller car classes, the Accent should be on your test drive list. I recommend starting with the mid-level SEL at $17,550 and decide from there as the entry SE lacks too many desired amenities.
Remember, Hyundai is known for discounting on both brand new and leftover models, so check with your dealer on current incentives and if a 2019 leftover might be your better buy. Your Hyundai dealer awaits your visit to answer all questions about the 2020 Accent including a current Holiday Savings discount.
Likes: Fourth-generation design, fuel mileage, standard features, 10-year/100,000 mile warranty.
Dislikes: Only Limited offers higher-tech safety, more horsepower not less, entry SE amenities a bit too meager.
Greg Zyla writes weekly for More Content Now and Gannett Co. Inc. Contact him at email@example.com or at 303 Roosevelt St., Sayre, PA 18840.
Test Drive: 2020 Hyundai Accent
Entry price: $15,195