Overall: Hyundai’s small sedan and hatchback models display crisp styling inside and out and punch above their weight in sub-compact class.
Drivetrain: A 138-horsepower four-cylinder is standard for both body styles; choose from a six-speed manual transmission or optional six-speed automatic.
Hyundai made its reputation making small, inexpensive cars such as the Accent, which is a car that leads the way in style, space and performance. Both sedan and hatchback appear and drive larger than they actually are. The sedan excels in passenger roominess, as does the hatchback, although the latter’s sweeping roofline, curvaceous liftgate make it the most practical Accent and arguably the best looking of the two. In terms of stowage, Hyundai claims the hatchback bests all comers with the second-row seat in the upright position. However the better-packaged Honda Fit still enjoys significant space-race superiority when measuring maximum volume with the rear seat folded flat. The Accent’s 1.6-liter engine produces 137 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque and can be had with a six-speed manual transmission, or optional six-speed automatic. The newly designated (for 2016) base SE sedan and hatch each get air conditioning, heated side mirrors (hatchback), remote keyless entry, six-speaker audio system and a full suite of safety gear. All of that content is included in the top-level Sport hatchback, which comes with side mirrors with integrated turn signals along with cruise control, premium seat covers, Bluetooth short-range wireless networking, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, fog lights and 16-inch alloy wheels (14-inch steel wheels are standard). Meanwhile, a power sunroof and a rearview camera are available extras. Leather seats and a navigation system are missing from the available-features list, indicating that Hyundai is keeping the Accent’s trim levels (and pricing) as close to the bone as possible.