The 2014 Hyundai Accent scrapes by with just enough features to be acceptable for the price of $20,000 or lower, but doesn’t offer much more than that. Its best asset is undoubtedly its excellent appearance that outshines nearly every vehicle in its class.
The 2014 Hyundai Accent brings the level of competition few other cars in its class can match by carrying itself with the grace and aptitude that captures people’s attention. And by adding to that spectacular design and mind-blowing affordability, this subcompact manages to stand above its rivals. So, if you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, you’ll find it in this vehicle and more (but not much more).
As with any car, the first thing you notice is the way it looks – and this subcompact is the very definition of slick and graceful, especially if you consider the five-door hatchback. The four-door sedan is attractive too, but it doesn’t quite deliver the same level of design mastery as the five-door offering. Everything is just so well-placed and proportional in this car that it’s hard to look away. And all of this is possible thanks to something called the “Fluidic Sculpture,” a new design approach that helped this subcompact to really come into its own back in 2012.
On the inside, the 2014 Accent looks just as impressive, coming with a matte-finished dash cap that has the feel of carbon fiber and a very simple yet effective centre stack of controls. And while the stack of controls isn’t as shapely as that in the Elantra line-up, it still doesn’t look as twisted as the one in the Ford Fiesta (which admittedly looks a little better this year). Unfortunately, this elegance and simplicity is more apparent in the hatchback than the sedan. And since part of the design’s appeal is its unabashed curviness, it’s a shame that the sedan’s stumpy trunk cuts it short, making it look incomplete.
Despite the shortcomings of the sedan’s interior design, all versions of the Hyundai Accent offer a decent amount of space. In fact, the Accent effortlessly surpasses its competition in this area, providing more legroom and headroom than any other subcompact hatchback or sedan. Even the rear seats are respectably spacious, allowing tall individuals to fit in nicely. As for cargo space, it’s a well-known fact that hatchbacks are not big on it, so if you still want to have a decently-sized trunk with your back seats up, then maybe the sedan would be a better choice.
On the powertrain side of things, the 2014 Accent delivers almost exactly what’s accepted of it – a performance level that isn’t mind-blowing, but efficient and all-around acceptable enough to be worth it. All models come with a 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine that manages to squeeze out 138 horsepower at 6300 rpm and 123 pound-feet of torque. It takes roughly nine seconds for the Accent to reach the 90-kilometre mark, which is reasonably quick for a car in its class, but there are enough rivals that can deliver more. So, all-in-all, this engine is not bad, but its lack of ambition is apparent.
As for the special features, the new Hyundai Accent is well-endowed, but it’s not at the luxury level, being right where it’s expected to be. So, don’t anticipate things like leather upholstery or a sunroof because you won’t get any. In 2013, Hyundai has made a host of small additions, including a better base audio system, a touch-turn signal, sliding sun visors and a blind-spot mirror. This in turn has raised the base price by around $2,000.
In the end, the 2014 Hyundai Accent is the sort of car you should buy only if you’re looking for something low-priced – since even the most expensive model costs less than $20,000. It’s hard to deny that the Accent lives and breathes like an economy vehicle, but it looks better than most of its rivals, making it well worth a test drive.
The 2014 Hyundai Accent comes in two body styles: the four-door sedan and five-door hatchback. Both once again rely on Hyundai’s “Fluidic Structure” design approach that was first introduced in 2012. As a result, its sheet metal carries a very dynamic look that matches its equally fantastic interior design. The base model offers new projector headlights with LED accents, while the five-door SE comes with a B&M Racing sport shifter. Admittedly, the sedan doesn’t quite match the hatchback’s look due to its somewhat stubby backside, but that’s not a big deal – because it’s still a very decent-looking car in its own right.
Overall, this car looks beautiful, and we’d gladly call it the best in its class when it comes to looks. So, if that’s important to you in an economy vehicle, then definitely consider the Accent.
Inside, the car doesn’t offer a great deal more features than its rivals, but at least it matches them – though not in all cases. To be fair, the best part about the cabin is not the features that come with it, but the way it looks – since nothing feels cluttered or out-of-place.