Car Shoppers Are (Somehow) Still Buying New Hyundai Accent Models
Those shopping for a subcompact sedan are likely aware the Hyundai Accent — the brand’s smallest sedan — has been axed from the automaker’s lineup. The South Korean automaker announced its decision to discontinue the Accent from the U.S. market in 2022. However, a very small number of Accents in the U.S. have been sold from its existing inventory, including a solitary model in July 2023. So, what led to the Hyundai Accent being retired, and when will this model finally leave new car lots altogether?
A brief history of the Hyundai Accent
The Hyundai Accent underscores the South Korean automaker’s transformation over the last three decades.
The Accent was introduced in 1994 as a subcompact two-door coupe or four-door sedan, and it was about as basic as an economy car could be. As the model aged, it continued to retain its focus on affordability but gradually became more appealing, of higher quality, and fitted with desirable features, serving as more than just an “A to B” tool of earlier models.
According to AutoEvolution, the second-generation model debuted for the 1999 model year as a four-door sedan and was available in three trims in the U.S. with either a 1.5-liter or 1.6-liter engine, updated styling, slightly larger dimensions, and better overall materials. The third generation model arrived as the 2006 model in sedan form, though a three-door hatchback was also available in the U.S.
The fourth-generation Accent brought the model into modernity with revamped styling, more standard features, and a 1.6-liter, 138-horsepower engine.
The fifth generation debuted in 2017 and was only available as a sedan in the U.S. It also marked the final generation of the Accent in the U.S. and Canada. The engine remained unchanged, but buyers could choose from a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Notably, the new Accent continued to offer more features for a small base price. New features included Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, a 7-inch touchscreen, heated front seats, push-button start, and better interior materials.
Despite the Accent being among the most appealing subcompacts available, its cancellation from the U.S. market was due to more entry-level buyers seeking an SUV over a sedan, at least according to its manufacturer. Hyundai noted the Accent was dropped from the lineup because of the brand’s growing SUV lineup. The subcompact Venue crossover “now serves as the entry-level model for the Hyundai brand,” the automaker noted.
When it left the market for the 2022 model year, the Accent had a base MSRP of $16,645. Meanwhile, the 2022 Venue started at $18,900.
Accent sales have trickled in through 2023
Some new Hyundai Accent models are still available on dealership lots, but the remaining inventory appears to be dwindling. Just 30 models were sold between January and March, according to GoodCarBadCar, and none were moved in the subsequent quarter. However, a solitary model was sold in July, marking perhaps the final sale of a new Accent model in the U.S. or at least one of the final models sold.
The Accent was also a staple of the subcompact market in Canada, but it has also been cut from the brand’s lineup north of the border. From a peak of 23,173 models sold in 2014, Accent sales dropped all but one year until 2020, in which just 3,000 were sold.