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Known for making affordable cars, Hyundai has dramatically improved its reliability over the past several years. So, many of its used cars are cheap and dependable. In fact, one affordable and reliable used Hyundai model has no recalls, but is it too good to be true? Here’s a look at the 2013 Hyundai Accent and whether one safety concern is a red flag.

Many reliable used cars cost less than $10,000

The Hyundai logo on a sign
Hyundai car dealership sign | Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

You can find plenty of reliable used cars for under $10,000. However, they’re typically several years old. For instance, U.S. News lists many vehicles at that price point, but many are from the 2013 model year. The newest in the roundup is the 2016 Nissan Versa.

The other benchmark is reliability. Most cars on the U.S. News list received reliability scores of 83 or 84 out of 100 from J.D. Power. The top performer is the 2013 Buick Verano, earning 91. That’s a much higher score than the car in second place, the 2015 Kia Rio. It got an 87 in reliability.

One of the models in the middle of the pack is the 2013 Hyundai Accent. It earned an 83 in reliability. Used car shoppers can expect to pay $8,000 to $9,000 for this model. For comparison, the Verano barely made the list because its used price starts at nearly $10,000. 

The 2013 Hyundai Accent is reliable but has a safety concern

Besides its low price and excellent reliability score, the Accent looks like a good car in other ways. For example, the 2013 model has zero recalls filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In addition, the compact sedan scored 4 out of 5 stars for overall safety. Although that’s not a perfect score, it’s still solid.

That said, beware of one mark on the 2013 Accent’s NHTSA safety record. The sedan performed well in its frontal crash tests, but the agency flagged a safety concern regarding the side crash test results. During the side barrier test, the results were good for the driver but not for the rear passengers. The car received only a 3 out of 5 in that area because a crash might not protect the backseat riders optimally.

Why is the 2013 Hyundai Accent reliable?

In addition to boasting zero recalls, the 2013 Hyundai Accent has only 89 consumer complaints reported to the NHTSA. Older cars typically rack up hundreds of complaints on the agency’s site. The most common 2013 Accent complaint concerns the airbags not deploying. Drivers have also filed complaints about the car’s electrical system malfunctioning. That could affect multiple areas, from the seat belts to the engine. 

The reason the 2013 Accent has a J.D. Power reliability score of 83 out of 100 despite those issues is apparent. Real-life owners have reported fewer “defects, malfunctions, and design flaws,” J.D. Power says. That covers the entire vehicle, from the engine to the infotainment system. “A higher rating means fewer problems.”


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