2020 Toyota Yaris vs. Hyundai Accent: The Better Subcompact Car Is Clear

Whether you’re looking for a good starter car or simply a reliable commuter vehicle, subcompacts can provide quality at a decent price point. As with any major decision, however, it’s important to weigh your options so that you end up with the car that’s best for you. Both the Toyota Yaris and the Hyundai Accent are decently rated — but if you compare the Consumer Reports data for the two vehicles, the Yaris comes out on top.

What you’ll get with the Toyota Yaris

One of the first things that Consumer Reports reviewers note is the comfortable ride offered by the Toyota Yaris during its road test. Power-wise, the Yaris is comparable to other vehicles of its class: it has a 1.5-liter engine which generates 106 hp. Its fuel economy, however, is particularly good. It gets 24 miles per gallon in the city and 48 miles per gallon on the highway, with a combined fuel economy of 35 miles per gallon.

The Yaris has a decent infotainment system, with a 7-inch display screen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. It also features an integrated backup camera and voice recognition. Safety features include automatic emergency braking, electronic stability control, and a low-speed forward collision warning.

Consumer Reports gives the Yaris a four-out-of-five predicted reliability rating and a three-out-of-five predicted owner satisfaction rating.

What you’ll get with the Hyundai Accent

Related: The 2020 Toyota Yaris Is the Best Compact Car to Buy, Says Car and Driver

The Hyundai Accent lags behind the Toyota Yaris, with a three-out-of-five predicted reliability rating and a two-out-of-five predicted owner satisfaction rating from Consumer Reports. It gets 120 hp, with a fuel economy just slightly behind the Yaris: 22 miles per gallon in the city, 47 miles per gallon on the highway, and 33 miles per gallon combined. As such, its estimated annual fuel cost is slightly higher at $870 compared to the Yaris’s $815.

The Accent’s safety features include a backup camera, driveline traction control, and tire-specific low pressure warning. Notably absent are forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking, neither of which are available unless you opt for the highest trim.

Drawbacks of the Accent

Perhaps the biggest difference between the Toyota Yaris and the Hyundai Accent is the ride experience. According to Consumer Reports, the Accent performed stiffly in its road test, generating a sometimes unpleasant level of wind noise. Drivers are also likely to feel every single bump the Accent drives over. 

Additionally, while the Accent is one of the speedier subcompact cars, it requires you to push it to its limits in order to actually accelerate quickly. This can result in a buzzing, strained sound from the engine.

What sets the Toyota Yaris apart?

Unlike the Hyundai Accent, the Toyota Yaris offers a smooth ride that handles bumps well and doesn’t cause discomfort over rough stretches of road. Consumer Reports notes that the Yaris is related to the Mazda CX-3, which likely contributes to its uncommonly pleasant driving experience.

The six-speed automatic on the Yaris also functions smoothly, and, while it may not be the most powerful, this subcompact is highly responsive in both acceleration and steering. However, it is worth noting that the braking system is less impressive — Consumer Reports states that this vehicle took a fairly long time to stop, especially when tested on wet roads.

Both the Accent and the Yaris have small interiors with cramped backseats. Even so, the Yaris offers slightly more comfortable seating, and is a better choice for longer drives.

Overall, while both the Hyundai Accent and the Toyota Yaris are decent subcompact options, the Yaris simply offers more bang for your buck. The Accent may have an attractive price tag, but it delivers a harsh ride and is missing some key standard safety features. The Yaris, on the other hand, is athletic, affordable, and overall pleasant to drive.