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The subcompact sedan segment is packed full of efficiency. With small engines, smaller cargo spaces, and scant interiors, they also have a correspondingly low MSRP. The 2022 Hyundai Accent is one of the highest-rated subcompacts on sale, but does it outmatch its 2022 Nissan Versa competitor?

2022 Hyundai Accent interior, performance, and tech features

Hyundai Accent
2022 Hyundai Accent | Hyundai

The Accent provides a quiet ride with basic comfort in each of its three trim levels. Base SE Accents have a Bluetooth-capable five-inch touchscreen connected to a four-speaker stereo. The mid-range SEL and top-of-the-line Limited swap in a seven-inch infotainment unit. Additionally, they feature Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, two more speakers, additional USB ports, and the Hyundai Blue Link telematics system. Limited models also gain a welcome sunroof and a push-button start.

Under the hood, a 1.6-liter four-cylinder will pump 120 horsepower to the front wheels via a continuously variable automatic transmission. With an EPA-rated 36 mpg combined, it’s one of the better examples in the subcompact segment. The power won’t blow anyone away, but the Hyundai has enough oomph for daily commuting.

2022 Nissan Versa interior, performance, and tech features

Hyundai Accent
2022 Nissan Versa | Nissan

The Nissan Versa is well-built for the subcompact segment. The four-door has plenty of room to seat adults, with an abundance of headroom and legroom, even in the back. With 15 cubic feet of cargo space, the Versa can transport more than most competitors. Each trim level—S, SV, and SR—features a seven-inch touchscreen, but the SV and SR have a six-speaker system rather than a four-speaker unit. As well, the two upper trim levels have Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, automatic climate control, and a push-button start.

Versas are equipped with a similar 1.6-liter engine but nets two more horsepower. Like most subcompacts, aggressive highway acceleration isn’t recommended. There’s typically more noise than straight-line speed. However, the power is more than enough for commuting or city driving. The Nissan Versa also boasts one of the most well-stocked driver safety suites for the subcompact segment. The base S has forward collision warning and lane departure warning. But the midlevel and range-topping SV and SR have much more.

2022 Hyundai Accent Disadvantages

Hyundai’s Accent doesn’t feature on-board navigation. In today’s world, that can easily be augmented with a smartphone. However, the USB port struggles to charge devices, which is unacceptable in 2023. The seats also aren’t particularly comfortable. According to Edmunds, the cloth front seats are flat, with almost no bolstering and support. The seats “also absorb heat, making long trips on hot days a challenge,” they said.

Neither the SE nor mid-level SEL features any further safety aids other than a rearview camera. Only the Hyundai Accent Limited offers automatic emergency braking and forward collision avoidance. Lastly, the Accent’s 13.7 cubic-foot trunk is uninspiring compared to other subcompacts.

2022 Nissan Versa Disadvantages

Although the Versa has plenty of room inside for people, there isn’t enough for personal items. Unfortunately, storing small objects isn’t in the Versa’s wheelhouse. Edmunds complains that the “center armrest is optional and can barely fit a smartphone.” As well, the Versa only has one USB port.

Drivers will also struggle to exploit a gap and pass others on the highway. This isn’t the most significant issue, but the EPA says the Versa achieves one mpg less in the city and on the highway than the Accent. With power and performance lacking, reviewers say the “Versa leaves you wanting badly.”

Which is the better subcompact?

The Accent’s price range goes from $17,740 for the SE to $18,995 for the SEL and $20,695 for the Limited. Comparatively, the Versa S begins at $16,675, going to $19,485 for the SV and $20,085 for the SR.

One of the biggest differences between the two subcompact sedans is trunk space. While potential owners can lower the rear seats and enhance space, the Versa offers more. But those looking to store maps, phone chargers, napkins, and other small things may want the Accent. The further differentiation is on warranty, where the slightly higher-priced Accent makes more sense. Nissan has a five-year, 60,000-mile powertrain warranty, whereas Hyundai offers a ten-year, 100,000-mile guarantee.

Both subcompact sedans offer excellent fuel economy, adequate entertainment tech, and a very low MSRP, albeit with a few annoyances. Warranty aside, the Accent’s uncomfortable seats and dodgy USB port may outweigh the Versa’s cramped trunk and lack of storage.


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