The Accent is the Worst Hyundai Car You Should Never Buy

Considering it’s the year 2020, it’s safe to say that are no bad cars on the market anymore. However, it depends on what your idea of “bad” is. Sure, any new car that you buy will start right up and stop on a dime, so what makes a car “bad?”

On a level playing field, we have to look at a car’s feature set and the way it drives in order to come to a conclusion, and in that case, the Hyundai Accent is the worst car in the brand’s lineup that you can currently buy.

Is it really that bad?

2020 Hyundai Accent I photo: Hyundai USA

The Hyundai Accent isn’t technically a bad car, it just stays afloat in a sea of subcompact cars that can swim a little better. While other cars in the segment, like the Honda Fit and Chevy Spark, offer a hatchback variant that is more appealing to those looking for cargo room, the Hyundai Accent is only offered in a sedan body style.

There is room for five occupants, though, but they won’t be very comfortable. According to Consumer Reports’ review, “The seats have enough support for short stints. But they become fatiguing during long drives, partly because they lack adjustable lumbar support.” The way the car drives is an issue as well.

While most consumers would never expect a small car like the Accent to drive like a luxury cruiser, they would at least expect it to ride somewhat soft, which apparently it does not. Consumer Reports found the ride to be “quite stiff, with bumps punching through in a pronounced way.”

Another pain point is the engine. Again, no one can expect much out of a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 120 horsepower and 113 lb-ft of torque, however, it doesn’t do the driving experience much good when it “tends to drone under hard acceleration,” according to Kelley Blue Book.

So basically, the Accent is a car that you’re more likely to find in a rental car fleet than your well-off neighbor’s driveway. It’s slow acceleration, stiff ride, and not-so-comfortable seats are the main issues and anyone looking to get into a decent car might be happy with it. But it still doesn’t hold a candle to the competition.

2020 Hyundai Accent I photo: Hyundai USA

Is there anything good about it?

Yes, of course. The climate control knobs and audio buttons are easy to use, and while the car is pretty basic, occupants of all ages should find the interior easy to use and become familiar with. There aren’t any fancy digital cockpit screens to flip through, just a 5-inch screen for the base model and a 7-inch screen for the higher trims.  

Safety features do exist as well, however, don’t look for things like adaptive cruise control or lane keep assist like in the Accents competitors. Instead, you’ll only find Forward Collision Warning and Automatic Emergency Braking, but only in the top Limited trim. Apple Carplay and Android Auto are available as well, but only in the mid-level SEL and above.

2020 Hyundai Accent I photo: Hyundai USA

Is it worth buying?

Ultimately, the Hyundai Accent is worth buying if you don’t want to purchase a pre-owned car and would rather have a new car with some technology and a better warranty (which Hyundais are definitely known for). The only issue there is that the Hyundai Accent starts at a low price of $15,295, but the highest Limited trim with all the options can hike it up to around $20,000.

For that kind of money, we would rather recommend a Honda Fit or Nissan Versa, which can both be outfitted with more equipment for the same price and provide better ride qualities. Or perhaps, just look for something in the pre-owned department.