DETROIT — Not much was added to the 2019 Hyundai Accent for this model year. The chrome grille became standard.
When you think about it, not much needed to change with the Accent. It is a capable and stylish subcompact sedan.
Powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that made 130 horsepower and 119 pound-feet of torque, it was mated to a six-speed manual transmission. This set up actually had a little pep. It was also fuel efficient: The car had an EPA rating of 28 mpg in the city, 37 mpg on the highway and 31 mpg combined.
With winter setting in, the front-wheel-drive on the Accent was really appreciated. Though we didn’t have any white stuff during the week-long test drive, the Accent handled the wet rainy weather without any problems.
We had the SE trim line which basically is the basic car. But these days basic has a new meaning. The 2019 Accent had electronic stability control, a rearview camera with what Hyundai has branded dynamic guidelines and a tire pressure monitoring system.
Inside, there was a beige herringbone cloth interior that was pretty nice. Even the plastic surfaces of the dash, though hard, were given a grainy look. There was a small infotainment screen with a few controls under it.
The 2019 Hyundai Accent had Bluetooth for hands-free smartphone use but no voice controls, navigation system or satellite radio and that was okay with me.
But there were two 12V sockets beneath the dash on the wall of a small storage area and USB and auxiliary jacks between them. The odometer and speedometer were in a field of black with white numerals reversed out. I was struck by their large size; it seemed they were designed for an older driver.
There was a TFT screen between them, but because of the black field, they all seemed to flow together.
I got in the back seat and found it cramped. No surprise there; it is the same with most subcompact sedans. There was enough headspace but not by much. To be comfortable, the front seats would have to be moved forward a bit to provide enough leg space for back seat passengers. And it would be a squeeze to get three people sitting abreast in the back seat. But again, the Hyundai Accent is a subcompact car.
I was really surprised at the smoothness of the 2019 Hyundai Accent’s ride. It had a MacPherson strut with coil springs suspension in the front with twin-tube gas shock absorbers. In the rear, there was a coupled torsion beam axle with tube shock absorbers.
For a car this small, the 2019 Hyundai Accent handled really well. It had a turning radius of slightly more than 33 ft. The manual transmission was really smooth. The clutch pedal could have used a bit more torque to engage. Still, the lightness of the pedal took a couple of days to get used to and then there was no problem.
For $16,005 as tested, the 2019 Hyundai Accent was not a bad entry-level sedan for those who are cost-sensitive.
Frank S. Washington is editor of AboutThatCar.com.