Just as the market grows for ever-roomier sedans and crossovers, so does the demand for smartly packaged small cars that can perform tricks like their larger counterparts. The 2017 Hyundai Accent is a top choice in this category thanks to a satisfying combination of performance, utility, comfort and style.
The 138-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine is one of our favorites, providing good initial response leaving a stop followed by steady acceleration. A quick 9.3-second sprint to 60 mph is one of the best in the segment. The Accent SE's overall drivability is excellent with above-average engine response, a well-calibrated six-speed automatic transmission that's not overly busy, confident brakes and direct steering. The Accent earns up to 26 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway.
The Accent's smooth ride and impressively hushed cabin make it one of the most comfortable cars in the subcompact class. Its interior offers up excellent ergonomics and luggage space and reasonably easy access. It's refreshing to find effective, traditional dials and knobs where many cars now flaunt button arrays and frustrating touchscreens.
Unlike some others in this low-cost segment, there aren't any unshrouded bare-metal panels, and the overall material quality and graining of plastics are quite good. Exterior panel gaps and paint quality are also better than average.
The SE sedan comes standard with a six-speed automatic transmission, 14-inch steel wheels, keyless entry, air-conditioning, full power accessories, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-adjustable steering wheel, a driver-seat armrest, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, a trip computer, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio and USB/auxiliary inputs.