2013 Hyundai Accent Review and Prices
The 2013 Hyundai Accent is the best car for you if want a fuel-sipping subcompact high on style and long on value.
The 2013 Hyundai Accent is expected to be little-changed following a full redesign for model-year 2012. That redesign brought new styling with flair rarely seen in the budget class. The 2013 Accent will return in a choice of two body styles – a four-door sedan and a four-door hatchback – both with 40-mpg highway ratings that’ll keep them among the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid cars. And with an estimated base-price range of $13,500-$17,990 and Hyundai’s generous warranty, the 2013 Accents should remain among the top-selling subcompacts in America.
Should you wait for the 2013 Hyundai Accent or buy a 2012 Hyundai Accent? The 2013 Accent will be a virtual repeat of the 2012 model, so there seems little upside to waiting. Buy a 2012 Accent and you’ll get styling and features that’ll remain current for several years – and you’ll avoid the inevitable model-year price escalation.
2013 Hyundai Accent Changes back to top
Styling: The 2013 Hyundai Accent will retain the brand’s “Fluidic Sculpture” styling that came with the model-year 2012 redesign. Also used on the compact Elantra and midsize Sonata sedans, among other vehicles from this South Korean automaker, Fluidic Sculpture employs drawn-back sheet metal creased into swoops and dips. It’s an eye-catching if potentially polarizing theme, but does set Accent apart from blockier rivals such as the Chevrolet Sonic and jelly-beanish competitors such as the Ford Fiesta.
The 2013 Accent sedan and hatchback will also remain among the larger cars in their class. They’ll owe their better-than-average rear-seat room to a relatively long wheelbase, the distance between the front and rear axles and a dimension critical to a car’s passenger volume. They’ll also stay near the top of the category for cargo volume, with the sedan featuring 13.7 cubic feet of trunk space and the hatchback 21.2 cubic feet behind the rear seat and 47.5 cubic feet with the rear seatbacks folded. Despite their relative size, both Accents should again be among the lighter subcompacts thanks to Hyundai’s weight-reducing design.
Expect the sedan body style to continue to account for about 57 percent of 2013 Accent sales and to return in a single trim level called GLS. The 2013 Accent hatchback will again be aimed upmarket from the sedan and should return in base GS and sporty SE models.
Beyond the obvious body-style differences, styling distinctions should remain modest. The GLS sedan is likely to retain black instead of body-colored mirrors and door handles, for example. And the SE should again sport fog lamps and a roof-mounted spoiler. Expect the GLS sedan and GS hatchback to reprise 14-inch steel wheels with wheel covers with 16-inch alloys optional on the GLS and standard on the SE.
Mechanical: No mechanical changes are likely for the 2013 Accent, leaving it with engineering that’s typical for the subcompact class but with a few specifications that are a cut above. The sole engine will remain a 1.6-liter four-cylinder but with advanced direct fuel injection and other technology that should help it remain among the more powerful in the class, at 138 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque. (Think of torque as the energy that gets a vehicle moving, horsepower as the force that keeps it in motion.)
The 2013 Accent should again be distinguished by its available transmissions, a manual and an automatic that both have six speeds in a class where less efficient five-speed gearboxes are common. Similarly, it should return as one of the very few subcompacts with four-wheel disc brakes instead of rear drum brakes. The 2013 Accent will, however, continue at the class norm with a front-wheel-drive layout and a rear torsion-beam suspension.
Expect the SE model to again have slightly more responsive steering calibrations than the GLS and GS versions, but steering precision itself is an area in which Hyundai could improve all 2013 Accents. Still, these again should be among the more pleasant subcompacts to drive, with good acceleration and a comparatively refined manner.
Features: Don’t look for the 2013 Accent to break from the subcompact-class mean and offer such upscale diversions as a sunroof, navigation system, or leather upholstery. But it will continue to emphasize value with a thoughtfully constituted roster of standard and optional equipment at extremely reasonable prices.
Power door locks; tilt steering wheel; height-adjustable driver’s seat with fold-down armrest; dual vanity mirrors, map, dome, and cargo lights; and a 60/40 split/folding rear seatback should remain standard on every 2013 Accent. However, to maintain the manual-transmission GLS as one of the least expensive new cars in the U.S., Hyundai is likely to continue to relegate essentials such as air conditioning, power windows and mirrors, even a radio to the extra-cost Comfort Package.
Expect those features, along with an auxiliary jack and a USB iPod interface, to remain standard on the automatic-transmission 2012 Accent GLS. This model also should continue with Bluetooth hands-free mobile-phone connectivity as part of the Premium Package, an option that likely will again include remote keyless entry, cruise control, and steering-wheel controls for the audio and Bluetooth systems.
In the 2012 Accent hatchback line, the base GS model will continue with most of the aforementioned features as standard, though Hyundai would do well to correct a curious omission and make Bluetooth available on the GS, at least as an option.
The 2013 Accent SE hatchback will again come with all the GS standard features, plus cruise control as standard with both transmissions. Bluetooth, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, premium cloth seats, and piano-black plastic cabin trim and chrome door handles should again dress out the SE model.
2013 Hyundai Accent Prices back to top
Prices for the 2013 Hyundai Accent had not been announced in time for this review but don’t expect more than a modest increase over model-2012 prices. That suggests a 2013 Accent base-price range of $13,500-$17,990. (Estimated base prices in this review include the manufacturer’s mandated destination fee. Hyundai’s fee for the 2012 Accent was $775.)
Estimated base price for the 2013 Hyundai Accent GLS four-door sedan is $13,500 with manual transmission and $16,400 with automatic. Expect the Comfort Package option for the manual-transmission GLS to remain around $1,750 and the Premium Package for the automatic-transmission GLS to again cost about $1,300.
Among the hatchbacks, base price for the 2013 Hyundai Accent GS four-door hatchback is an estimated $15,800 with manual transmission and $16,990 with automatic. Expect the 2013 Hyundai Accent SE hatchback to start around $16,990 with manual transmission and around $17,990 with automatic.
Hyundai’s value equation has included one of the stronger warranties in the business. That should continue for model-year 2013 and would cover the 2013 Accent for 5-years/60,000-miles bumper-to-bumper and 10-years/100,000-miles powertrain. Accent buyers also should continue to receive 24-hour roadside assistance at no extra charge for 5-years/unlimited mileage.
2013 Hyundai Accent Fuel Economy back to top
Fuel-economy ratings for the 2013 Hyundai Accent were not released in time for this review but they are almost certain to remain among the best in class. Expect 2013 Accent EPA ratings of 30/40/34 mpg city/highway/combined with manual transmission and 30/40/33 mpg with automatic transmission.
No other model-year 2012 rival could match those ratings for every version in the lineup and the feat is likely to be a rare achievement in model-year 2013, as well. Most competitors that will boast 40 mpg in highway driving will again require extra-cost high-mileage variants to do it – and not all those will come with automatic transmission.
To further enhance mileage, Hyundai will again fit automatic-transmission Accents with its ActiveEco feature. Turned on by a dashboard button, Hyundai claims ActiveEco improves real-world fuel economy up to 7 percent by automatically modulating throttle inputs.
2013 Hyundai Accent Release Date back to top
Look for the 2013 Hyundai Accent to be in showrooms in late June or early July 2012. Hyundai also owns the Kia brand, which sells a corporate cousin to the Accent as the Rio.
What's next for the 2013 Hyundai Accent back to top
A victim in the early 1980s of its own shoddy workmanship and underdeveloped products, Hyundai -- and Kia – are today among the fastest growing automotive brands and, except for production capacity, are legitimate competitors for giants like Honda, Toyota, and Nissan.
The 2013 Accent is likely to remain Hyundai’s smallest and least expensive car and there’s slim chance of drastic change within the next few model years. Accent buyers aren’t apt to be demanding amenities such as leather upholstery. But Hyundai may perceive a competitive advantage to offering, say, a factory navigation system. That’s the sort of change that would likely occur with a midcycle freshening, which for this car probably will occur around model-year 2015.
2013 Hyundai Accent Competition back to top
Chevrolet Sonic: Also offered as a four-door sedan and hatchback, this Accent alternative benefits from engines borrowed from the larger Chevy Cruze compact. That gives it decent scoot to go along with surprising refinement, build quality, and road manners. That adds up to a subcompact-class sales leader priced slightly higher than Accent and ranked a little below for fuel economy. Chevy’s broader retail network helps keep Sonic ahead of Accent on the sales charts. And the car is part of a one-two punch that culminates in the release of the even smaller Chevrolet Spark, a new-for-2013 four-door hatchback. That South Korean-built minicar will undercut Accent and Sonic on price and performance but maybe not beat them on fuel economy.
Honda Fit: The 2013 Fit will be the final edition of this vintage-2009 design generation but it’ll be unrivaled in the segment for space-efficient functionality. Offered only as a four-door hatchback, this is really a tiny wagon with a clever folding rear seat that drops to create 57.3 cubic feet of cargo capacity. It also flips to open a big storage area behind the front seats, and provides adult-size accommodations when actually used as a seat. Fit isn’t fast or particularly quiet, but the 2013 version should remain agile and fun to drive – and it’ll be among the few subcompacts to offer a factory navigation system. The pure-electric Fit EV also will be available on a limited-distribution basis.
Ford Fiesta: Ford reaches into its global product portfolio to offer Americans a four-door sedan and hatchback shot through with European design. The upside is class-leading ride and handling and a plethora of available upscale features, including leather upholstery, sunroof, and all manner of infotainment and connectivity gizmos. The down side is tight rear-seat room, stingy cargo space, and pricing that quickly ascends to the top of the competitive set. Ford’s choice of a six-speed dual clutch transmission in place of a conventional automatic results in some awkward gearbox behavior, too. Reports say the automaker is considering a performance-oriented 2013 Fiesta ST with a turbo four-cylinder engine of around 180 horsepower to augment the car’s 120-horse base engine.