Hyundai Accent hatchback: Unmistakable allure

Here's why the hatchback resonates with car buyers
by | Sep 13, 2018
PHOTO: Top Gear PH

The Hyundai Accent subcompact hatchback  has legions of fans. Before we talk about the reasons why, let’s see what Top Gear PH has said about this body type and variant through the years.

March 2013

  • The variant with steel wheels and hubcaps suggest there's nothing special going on, and only a pair of discreet CRDi badges gives any clue about the performance hiding behind that genial facade. The Accent is a hot-hatch hiding in plain sight.

  • The 2013 Accent hatchback is undeniably better-looking than the previous car or the current sedan.

  • While not quite as cohesive as the Hyundai Elantra, or as flashy as its Kia Rio cousin, the Accent still has its strong points. The fluidic styling conveys a palpable sense of motion, the curves keeping your eyes moving around the car. Still, it's very low-key.

May 2013

  • There’s no denying that the Korean brand’s exterior design has leapfrogged both Toyota and Honda, and can even cause their cars to be mistaken for a European brand. The Accent is no exception, replacing the generic molten-soap appearance of its predecessor for the current “fluidic styling.”

  • The front end is a replica of what is found on the Accent sedan. Hyundai’s ascension is the eye-catching styling of its latest models. theme. The car is styled in the vein of its bigger brothers, the Sonata and the Elantra.

  • On the smaller scale of the Accent sedan, the suit doesn’t fit so well, with the sharp creases and swooping lines that look so good on the larger sedans looking a little lost on the Accent. The new Accent hatchback is definitely an improvement, with a nicely tapering rear section merging well with the character lines on the car’s side section.


  • One feature that we haven’t seen in quite a while is the single-din audio head unit that slots into the middle of the dashboard. Thankfully, there’s an iPod connector hidden in the glove compartment. Switchgear is all simple but sturdy. The only negative experience is olfactory: The Accent has that unpleasant odor from the plastics that is usually found in Chinese cars.
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  • Interior and cargo space is on a par with (or even bigger than) most vehicles in this class, save for the Honda Jazz. Still, the Jazz can’t deliver the aforementioned mileage on the highway under the same conditions. Ergonomics is fairly spot-on with the exception of a couple of gripes.

  • The steering-wheel position is optimized for the 10 and 2 o’clock driving position instead of our preferred 9 and 3. Two, the rear seatbelt’s anchor point is a tad too high for my frame, making the diagonal belt rub so uncomfortably against the neck that one would be inclined to go unbelted rather than get a friction burn.

April 2014

  • Over in the B-segment, the Accent has a trunk nearly as big as its big brother Elantra's, with 13.7 cubic feet. Its hatchback sibling has more space with 21.2 cubic feet behind the rear seats, and 47.5 cubic feet with the seats down. Still, the hatchback can't match the "magic seats" of the Honda Jazz.

  • The downward sloping trunklid of the Accent looks a bit off in profile, but that big butt can take a lot of junk.

August 2017

  • At first glance, the Hyundai Accent in the video looks just like any other hatchback. Like say, the Honda Jazz. But what sets this Korean model apart from its competition is what's under the hood.

  • Unlike other hatches with four-pot gasoline engines, the Accent has a 1.6-liter CRDi mill. That's right, this little hatch is an oil-burner. While it's been around for a few years now, the Accent hatch is still capable as an everyday car for trotting around the city.

  • Aside from the traffic-friendly engine, the inside offers lots of room for passengers and cargo (370L for the latter). And while the amenities inside are minimal (or dare we say, slightly dated), there's still enough inside to keep you comfy and entertained during your daily drive.

The Verdict

Let's face it. Twenty years from now, people will not be writing paeans about the previous Accent's exceptional styling, or the lack of it. Nor will they be waxing ecstatic over the rather tame handling. They won't be raving about the braying gurgle of that diesel motor as it peeled away from the traffic lights, either. No, while the diesel Accent sedan was a quick car, it was the kind that spoke softly and carried a moderately big stick. This new Accent Hatchback speaks just as softly, but carries an even bigger stick. Caning has never been so much fun.

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PHOTO: Top Gear PH
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