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1998 Hyundai Accent

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Key specs

Base trim shown


Body style


Seating capacity

162.1” x 54.9”


Front-wheel drive



4 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

  • GL


  • GSi


  • L


  • GS


Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 1998 Hyundai Accent trim comparison will help you decide.

See also: Find the best Hatchbacks for 2024

1998 Hyundai Accent review: Our expert's take

By Editors

The good thing about driving one of the smallest cars of 1998 – the Hyundai Accent two-door hatchback – is that it comes with a shrunken sticker price that’s sure to appeal to folks just seeking basic transportation.

Who’s going to argue with the Accent’s base price of $9,899 – or our GS test vehicle, which only cost $11,008 – once you’ve added a couple amenities such as air conditioning and floor mats.

Well, leave it to us to come up with a few compelling arguments, one for embracing the little Korean bargain and one for ignoring it.

She: I’m giving the Accent four stars, which is our highest rating, but I’m also going to tell buyers that I have some serious reservations about owning this smallest and cheapest Hyundai. It’s thrilling to have a new car that doesn’t feel like a stripped-down junker for only $10,000. But it’s also scary to drive it next to Ford Expeditions and Dodge Ram pickup trucks. And I would be a wreck putting one of our teen-agers in it.

He: I could make the same pitch against a Porsche Boxster. When you’re driving alongside one of those big sport-utes, you’re not going to feel safe in anything, unless it’s another big sport-ute. I also think the Accent is a terrific value. You get an awful lot of car for $11,000. The Accent GS comes with a thrifty overhead-cam 1.5-liter four-cylinder that returns up to 36 mpg in highway driving. It’s not the fastest small car on the road. But it’s pretty nimble and surprisingly spunky.

She: You’re being very clinical here. I think the Accent has the potential for great emotional appeal. In fact, the exterior styling reminds me a little of the new Volkswagen Beetle. It’s got a hood with slightly plump lines and a sprightly look overall. Inside, the rooflines are curvy and give the impression of more room than you’d expect in a vehicle that’s so tiny. It’s cute and huggable.

He: You want my seat-of-the-pants impression? The Accent is lots of fun to drive, with its all-independent suspension and stabilizer bars, although the relatively short 94.5-inch wheelbase makes for a pretty harsh and choppy ride on rough pavement. Still, it’s surprisingly comfortable, even for an old guy like me. I can see it having great appeal to teens and first-time buyers. And I wouldn’t have any problem recommending it to a friend.

She: I could see why you’d do that. The little hatchback is less than half the price of the average car today. And you do get some delightful little features that you’d expect on a more expensive vehicle. A rear window defroster and wiper, for example, and an AM/FM stereo with a cassette. More importantly, the Accent feels like Japanese quality, not Korean quality.

He: There are still some things that annoy me. The paint job is pretty rough, even for an $11,000 car, and some of the trim looks cheap and tacky. But overall, Hyundai continues to improve dramatically the quality of its cars.

She: There are still some things tha t impress me. Particularly the quality of the seats. The front driver’s seat has a five-way adjustment with lumbar support, and it’s actually quite comfortable over long hauls. The Accent’s back seat is definitely a cut above competitors such as the Dodge/Plymouth Neon, which feels more like a hard picnic bench than a car seat.

He: One additional thought. If you’re attracted to the Hyundai and you’ve got a few extra bucks to play with, you might want to check out the Accent GSi, which comes with larger 14-inch tires, alloy wheels and a stiffer suspension, plus lots of other upgrades.

She: The only thing you don’t get on any of the Accent models is enough sheet metal to make you feel immortal, infallible and invincible. If you can live with that, go ahead and buy it.

1998 Hyundai Accent GS 3-door

Type: Front-wheel-drive, five-passenger hatchback

Price: Base, $9,899; as tested, $11,008 (no additional destination charge)

What’s new ’98: Mild front and rear restyling; all models but L get power steering

Standard equipment:

Four-wheel independent suspension

Front disc brakes

Tinted glass

Intermittent wipers

Rear window defroster

Rear window wiper/washer

AM/FM cassette radio

60/40 split-fold rear seat

Cloth upholstery


Adjustable front seat belts

Dual front air bags

Options on test vehicle:

Air conditioner ($994)

Carpeted floor mats ($60)

Mud guards ($55).

EPA fuel economy: 28 mpg city/36 mpg highway

Engine: 1.5-liter four-cylinder; 92 hp at 5,500 rpm; 97 lb-ft torque at 4,000 rpm

Transmission: Five-speed manual

12-month insurance cost, according to AAA Michigan: $1,100. Rates based on an average family of four from the Livonia area whose primary driver is age 40 with no tickets who drives 3-10 miles each way to work. Rates reflect multicar discount and, where appropriate, discounts for air bags and seat belts.

Where built: Ulsan, South Korea


Wheelbase- 94.5 in.

Overall length- 161.5 in.

Curb weight- 2,150 pounds

Legroom- 42.6 in. front/32.7 in. rear

Headroom- 38.7 in. front/37.8 in. rear

Shoulder room- 52.8 in. front/52.4 in. rear

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 3.0
  • Interior 3.2
  • Performance 2.8
  • Value 3.3
  • Exterior 3.0
  • Reliability 3.5
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Most recent consumer reviews


The Little Engine That Could

Bought my Accent Feburary of 2020 with 253k, needed a little TLC. After $850 dollars, (car purchase price and new shifter assembly, rotor, and brake pads.) she rolled for me for last two years. It's 2023 now, 315k miles on the odo, burns as much oil as the day I bought her, still struggles up hills at 40-ish MPH, and even with misfires and a check engine light, she's still going. You can't buy that kind of reliability, probably will rebuild the engine and see how much longer she goes. Not the best car ever, but the memories I've made, the sentimental value outweighs the physical.


How did this car make it to market?

Got it for free from a co-worker who was moving. Was undrivable, I live in Vermont and there are lot of hills and cold winters. Would barely make it up some hills, no heat below 10 degrees, which happens most nights in VT. And you could dent it by poking it with your finger. Deathtrap. Scrapped after few months.


best car i have had

bought hyundai accent mvi, from auction in manchester uk 2006 for #1000 ......only broke down once..crankshaft sensor......fixed it myself for $20

See all 6 consumer reviews


New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Hyundai
New car program benefits
60 months/60,000 miles
120 months/100,000 miles
Roadside assistance
60 months/unlimited distance
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
Less than 80,000 miles; less than 7 years old (currently MY18- MY24)
Basic warranty terms
Remainder of the 5-Year/60,000-Mile New Vehicle Limited Warranty. From original in-service date and zero (0) miles.
10-Yr/100K-Mile Powertrain Limited Warranty. From original in-service date and zero (0) miles.
Dealer certification required
173-point inspection
Roadside assistance
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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