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2012 Hyundai Accent

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starting MSRP

Key specs

Base trim shown


Body style


Combined MPG


Seating capacity

172.0” x 57.1”


Front-wheel drive



The good:

  • Fuel efficiency
  • Low starting price
  • Sharp styling
  • Cargo space
  • Front-seat adjustability

The bad:

  • No telescoping steering wheel
  • Modest backseat space
  • Unpadded armrests
  • Few standard features

3 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

  • GLS


  • GS


  • SE


Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2012 Hyundai Accent trim comparison will help you decide.

See also: Find the best Sedans for 2024

Notable features

  • Redesigned for 2012
  • Six-speed manual or automatic
  • Direct-injection four-cylinder
  • Sedan or four-door hatchback
  • Improved gas mileage

2012 Hyundai Accent review: Our expert's take

By Carrie Kim

I can’t help but smile when I see a child-safety seat in a small car’s backseat. I like to think of these folks as rebels proclaiming to the world that having a family doesn’t relegate them to a life of minivans. If you also have a desire to buck the system and drive a smaller, more economical car with a child (or two) in tow, the redesigned 2012 Hyundai Accent is an attractive option.

Combined with great fuel economy and a low sticker price, the 2012 Hyundai Accent gives parents an affordable car that doesn’t sacrifice style or personality.

Sure, the Accent won’t be feasible for many families, rebellious or not. If your family has more than four people, this subcompact won’t even be in the running. If you’ve got older kids, an outing with the entire family might lead to legroom complaints. However, the Accent’s size wasn’t a problem for my family of three, and it really got me thinking about how I could get used to driving an affordable car.

My hatchback test car with a standard six-speed manual transmission was fun to drive for the first couple of days. I was almost convinced that I could ditch my crossover and become a rebel mom, too, but after taking the Accent on the freeway, I knew I wouldn’t be heading to the dealer for a trade-in any time soon. The Accent was responsive and handled well around town while I was running errands, but at higher speeds, it seemed like it would blow off the road at times. I wouldn’t go so far as to compare it to a tin can tooling down the highway, but the car did feel lightweight.

The Hyundai Accent comes as both a hatchback and sedan, which has a starting MSRP of $12,445. The base GS hatchback starts at $14,595; my test car, a SE trim hatchback, had a $15,925 sticker price.

With an all-new body style for 2012, the Accent is a real standout in the subcompact class, and it definitely looks more expensive than its price. From my test car’s bold Marathon Blue paint to its sporty, fluid styling, this modest five-door is a looker. I could hold my head high when parking in a crowded lot or pulling up to any destination as people surprisingly exclaimed, “That’s a Hyundai?”

The five-seater has a low step-in height, making it easy for kids to enter and exit it. Adults will want to watch their heads, though. I’m just 5 feet 4 inches tall and when standing next to the Accent I could see over its roof.

The hatchback body style gave me better access to the cargo area and made loading things like my stroller into the back a little easier, thanks to a deep-set space. Full disclosure: I had to remove one of my stroller’s wheels to get it in the back, but it fit along with a couple of grocery bags and a shopping cart seat cover! If I wasn’t so lazy, I could’ve folded the 60/40-split rear seats for even more cargo space.

What I really liked about the Accent was filling up the gas tank for not a lot of cash. Its 138-horsepower, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine gets an EPA-estimated 30/40 mpg city/highway with regular unleaded gas. Saving money is always a welcome scenario for a family, and it felt great to check the trip computer and revel over the gas mileage I was averaging. Just the fuel economy alone had me thinking about how nice it could be to put an Accent on permanent family duty.

Family Friendly (Not Really, Fair, Great, Excellent): Fair
Fun-Factor (None, Some, Good Times, Groove-On): Some

With its low price, you wouldn’t expect there’d be much to say about the Accent’s interior, but there are a lot of surprises when it comes to its cabin. Hyundai managed to make the inside of this small, inexpensive car look much more spacious and expensive than it really is. Small details such as piano-black surfaces surrounded by silver-painted trim were a welcome sight compared to the usual cheap plastic wasteland usually found in econo-cars.

The Accent’s biggest surprise was its roominess. It’s still small, but somehow all my passengers riding shotgun with a rear-facing child-safety seat behind them claimed to not feel cramped. There was room for the infant seat without having to pull the front passenger seat all the way forward. This is a considerable feat!

Cupholder enthusiasts should be warned that there are only two in the Accent. Backseat occupants will just have to hold their drinks. In the front row, there’s a decent-size upper bin intended to store sunglasses that can be used for other items if you’re feeling creative, and the cubby below the center stack can hold a smartphone and lip balm with room for spare change.

Storage Compartments (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Puny
Cargo/Trunk Space (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Fair

The 2012 Accent received the top scores of Good in frontal, rear and roof-strength crash tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It got the second highest score of Acceptable in side crash tests. In crash tests by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Accent received an overall rating of four stars out of five.

The Accent has standard front-wheel drive, all-disc antilock brakes with brake assist, an electronic stability system with traction control, active front head restraints and six airbags, including side curtains for both rows. The best feature is that the base model and the top-trim Accent have the same safety features, which adds to its values for families — no matter their price point.

I was concerned I’d have to become a human pretzel when it was time to install my daughter’s rear-facing infant-safety seat in the Accent, but it went much better I than expected. Thanks to the Accent’s roomy interior, I had a little wiggle room and the process was relatively painless. The two sets of lower Latch anchors were quickly located, though buried deeply between the seat cushions, and the car seat was installed and ready for use in minutes. See how the 2012 Accent performed in our Car Seat Check.

Get more safety information about the Hyundai Accent here.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.0
  • Interior 4.2
  • Performance 3.9
  • Value 4.2
  • Exterior 4.2
  • Reliability 4.1
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Most recent consumer reviews


Never buy an accent

I've had two of the Hyundai accents, same year, there's same issues with the windows won't roll up, my paint is pealing off, it sits to low to the ground, both cars can not go through dips it pulls the front bumpers off, would not recommend this car


OK car

The car will work for someone with a small budget and desire a comfortable reliable ride. I recommend you buy it from a truly solid dealer that knows how to fix it with out excuses.


Great gas mileage and in great condition

This car has been great for my needs, and I have driven it both locally and on long trips, both of which have exceeded my expectations. It would make for a great starter car for a younger driver and has anything you would need in a first car.

See all 71 consumer reviews


Based on the 2012 Hyundai Accent base trim.
Combined side rating front seat
Combined side rating rear seat
Frontal barrier crash rating driver
Frontal barrier crash rating passenger
Overall frontal barrier crash rating
Overall rating
Overall side crash rating
Risk of rollover
Rollover rating
Side barrier rating
Side barrier rating driver
Side barrier rating passenger rear seat
Side pole rating driver front seat


New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Hyundai
New car program benefits
60 months/60,000 miles
84 months/unlimited distance
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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