Best & Worst Hyundai Accent Years

We've ranked all Hyundai Accent models for every generation so you can avoid picking the worst Hyundai Accent years and pick the best one.

In this guide, I’ll break down the latest Hyundai Accent generations, selecting the Accent’s best years to buy and the worst Hyundai Accent years to avoid.

Garnering insights from reliable sources like NHTSA, Consumer Reports, and actual owner feedback, I’ll combine qualitative and quantitative data to deliver a detailed overview of the most and least reliable Hyundai Accents across different generations.

You’ll know which Hyundai Accent years have transmission and engine problems, significant recalls, and the highest owner satisfaction scores.

Let’s dive right in.

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Table of ContentsShow

Hyundai Accent Generations

The Hyundai Accent, known for its affordability and efficiency, embarked on its journey with the debut of its first generation in 1994.

Notable for its compact size and surprisingly spacious interior for its class, the Accent instantly appealed to consumers who sought a cost-effective and reliable commuting vehicle.

Here are the latest Hyundai Accent generations from 2000 to 2022.

GenerationYears
2nd generation (LC)2000-2005
3rd generation (MC)2006-2011
4th generation (RB/RC)2012-2017
5th generation (HC/YC)2018-Present

Understanding the different generations of the Hyundai Accent is crucial for potential buyers and enthusiasts alike. Variations in mechanical reliability, safety enhancements, and interior amenities often become pivotal deciding factors for purchasers.

Hyundai Accent Best, Neutral, and Worst Years

When categorizing Hyundai Accent’s best, neutral, and worst years, numerous factors are meticulously considered to forge a well-rounded perspective:

  • Owner-reported reliability (surveys)
  • Annual maintenance costs
  • Safety ratings
  • Consumer Reports reliability scores
  • Consumer Reports owner satisfaction scores
  • NHTSA recalls, investigations, and complaints
  • Edmunds owner ratings
  • JD Power owner ratings
  • Kelley’s Blue Book (KBB) owner ratings
  • VehicleHistory owner ratings
  • Cars.com owner ratings

Our forthcoming graph combines data from the sources above, portraying a comprehensive view of the Hyundai Accent’s performance over the years.

Hyundai Accent Car Smite Score Combined Overall Score

The table below illustrates a succinct partitioning of the Hyundai Accent’s best, neutral, and worst years across generations.

GenerationBest YearsNeutral YearsWorst Years
2nd generation (LC)2005N/A2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
3rd generation (MC)2006
2007
2008
N/A2009
2010
2011
4th generation (RB/RC)2015
2016
2017
N/A2012
2013
2014
5th generation (HC/YC)2018
2019
2020
2021
N/A2022

Regarding “Neutral Years,” we denote model years that might offer a balanced blend of merits and demerits, not explicitly positioning themselves in Hyundai Accent’s best or worst years.

Acknowledging that some factors, like NHTSA recalls, directly and inversely influence the categorization is crucial. Increasing complaints and recalls instantly diminish the vehicle’s perceived reliability and satisfaction scores.

Let’s explore the Hyundai Accent’s best, average, and worst years.

Best & Worst Years for Hyundai Accent 2nd Generation (2000-2005)

Hyundai Accent 2nd generation 2000 model
The 2000 Hyundai Accent

The Hyundai Accent entered its 2nd iteration (2000-2005), focusing on providing an economical and compact vehicle to a widespread market.

Generally, the 2nd generation of the Hyundai Accent is not recommended due to transmission issues. 2005 is Hyundai Accent’s best year in this generation, while the previous years – 2000-2004 are the Hyundai Accent years you should avoid.

The Best Years: 2005

With better overall quality, high owner satisfaction scores, and few reported issues, 2005 is the best year for the first-generation Hyundai Accent.

This model was powered by a 1.6-liter Alpha II DOHC engine that produced 104 hp and 106 lb-ft of torque, mated with a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission.

Notably, the 2005 Accent embraced a practical approach in its design, with compact dimensions yet adequate interior space, providing a comfortable ride for its category.

However, it still bore some issues, such as reported engine and transmission problems.

While the issues weren’t as frequent or severe as in the earlier years, they still inconvenienced many owners. Specific reports pointed towards sub-optimal fuel efficiency and powertrain problems.

The Worst Years: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004

Due to reliability issues, decent fuel economy, and owner complaints, 2000-2004 are the Hyundai Accent years to avoid.

The 2000 Hyundai Accent introduced the generation with substantial problems with transmission, manifesting as sporadic downshifting, slipping, and even total transmission failures.

Coupled with engine issues such as oil leaks and habitual stalling, it set a concerning precedent for the following models.

In the 2001 Hyundai Accent, owners also faced corrosion in the front subframe and control arms, prompting concerns regarding structural integrity and safety.

The 2002 Hyundai Accent presented new problems with the fuel tank, as users found the gas pump would often prematurely cease, preventing the full utilization of the tank’s capacity.

As for the 2003 and 2004 Hyundai Accent models, the pre-existing issues were unfortunately retained, with additional problems steadily emerging.

Notably, the 2003 model faced criticisms regarding premature wear of brake components and suspension issues that detracted significantly from ride quality and safety.

See NHTSA 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 Hyundai Accent recalls and complaints.

Best & Worst Years for Hyundai Accent 3rd Generation (2006-2011)

Hyundai Accent 3rd generation 2006 model
The 2006 Hyundai Accent

The 3rd generation Hyundai Accent, from 2006 to 2011, entered the market boasting a more refined design and enhanced features.

Unexpectedly, the initial years of the era – 2006-2008 are regarded as the most dependable Hyundai Accent years, whereas you should steer clear of the 2009-2011 Hyundai Accent models.

The Best Years: 2006, 2007, 2008

Hyundai Accent’s best years in this generation – 2006, 2007, and 2008 stand out with good Edmunds, J.D. Power, and VehicleHistory ratings.

Characterized by its improved interior quality and enhanced ride comfort, the 2006 Accent attracted attention for its economical pricing and acceptable performance standards.

It is offered in sedan and hatchback body styles and equipped with a modest 1.6L DOHC 4-cylinder engine with an option for a 4-speed automatic or 5-speed manual transmission, with the average fuel efficiency at 19 mpg for the city and 37 mpg for highway driving.

However, the era was not without problems. Some owners reported minor electrical issues and complaints related to build quality and materials used in the interior.

The 2007 and 2008 Hyundai Accent models continued this fashion, providing a generally reliable and economical transportation option with minor, non-pervasive issues.

The Worst Years: 2009, 2010, 2011

What year is Hyundai Accent to avoid? 2009, 2010, and 2011 received many owner complaints on the transmission, brake, and ignition coil issues, so avoiding these Hyundai Accent years is wise.

The 2009 model became known for more pronounced issues related to the powertrain and service brakes. The engine was criticized for lacking power, and the automatic transmission was occasionally described as sluggish or unresponsive.

The 2010 Hyundai Accent introduced further complications with reports of brake light malfunctions and airbag systems, which were later addressed by a Hyundai recall.

The 2011 Hyundai Accent persevered with issues of its own, most notably involving ignition coil malfunctions, which caused problems with acceleration, misfires, and check engine lights illuminating prematurely.

See NHTSA 2009, 2010, 2011 Hyundai Accent recalls and complaints.

Best & Worst Years for Hyundai Accent 4th Generation (2012-2017)

Hyundai Accent 4th generation 2012 model
The 2012 Hyundai Accent

Entering its 4th generation from 2012 to 2017, the Hyundai Accent aimed to position itself as a strong competitor in the subcompact car segment by presenting a blend of aesthetic appeal, upgraded technology, and commendable fuel efficiency.

2015-2017 were Hyundai Accent’s best years in this generation regarding overall reliability. 2012-2014 were the most problematic years, so avoiding these Accent years will be wise.

The Best Years: 2015, 2016, 2017

The 2015 Hyundai Accent boasted its enhanced aesthetic appeal and continued to shine in fuel efficiency, with EPA estimates placing it around 27 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway.

With a revamped design, the Accent sought to embrace a more modern and sleek appearance, coupled with a 1.6L 4-cylinder engine that promised 138 horsepower and 123 lb-ft of torque, offered with either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission.

In the subsequent years, 2016 and 2017, Hyundai continued this positive trend by retaining the strengths of the previous model year while subtly refining aesthetics and maintaining its consistency in performance and fuel efficiency.

However, some users reported occasional air conditioning and heating system issues. In some newly registered reviews, owners complained about excessive oil consumption and leakage in the 2016 Hyundai Accent.

The Worst Years: 2012, 2013, 2014

The early years of the generation – 2012, 2013, and 2014 are undeniably the worst Hyundai Accent years you should avoid picking.

The 2012 Hyundai Accent was marred by various issues relating to the engine and transmission, with owners citing problems related to premature engine wear and instances of transmission slipping or failure.

Moreover, this year’s model witnessed recalls on issues with the brake light switch, which could lead to brake lights and cruise control malfunctions.

The 2013 Hyundai Accent saw a continuation of issues, notably concerning excessive oil consumption and engine failure, leaving several owners facing expensive repair costs.

Moreover, this year saw an essential recall concerning brake fluid leakage from the ABS module, potentially leading to an increased risk of an engine compartment fire.

The 2014 Hyundai Accent still faced complaints regarding the “Check Engine” light prematurely illuminating and unsettling knocking noises emerging from the engine compartment.

See NHTSA 2012, 2013, 2014 Hyundai Accent recalls and complaints.

Best & Worst Years for Hyundai Accent 5th Generation (2018-Present)

Hyundai Accent 5th generation 2018 model
The 2018 Hyundai Accent

Hyundai marked the dawn of its 5th generation Accent in 2018 with many enhancements designed to elevate its standing within the subcompact car sector.

This is by far the most reliable Hyundai Accent generation. 2018-2021 are Accent’s best years in the generation, while the latest model year – 2022, received relatively lower owner ratings.

The Best Years: 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021

What are the most reliable years for the Hyundai Accent? 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 are the best and most reliable Hyundai Accent years, with excellent ratings on platforms like VehicleHistory and Cars.com.

The power train for these years predominantly comprised a 1.6L  Gamma II GDic 4-cylinder engine, capable of producing 130 horsepower and 119 lb-ft of torque, paired with either a 6-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed automatic transmission.

Subsequent years also introduced Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), aiming to optimize performance and fuel efficiency further.

The 2018 Hyundai Accent was particularly appreciated for its aesthetically pleasing design, comprehensive safety features – including available forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking – and substantial cargo space considering its subcompact classification.

Furthermore, the model received praise for its remarkable fuel efficiency, being able to achieve an admirable EPA-estimated 28 mpg for city driving and 38 mpg on the highway, which was further improved in the 2019 model, achieving up to 33 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the road.

In the following years, 2019, 2020, and 2021, Hyundai sustained its momentum by ensuring consistent quality and introducing subtle enhancements, especially in the realms of technology and interior quality.

The Worst Years: 2022

Due to relatively low owner ratings and satisfaction scores, 2022 is categorized as the Hyundai Accent year to avoid in this generation.

Issues with the engine and the electrical system in the 2022 model presented inconveniences and concerns regarding reliability and ownership satisfaction.

Despite maintaining its sleek design and commendable fuel efficiency, with an average of approximately 33 mpg city and 41 mpg highway, the prevalent issues brought forth some considerations for potential buyers and owners alike, particularly when compared to the relatively smooth sailing of the preceding years.

See NHTSA 2022 Hyundai Accent recalls and complaints.

Hyundai Accent Average Resale Values

Explore the following graph to comprehend the Hyundai Accent’s average resale values trajectory over various model years and generations.

Hyundai Accent Average List Price

Conclusion

Now that we’ve explained the history of the Hyundai Accent, we know which years to go for and which years to avoid. Particularly, 2015-2021 models appears to be a good choice given their praised reliability and enhanced features.

Considering the detailed breakdown of the best and worst years for Hyundai Accent models, which year would you consider purchasing, and why?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Jonathan Eckert

Jonathan is an ASE-certified mechanic with over 22 years of hands-on experience in the automotive industry. His expertise spans a wide range of vehicles, but he specializes in diagnosing and repairing Japanese cars. His previous workplace highly commended his meticulous attention to detail, and that's exaclty what he uses at Car Smite to craft the best guides for each purpose.