Sedans, especially those of the compact variety, aren’t getting a lot of love from consumers today. Instead, crossovers and SUVs of all sizes are the darlings of today’s new-car buyers. However, that doesn’t mean automakers are leaving every sedan offering abandoned on the side of the road that leads toward financial prosperity. Hyundai still makes the Accent, and for 2020, it’s getting a slew of upgrades under the hood.
New for the 2020 Accent is Hyundai’s 1.6-liter Smartstream four-cylinder engine, which features continuously variable valve timing, dual-port injection, and a new thermal management module. The engine produces 120 horsepower (89 kilowatts) and 113 pound-feet (153 Newton-meters) of torque.
Also new is Hyundai’s Smartstream Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT), the company’s own in-house continuously variable transmission. Hyundai’s IVT doesn’t follow your standard CVT formula either. Instead of a push belt, which is far more common, Hyundai opted for a chain belt, a first in the compact car segment, according to the company. It replaces the six-speed automatic while the six-speed manual remains the standard gearbox.
The new engine and gearbox improve the 2020 Accent’s fuel economy. The combined mpg rating for the Accent with the six-eyed manual increase by one. However, the IVT sees the most significant gains, adding four mpg to the combined rating for 36 mpg compared to 32 mpg for the 2019 model with the non-updated engine and gearbox.
Pricing for the 2020 Hyundai Accent is still affordable. The entry-level SE trim with the manual gearbox starts at $16,125 while equipping the IVT adds $1,200 to bring the starting price to $17,225. Al prices include the $930 destination charge. The top-tier Limited trim with the IVT starts at $20,230.
While the 2020 Hyundai Accent doesn’t give the compact a new look, the new engine and gearbox should be more than enough to entice customers. People looking for a car on a budget who want good fuel economy and features will take notice of the updated Hyundai. No, this isn’t as big of a splash as the new C8 Corvette; however, it’s still an essential update for the South Korean automaker.