Subcompact car; Built in South Korea
  • 2-door hatchback
  • 4-door sedan
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $4,800 – $12,000*

2006 Hyundai Accent

2006 Hyundai Accent

2006 Hyundai Accent

2006 Hyundai Accent

  • Control layout
  • Fuel economy
  • Interior materials
  • Acceleration
  • Cargo room

Accent has one-upped most subcompacts by supplying front side airbags and curtain side airbags as standard equipment. These hatchbacks and sedans are hardly quiet, but they deliver solid build quality, reasonable interior space, and more equipment than the low new-car price would suggest. A strong warranty adds to Accent’s Best Buy appeal as an entry-level car. Accents do not hold their value too well, so used-car prices tend to be relatively low.


Hyundai’s smallest car was redesigned for 2006, adding size, power, and safety features. Accent debuted as a GLS four-door sedan, but a sporty two-door hatchback arrived early in calendar 2006 (as a 2007 model).

Compared to the 2002-2005 sedan, the 2006 model was 1.8 inches longer, an inch wider, and 3 inches taller, on a 2.3-inch longer wheelbase. Accent’s 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine gained 6 horsepower for 110 total. Transmission choices were a five-speed manual and optional four-speed automatic.

Newly standard were front torso side airbags, head-protecting curtain side airbags, and antilock brakes. Also included: height-adjustable front seats, split folding rear seatbacks, and a CD player. Air conditioning was a standalone option and included in a Premium Sport Package, along with power windows, power heated mirrors, keyless entry, and 15-inch alloy wheels to replace 14-inch steel rims.

Accent shared its underskin design with the front-wheel-drive Kia Rio, but differed in styling, content mix, and pricing. Rivals also included the Chevrolet Aveo, Ford Focus, Honda Fit, and Toyota Yaris.

Hyundai offered one of the industry’s longest warranties: 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper and 10/100,000 powertrain coverage, with 5-year/unlimited-mileage roadside assistance.

Yearly Updates

2007 Accent
Except for the addition of a two-door hatchback as an early 2007 model, Accent changed little this year. Antilock braking for sedans slipped from standard equipment to the options list for 2007. ABS was standard on the SE, optional for GLS, but unavailable on GS models.
2008 Accent
The 2008 Hyundai Accent got a revised instrument panel and a few new available features.
2009 Accent
Accent got a few powertrain tweaks designed to increase fuel economy but was otherwise unchanged.
2010 Accent
The 2010 lineup saw the addition of the Accent Blue, a low-price model offered only with a manual transmission. It had specific gear ratios and aerodynamic tweaks that improved highway fuel economy by 2 mpg over that of other stick-shift Accents.
2011 Accent
The 2011 Hyundai Accent is largely unchanged.


transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

Either a five-speed manual transmission or an optional four-speed automatic could be installed in an Accent. The 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine developed 110 horsepower.

dohc I41
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 1.6/98
Engine HP 110
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 106
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic

1. EPA mpg listed for 2010 models. Accent Blue model, offered only with manual transmission, was rated at 28/36.

Road Test

Acceleration with automatic is adequate around town, but weak in nearly every driving condition–as evidenced by the leisurely 11.1 seconds it took for a test Accent to reach 60 mph. Accents struggle up hills and trying to achieve freeway speeds. Manual-transmission versions are livelier, though one test SE suffered imprecise shift action. The four-speed automatic downshifts promptly and smoothly for passing.

EPA city ratings suggest fine real-world fuel economy. An automatic GLS sedan averaged 21.8 mpg, including gas-eating performance runs. A manual-shift GS reached a frugal 34.2 mpg. Hyundai recommends regular-grade fuel.

Accents ride comfortably over smaller bumps, but soft suspension tuning on GS/GLS models allows moderate bounding over large high-speed humps. SE versions have a sport suspension that stops bounding, but allows more bumps to register. A surprisingly solid structural feel belies the low price of an Accent, enhancing the impression of ride comfort.

Power steering is overboosted, lacking road feel. Handling dynamics are otherwise on par for the class. Fast cornering produces fair body lean and modest grip from skinny tires, though Accents feel safe and predictable. Expect sharper moves with an SE, thanks to its firmer suspension and 16-inch tires. Good braking power is enhanced by standard ABS, laudable at this price level. Brakes offer good control and solid pedal feel.

Accents aren’t quiet, but not especially noisy either. The engine is a bit buzzy from around 4000 rpm on up, but is never objectionably loud. Wind noise is modest for this class, though coarse-surface tire thrum is fairly high.

Dashboards show style and good design with clear gauges and simple, logical controls. Cloth upholstery has an unexpectedly classy look and feel. Plastic panels look nice, too, but a few feel budget-grade flimsy to the touch, and padded surfaces are scarce.

Front seats are fairly roomy for the class, with six-footer head clearance plus good leg space. Still, taller drivers may crave more seat travel. Seats are relatively high and seem comfortable, but need better thigh support. Driver comfort is aided by the standard height-adjustable seat and tilt steering wheel. Visibility is good all-around. Rear headroom and foot space exceed the subcompact class norm. Pushing front seats well back squeezes legroom, but knees won’t dig into seatbacks. Entry/exit is okay in sedans, but stoop-and-twist in hatchbacks. The sloping roofline limits hatchback headroom.

Hatchback cargo areas are usefully larger than the sedan’s trunk, but both body styles have a shallow opening that complicates loading bulky items. Folding rear seatbacks help compensate, increasing the usable space. Cabin storage is not great, but front door map pockets include handy bottle holders.


Model Tested: GLS, automatic with ABS, Sport Package

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 2
Fuel Economy - 6
Ride Quality - 6
Steering/Handling - 5
Quietness - 5


Controls/Materials - 6
Room/Comfort Front - 5
Room/Comfort Rear - 4
Cargo Room - 2


Value - 10

Total: 51


2-door hatchback
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
98.4 159.3 66.7 57.9
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
15.9 11.9 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.6 37.8 42.8 34.3
4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
98.4 168.5 66.7 57.9
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
12.4 11.9 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.6 37.8 42.8 34.3
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2006 Accent 4-door sedan


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Front Passenger Injury - 5

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
Rear Passenger Injury - 3


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Automatic transmission
Description: Automatic transmission may not operate in drive or reverse due to the maladjustment of the transmission range shift and could ultimately lead to complete transmission failure. (2006)
Cold-starting problems
Description: Rough engine idle when cold engine first started requires reprogramming the powertrain control module. (2007)
Oil leak
Description: Oil seal(s) may leak on the differential. (2006)
Transmission leak
Description: Transmission fluid may leak from the front pump seal at the torque converter requiring replacement, or the reduction brake piston cover requiring replacement of two O-rings. (2006)
Description: The low tire pressure warning light may illuminate due to electromagnetic interference from transmitters near police stations, airports or other sources of electronic transmission, but will usually go out when moving out of range. The warning light may also be activated by some electronic devices plugged in the accessory power outlet. (2006-07)

Recall History

2006-07 Accent
Description: The stop lamp switch in the affected vehicles may malfunction and cause the brake lights to not illuminate when the brake pedal is depressed or may cause the brake lights to remain illuminated when the brake pedal is released. A stop lamp switch malfunction may also affect the operation of the brake-transmission shift interlock feature so the transmission shifter would not be able to be shifted out of the park position. Dealers will replace the stop lamp switch free of charge.
2007-2009 Accent
Description: Stop-lamp switch may malfunction, preventing brake lights from functioning and potentially interfering with cruise control and the push-button starter.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.

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