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A buyer on a tight budget will probably give some consideration to the 2019 Hyundai Accent. This modestly-priced little sedan's biggest selling point is its price tag. Since it is an economy vehicle, you should know before buying it that the Accent does not have a huge load of high-tech features. But what it does have is sufficient for meeting the needs of many drivers.
The Accent was redesigned for 2018, and with this revamp came a lot more cabin space. Before that, the Accent was, to put it nicely, cramped. Now, with some extra length and width, the Accent feels remarkably comfortable and roomy. Oh, and it seems sportier than it used to be. The Accent has become much nimbler in its current incarnation because the engine produces more low-end torque, even though there is less maximum power. When you equip the automatic transmission, the Accent gets a respectable 32 mpg combined. Given that the interior is pretty comfy, the Accent has become a good choice for those who have lengthy daily commutes.
But which of the three trim levels (the SE, SEL, and Limited) is the right one to fit your unique needs? Should you go with the SE's basics, the SEL's utility, or the Limited's convenience? Read on through to the end of this review, and you should have a clearer concept of which 2019 Hyundai Accent trim level is the best one for you.
Compare the 2019 Hyundai Accent SE vs SEL - What is the difference?
At the beginning of the 2019 Hyundai Accent line-up is the SE. This base trim, like the two higher trim levels, is powered by a 1.6-L 4-cylinder engine that is capable of producing 130 hp and 119 lb-ft of torque. This front-wheel drive vehicle can be bought with either a 6-speed manual transmission (which is exclusively found on the SE) or an automatic transmission (which is available on all three trim levels).
On the exterior, the SE trim comes with 15-inch steel wheels. The wheels on the SEL are the same size but get upgraded to alloy material. A one-touch triple turn signal comes standard on every trim level, as does a chrome grille and body-colored dual-adjustable power side mirrors. The SEL adds a few more exterior features in order to give the vehicle more style and functionality. Additional features found on the body of the mid-level SEL trim include automated headlights, front fog lights, heating for the side mirrors, and chrome belt moldings around the windows.
For a starting MSRP of just under $14,000, the SE trim level has an interior that is pretty decently loaded. While you cannot expect there to be too many frills, what the SE does have seems sufficient. The seats are upholstered in cloth, and the driver seat is 6-way power-adjustable. The rear seats are 60/40 split-folding. Other standard interior features that span the entire line-up include a sliding armrest storage box for the driver, height adjustment for the driver seat, sliding and reclining adjustments for the front seats, air conditioning, cruise control, and power windows. The steering wheel has a number of controls mounted onto it, and Bluetooth connectivity comes standard. On the SEL, you get voice recognition added onto Bluetooth. The vehicle can be accessed via remote keyless entry, which comes with a panic alert system for when you need to quickly locate your car.
As far as infotainment goes, the SE has about what you would expect from an economy car's base trim. It comes equipped with a 5-inch touchscreen display, AM/FM radio, four speakers, and jacks for both an MP3 player and USB cables. Of course, upgrading to the SEL trim gets you more than this. The SEL has two USB charging ports, a 7-inch touchscreen monitor, SiriusXM Radio connectivity, smartphone app integration through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and six speakers for the sound system. This certainly makes for a pretty significant upgrade.
Safety features are undoubtedly some of the most attractive features for drivers looking to buy new vehicles. Safety technology has grown by leaps and bounds, and even modest base trims like the SE are pretty well-equipped with them. The SE's list of standard safety features includes a vehicle stability management system, traction control, electronic stability control, an anti-lock braking system, hillstart assist control (which is optional since it is only for the automatic transmission), and a tire pressure monitoring system.
Of course, if you want enhanced driver aids, you can find a few on the SEL trim level. The SEL comes with a standard blind spot monitoring system. This allows you to use camera technology to get a sense of whether a vehicle is driving in any of your blind spots. Still, keep in mind that the Accent is an economy-based vehicle, so you will not have access to a huge array of advanced safety features, even on the line-topping Limited trim. With that being said, let us take a look at how the SEL compares to the Limited.
Compare the 2019 Accent SEL vs Limited Trims. What is the difference?
The 2019 Hyundai Accent's line-topper, the Limited trim level, has a starting MSRP of just over $18,000, making it one of the most affordable high-level trims in its class. Since the Limited is so affordable, a lot of buyers might want to skip right past the SE and SEL and jump straight to this trim. But is it worth the investment?
To be certain, the Limited trim level is given as many standard features as Hyundai can pack into an economy sedan. The primary appeal comes from the car's fuel efficiency, which, like the other automatic transmission-powered trims, is a combined 32 mpg. It is equipped with the same front-wheel drive drivetrain, motor-driven power steering, and front and rear suspensions as the other two trim levels. The only real difference you will find in terms of performance comes from the upgraded 17-inch alloy wheels. Other than that, you can expect the Limited to drive just like the SE and SEL trims.
On the outside, all three trim levels tend to look pretty similar. However, the Limited trim has a few nuances that help to distinguish it from the SE and SEL. The Limited trim level is equipped with the standard one-touch triple turn signal, body-colored side mirrors, and a chrome grille, all of which can be found on both the SE and the SEL trims. Like the SEL, the Limited has foglights, automatic headlight control, heated side mirrors, and chrome belt molding around the windows. Unique to the Limited's body are LED headlights that come with LED daytime running lights and LED taillights. The Limited trim also has turn signals integrated into the side mirrors, and there is a standard power tilt-and-slide sunroof as well.
The Limited's cabin is also packed with a sizable list of standard features. In terms of its design elements, the Limited shares the same cloth-upholstered seating, 6-way adjustable driver seat, air conditioning, rear defrost mechanism, cruise control, power windows, and power locks. And, like the SEL, the Limited has the same 7-inch infotainment touchscreen and system, Bluetooth with voice recognition, and seatback pocket on the passenger's side. This leaves the Limited looking pretty similar to the two lower trim levels. However, if you pay close attention, you will notice some differences in the details. The Limited boosts its luxuriousness with the addition of heated front seats, and a proximity key that comes with a push button start function.
You also will not find too much in the way of differences between the SEL and the Limited trim in terms of their standard safety features. The Limited shares the SEL's driver's side blind spot mirror, hillstart assist control, and all of the safety features found on both the SE and SEL. However, the Limited adds a forward collision avoidance system for extra protection while on the road. This feature utilizes camera sensors and radar technology in order to monitor, detect, and prevent frontal crashes from happening. It does not just help prevent accidents with other vehicles but also with pedestrians. With help from electronic stability control, the system will automatically apply the brakes when it detects a hazard that could potentially cause a forward collision.
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Which One Should You Choose?
As you can see, the 2019 Hyundai Accent is a sedan that is geared toward drivers who cannot afford higher-priced vehicles. It has enough standard features to make it an attractive purchase for quite a few drivers, but it does lack some of the advanced infotainment and safety features that come on the Accent's more expensive competitors.
Still, you can buy any trim level in this line-up without feeling the burden on your bank account. The base SE trim is incredibly reasonably priced if you are satisfied by the absolute basics. It certainly provides all of those necessities. The SEL amps things up a bit more with the inclusion of more standard features. However, for the price, the line-topping Limited trim is a good deal. In fact, it is probably the Accent trim most worth purchasing since it is so inclusive.