2022 Hyundai Elantra vs Accent
Small sedans tend to be wallet-friendly options. Not only do they have some of the lowest price tags for new vehicles, but they also tend to be fuel efficient for long-lasting savings. Hyundai is a brand that has built a reputation for offering excellent value in recent years, and they offer two small sedans for consumers to choose from.
The 2022 Hyundai Elantra gets a new high-performance model this year. It launched its latest generation just last year, meaning it is still modern and full of the latest features. The 2022 Hyundai Accent has deleted the manual transmission from its option list. Otherwise, it continues unchanged. This year's Accent is part of the fifth generation of the car, which debuted in 2018.
Buyers who are looking for a new commuter car that will save them money without making them sacrifice comfort or convenience will want to check out both the 2022 Elantra and the 2022 Accent. The following is a breakdown of the differences so that drivers end up with the right option for their needs.
Size and Styling
Between the two, the 2022 Elantra is the larger of the sedans. It is 184.1 inches long, while the 2022 Accent measures in at only 172.6 inches in length. The width measurements are closer, with the Elantra coming in at 71.9 inches and the Accent being 68.1 inches. The Accent actually has a bit more ground clearance, giving buyers 5.5 inches compared to the Elantra's 5.3 inches. This may not make the Accent ready for the trails, but it may help it handle speed bumps a bit better.
Inside, the front legroom is quite similar. The Elantra gives drivers 42.3 inches and the Accent gives them 42.1 inches. Every version of the Accent has 38.9 inches of front headroom, while the Elantra has anywhere between 38.7 inches to 40.6 inches, depending on the trim level. The rear of the Accent is more cramped, giving only 33.5 inches of rear legroom compared to the Elantra's 38.0 inches. Both sedans have 37.3 inches of rear headroom.
Small sedans are not known for their cargo space. The Elantra has 14.2 cubic feet of trunk space, which is considered average. As for the Accent, it has 13.7 cubic feet, which is right around average for a subcompact sedan.
Both the 2022 Elantra and 2022 Accent are sleek and sporty sedans. The Elantra has more customization options, and buyers can add the available Premium package to the SEL trim level. It includes LED headlights, a sunroof, and a dark chrome front grille. Both the Elantra N-Line and the Elantra N add athletic style touches. The Accent has fewer exterior options, but its top Limited trim level does come equipped with LED headlights and attractive 17-inch alloy wheels.
Buyers have more options when it comes to the paint color of the Elantra versus the Accent. There are six colors to choose from for the Accent, most of which are shades of black or gray. Meanwhile, the Elantra offers nine paint colors, and buyers can opt for head-turners like Calypso Red and Intense Blue.
The powertrain setup for the 2022 Accent is straightforward. All models are equipped with a 1.6L inline-four-cylinder engine that makes 120 horsepower along with 113 lb-ft of torque. Front-wheel drive and a continuously variable transmission are standard across the board.
Things get a bit more complicated with the 2022 Elantra. The standard engine is a 2.0L four-cylinder that puts out 147 horsepower, making it more powerful than any version of the Accent. This engine is also paired with front-wheel drive and a CVT. Stepping up to the N-Line model of the Elantra means getting a 201-horsepower engine and either a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
The most powerful version of the Elantra is the N trim. It has a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder that makes 276 horsepower and 289 lb-ft of torque. This engine can be paired with a six-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. It has a variable sport exhaust and bigger brakes to offer to further enhance the performance of this Elantra.
Unlike the Accent, the Elantra has a hybrid option. The 1.6L engine works with an electric motor to generate 139 horsepower combined. In the entry-level Blue trim level, this is estimated to get a truly impressive 54mpg combined. The Elantra Hybrid Limited is estimated to get 50mpg combined.
Every 2022 Accent is estimated to get 33mpg in the city and 41mpg on the highway. The 2022 Elantra manages to be even more impressive with its base engine, getting 33mpg in the city and 43mpg on the highway. The Elantra N-Line with the manual transmission gets 25mpg city and 34mpg highway. This model with the automatic gets 28mpg city and 36mpg highway. The most powerful Elantra N gets 22mpg city and 31mpg highway with the manual or 20mpg city and 30mpg highway with the automatic.
Another thing that the Elantra has going for it is a larger gas tank. It can hold up to 14 gallons of fuel, while the Accent can only do 11.9 gallons. Although it may cost more to fill up the Elantra, drivers will be able to go a lot longer between fill-ups, especially if they stick with the entry-level engine.
Although the Elantra is a bit bigger, these are both easily maneuverable vehicles. Buyers should have no problems when it comes to cornering or parking either the Elantra or the Accent. This is a result of both their size and their tight turning radiuses.
The 2022 Accent gets mixed reviews when it comes to ride and handling. On smooth surfaces, it does perfectly fine. This is not the case when the road gets a bit rough. Overall, it does a respectable job with its stopping power and lightly-weighted steering.
Buyers will likely enjoy driving the Elantra more. Even with its standard engine, this vehicle provides engaging dynamics. This is certainly true of the N-Line, and especially true of the N with its adaptive shock absorbers and bigger brakes. While there are sportier options out there, the Elantra should satisfy most drivers.
Comfort, Options, and Performance
The interior of the Accent is fairly plain, and buyers will find that many hard plastics are used throughout the design. In all fairness, this is to be expected of a vehicle that starts out at just $15,500. The Elantra feels a bit more upscale, giving buyers clean lines and a modern feel.
Along those same lines, the Accent comes standard with only a 5-inch screen while the Elantra has an 8-inch touchscreen. The Elantra has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay standard across the board, while these features are missing from the entry-level Accent. That said, the top two Accent trims do gain these features, plus a 7-inch touchscreen.
The Accent has a single USB port standard, and the Elantra comes with at least two of them. If buyers do stick with the entry-level Accent, they can use either Bluetooth or Siri EyesFree to accomplish smartphone integration.
The 2022 Elantra offers far more advanced technology features on its upper trim levels. It can be equipped with a 10.25-inch touchscreen, wireless device charging, a 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster, and navigation. Both the Elantra and the Accent come with a four-speaker sound system, and they can both be upgraded to a six-speaker setup. The Elantra can also be upgraded to an eight-speaker setup. Both of these sedans offer satellite radio, and the Elantra comes standard with HD radio.
For the Accent, the entry-level SE is sparsely equipped. It has cloth upholstery, power windows, power door locks, and not much else to get excited about. The entry-level Elantra not only has better technology features, but it also has extras like remote keyless entry and alloy wheels.
When comparing the top trim levels, the Accent Limited has things like heated front seats, LED headlights, automatic climate control, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. As for the Elantra Limited, it is home to leather-trimmed seats, an enhanced voice recognition system, and the larger 10.25-inch touchscreen. There are more expensive versions of the Elantra, but they add performance upgrades rather than interior features.
When looking at safety scores, the 2022 Elantra is a clear winner over the 2022 Accent. The Elantra received an overall score of five out of five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Five stars were awarded for side crashes and rollovers, and four stars for frontal collisions. Meanwhile, the Accent received only four stars overall. While it managed to get five stars in side crash testing, it got only four stars for frontal collisions as well as rollovers.
Both these vehicles were tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. There are six main categories looked at, and the 2022 Elantra got the top score of "Good" for all of them. The Accent got the top score of "Good" in five categories, and the score of "Acceptable" in small overlap front passenger testing. Buyers should note that both of these vehicles received the score of "Poor" for their entry-level headlights.
The only standard driver aid for the 2022 Accent is a rearview mirror. Forward collision mitigation is available, but it is exclusive to the top Limited trim level. As for the Elantra, it has a truly impressive number of driver assistance features. All of the trim levels have blind-spot monitoring, forward collision mitigation, driver drowsiness monitoring, safe exit warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and a rear seat alert. Other standard features for the Elantra are things like automatic high beams and pedestrian detection.
Select models of the 2022 Hyundai Elantra can add rear parking sensors along with rear collision warning. This sedan can also have the popular adaptive cruise control feature, plus cyclist detection. Upper trim levels can have Highway Driving Assist, which combines adaptive cruise control with a lane-centering feature for a semi-autonomous driving experience.
Which Model to Choose?
On the surface, the 2022 Elantra looks like it is the better choice. It has more standard features, better safety scores, and more engine options to consider. Plus, it has a hybrid powertrain option and a more efficient base engine. That said, buyers will want to really look at the price tags of both of these vehicles before making their final choice.
The entry-level Accent SE starts at $15,500, while the entry-level Elantra SE starts at $19,850. That is more than the top Accent Limited, which starts at just $19,500. While the Accent may not have the sophistication and extensive list of features, it is decently well equipped for the price. Unless having the latest safety features is a priority, many drivers may prefer the Accent for its lower price tag.
Those who are looking for an affordable sedan and do not need a lot of bells and whistles will love the 2022 Hyundai Accent. As for the 2022 Hyundai Elantra, it is a better choice for small families and those who value the latest in technology and safety features.