2018 Hyundai Accent GLS Hatchback Manual Review

A couple months ago, I reviewed the 2018 Hyundai Accent GLS sedan. It was a fun and practical car that offers great values for its price tag. Courtesy of Hyundai Canada, I have the opportunity to test drive its sibling, the 2018 Accent GLS hatchback with a 6-speed manual transmission. Does the hatchback form factor and the manual transmission makes the Accent even more fun and practical? Let's find out.

The front of the Hyundai Accent hatchback looks exactly like the sedan version with its signature hexagonal grille and the LED projector headlights. Chrome accents encircle both the center grille and the lower grilles. The lower grilles also house the fog lights, and provide integrated air vents to minimize air turbulence around front wheels.

The side profile of the car is also identical to the sedan version up to the B pillar. The slightly sloped roof line is obviously much higher than the sedan and offers a more composed, hefty look. The 17" alloy wheels compliment the prominent wheel arches to make the hatchback look sporty.

The rear of the vehicle is completely different from the sedan. The taillight housing is taller and looks more traditional. A deep crease runs across the tailgate to break up the visual elements and makes the rear section look lighter.

I really like the exterior of the Accent hatchback. It simply makes the "sub-compact" look more premium and much larger. The hatchback form factor adds heft and composure while maintaining a sporty feel. The sedan version of the Accent is also good looking, but I prefer the look of the hatchback more.

The interior of the Accent hatchback is almost identical to the sedan. The front legrooms are excellent and the cockpit feels clean and modern with well organized control layouts.

The two-toned red and back seats are partly leather and partly cloth. Visually they look great and are surprisingly comfortable even for longer drives. Both front seats are heated with the driver side being 6-way adjustable. The red accents of the seats are also present on the door panels and steering wheel, which gives the interior a sporty, race-car like atmosphere.

The legrooms of the rear seats are just adequate. However, because of the higher roof line, the rear headroom is much better than the sedan. I also find the rear view from the driver seat to be slightly better for the same reason.


Like all the Hyundai I have test driven so far, I find the infotainment to be excellent. The 7.0" touch-screen is bright even in direct sunlight. The touch response is snappy and the system comes standard with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. I also really like simple layout of the control buttons and dials.

The familiar LCD information panel is also present in the instrumental cluster between the two dials. It provides instant notifications about the status of the car and can be easily interacted by the buttons and rocker switches on the steering wheel.

There is a single USB charging port, a 12V power socket, as well as an auxiliary input at the lower console.

What impresses me the most is how much more fun the manual transmission makes driving experience feel. It is the same preppy 1.6L inline 4 that produces 130 hp of power at 6300rpm and 119 lb-ft of toruqe at 4850rpm. However, because you are in total control of the gear shifts, the car feels much more engaging. The 6-speed manual transmission is very forgiving. The throws are light, and the clutch engagement is smooth and linear. There is good feedback when the shifter slots into gear. It would be a great learner for anyone driving stick for the first time.

The steering is light, but still precise. The front suspensions are MacPherson struts, and the rear suspension is a torsion axle with coil springs. There is no multi-link rear suspensions in this car, but it still handles the corners admirably.

Not only does the manual transmission makes the car more fun to drive, it also saves a little fuel. The manaul transmission is rated for 7.3L/100km city/highway combined, while the automatic transmission is rated for 7.4. We find the rated fuel economy figure consistent with our own test drive.

Safety and Driver Assistance
The 2018 Hyundai Accent GLS Hatchback comes standard with a Rear-View Camera, Electronic Stability Control, and Traction Control.

Autonomous Emergency Braking is available for the GLS trim only

Cargo Space & Storage
The cargo space of the Accent Hatchback is surprisingly big for its size. The 616 L of cargo space is bigger than that of Honda Fit, and Versa Note.

The 60/40 split-fold rear seats provides additional space as needed while still accommodating a rear passenger. Because the cargo floor is quite deep, there is a noticeable height difference when the rear seats are folded. A double cargo floor design would eliminate this issue and provide additional storage options.

There are sufficient cargo spaces for smaller items in the cabin. Both front and rear seats have deep side pockets that are well organized. In addition, there are small storage bins inside the side armrests. Additional storage spaces can be found in the center console, and under the center armrest.

I liked the 2018 Hyundai Accent GLS sedan, but the Hatchback Manual is just so much more fun to drive and offers so much more storage space. It is a great looking car that certainly punches above its class both in terms of look and feel. While the hatchback version is not available in the Unite States, it has been a top selling in Canada.

For people looking for the most bang for their buck, the 2018 Hyundai Accent GLS Hatchback Manual offers all the goodies with few compromises. I highly recommend it.

Test Vehicle
$21,224  (without delivery and destination)
Urban Grey


Popular Posts