In terms of size, the 2018 Accent is wider and longer than the 2017 sedan, with an increased wheelbase, though it sits 10 millimetres lower to the ground for better aerodynamics.
Toronto, ON - The Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS) has been around since the mid-70's, and while plenty of exciting vehicles have made their way through the Toronto show, it's never hosted a world premiere. That changes today with the global unveiling of the 2018 Hyundai Accent.
The fifth-generation Accent sedan, which Hyundai says will make its way to markets around the world beginning in the third quarter of 2017, is larger than its predecessor, accelerates faster, and offers a segment-first safety feature. The new styling it sports also proves it's undeniably a Hyundai product.
In terms of size, the 2018 Accent is wider and longer than the 2017 sedan, with an increased wheelbase, though it sits 10 millimetres lower to the ground for better aerodynamics. Not surprisingly, the interior is larger, both in terms of passenger volume and trunk space. Not only that, the cabin looks plenty stylish, with pictures showing eye-catching red accents and stitching on the black front and rear seats, as well as on the steering wheel.
Hyundai's subcompact still uses a 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine exclusively throughout the lineup for the 2018 model year, which can be mated to either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.
While power is down compared to last year's powerplant (132 horsepower and 119 pound-feet of torque for the 2018 model, compared to 137/123 in the previous generation), Hyundai says acceleration from 40-80 kilometres per hour and 80-120 km/h actually improves with the new model (by 0.2 and 1.3 seconds, respectively).
Fuel economy has increased by seven percent as well, so expect an improvement over the 2017 model's 7.8 litres per 100 kilometres combined fuel economy figure when equipped with a manual gearbox.
Subcompacts have certainly come a long way since the first Toronto auto show, and in a segment first, the newest Accent will offer Autonomous Emergency Braking. The technology, which has begun trickling down from luxury vehicles, uses a front-facing radar to warn the driver if a collision is imminent. If the driver still doesn't react, the vehicle will automatically apply the brakes in order to minimize injuries.
Additional technology available on the Accent in certain markets - and much of this we're assuming will require moving up to the highest trim levels - includes a five- or seven-inch colour TFT LCD instrument display, proximity key with push-button start, and rear-view camera with dynamic guidance. The upgraded display will also incorporate Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
While the focus today is on the four-door Accent, hatchback fans need not fret - the five-door model will be joining its sibling in the fourth quarter of 2017. From the sounds of it, the hatch will include most, if not all, the additions the sedan gets.
The 2018 Accent promises to up the ante in a segment that is deceptively competitive. These vehicles are small in stature, but are legitimately beginning to offer large lists of features.
Live photos: Kanishka Sonnadara / Motor1 Canada