With a big smile on his face...

The fourth-generation Accent was launched back in 2010, so it comes as no surprise that Hyundai is out there on public roads testing a replacement. What we do find interesting is the fact the camouflaged prototype has been caught on camera in Spain, which may or may not be a sign of the small sedan’s return to Europe. That being said, Hyundai might be testing it in Europe only because the next Accent will once again be produced and sold in Russia where it’s known as the Solaris and is also available as a hatchback.

If the subcompact sedan will indeed be re-introduced in select European markets, it will obviously undercut the Elantra and will act as Hyundai’s cheapest sedan. Although not visible, chances are the new Accent will grow a bit in size and most of the stretch will go into the wheelbase to free up more legroom for passengers sitting in the back. A slightly larger trunk is also expected to make the tiny sedan a better companion on longer trips.

2018 Hyundai Accent spy photo
2018 Hyundai Accent spy photo

With the test vehicle being dipped in camouflage, it’s hard to make out all of the details at this point. However, we are able to notice the wide taillights reminiscent of those fitted onto the larger Elantra, while up front the headlights appear to be an evolution of the outgoing model’s clusters. Also noticeable are the rear drum brakes and what seems to be a slightly more arched roofline.

If the new Hyundai Accent is heading back to the old continent, it will have to go up against the likes of the no-frills Dacia Logan and the SEAT Toledo / Skoda Rapid cousins, albeit the last two are technically hatchbacks. The old Rio has a sedan version in some European markets, but it’s unclear at this point whether it will live to see a new generation in Europe. In Russia, the Accent/Solaris will also have to fight the VW Polo available locally as a sedan.

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Expect the disguise to come off at some point in 2017, with sales of the revamped Hyundai Accent to begin by the year’s end.

Photos: Automedia

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2018 Hyundai Accent spy photos