Small updates translate into big gains.

Sedans, especially those of the compact variety, aren’t getting a lot of love from consumers today. Instead, crossovers and SUVs of all sizes are the darlings of today’s new-car buyers. However, that doesn’t mean automakers are leaving every sedan offering abandoned on the side of the road that leads toward financial prosperity. Hyundai still makes the Accent, and for 2020, it’s getting a slew of upgrades under the hood.

New for the 2020 Accent is Hyundai’s 1.6-liter Smartstream four-cylinder engine, which features continuously variable valve timing, dual-port injection, and a new thermal management module. The engine produces 120 horsepower (89 kilowatts) and 113 pound-feet (153 Newton-meters) of torque.

Also new is Hyundai’s Smartstream Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT), the company’s own in-house continuously variable transmission. Hyundai’s IVT doesn’t follow your standard CVT formula either. Instead of a push belt, which is far more common, Hyundai opted for a chain belt, a first in the compact car segment, according to the company. It replaces the six-speed automatic while the six-speed manual remains the standard gearbox.

The new engine and gearbox improve the 2020 Accent’s fuel economy. The combined mpg rating for the Accent with the six-eyed manual increase by one. However, the IVT sees the most significant gains, adding four mpg to the combined rating for 36 mpg compared to 32 mpg for the 2019 model with the non-updated engine and gearbox.

Gallery: 2020 Hyundai Accent

Pricing for the 2020 Hyundai Accent is still affordable. The entry-level SE trim with the manual gearbox starts at $16,125 while equipping the IVT adds $1,200 to bring the starting price to $17,225. Al prices include the $930 destination charge. The top-tier Limited trim with the IVT starts at $20,230.

While the 2020 Hyundai Accent doesn’t give the compact a new look, the new engine and gearbox should be more than enough to entice customers. People looking for a car on a budget who want good fuel economy and features will take notice of the updated Hyundai. No, this isn’t as big of a splash as the new C8 Corvette; however, it’s still an essential update for the South Korean automaker.

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FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., July 22, 2019– The 2020 Hyundai Accent has a new Smartstream G1.6 Dual Port Injection (DPI) engine and a Smartstream Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT). These changes increase Accent’s EPA estimated fuel economy to 33 mpg city, 41 highway, 36 combined, up considerably from the 28 city, 38 highway, 32 combined mpg rating with last year's 1.6-liter Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) engine and 6-speed automatic transmission. Pricing of 2020 Accent SE starts at $15,195 and all of the upgraded models will arrive in dealer showrooms this summer.

Smartstream G1.6 DPI powertrain highlights

  • Dual Port Injection
    • Injection timing: Fuel injection at the intake stroke decreases wall wetting for improved fuel economy and reduced emissions
    • The amount of fuel injection is controlled by driving conditions
    • High compression is reduced at initial engine start
  • Thermal Management Module
    • Replaces traditional thermostat increasing cooling efficiency through temperature control of each port:
      • Radiator
      • Transmission fluid cooler
      • Heater
    • Mid-phase Continuously Variable Valve Timing
      • Reduces pumping loss and improves fuel efficiency
    • Narrow water jacket core
      • Improves thermal/cooling efficiency
    • High energy ignition coil
      • Improves fuel economy and combustion stability
    • External Exhaust Gas Recovery (EGR) system
      • Improves fuel economy and combustion stability 

Engine Performance

The eco-efficient Smartstream G1.6 DPI 4-cylinder engine with Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) engine is mated to a standard 6-speed manual or optional IVT transmission. These drivetrains produce an estimated 120 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm and 113 lb.-ft. @ 4,500 rpm.   

Fuel Economy Improvement

Trim

Engine

Transmission

2020

Combined Estimated MPG

2019

Combined Estimated MPG

SE

Smartstream G1.6 DPI

6-Speed Manual

33

31

SE

Smartstream

G1.6 DPI

Smartstream IVT

36

32

SEL

Smartstream G1.6 DPI

Smartstream IVT

36

32

Limited

Smartstream G1.6 DPI

Smartstream IVT

36

32

 

2020 Accent Pricing

Model

Engine

Transmission

MSRP

SE

Smartstream G1.6 DPI

6-Speed Manual

$15,195

SE

Smartstream G1.6 DPI

Smartstream IVT

$16,295

SEL

Smartstream G1.6 DPI

Smartstream IVT

$17,550

Limited

Smartstream G1.6 DPI

Smartstream IVT

$19,300

Pricing in the chart excludes a $930 freight charge.

Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT)

Hyundai’s new IVT provides superior efficiency and simulates gear shifts from an automatic transmission that customers like. This transmission performs continuous shifts by modulating pressure of the transmission’s pulley, depending on driving conditions and driver inputs. It utilizes a wide ratio pulley system, which provides a broader ratio of operation when compared with its competitors. This allows for improved fuel economy at higher gear ratios and improved performance at lower ratios.

As opposed to a more common push belt, the IVT takes advantage of a chain belt, a world’s first in the compact car segment. A chain improves fuel efficiency by an additional 1.2% when compared with conventional belt systems.

Hyundai’s new Shift Control Strategy used by the IVT improves linearity between driver inputs, vehicle behavior and acceleration. Shift response is enhanced, allowing it to closely replicate automatic transmission step shifts.

Safety

The 2020 Accent offers an array of advanced safety technologies. Features include:

  • Standard Rearview camera with dynamic guidelines
  • Forward Collision-avoidance Assist (FCA) (Limited trim only)
  • 6 Airbags
  • Vehicle Stability Management
  • Electronic Brake-force Distribution

Interior Features

  • Standard 5-inch color touch screen
  • Available 7-inch display audio system with Android Auto™ & Apple CarPlay™
  • Available Blue Link® Connected Services 3-years with Standard complimentary service including Remote Start
  • Available Segment 1st Hands-Free Smart Trunk Release
  • Available Heated front seats
  • Available Proximity Push Button start and Automatic Temperature Control