By on July 6, 2017

2017 Hyundai Accent - Image: HyundaiRevealed in Canada earlier this year, the fifth-generation 2018 Hyundai Accent will not be offered in the United States in hatchback form.

In formally announcing the discontinuation of the Hyundai Azera in the company’s product lineup release yesterday, Hyundai also provided a level of detail regarding the 2018 Accent. Standard is a five-inch touchscreen; a seven-inch screen with Android Auto/Apple CarPlay is available. In a first for subcompacts, Hyundai’s Smart Trunk Release will have you waving your toes at the Accent’s bumper.

But in surprisingly harsh language from its own maker, Hyundai says the Accent’s “hatchback body style has been dropped.”

Dropped.

Like a client who doesn’t pay. Dropped. Like a walk-on who couldn’t crack a roster full of future NBAers. Dropped. Like an unnecessary subcompact bodystyle in a subcompact market that’s down 19 percent so far this year.

America, say goodbye to the Hyundai Accent Hatchback — a part of the Accent lineup since Hyundai Motor America introduced the model in 1995.

During the first three iterations, America’s Accent variants were limited to two passenger doors. With the dawn of the current, fourth-generation Hyundai Accent for the 2012 model year, Hyundai switched it up, offering the sedan alongside a four-door hatchback.2018 Hyundai Accent sedan - Image: HyundaiAlthough Hyundai Canada has promised to continue providing Accent hatchbacks with the new generation, Hyundai Motor America indicated to some outlets at the 2018 model’s Toronto debut last February that the Accent hatchback wasn’t a likely U.S.-bound car. Confirmation was hard to come by, with Hyundai spokespeople telling TTAC that we should stay tuned.

Tuned in we remained, and Hyundai’s own admission is now unmistakable.

With a hatchback helping out, 2016 was the best year for U.S. sales of the Accent in the model’s history. Volume jumped to 79,766 units, 47-percent beyond its annual average from the decade prior. Among subcompacts, only the significantly more popular Nissan Versa (Note included) outsold the Accent, which earned 17 percent of the segment in America last year.

Hyundai doesn’t break down Accent sales by bodystyle, but roughly 40 percent of Versa sales are Note-derived.

That’s not a small market for Hyundai to walk away from, but it is a shrinking one. Taking the place of the Accent Hatchback in Hyundai’s lineup will be the new Kona crossover, an all-new model in the small but growing subcompact crossover segment.

[Images: Hyundai]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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15 Comments on “The New 2018 Hyundai Accent Kills America’s Accent Hatchback...”


  • avatar
    whynot

    With this decision I question whether we will be seeing an Accent at all in the US after this generation…

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      The story answers your question.

      “…2016 was the best year for U.S. sales of the Accent in the model’s history. Volume jumped to 79,766 units…”

      • 0 avatar
        whynot

        That is pre-Kona though.

        Lets see how Accent sales look when it is just the sedan (popular with fleet, less so with others) and Hyundai has the Kona.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Seems like Kona would be chasing a different kind of buyer, but it’ll be interesting to see.

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            The Kona will largely be chasing Elantra and other compact sedan buyers as those who move from sedans to CUVs tend to drop one size segment down (which keeps the pricing in the same ball-park).

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    The sedan is the darling of rental fleets. Consumers aren’t buying the sedans (in the current rebate structure) because the Elantra is much nicer and only a few dollars more.

    The death of the hatchback is probably about overall production capacity. Quite likely there isn’t enough for both the Accent hatch and the Kona.

  • avatar
    RHD

    In order to sell loads of the hatchback, all they would need to do is jack it up an inch and a half and add plastic cladding.
    Oh, they already have a bunch of those. Never mind, then.

    • 0 avatar
      ShoogyBee

      This. In fact I’d argue that upcoming Elantra Touring, with its relatively boxy rear, would make a fine jacked-up Crosstrek-type vehicle, certainly much better looking than the upcoming Kona.

  • avatar
    deanst

    Let’s hope Ford doesn’t follow their lead and just give us the fiesta sedan – what an awkward mess that thing is.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    Bizarre choice. All of the current-model Accents I see are hatchbacks. I wasn’t even sure they offered the sedan here anymore. Not sure why compact car makers are choosing sedans over hatches, as the latter seems more popular. Same issue with the Mazda2/Toyota iA. They make a hatch version, but they choose to only sell the inferior sedan here.

  • avatar
    hamish42

    I’m not sure that I would buy a car from a company which is located in country which could, hour-by-hour, even minute-by-minute, be in the middle of a major all-out shooting war. What happens to their manufacturing and administrative centers? What does Mr. Kim’s war do to their ability to ship cars and parts? This is a bad one. No good is going to come, only grief and, perhaps, destroyed countries. Kim has the ability to flatten great portions of the South very quickly even using conventional weapons. America has to weigh its options very carefully. This Canadian says bomb them back to the middle ages. Certainly talking to them won’t work.

    • 0 avatar
      carlisimo

      That’s an interesting strategy – rattle your saber so that people don’t buy cars from your potential enemy’s neighbor and buy domestic instead.

      (Not saying that’s what’s happening here; it simply occurred to me that it’s a below-the-belt idea that could actually work.)

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