By Jodi Lai Feb 16, 2017

The Hyundai Accent may be the Korean brand’s most affordable model, but it’s definitely not a cheap beater car anymore.

The fifth-generation 2018 Hyundai Accent made its global debut at the Toronto Auto Show with a mature new look and features people are used to seeing on higher-end cars.

The popular subcompact car has been totally redesigned, starting with its chassis, which uses more advanced high-strength steel. The result is a stiffer chassis, which should improve driving dynamics, isolate noise better, and absorb energy better in a crash, all without adding too much weight. The suspension has also been tweaked to improve ride comfort, handling, and stability, and Hyundai says the steering is also more precise.

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The powertrain hasn’t changed too much, with the 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine producing 132 horsepower and 119 pound-feet of torque, which is actually less than before. What has improved is the engine’s powerband, which will make highway passing less stressful.

Transmissions are still a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic, but the auto box has been improved to be more efficient and it now comes with a Sport mode. Hyundai says fuel economy has improved 7 percent.

Compared to the old Accent, the new sedan and hatch are wider and longer, though height remains the same. The hatch gets quite a bit longer than the sedan, meaning cargo capacity has increased to 21.8 cu-ft (616 L).

Inside, the Accent will be roomier and more sophisticated than it used to be. A backup camera and a five-inch touchscreen are standard, while a seven-inch unit and heated seats are optional. Interestingly, the seat firmness is adjustable.

The Accent will also be available with features like automatic emergency braking, keyless entry, and push-button start. The bigger infotainment system also comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The 2018 Hyundai Accent will arrive as a sedan model in the last quarter of 2017 and a hatchback model will follow in early 2018. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but Hyundai promises it will have “unbeatable value.”

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