At a glance, it looks like they shrunk down a Hyundai Sonata, and that’s just fine. The 2018 Hyundai Accent is a small car (compact, technically), but it’s also a real looker. It’s bold. Blocky. Edgy. Probably, nobody will say it looks “precious”. It looks like a big car, just smaller.

Be careful with your speed on the highway: here’s one of those cars that can easily sneak past the limit on the sly if you’re not using the cruise control.

At writing, the all-new-for-2018 Accent was the freshest, newest and most recently redone car on offer in its segment, and shoppers after the latest from the great big world of affordable cars should include it on their test drive hit-list.

For decades, small cars had the structural strength of a warmed and lightly buttered ciabatta bun. This is not the case with the new Accent.

A fun fact follows: Hyundai builds their own steel, in their own factories. Some of this steel is called Advanced High Strength Steel, or AHSS. This sounds fancy, but it just means “really, really strong steel”.

By building this super-steel themselves, Hyundai can use more of it, on the cheap, in the construction of cars like the new Accent. There are benefits, relating to the fact that AHSS is strong and light. One of these is that, by building key parts of the car’s skeleton from it, you wind up with a car that’s stronger and more rigid, but without becoming obese and heavy like a prenatal rhinoceros who enjoys routine poutines. Actually, the latest Accent is loads stronger and more rigid than its predecessor, and bigger, but only about 10 kg heavier.

You can’t see the Accent’s AHSS, though you can feel some of the benefits on a test drive. Most of these relate to refinement, ride quality, and noise levels. (For a quick demonstration of how AHSS works, be sure to watch the introduction of our video review.)

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