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2020 Hyundai Accent adopts Smartstream engine, picks up 4 mpg combined

A six-speed manual transmission is standard on the base SE, but a CVT is available.

I can't imagine many buyers will miss that extra 10 horsepower.

Hyundai's new Smartstream engine family promises some solid fuel economy gains. The first member of the family to make its debut came in the 2020 Hyundai Sonata, but Hyundai clearly wants this engine family in as many vehicles as possible, whether they're at the top or the bottom of the lineup.

Hyundai announced this week that the 2020 Accent, its most affordable vehicle, has been given a bit of a freshening up. Namely, it's picked up Hyundai's 1.6-liter Smartstream I4 gas engine, which puts out 120 horsepower and 113 pound-feet of torque, reductions of 10 hp and 6 pound-feet compared to its previous engine. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, but a continuously variable transmission is also available.

Output might be down, but fuel economy is up. On the manual-transmission SE model, its combined fuel economy rises from 31 miles per gallon to 33, but the biggest benefit comes to CVT-equipped models, where combined economy jumps from 32 mpg to 36. Considering I saw 41 mpg or more on the highway with a manual in the 2018 model, I imagine this will be one seriously thrifty combination with the Smartstream.

Otherwise, it's business as usual for the Accent. A 5-inch touchscreen is standard, but moving up a trim will add a 7-inch system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Other solid creature comforts are tucked away in higher trims, too, like a handsfree trunk release, heated seats and automatic climate control.

The 2020 Accent remains the most affordable Hyundai on offer. The base SE with a manual will set you back $16,125 including destination, and the CVT brings that up to $17,225. The SEL trim costs $18,480, with the top-trim Limited coming in at $20,230.

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