If you’re interested in a budget-priced new subcompact car, we suspect the 2016 Honda Fit and the 2016 Hyundai Accent are already on your shopping list. Both models offer many excellent benefits, including reasonable pricing, excellent fuel economy and a lot of available equipment. But which one is better? And which one should you buy? We’ve created a close comparison between the Fit and the Accent to answer those questions, but first let’s see what’s new with both models for the 2016 model year.
2016 Hyundai Accent
The Hyundai Accent is a subcompact car offered in 4-door sedan or 5-door hatchback body styles. Updates for 2016 are limited to slightly revised trim levels. See all 2016 Hyundai Accent models available near you
2016 Honda Fit
The Honda Fit is a subcompact car offered only in 5-door hatchback guise. After a full redesign last year, it’s unchanged for 2016. See all 2016 Honda Fit models available near you
According to reliability data from Consumer Reports, the Honda Fit offers only slightly better-than-average reliability. However, Consumer Reports says the Hyundai Accent’s reliability numbers are much better than average — data backed up by industry experts at J.D. Power, who also give the small Hyundai a better-than-average rating for dependability. The Hyundai also handily defeats the Honda when it comes to warranty length, as the Accent’s warranty — 5 years or 60,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage and 10 years or 100,000 miles of powertrain coverage — towers over the Fit’s 3 years or 36,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper protection and 5 years or 60,000 miles of powertrain coverage.
While we have no doubt the Fit offers excellent reliability, the winner of this category is the Hyundai Accent.
Both the Honda Fit and the Hyundai Accent offer only one engine option. In the Fit, it’s a 130-horsepower 1.5-liter 4-cylinder, which boasts a standard 6-speed manual transmission and an optional continuously variable automatic transmission. The Fit returns 29 miles per gallon in the city and 37 mpg on the highway with the manual, while automatic numbers range from 32 mpg city/38 mpg hwy (EX and EX-L models) to an impressive 33 mpg city/41 mpg hwy for the Fit LX.
Meanwhile, the Accent comes standard with a 137-hp 1.6-liter 4-cylinder, which is offered with a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission. The 6-speed manual returns 27 mpg city/38 mpg hwy, while the 6-speed automatic boasts up to 26 mpg city/37 mpg hwy.
Although the Accent’s fuel economy numbers are good, they aren’t stellar for the subcompact-car segment. The Fit’s figures, however, are impressive — and that makes it the easy pick if you’re looking to maximize your gas mileage.
In crash testing carried out by the federal government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Fit earned a perfect 5-star overall score, giving it an advantage over the Accent’s 4-star rating. In crash testing carried out by the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Fit earned the firm’s excellent Top Safety Pick score, while the Accent fell short after mediocre crash-test performance and a Poor rating in the firm’s challenging front small-overlap crash test.
Not surprisingly, the Fit also has a leg up over the Accent when it comes to equipment. While the Accent comes standard with essentials such as anti-lock brakes and side-curtain airbags, the Fit offers those items and a few more, including a standard backup camera and an available LaneWatch system. Between its extra safety features and its better crash-test ratings, this category easily goes to the Honda over the Hyundai.
Compared to other subcompact cars, the Accent isn’t exactly down on technology, but it’s hard to beat out the recently redesigned Fit, which offers many of the latest and greatest features and gadgets.
For instance, the Accent boasts standard keyless entry, standard cruise control and a standard USB port, along with options such as Bluetooth audio, alloy wheels and steering-wheel audio controls. But the Fit offers those items and more, boasting a standard backup camera, a standard center display screen and standard automatic headlights, along with a long list of options that ranges from a navigation system to Apple’s Siri Eyes Free functionality, leather upholstery and heated front seats.
There’s no doubt about it: When it comes to features and equipment, the Fit outshines the Accent.
Although the Fit wins most of our categories, the Accent tops the Fit in one key area: pricing. With a starting price of around $15,500 with shipping, the Accent’s base MSRP undercuts the Fit’s starting price by around $1,000 — not a small amount of money in the subcompact-car segment. And while the Fit may offer more equipment, more safety features and better gas mileage, drivers who want the cheapest car for the smallest amount of money will probably find the Accent more to their liking than the Fit.
In a comparison between the 2016 Honda Fit and the 2016 Hyundai Accent, there’s no doubt that the Fit is the better car. It offers a better interior, more equipment, more gadgets, better safety ratings and improved fuel economy. It also has a more versatile interior. As a result, we strongly suggest the Fit over the Accent in virtually all cases.
What are the cases when we would instead recommend the Accent? Price-conscious shoppers who don’t need the Fit’s improved interior or extra gadgets would be wise to go with the Accent instead. While it isn’t as good as the Fit, it doesn’t lag that far behind the small Honda — especially considering the $1,000-plus pricing disparity.