This time, we’re pairing up the Honda Fit versus the Hyundai Accent. They’re both economy cars. They’re both competitors – which one ends up on top?
Each one of them comes in its own hatchback model, but the Fit does not come in a sedan model – something the Accent clearly does. Honda completely redesigned their Fit from the ground up, while the Accent hasn’t had a significant change since 2012.
That means we’ll be comparing the hatchback models. When you set them side-by-side, they’re both tall, five-door cars that look almost identical.
The Honda looks a little more fun while the Accent looks to be a bit more generic. Each vehicle may not be a luxury vehicle, but they do have enough features inside to make the experience pleasant.
As far as the seating arrangement goes, Honda is a clear winner. The seats are a little more comfortable, Honda does better on long trips and has what it calls a “Magic” seat arrangement. The rear seats do this flip and fold type motion, which really opens up the cargo area. On top of that, you take the front seats and fold them all the way back. For such a small car, the Honda Fit really provides a tremendous amount of cargo space. At this rate, the Hyundai Accent doesn’t even stand a chance. In fact, the Honda has more flexibility in the front seat than most cars.
Hyundai provides a 1.6 L, four-cylinder, 138 hp engine, which is the best in its class for a manual transmission, clearly beating out Honda. The Hyundai Accent makes 0 to 60 in 10 seconds flat. For an economy car, this is decent. For any other type of car, this is slow. Hyundai does offer a Sport Mode, but if you really want to take advantage of it, the engine has to be revved up to 3500 RPM. When you put just two people in the car, the engine feels taxed. The manual transmission model of the Accent provides 31 miles per gallon – the automatic version provides 30 miles per gallon.
The Honda is a bit weaker with a 1.5 L, four-cylinder 130 hp engine. Most people who own this car will be using the CVT transmission (continuously variable transmission), which will do far better gas mileage than Accent can ever hope for. The US EPA rating for the Honda Fit is 36 mpg. Despite its awkward shape, the Honda Fit does a fantastic job of making sure that the exterior noises didn’t find their way inside the vehicle at speeds well above typical speed limits.
The US Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) scored the Honda Fit very well, earning it a Top Safety Pick. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave it five stars. Furthermore, the Fit achieves Good ratings in all the categories with the IIHS except one – the new small-overlap front crash test. In this test, it was rated as Acceptable.
The Accent, on the other hand, did not rate well with either the IIHS or the NHTSA. The federal government scored it at four stars, with some concerns about the Accent’s performance on side crashes. The IIHS rated the Accent as Poor on the new small-overlap front crash test.
In the end, you can clearly see why Honda – the famed Japanese automaker, wins out. On the outside, they look very similar. On the inside, they are very different. Fit wins on safety, convenience, and a premium on the top-of-the-line model that’s finally worth the money! You know – the automatic transmission on the Fit doesn’t hurt either.