Chevy Sonic Vs. Hyundai Accent: Big Value in Small Packages

By Justin Cupler | December 30th, 2018

Subcompact cars are great for buyers on a budget, but they don’t have to be boring. The zippy 2019 Chevy Sonic is a great example of combining fun and economy. But the Sonic has heavy competition from others in its crowded class, including the 2019 Hyundai Accent. Which of these small cars is best for our Linwood, Michigan area buyers? Keep reading to find out.

Exterior

The 2019 Chevy Sonic and 2019 Hyundai Accent feature recent refreshes, but they have distinct differences. The Sonic boasts a sportier look, especially when you add the optional RS package. The Accent’s looks are more toned down and focus on economy than style. Plus, the Accent lacks the optional hatchback body the Sonic offers.  

The 2019 Chevrolet Sonic’s two body options give it two sets of exterior measurements. In its sedan form, the 2019 Sonic is 173.9 inches long, 68.3 inches wide, and 59.7 inches tall. The hatchback Sonic checks in at 159.8 inches long, 68.3 inches wide, and 59.3 to 59.7 inches tall. Though their bodies are different, they both ride on a 99.4-inch wheelbase.

The Hyundai Accent comes only as a sedan, and its body is 172.6 inches long, 68.1 inches wide, and 57.1 inches tall. Though it’s shorter than the Sonic sedan from nose to tail, its wheelbase is 2.2 inches longer, which pushes its wheel farther to the corners and helping with stability.

Advantage: 2019 Chevy Sonic

  • Hatchback and sedan styles
  • Sporty RS package

Advantage: 2019 Hyundai Accent

  • Longer wheelbase adds to stability

Interior

Like the exterior, the 2019 Chevy Sonic’s cabin puts more focus on style and sportiness with its three-spoke steering wheel, contrasting colors, and circular air vents. The 2019 Hyundai Accent takes on a more traditional look that some buyers may prefer over the more in-your-face Sonic. The 2019 Sonic’s interior is also better equipped than the Accent. In its base trim, the 2019 Sonic includes a 7-inch touchscreen, in-car Wi-Fi, OnStar, and much more.

Unlike its exterior, the 2019 Chevy Sonic’s interior has one set of front seat measurements: 39.7 inches of headroom, 41.8 inches of legroom, 53.4 inches of shoulder room, and 51.4 inches of hip room.

In the rear, both versions of the Sonic offer 34.6 inches of legroom, 53 inches of shoulder room, and 51.6 inches of hip room. Where the sedan and hatchback differ is in headroom as the sedan has 37.8 inches to the hatchback’s 38.1 inches.

Compared to the Sonic Sedan, the Hyundai Accent’s front seats have 0.8 inches less headroom but 0.3 inches more legroom, 0.8 inches more shoulder room, and 0.3 inches more hip room. Its rear seats offer 0.7 inches more shoulder room, but they are 0.5 inches short on headroom, 0.9 inches light on legroom, and 0.8 inches narrower in hip room.

Cargo and luggage capacity aren’t huge deals in the subcompact segment, but they still matter to some buyers. The 2019 Chevy Sonic comes up huge with 14.9 cubic feet of luggage capacity in the sedan’s trunk to the Accent’s 13.7 cubes. The Sonic hatchback is even more generous with 19 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 47.7 cubes with the rear seats folded.

Advantage: 2019 Chevy Sonic

  • More luggage space in sedan format
  • Hatchback model swallows tons of cargo
  • Roomier rear seats
  • Sporty contrast elements

Advantage: 2019 Hyundai Accent

  • Toned-down cabin

Performance

Subcompact cars are not known for being speed demons, but some are better than others. The 2019 Chevy Sonic falls in the latter group as its 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine churns out 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. Sure, the horsepower number is about average, but its 148 pound-feet of torque gives it a strong off-the-line launch. This engine pairs with a standard six-speed manual transmission and has an optional six-speed automatic transmission.

This powertrain sprints the 2019 Sonic to 60 mph in an independently tested 8.2 seconds, which is well above average for the class.

The 2019 Hyundai Accent’s 1.6-liter engine nearly matches the Sonic’s horsepower at 130, but its 119 pound-feet of torque makes it significantly slower off the line. This engine pairs with a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional six-speed automatic. This all adds up to a 9.3-second sprint to 60 mph.

While performance may not be a big deal in this class, fuel economy is. The 2019 Chevrolet Sonic sedan delivers 27 mpg city, 38 highway, and 31 combined with its manual transmission and 26 mpg city, 34 highway, and 29 combined with the automatic transmission. The hatchback model is less efficient at 26 mpg city, 35 highway, and 29 combined with the manual transmission and 26 mpg city, 34 highway, and 29 combined with the automatic.

The 2019 Hyundai Accent delivers up to 28 mpg city, 37 highway, and 31 combined with its manual transmission and 26 mpg city, 38 highway, and 32 combined with the automatic transmission.

Advantage: 2019 Chevy Sonic

  • Significantly quicker
  • Big torque advantage
  • Comfortable in the corners

Advantage: 2019 Hyundai Accent

  • Smoother ride

Pricing and Features

The 2019 Chevy Sonic comes in three trim levels — LS, LT, and Premier — and prices range from $16,295 to $20,895.

The 2019 Hyundai Accent checks in with three trim levels too — SE, SEL, and Limited — and prices range from $14,995 to $19,080

2019 Chevy Sonic Key Features and Pricing by Trim

LS: $16,295

  • 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine
  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • Touring suspension
  • 15-inch steel wheels
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Body-color door handles
  • Tinted glass
  • Auto-on/off projector headlights
  • Single-zone manual climate control
  • Chevrolet Infotainment System 3 with 7-inch touchscreen
  • Four-speaker AM/FM audio system
  • Bluetooth with audio streaming
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Two USB ports
  • Front and rear floor mats
  • OnStar
  • 4G LTE Wi-Fi
  • 12-volt power outlet in center console
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Urethane shift knob
  • Tilt-and-telescoping sport steering wheel
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • Manual windows
  • Rearview camera

LT: $18,795 (sedan) to $18,895 (hatchback)

  • All LS features, plus
  • Heated power-adjustable, body-color mirrors
  • Chrome beltline molding
  • 15-inch aluminum wheels
  • Six-speaker premium audio system
  • SiriusXM
  • Cruise control
  • Graphite Silver Metallic dash accents
  • Chrome shift knob
  • Power windows with one-touch up/down front windows

Premier: $20,895

  • All LT features, plus
  • Sport suspension
  • 17-inch black-painted wheels
  • Sport body kit
  • Fog lights
  • Sport rocker panel moldings
  • Black Chevrolet bowtie emblems
  • Chrome exhaust tip
  • RS lettering
  • Piano Black-accented instrument panel
  • Leather-wrapped flat-bottom steering wheel with contrasting stitching
  • Black Chevrolet bowtie emblems
  • Deluxe carpeted front and rear floor mats
  • Enhanced driver-information center
  • Keyless open
  • Keyless ignition
  • Six-way power driver’s seat
  • Heated front seats
  • Leather-wrapped shift knob
  • Leatherette upholstery

2019 Hyundai Accent Key Features and Pricing by Trim

SE: $14,995

  • 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine
  • Six-speed automatic transmission
  • 15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
  • Rear drum brakes
  • Body-color power mirrors
  • Body-color door handles
  • Chrome grille
  • Tilt steering
  • Cloth upholstery
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seat
  • Single-zone climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Keyless entry
  • Power windows
  • Power door locks
  • Four-speaker AM/FM audio system with 5-inch touchscreen
  • USB port
  • Rearview camera

SEL: $17,345

  • All SE features, plus
  • Six-speed automatic transmission
  • Rear disc brakes
  • 15-inch alloy wheels
  • Blind-spot mirrors
  • Heated mirrors
  • Chrome beltline molding
  • Automatic-on/off headlights
  • Fog lights
  • Driver’s one-touch-up window
  • Sliding center armrest with storage
  • Bluetooth hands-free with voice recognition
  • Dual USB charging
  • Six-speaker audio system with 7-inch touchscreen
  • SiriusXM
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

Limited: $19,080

  • All SEL features, plus
  • Mirror-integrated turn signals
  • Chrome door handles
  • LED headlights
  • LED daytime running lights
  • LED taillights
  • Hands-free smart trunk
  • Sunroof
  • Heated front seats
  • Proximity key with keyless ignition
  • Automatic climate control
  • BlueLink Connected
  • Automatic emergency braking

Who Should Buy the 2019 Chevy Sonic?

Buyers willing to shell out a few extra bucks to get a sportier subcompact with some performance credentials will love the 2019 Sonic. Also, buyers looking for the roominess of a hatchback will find what they need in the Sonic’s optional hatchback model.

Who Should Buy the 2019 Hyundai Accent?

On a tight budget? The lower-priced 2019 Hyundai Accent is the subcompact for you.

Head down to Garber Chevrolet Linwood’s new car showroom serving the Linwood, Michigan area to test out the 2019 Chevy Sonic for yourself and see how it can make your morning commute to Bay City, Linwood, and Standish more enjoyable. Can’t make it in today? Check out our online inventory to see what we what 2019 Sonic models we have in stock.