Both versions share a redesigned engine for 2012. Displacing the same 1.6 liters as the 2011 Accent's engine, it's direct-injected and makes 138 hp and 123 lb-ft of torque--28 horsepower and 17 pound-feet of torque more than last year. Efficiency has also been improved, with features like low-rolling-resistance tires and electric power steering helping achieve a 37 mpg rating on the highway. A 6-speed manual transmission is now standard equipment, replacing last year's 5-speed unit, while an optional 6-speed automatic replaces the 4-speed unit from 2011.
The Accent offers a number of standard safety features, including anti-lock brakes, traction control, and anti-skid system, curtain-side airbags for driver and passengers, and front-side airbags. The Vehicle Stability Management System combines the function of the power steering, stability control, traction control, and anti-lock brakes when an accident is sensed by the computer. Seatbelt pre-tensioners automatically tighten the driver's and front passenger's seatbelts in the event of a collision, and active head restraints move up and forward in the event of a rear-end collision, helping to reduce whiplash to the driver or front passenger.
Three trim levels are available for 2012: the 4-door GLS, the 5-door GS, and the 5-door SE. The GS 5-door is the most inexpensive of the bunch, with a 6-speed manual, air conditioning, keyless entry, power mirrors, power windows and a 6-speaker stereo system. The SE adds on cruise control, Bluetooth, 16-inch wheels, cloth seats, rear spoiler and fog lamps. The GLS sedan has 14-inch wheels, power door locks and a 4-speaker stereo. It can be ordered with a Comfort package, adding air conditioning, power mirrors and power windows and an upgraded stereo.