The fifth-generation Hyundai Accent has made its debut at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto. The Korean carmaker says that the 2018 Accent boasts bold design, a sophisticated interior, a more efficient powertrain, noticeably reduced cabin noise, and significantly enhanced driving dynamics.

As with the previous generation, the new Accent sports “baby Elantra” looks, and appears to be a scale model of the sixth-gen Elantra AD. The B-segment has grown in size – now 15 mm longer (4,385 mm) and 29 mm wider (1,729 mm), with a 10 mm longer wheelbase (2,580 mm). The larger footprint is matched with unchanged height (1,450 mm) for a more grounded stance. Ground clearance is down by 10 mm.

There will be a five-door bodystyle as well for markets that prefer hatchbacks. The Accent 5-door is 70 mm longer and 29 mm wider than the hatch it replaces.

The new Accent uses 54.5% “Advanced High-Strength Steel”, up from 41.5% in the fourth generation. The new chassis has improved torsional rigidity by 32% by using 98.5 metres of structural adhesives. The result is improves quality perception, noise isolation, and driving dynamics, Hyundai says, while AHSS improves collision performance without adding unnecessary weight.

Hyundai claims improved ride comfort, handling, and stability. The Motor-Driven Power Steering’s (MDPS is Hyundai’s term for EPS) feel has been refined and enhancements to handling and comfort have been made by lifting up the rear roll centre and raising the leverage ratio of the rear shock absorbers.

The new Accent is powered by a 1.6 litre Gamma GDI engine with 132 hp and 161 Nm of torque. Compared to before, the engine’s powerband has improved with a 4.6% increase in torque from 1,500 rpm for better drivability. Specifically, the acceleration performance for 40-80 km/h and 80-120 km/h has been improved over the previous model by 0.2 and 1.3 seconds, respectively.

Fuel efficiency has been improved by 7%. Engine components such as low-friction piston rings, a variable fuel pressure module, and upgraded software for the engine control module improve overall operation. With improvements to the return springs in the braking system, drive friction has been reduced, too.

The direct injection motor is paired with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed conventional automatic transmission. The latter has been redesigned for better efficiency. It is also two kg lighter. Automatic Accents get Drive Mode Select to alter engine response and steering calibration in two modes – Normal and Sport.

In addition to the stronger chassis, the Accent features improvements to the front side members and inner side sill to improve crash protection. The front crumple zones have been increased, front side air bags have been upgraded, and reinforcements have been made to improve the car’s performance in small overlap crashes. Six airbags and ESC are standard, while Autonomous Emergency Braking is available.

A seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a reverse camera will be available in select markets. The Accent sedan will start selling in the third quarter this year, followed by the Accent 5-door in Q4. It won’t be coming to Malaysia, but the Elantra will arrive very soon, powered by a 204 hp/265 Nm turbo engine.