Want to buy a used 2017 Hyundai Accent but concerned about its safety rating

Hello Community,

We have been looking to buy a used car for under $10k for several months. The cars that we would like (Camry, Civic, Corolla) in this budget are too old, have too many miles, or have Salvage or Rebuilt title.

We have come across a 2017 Hyundai Accent for about $10k under 80k miles. We are tempted to buy it but are concerned about its 4/5 NHSTA rating. We have read comments that the car is more flimsy relative to a Camry or Civic or Subaru.

We are debating whether to buy this car or continue to wait.

Some considerations:

  • I and dear wife are new drivers and live in Boston proper. Our insurance quotes are outrageous for newer vehicles ($6k/year for comprehensive coverage). We are considering buying an inexpensive used car and getting only liability insurance.

  • The car will be street parked in a very busy neighborhood and we expect it to get brutalized. That is another reason we do not want to buy an expensive vehicle.

Our intent is to drive this car for a few years, move to the 'burbs and then buy a new car.

  • We decided to try Zipcar/rental for a year before buying a car. We have come to the realization that we drive often enough now where a car is useful and Zipcar gets on the more expensive side of things.

  • This will be our first car.

  • We’ll likely start a family in the next 1-2 years.

Thank you in advance for your inputs.

Sorry to say this is the worst time to buy a used vehicle. they are way overpriced. and there will probably be a lot of repairs on a high mileage vehicle. MY personal opinion would be to lease a vehicle until you can buy a new one. you will have better safety features and if anything major happens to the vehicle it will be covered by the dealer. you are just responsible for Maintenace items.

Not even worth worrying about . Also I am against the leasing advice because you will be locked in to a time period and getting out of a vehicle lease early is expensive . Just find something that seems to run and everything works and forget about brands or what people say . Also just incase you don’t know if you have to finance the vehicle you will have to have full coverage insurance.

1 Like

Having a car that you expect to get damaged, you’ll want it insured, or it could get. VERY expensive. Older cars are no cheaper to fix.

I can think of no car which offers greater bang-for-the-buck than the 1997-2001 Toyota Camry. Unfortunately, you live in a region where rust is a problem, so cars that old are hard to come by (at least in safe, reliable condition). If you like the 2017 Accent, and it meets your needs, buy it. Stop wasting money on Zipcar and other short-term rentals. And any car which is worth more than $3k private party should have comprehensive and collision insurance, regardless of age.


Sorry to say this but any car you own in Boston proper or NY proper or DC proper and is street parked will get brutalized and is therefore a “disposable” car, good for the next year or 2. .

The Accent is actually a pretty well made, economical, reasonably safe car and if well maintained should reach your expected 2 year life without any problem and won’t suffer any excess depreciation. .
You may also want to consider similar 2 door Accords or similar 2 door anythings, which my DC dwelling kids are looking to unload cheaply because 2 doors aren’t compatible with baby seats.
(Their foolishness, your bargain and at the cost of baby’s today you’ll need it)

And in a very short couple of years you’ll probably be looking at new Subaru wagons, Hyundai Kona or something similar with all the safety equipment, great mileage and washable interior for your baby and your dog.

Best wishes on your fuure.

You are not comparing comparable vehicles. Toyota Yaris, Chevrolet Sonic, and Kia Rio are comparable. There are probably other subcompacts too. The Sonic is top rated in 2017 in this class and has good ratings for all crease tests. The Kia Rio is essentially the same car as the Accent, yet it has a moderate rating for small offset crash result while the Accent rates poor in the same test. Go figure. Real test results though. Anyway, the likelihood you will experience personal injury from a small offset frontal accident are very low. Still, if that bothers you, look for a Chevy Sonic. Excellent reliability and crash tests and is liked by owners. The Yaris is also a popular choice. For a car of this age, be sure to pay for a prepurchase inspection at a shop you trust. If it checks out, but it.

1 Like

The bigger factors in safety is reliability and size. At that price point, how the car was maintained will decide reliability for the most part. Hyundai’s aren’t as reliable as Toyota’s but they aren’t very bad either. I would suggest moving one size up to an Elantra and see what you find. The Kia twin is the Forte.

It looks like the IIHS merged the Kia Rio and Hyundai Accent crash tests for the 2018 model, indicating that the 2017 models differed enough to need separate tests.

It looks like 2013 to 2017 Rio has a stronger safety cage that kept the steering wheel and airbag in position, where as in the Accent the steering wheel moved to the right and the dummy’s head missed the airbag.

If you are concerned about safety, then you are you looking at a car that has nearly the highest fatalities of any model? Only other sub compacts like the Spark and Toyota Yaris come close to this many fatalities. Only the ultra compact Mitsubishi Mirage beats the Rio / Accent.

The car has high fatalities because it is small, with a curb weight of about 2500 pounds, and because the front end is small leaving little room for crumple zone in a head on accident. No matter what car you look at these two factors will will limit how well it does in a head on accident.

The NHTSA and IIHS only test moderate speed crash performance that simulate single vehicle accidents and crashes between similar sized vehicles that occur at under 40 MPH. Most of the deaths in these sub compact cars occur in higher speed highway crashes. If you only intend to drive the car in city traffic, its safety isn’t much of an issue. If you frequently drive on non divided highways with speed limits over 45 MPH, the safety of a sub compact like this becomes a big issue.

@TheWonderful90s Would you just go away !


Here’s something for you to chew on. The passenger in the Fusion died and the driver of the Accent was killed on impact. The article doesn’t say if the passenger of the Fusion was wearing a sealt belt.

Here’s another one between a Mercedes Maybach and a Hyundai Accent. This one looks like a 3rd world model Accent without airbags though. It’s especially bad for the Accent because the Accent was turning away from the Benz making it a small overlap and more of a side impact. If the Accent was hit a foot more to the right the driver probably would have survived. https://mbworld.org/forums/s-class-w222/756338-why-hyundai-accent-considered-deathtrap.html

Let’s not kid ourselves here. Most accidents are survivable, even in an older car from the 1990’s or 2000’s as long as you wear your seat belt. The ones which are not, you’d be just as dead no matter what you’re driving.

Hence, the focus should be on accident avoidance, not on buying the car with the highest “safety rating” according to Big Insurance. Even a 40 year old car which had a poor safety rating when new will still offer much more protection than a motorcycle helmet and jacket, yet people still happily ride motorcycles–often with no helmet or other protective attire.

Want to avoid serious injury, property damage, etc? Focus not on the “safety rating” of the car, but instead on the “safety rating” of the person driving it. Always wear your seat belt, keep your phone put away, don’t drive while over-tired, and anticipate the actions of other idiots on the road. For example, when the light turns green, be sure that cross traffic has actually stopped before you proceed. When approaching an intersection where people are probably waiting to turn left, but cannot see oncoming traffic, slow down somewhat, and put your foot over the brake in case someone decides to take a “blind bet” and turn into your path. Do not drive aggressively, and either ignore tailgaters or try to let them pass if possible. And, of course, keep your car properly maintained and in good working order.


Every week, I see news articles about fatalities resulting from people who were thrown from their vehicle upon impact. While it might be possible for that to happen if someone is properly belted-in, the chance of being ejected from a vehicle for a properly-belted person is… very remote… and unless an impact takes place at very high speed, most impacts should be survivable for a properly-belted person in a modern vehicle.

That is also true, but it is impossible to anticipate some of the situations that can arise from the actions/inactions of reckless/distracted/drunk/“high” drivers. Defensive driving is essential to one’s safety, but even that can’t mitigate all of the hazards imposed by other drivers.

I recall when my father had seatbelts installed in our '63 Plymouth. My uncle said to my father, “What’s the matter? Don’t you trust yourself behind the wheel?”. My father’s reply was, “No, it’s some of the other drivers who I don’t trust”.


In other words, modern safety improvements have reduced injuries in accidents, but not fatalities. I agree that there is truth to this and I think the IIHS is promoting it.

It’s true! Next to using a seat belt, the driver is probably the biggest factor in safety. After those two, then comes vehicle size and crash performance.

All that is good advice. But people still get hit on the side or head on by drunk drivers and die despite following all the driving safety recommendations. By switching your vehicle from a sub compact to a normal size car you’re still cutting your chances of dying in half because of accidents where you are not at fault.

Yes! If you look at deaths in cities where there are lots of cars and slow moving traffic, most of those killed were unrestrained!

Really? Any evidence? Just a search shows in the cities I looked up it doesn’t mention restrained or not. Also quite a few of the city deaths were actually pedestrians or cyclists.

It is Memorial Day when we think of all those young kids that tried dodging bullets and bombs but didn’t make it. I think it was about 30 years ago when people developed a fixation with safety. They abused office security measures but then blamed others for their loss.

All the great safety features on cars are only useful when you have a crash, not an accident. So you just have to ask yourself if you plan to avoid crashes or not.

When my friend’s mid-2000s Accord was T-boned (at a gas station, by a car that careened off the highway) there was no way for us to avoid being crashed-into. While his car was totaled by the insurance company, we both escaped with minimal injuries because of the designed-in safety features.

Happily everyone survived. When I got backed into at a drive-through, had the air bags deployed I would have been inured due to the safety device and the car likely would have been totaled. Just sayin’ is all. One factor only but I wouldn’t buy a Hyundai anyway for other reasons.