The redesigned 2018 Hyundai Accent puts an emphasis on improved fuel economy, cabin room, and a wider range of available safety equipment.

The new Accent mirrors the design of Hyundai’s larger Elantra and Sonata four-doors, but it's only a little more than a half-inch longer than the outgoing Accent sedan. The U.S. version was shown for the first time at the Orange County Auto Show in California last week.

The all-new Accent faces a long list of rivals, including the Chevrolet Sonic, Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit, Nissan Versa, and Toyota Yaris iA. The 2018 model comes powered by a 130 horsepower, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates its combined fuel economy at 32 mpg (28 city and 38 highway) for the Accents with an automatic transmission. Hyundai says it's estimating a 7 percent gain in fuel economy, which could be a help because the 2017 Accent’s mileage figures lagged behind key competitors—not to mention Hyundai’s own bigger Elantra sedan. CR’s testing of the previous Accent saw an average of 31 miles per gallon.

Hyundai says structural changes and refinements to the car’s standard six airbags will help provide better passenger protection during a collision. There was plenty of room for improvement. The 2017 Accent scored a Poor rating in the small-overlap crash test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. A rear-view camera with dynamic guidelines comes as standard equipment. Forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking is optional.

2018 Hyundai Accent interior

As with the previous Accent, either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission will be available. Hyundai has trimmed approximately 4 pounds from the automatic and says the gearbox has been tuned to improve fuel mileage.

The automatic comes with a Drive Mode Select button, allowing the driver to choose between Normal and Sport driving modes. When selected via a button on the center console, Sport mode sharpens the power from the engine and provides more weight and feel to the steering, Hyundai says.

Inside, the cabin’s improvements include an available 7-inch touch screen for the infotainment system that’s compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, dual USB outlets, heated front seats, a proximity key with push-button start, automatic temperature control, and Hyundai’s Blue Link connectivity service.

Hyundai says the new Accent’s interior is roomier, although overall cabin room in the 2018 model is only slightly larger (by 0.5 cubic feet) compared with the previous version. At 13.7 cubic feet in capacity—with the split-folding rear seatbacks in place—the cargo space is identical in the 2017 and 2018 Accents. The hatchback model has been dropped from the Accent range entirely.

Sales of the 2018 Accent begin soon, but Hyundai hasn't revealed any pricing information.

2018 Hyundai Accent rear