Honda Accord VS Toyota Camry: Is There A Clear Winner?

April 15th, 2017 by


I enjoy a good spirited debate, a classic battle for supremacy between two natural enemies. Neck and neck to the very end, but only one can be the true victor and reign supreme.

The Honda Accord or the Toyota Camry?

Two nearly identical vehicles both considered the industry standard for mid-size family sedans. Both cars are of Japanese descent, both have been around since the early 80’s. Both are considered to be sensible, practical and reliable best-sellers. Both cars are perfectly respectable choices, yet I believe they’re the cars you buy when you just can’t be bothered with shopping around.

After testing each of these mid-size queens individually (Honda Accord Review, Toyota Camry Review), it only made sense to compare the results to see who stacked up higher. Judged by a walkaroud view of the exterior, interior comfort, build materials and driving experience, who will win me over? Which car has the skills, the wits to checkmate the other? Will the deciding factor be brains, brawn beauty or a mixture of the three? Let’s find out!

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Camry:
Sorry to start things off with a drag, but the Camry is not much to look at. The lines are soft, there are no striking features, nothing that would make me turn my head for a second look. It’s the definition of a “cookie cutter” car. It’s not ugly. It’s just so average. However, the Camry’s architecture does make for incredible visibility, with the front and rear windows having excellent sight lines, and smaller C-pillars, meaning smaller blind spots. So what it lacks in looks it makes up for in driving confidence.

Accord:
It’s not any less cookie-cutter than the Camry, but it is certainly more handsome. The lines of the Accord are more masculine and it’s proportions more solid than the Camry’s. There is design consistency among it he generations. The newest Accord always looks like a direct descendant of the last. This is something I appreciate. It means if you see an Accord driving down the road, you know exactly what it is. The same cannot be said for the Camry.
Opposite of the Camry though, the Accord’s architecture does mean poorer visibility. Sight lines are good out the front windsheild, but it’s bulkier trunk lid and thicker C-pillars means a tougher time seeing what’s behind you.

A CLOSER LOOK

Camry:
Stellar build quality and solid materials all around. Toyota takes pride in their build quality, putting every element to the test. Really shows in this car. Some deeper scrutinization reveals a few spots where materials are a bit cheaper, but nothing you are going to be utilizing on a regular basis.
The cockpit is nothing special and quite dull. I believe they designed it to be easy to see and easy to use. But it’s not so ergonomic, having some controls requiring a lengthy reach to access.

Accord:
Not too far behind the Camry, but I did find even more places where they skimped out on better materials to cut costs. Not everything on the car seems as long lasting on the Camry’s. It won’t effect the overall quality of the car, but certain parts will wear and tear faster than others.
The cockpit is nice, ergonomic and stylish, albeit trying just a bit too hard to be flashy.

DRIVING EXPERIENCE

Camry:
The Camry drives as it looks. Average. Not slow, just dull. Just enough power to carry it’s own weight plus a fully loaded car, you’ll keep up with everyone else on the highway with ease. Be careful around tight corners and learn the brake pedal. It is modern and brakes suddenly.
Sitting in the Camry’s seats became less comfortable by the minute. The seats are stiff, and reminded me of the Camry taxicabs I used to hail back in New York City.

Accord:
A better driving dynamic than the Accord. Slightly more connected to the engine with weighty pedal feel. Smooth riding suspension and a quiet cabin. Sport mode shortened the gear ratios for a thrilling take-off. Nothing I would whip around a corner, but definitely a more confident driving experience than the Camry.

THE RATING SYSTEM

VALUE: Camry – 8 / Accord – 8 Winner: It’s a tie!
You get everything you pay for with both cars. Great resale value and solid builds. But I believe you can find a more dynamic driving experience for the same price range.

BUILD QUALITY: Camry – 9 / Accord – 6 Winner: Camry
Both have excellent fit and finish, but missed out on a few spots. The Accord disappointed me with materials they used inside the trunk, the trunk lid and dashboard.

DESIGN/STYLE: Camry – 3 / Accord – 6 Winner: Accord
Both cars are cookie-cutter sedans. The Camry is virtually invisible, it’s not even ugly enough to stand out! But the Accord remains consistent with solid straight lines and handsome looks.

COMFORT: Camry – 6 / Accord – 9 Winner: Accord
Both car’s were equally as spacious, Camry’s seats were stiff and made of good looking but cheap feeling materials. Accord’s seats were plush and cushy.

PERFORMANCE/HANDLING: Camry – 3 / Accord – 6 Winner: Accord
Both cars drive like mid-level sedans. A smaller car with a smaller engine would be more fun to whip around corners. The Camry didn’t feel sluggish, and had just enough power to carry itself with confidence. But the Accord offered a slightly more connected feel, and a more noticably different sport mode. Neither would be my choice for a spirited weekend drive through the canyons.

VISIBILITY: Camry – 10 / Accord – 6 Winner: Camry
Camry had excellent 360 degree visibility. Accord was fine out the front, but bulkier in the back, leaving me with lesser rear sightlines.

CARGO: Camry – 8 / Accord – 6 Winner: Camry
Trunk space was virtually equal on both cars. Camry’s trunk floor was completely flat, and had great width behind the wheel wells, making for more overall usable space. Accord’s trunk materials were flimsy, leaving me less confident to haul heavier items.

COOLNESS FACTOR: Camry – 2 / Accord – 5 Winner: Accord
Neither car is very cool. But if properly appointed, or with the right color combo

OVERALL: Camry – 6.5 / Accord – 7.5 WINNER: ACCORD!!
The Camry had the Accord in certain categories. But in the end The Accord won because of it’s better driving dynamic, and it’s consistent exterior design.

LASTING IMPRESSIONS

These are both fine automobiles. Neither are perfect, but what they lack in one category they make up for in another. Still, I feel that both cars can be a lazy choice. Unless you can convince me that you really prefer an Accord/Camry over all other cars because, then I believe you just didn’t do your research. Because if you did, you’d find there are other midsize family sedans out there that offer similar value, similar features, the same reliability and safety ratings, equally as sensible and efficient. But they have so much more to offer in the way of style and driver feel. Some are even less cheaper and more fuel efficient! I can rattle off the top of my head the Mazda 6, Kia Optima, Subaru Legacy and Volkswagen Passat, to name a few. For the same dollar amount, you can find a BMW 3-Series less than 5 years old with low miles in fine condition. (Yes it’s a compact car, but compacts these days are as big as mid sizes were 10 years ago.) But after driving both cars, I do understand why the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry are both sensible best-sellers.

THE SPECS THAT MATTER (As Tested)

Toyota Camry SE:
-Engine – 2.5 liters, Inline 4 cylinder, DOHC with 16 valves.
-178 Horsepower
-MPG – 24 city, 33 highway, 27 combined
-Cargo capacity – 15.4 cu ft.
-Seats – 5

Honda Accord LX:
-Engine – 2.4 liters, Inline 4 cylinder, DOHC with 16 valves.
-185 Horsepower
-MPG – 27 city, 36 highway, 30 combined
-Cargo capacity – 15.8 cu ft.
-Seats – 5

On the final note, both cars have their following and customers. At Auto City, being a used car dealership, we always carry both cars in stock. Do you have your personal favorite? Find a Toyota Camry or a Honda Accord for sale at Auto City.