The Midsize War: Toyota Camry versus Honda Accord

     The midsize sedan segment is very competitive, with competitors like the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, and Ford Fusion.  These cars generally have great quality and features compared to the compact and subcompact segments in the auto business.  A 4-cylinder engine is usually the base engine on these cars, with either a V6 or turbo 4 optional.  Many midsize sedans also have hybrid power plants.  Navigation and other high tech features also get rolled in with these cars.

The Toyota Camry and Honda Accord are the two great Japanese midsize sedans leading this segment.  I’ll compare these cars, and talk about some cool new features like Entune apps.

2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE 2012 Honda Accord EX-L V6
Trim Levels
     The Camry’s trims include the L, LE, SE, XLE, Hybrid LE, and Hybrid XLE.  The Accord has the LX, LX Premium, SE, EX, EX V6, EX-L, and EX-L V6.  Both cars have a good number of trim levels to provide a range of options for consumers.  These cars are both offered in 4 cylinder and V6 models, but the Camry also has more efficient hybrid models, a major plus given today’s high gas prices.  Turbo 4’s are not an option for Camry and Accord, unlike a Kia Optima, for example.  The Camry and Accord offer V6 engines instead.
Engine Choices and MPG  

     The Camry’s 2.5 L inline-4 puts out 178 horsepower and 170 lb. ft of torque, with mpg of 25 city/35 hwy/28 avg.  The Accord’s 2.4 L inline-4 puts out 177 horsepower and 161 lb. ft of torque, with mpg of 23 city/34 hwy/27 avg.  On slightly higher trim Accords, you’ve got the same sized inline-4, except it does about 190 horsepower and 162 lb. ft of torque, with the same EPA numbers.  The Camry’s 3.5 L V6 has 268 horsepower and 248 foot pounds of torque, while delivering 21 city/30 hwy/25 avg mpg.  The Accord’s 3.5 L V6 will do 271 horsepower and 254 foot pounds of torque, with 20 city/30 hwy/24 avg mpg.

The very efficient Camry Hybrid LE and XLE put out 200 horsepower and 156 foot pounds of torque.  Mileage will vary though because the LE model delivers 43/39/41 mpg, where the XLE would deliver 40/38/40 mpg.  The transmission on the Camry is a 6 speed automatic.  Base on the Accord would be a 5 speed manual, but you can also get a 5 speed automatic.  Camry gets better mileage and has a much more elegant 6-speed automatic, so I think it’s a better value in this area.

Camry XLE interior Accord EX-L dashboard

     Now, one note is that all Camry models have Bluetooth, but on the Accord, you must step up to a high-trim EX-L.  Also, the backup camera is optional on the Camry SE, the XLE 4-cylinder, and the Hybrid XLE, standard on the XLE V6, where on the Accord, you have to step up all the way up to the EX-L with nav to get a back-up camera.

The Camry offers Smart Key with push button start, but the Accord doesn’t have any technology like this  Instead, it uses a traditional key to start the car.  Blind-spot warning is available on the Camry XLE and Hybrid XLE, but the Accord doesn’t offer it.  Blind-spot detection is really great for lane changes, so the Camry is a nice plus in that respect.  Neither have lane departure warning, radar cruise, pre-collision systems, or other similar safety tech.

Leather seating is available on both models.  The Accord is available as a coupe as well, in slightly different trim levels.  They are LX-S, EX, EX-L, and EX-L V6.  USB is standard on every model, but to get Bluetooth, you have to step up to the next level, the EX.  No rear camera available on the Accord coupe, not even on the high trim EX-L.  You’ve pretty much got the same engine choices as the sedan, the inline-4 and the V6.  Mileage also remains the same in the Accord coupe.  The Camry is clearly the winner here because it offers more standard features.

Entune 2012 Honda Accord navigation

     The Camry is available with the suite of Entune apps.  See my post on the Prius Family to see what Entune is about and the different apps for it.  The apps are amazing because you can search for a POI online, make restaurant reservations, etc.  I just love the concept of Entune, with many different apps like Pandora, but I’ve never gotten a chance to try it out myself.   Entune is available on the Camry SE, XLE, and Hybrid XLE, and it is complimentary, i.e. no service fees, for 3 years.  Cars equipped with Entune have navigation, too.

The Accord, at the moment, has no apps or online services.  As I mentioned earlier, both sedans have Bluetooth, USB, and navigation, either available or standard.  On the Camry, either flash-based or hard drive based navigation is available.  The Accord still uses the crunchy DVD based Honda head unit that is starting to get really long in the tooth.  The Camry’s connectivity is better overall, I would say.

In sum
     So overall, I think the Camry is the better car for people to buy because it’s got a nicer looking navigation system with Entune apps and better fuel economy, and the hybrid Camry is no exception.  The Accord’s DVD based navigation system just doesn’t cut it with it’s bad graphics and interface.  The hybrid Camry will be an excellent choice for those who don’t want to spend much money at the pump, especially with the Hybrid LE’s rating of 43 city.
    • Louis
    • February 10th, 2012

    If you have to make a choice between the two cars is always tough. You have tilted it favor of the Camry. I think I’ll go by your findings.

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