Auto123 compares the 2019 Honda Accord and 2019 Toyota Camry, two legends of the genre that have never been better, in a segment that has seen better days.
Before SUVs came to dominate the automotive landscape, it was the Accord and Camry that drove the then-lucrative sedan market in North America. Symbols of reliability and excellent resale value, they dominated the market and brought generous profits to both companies. Both were renewed in 2018, they both undeniably still have much to offer, but both their stars shine a little less brightly in the sky. So which of these two sedans is the best deal?
2019 Honda Accord
Honda, which has the reputation of advancing slowly in making its models evolve, has changed its tune with its latest edition of the Accord, which benefits from styling that dares depart from tradition and from two new turbo engines.
The Accord comes out of the box with a 1.5L turbo engine developing 192 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque. Replacing the V6 is another 4-cylinder (a 2.0L turbo) that offers 252 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. In either case, you have a 6-speed manual gearbox to start with. The 1.5L engine comes with an optional CVT unit while the 2.0L turbo offers an optional 10-speed automatic transmission.
The trim levels on the Accord are: LX, Sport, EX-L and Touring (all with 1.5L engine), and Sport and Touring with the optional 2.0L. All versions come with a set of safety/drive assist systems including automatic high beams, front collision warning with automatic braking, lane departure warning and lane maintenance assist.
The LX version includes a front wiper de-icer, LED headlights, taillights and daytime running lights, a 7.0-inch digital indicator display, active noise control, automatic dual-zone climate control, multi-angle back-up camera, keyless passive entry, 12-way power driver seat, heated front seats and eight-speaker stereo with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The Sport version features the LaneWatch blind spot display, LED fog lights, a sunroof, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, leatherette/fabric seats and a 10-speaker stereo system.
The EX-L adds heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, perforated leather seats and a satellite radio.
The range-topping Touring edition comes as well with blind spot monitor with rear transversal traffic alert, rain-sensing wipers, ambient lighting, navigation, head-up display, front and rear parking sensors, wireless charging for the phone, ventilated front seats and wi-fi hot spot.
A word about the hybrid
The Accord, like the Camry, is also available in a hybrid version; it runs on a 2.0L Atkinson-cycle engine making 143 hp combined with 181 hp from the electric motor for a combined 212 hp. The combined torque is 232 lb-ft. Flexible and generous, the power of this model is also synonymous with fuel economy. Fuel economy in town and on the road is the same at 5.0L/100 km.
Driving in comfort
The renewal of both models has given consumers two vehicles that are even more spacious and quieter on the road. The Accord, with its wide tracks, long wheelbase and adjustable suspension, offers handling we’re more used to seeing in German models. The 1.5L engine is up to the task at hand, but we preferred the 2.0L automatic, which is the best choice with a model of this size, or else the hybrid that offers better fuel economy.
While the new styling hasn’t pleased everyone, the Accord nonetheless remains a reference in the mid-size sedan segment, and its excellent track record makes it a smart long-term investment.
2019 Toyota Camry
Like the Accord, the Camry has been around and relevant since seemingly forever - in 2018, Toyota introduced the 11th generation of the model. While the model is renowned for its legendary reliability, Toyota has decided to throw in a little more spice and driving pleasure to spruce up its latest vintage. Built on the company’s new TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) platform, this quiet-riding sedan now promises a more exciting driving experience. Toyota has added Apple Carplay (though still no Android Auto) for 2019.
Still a six-cylinder in the picture
The engine lineup starts with a 2.5L 4-cylinder engine that develops 203 or 206 hp and 184 or 186 lb-ft of torque, depending on the trim. Want more power? Upgrade to a 3.5L V6 for 301 hp and 267 lb-ft.
Both are coupled to an 8-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. Toyota is betting that many people still appreciate the smooth power of a V6 over the 4-cylinder turbo that is becoming the norm in the segment.
The Camry is available in a wide range of versions, including LE, SE, XLE and XSE with gasoline engine and LE, SE and XLE with hybrid system. All Camrys come standard with pre-collision detection, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beam and lane change detectors.
Gas-fed models feature heated front seats, eight-way driver-assisted seat, 7.0-inch infotainment display and 17-inch alloy wheels. An optional upgrade package includes duel-zone automatic climate control, Entune Entune integration suite, 8.0-inch display, blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert, entry passive keyless entry, induction charging and auto-dimming rearview mirror.
The standard features on the hybrid models include passive keyless entry and dual-zone automatic climate control.
Notable additions to the XLE model include a sunroof, 9-speaker audio system, 6-way adjustable front passenger seat, head-up display, induction charging, LED exterior lighting, 360-degree camera system and rear traffic detector.
The SE version adds sports seats with faux leather trim.
An interesting hybrid model
The Camry Hybrid combines a 4-cylinder engine with an electric motor for a total power of 208 hp. In terms of fuel economy, you have comparable figures with the Accord, about 5.0L/100 km in the city or on the highway.
On the road
Though it’s got a sportier attitude, the Camry has lost none of its good manners. You can dress up a country priest as a 100-metre sprinter, but you’re still dealing with country priest. The 4-cylinder is well-mannered and is well-suited to the daily commute. This is still the Camry that we know.
Where you’ll see a bigger difference is with the V6. The stiffer chassis is surprising on the road. We had fun in small winding roads thanks to the more-neutral behaviour of the chassis, due in part to the car’s lower centre of gravity.
The XSE version also includes a sport suspension that downright impresses with its confident performance. The driving is precise, the behavior predictable. While this is not a true sport sedan, Toyota has definitely positioned itself back with the leading group in the segment of domestic sedans.
Toyota has injected a little more of a wow factor into the latest Camry, without losing sight of what has made the model so popular. It’s a car that’s better than ever, in a segment that’s been partially abandoned by buyers - and that remains its biggest problem.
Advantage Honda Accord
The Accord wins on a few points like fit and finish, more consistent from one version to another, while the entry-level versions of the Camry suffer a bit in this respect. For stick fans the Accord still offers a manual gearbox. You also have both Apple Carplay and Android Auto in the Accord while the Camry only offers the former. When comparing the hybrid models, the Accord is more powerful and more fun to drive than the Camry for about the same fuel economy.
Advantage Toyota Camry
For those who love old-fashioned power, the Camry V6 is a pleasure for the right foot and ears. The 301 horses on hand do not unduly penalize fuel economy, though if you want to maximize fuel savings, the hybrid version of the Camry does edge out the Accord on this front.
In terms of interior space, the two models are very close. In both cases, styling is still not at the top of the list of priorities. The design is better than before, but overall it remains conservative. The prices of the two models through the trim levels are also very similar, as are the technologies and the drive assist systems included.
Here’s a case where you really can’t make a wrong choice. Both models will give you years of quiet, worry-free driving happiness. However, we give the Accord a slight advantage for its more pleasant interior, superior hybrid version, the availability of Android Auto and a manual transmission still in the catalog. That said, the small faults we nitpicked with the Camry should not be an obstacle for those considering buying one.
2019 Honda Accord
We like less
More difficult access when using the rear doors
Stiffer suspension with 19-inch tires
2019 Toyota Camry
We like less
Placid performance from the 4-cylinder engine
Fixed bench at the back
Base engine is noisy when accelerating
|...||2019 Honda Accord||2019 Toyota Camry|
|Transmission||Man 6 – CVT - auto 10||Auto 8 - CVT|
|Fuel consumption (city)||5.0L/100 km||4.9L/100 km|
|Fuel consumption (highway)||5.0L/100 km||4.8L/100 km|
|1.5L Turbo (CVT)||2.5L|
|Fuel consumption (city)||7.9L/100 km||8.4L/100 km|
|Fuel consumption (highway)||6.3L/100 km||6.1L/100 km|
|2.0L Turbo||2.0L Turbo|
|Fuel consumption (city)||10.4L/100 km||10.5L/100 km|
|Fuel consumption (highway)||7.4L/100 km||7.1L/100 km|
|Output||212 hp||208 hp|
|Output||192 hp||203 or 206 hp|
|Torque||192 lb-ft||186 lb-ft|
|Output||252 hp||301 hp|
|Torque||273 lb-ft||267 lb-ft|
|Cargo space||473 l||427 l|
|Fuel tank||56 l||60 l|
|....||2019 Honda Accord||2019 Toyota Camry|
|Length||4852 mm||4880 mm|
|Width||1859 mm||1840 mm|
|Height||1450 mm||1445 mm|
|Wheelbase||2830 mm||2825 mm|
|Warranty||3 yrs/60,000 km||3 yrs/60,000 km|
|Prix||$28,090 to $40,090||$26,490 to $41,090|