The decades-old Toyota Camry versus Honda Accord rivalry is alive and well in 2020. Both sedans are increasingly overshadowed by the crossovers they share showroom space with, but they remain wildly popular and are common sights all across America. In 2019, the Camry was America’s eighth-bestselling car (336,978 units), and the Accord fell to the 11th spot (267,567 units). Here’s how these two sedans compare on paper, and how they’re different.
Even the entry-level Camry comes relatively well equipped in the technology department. It offers a 7.0-inch touchscreen compatible with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa compatibility, a six-speaker sound system, Bluetooth connectivity, and a three-month trial for the free in-car Wi-Fi connection. Navigation, a nine-speaker sound system with a subwoofer, and an 8.0-inch screen are found on more expensive models.
Honda equips the Accord with fewer features. The cheapest model offers a 7.0-inch touchscreen, but it’s not compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay — both are standard one trim up in the hierarchy. It also receives a four-speaker sound system and Bluetooth connectivity. Upmarket variants gain an 8.0-inch touchscreen, navigation, an eight-speaker stereo, Honda’s HondaLink infotainment system, navigation, and a wireless phone charger.
Looking at each model’s family tree illustrates how the car industry changed in recent years. There was a time when the Camry and the Accord were both available as coupes and wagons; Toyota even briefly sold the Camry-based Solara convertible. In 2020, this level of automotive diversity belongs to the past. It’s four doors or nothing at all.
Unsurprisingly, the Camry and the Accord have a similar footprint. The former stretches 192 inches long, 72 inches wide, and 57 inches tall, while the latter checks in at 192, 73, and 57, respectively. Both seat five passengers. The Camry provides 15.1 cubic feet of trunk space and 100.4 cubic feet of passenger space in its most spacious configuration, while the Accord boasts 16.7 and 105.6, respectively, so it makes slightly better use of space.
Performance and fuel economy
Camry buyers have two engines to choose from. The standard engine is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder rated at 203 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. It spins the front wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission, but weather-beating all-wheel drive joined the list of options for 2020. Downsizing still hasn’t reached the Camry (though we suspect it soon will), so the second engine is a 3.5-liter V6 with 301hp and 267 lb.-ft. of torque on tap.
Toyota is the industry’s hybrid leader, and the Camry benefits from its expertise. Motorists concerned with fuel economy can order the sedan with a 208hp gasoline-electric drivetrain made up of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a small electric motor. Front-wheel drive and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) come standard.
Honda also offers the standard Accord with two engines. Entry-level models are equipped with a turbocharged, 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 192hp and 192 lb.-ft. of torque. It spins the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission or a CVT, and all-wheel drive is not available. The Accord lost its optional V6, but motorists can step up to a 2.0-liter turbo four with 252hp and 273 lb.-ft. of torque. Front-wheel drive and a six-speed transmission again come standard, though drivers seeking two pedals can get a 10-speed automatic.
The Hybrid receives a gasoline-electric powertrain built around a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. It works with an electric motor that draws electricity from a lithium-ion battery pack to send 212hp to the front wheels.
Take home a Camry with the 2.5-liter, and you’ll get 29 mpg in the city, 41 mpg on the highway, and 34 mpg in a combined cycle, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Adding a liter of displacement and a pair of cylinders lowers those figures to 22, 33, and 26, respectively. AWD models get 25, 34, and 29.
Over at Honda, the Accord’s fuel economy also depends on the powertrain selected. The most efficient combination is the 1.5-liter four with the CVT, which returns 30 mpg in the city, 38 mpg on the highway, and 33 mpg combined. At the other end of the spectrum, the 2.0-liter posts 22, 32, and 26, respectively, with a six-speed manual or a 10-speed automatic. The efficiency champ is the Hybrid, which is rated at 48, 47, and 48 mpg, respectively.
Toyota builds every Camry, from the cheapest to the most expensive, with 10 airbags, a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, hill-assist control, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control. Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert is standard on XSE and XLE trims.
Every Accord regardless of trim level or engine comes standard with a collision-mitigation braking system, road departure mitigation, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, and automatic high beams, plus front, front side, curtain, and front knee airbags. Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert is standard on EX models and above.
The Camry is available in a dizzying number of trim levels called L, LE, SE, SE Nightshade Edition, XLE, XSE, TRD, XLE V6, and XSE V6. Pricing ranges from $25,380 to $36,085 including a mandatory $955 destination charge, which is like shipping and handling for cars. Take a breather; there’s more. If it’s the Hybrid model you’re after, you’ll need to choose from LE, SE, and XLE models priced between and $29,385 and $33,685.
Honda offers the Accord in six trim levels named LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, Sport 2.0T, EX-L 2.0T, and Touring 2.0T. Pricing starts at $25,225 (including a mandatory $995 destination charge) for the entry-level LX, while the range-topping Touring 2.0T starts at $37,355. The Hybrid model (which is available in base, EX, EX-L, and Touring variants) ranges from $26,825 to $36,395 including the aforementioned destination charge.