For decades, consumers looking for comfortable, fuel-efficient, reliable transportation have been drawn to the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry sedans. Their appeal lies not in lines or promises of world-class speed. Rather, these two sedans continue to deliver room for five adults, composed rides, quiet interiors, plentiful cargo space, and fuel economy that is among the top in the segment—if not class leading. While there are many worthy midsized sedans on the market, one of the most common questions we receive from Consumer Reports readers is whether they should go with an Accord or Camry.
When it comes to the numbers, these two sedans are cut from the same cloth. Both offer four- and six-cylinder engines, six-speed automatic and continuously-variable transmissions, and seat five.
Where they differ is in performance and fuel economy—but, again, only slightly, and in ways that may surprise you.
The Accord is the sportier of the pair. It’s faster from a standstill to 60 mph and swifter—at a higher speed—in the quarter mile. But the Camry out-hustles it in a 45 to 65 mph passing maneuver.
What you may not expect is that, when comparing the four-cylinder versions, the Accord is also more frugal. It did better in our city, highway, and overall mileage evaluations, has a longer cruising range, and will use about 30 fewer gallons over 12,000 miles than the Camry. That slight difference does add up over time.
There are a few individual aspects that may move the needle for you toward or away from one of these sedans. All Camrys have a standard power driver’s seat; you can’t even get one as an option on the base Accord LX. EX-L and above trims of the Accord come with Honda’s complicated touch-screen infotainment system. And you can’t get a conventional blind-spot monitoring system on any Accord. You’re forced into the LaneWatch system, which shows you, on the center screen, a video feed of what’s in your right side blind spot. But it’s no substitute for a full blind-spot monitoring system that covers both sides of the vehicle. At the same time, all versions of the Accord can be equipped with advanced safety systems such as pre-collision warning with automatic braking, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-keeping assist.
As for the Camry, it tops the Accord in reliability—although the Honda is no slouch either. The four-cylinder engine’s fuel economy is behind the best in the class, and the hybrid version gives up some trunk space to the battery pack, which reduces cargo room. In addition, despite some recent updates, the Camry’s utilitarian interior feels more designed for efficiency than warm and inviting. Toyota makes getting safety systems a bit of a challenge, with pre-collision warning, lane-departure warning, and rear cross-traffic alert only available as part of the Technology package on XLE and XSE trims.