It’s impossible because when it comes down to it, the advantages one car has over the other comes down to a matter of personal preference, not quality. It’s like picking between crunchy and smooth peanut butter. No matter how much rational or irrational effort is exerted to prove the superiority of one over the other, it’s a frivolous task; one side will never convince the other side is wrong.
And like everyone’s favorite peanut-based spread, the simple truth is both are good. Toyota and Honda have the mid-size family sedan formula down to a science. The cars match up so well across the board that choosing either one is a smart choice. So instead of spewing out why one car is superior to the other and extolling tired clichés, I’m going to break down the differentiates these two, however minuscule, so you can decide which car better suits your lifestyle and needs.
Familiar Engine Formula
Both the Accord and the Camry come equipped with a standard four-cylinder engine or an optional V6. While a lot of the competition is looking to turbocharged four-bangers as the upgrade engine option, Honda and Toyota continue to stick with the more traditional V6 in the brand’s mid-size sedans.
Both V6 engines are 3.5-liters in displacement, with the Accord producing 278 hp and 252 lb-ft of torque compared to the Camry’s 268 hp and 248 lb-ft. Both cars also feature six-speed automatic transmissions sending power to the front wheels. Despite having a bit more power, the Accord also holds a slight edge when it comes to fuel economy, rated at 21 mpg city and 34 mpg highway compared to the Camry’s 21 mpg city and 31 mpg highway ratings.
SEE ALSO: 2015 Toyota Camry vs 2015 Honda Accord
With the base engines, things differ a little bit more. Honda opts for a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 185 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque. That out-duels the Camry’s larger 2.5-liter four-cylinder unit that makes 178 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque.
Honda offers a choice of six-speed manual or continuously variable transmission for the four-cylinder engine while Camry customers make do with a six-speed automatic. Once again, the Accord holds the fuel economy advantage as, when equipped with the CVT, expect the it to return 27 mpg city and 37 mpg highway – a 2 mpg increase in both categories over the four-pot Camry.
Compliant with a Side of Sport or Comfort
Looking at the specs above, it’s easy to conclude the Accord has a powertrain advantage. But out on the road, that’s not the case. Both cars are set up to offer a compliant, easy-to-operate driving experience and any perceived gap in performance shrinks when driven back to back.
There are differences in how the cars operate, though. The Camry is the softer car. It’s smoother in all its primary controls, like steering, acceleration and braking. It also offers the softer ride. This fluid softness does have a downside though, as the Camry is ever so slightly more susceptible to crosswinds.
The Accord is the better handling car of the two and features a slightly sporty edge that’s not as buttery smooth as the Camry. The Honda allows more vibrations to make their way into the cabin and even if it does feel like a more responsive car than the Camry, the Accord still doesn’t have the eagerness of a Mazda6 or Volkswagen Passat.
Style and Size
Calling the Camry and Accord mid-size cars is like calling Shaquille O’Neal a regular sized human. At 190.9-inches in length, the Camry is a large car and the Accord, well, it’s even bigger. Both cars come standard with 16-inch wheels, but the Accord trumps the Camry by offering upwards of 19-inch wheels compared to the Toyota’s largest size that caps out at 18-inches.
At 3,170 lbs, a base Accord is roughly 70 pounds lighter than the most svelte Camry, but remember, the base Accord also includes a much lighter manual transmission. Check off all the option boxes, and the Accord easily eclipse the Camry, coming in a hefty 3,605 lbs compared to the Toyota’s 3,480-lb curb weight.
SEE ALSO: 2013 Toyota Camry vs 2013 Honda Accord
For 2016, the Accord’s exterior design has been refreshed and features an overabundance of chrome, specifically the large strip across the grille. Still, with the LED headlights and larger 19-inch wheels, the Accord does look more modern.
|Vehicle||Honda Accord||Advantage||Toyota Camry|
|Base Engine||2.4 L Four-cylinder||-||2.5 L Four-Cylinder|
|Horsepower||184 HP||Accord||178 HP|
|Torque||181 lb-ft.||Accord||170 lb-ft.|
|Fuel Economy (US)||27 MPG city, 37 MPG highway||Accord||25 MPG city, 35 MPG highway|
|Fuel Economy (CDN)||8.6 L/100 km city, 6.4 L/100 km highway||Accord||9.7 L/100 km city, 6.9 L/100 km highway|
|Optional Engine||3.5 L V6||-||3.5 L V6|
|Horsepower||278 HP||Accord||268 HP|
|Torque||252 lb-ft.||Accord||248 lb-ft.|
|Fuel Economy (US)||21 MPG city, 34 MPG highway||Accord||21 MPG city, 31 MPG highway|
|Fuel Economy (CDN)||11.3 L/100 km city, 7.0 L/100 km highway||Accord||11.0 L/100 km city, 7.7 L/100 km highway|
|Rear Seat Legroom||38.5-inches||Camry||38.9-inches|
|Cargo Capacity||15.5-15.8 cubic feet||Accord||15.4 cubic feet|
|Curb Weight||3,170-3,605 lbs.||-||3,240-3,480 lbs.|
|Top Trim Price(US)||$35,415||-||$34,775|
|Top Trim Price(CDN)||$37,485||-||$37,385|
Practical People Haulers
Despite initial appearances, the Camry and Accord are still boxy-shaped sedans underneath all that rounded and creased sheet metal. This leads to good sight lines all around; as should be expected in a multiple driver family vehicle. And while on the topic of one-size fits all, the two cars offer a seating position that feels more like the diver is sitting on the car than in it. This allows people of all shapes and sizes easier adjust-ability to find an optimal driving position.
Behind the front seats, at a length of 38.9 inches, passengers in the Camry are offered about a half inch more legroom than those in the Accord. But when it comes to the trunk, things flip-flop, as the Accord bests the Camry with 15.8 cubic feet of storage compared to 15.4 cubic foot trunk
Usability vs. Technology
Maybe the biggest separation between the two cars has to do with technology and usability. In short, the Accord is stuffed with extra technological wonders like Apple Carplay, Android Auto, active lane keep, a lane watch camera and rain sensing wipers. And it comes with dual screens, the lower of which can finally do more than just display audio information.
But a lot of Honda’s technology comes attached to the somewhat complicated HondaLink infotainment system that not everyone is a fan of. The Camry’s primary controls on the other hand, are much easier to use thanks to large, well-marked buttons and dials. Plus, it still comes with a lot of advanced features like navigation, expandable apps, adaptive cruise control and rear cross traffic alert.
The Verdict: 2016 Honda Accord vs 2016 Toyota Camry
Things are deeply muddled in deciding between the Accord and Camry, as both offer their advantages and disadvantages. You can’t even look at pricing to be the deciding factor; an automatic transmission-equipped Accord LX begins at $23,740 after destination charges, while a base Camry LE begins at $23,905. At the top end, an Accord Touring V6 costs $35,415 while the Camry XLE V6 comes in at $34,775.
What it ultimately comes down to is the slightest of separations and choosing one can be as easy as asking yourself this question. Does the Camry with its comfort and usability advantage appeal more to you, or is it the Accord with the technological and driving edge? So what’s it going to be: crunchy or smooth?
2016 Honda Accord
2016 Toyota Camry