Few rivalries among automakers are as long-standing and deeply entrenched as the feud between the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry sedans.
Millions of both models have been sold to buyers in the U.S. over decades, and even today, the Camry and Accord are among the most popular cars on dealers’ lots today. Generations of new drivers have learned to drive behind the wheels of family sedans like the 2019 Accord and 2019 Camry—they’re among the most popular used and hand-me-down cars due to their perceived reliability and overall value.
Today, both sedans vie for dominance among popular crossovers, which buyers increasingly prefer. The Camry and Accord are fresh from recent redesigns that packed even more value into the sedans to better compete with crossovers such as the CR-V and RAV4 across respective showrooms.
Our scores for both show just how close the race is: the 2019 Honda Accord earned a 7.0 on our overall scale, while the 2019 Toyota Camry finished with a 6.8. The fight behind the numbers is even closer.
2019 Honda Accord
2019 Honda Accord
2019 Toyota Camry
2019 Toyota Camry
Styling and performance
Recently removed from their bland-sedan ethos, the newer Toyota Camry and Honda Accord models are more adventurous than their predecessors. The Camry’s front end comes out swinging; its pinched nose and gaping maw are busier—a techno one-two for new buyers. Along the sides, the Camry is more conservative in its profile—at least before the paint is added. Sportier XSE trims offer a color-contrast roof that’s not just bold for a Camry, it’s bold for any car.
By comparison, the Accord plays it safe. The new upscale nose is a twist for the sedan, yesteryear’s rounded shapes are long gone. In profile, the Accord plays to recent trends among sedans. The roof is faster, and arches back toward the rear deck in a tip to more on-trend “four-door coupes.”
The two tie in looks, according to us, although they take different routes to their scores.
It’s neck and neck under the hood, too. Both sedans rely on base inline-4 engines in most models, although their sizes are mostly different.
The Accord relies on base power from a 1.5-liter turbo-4 that spins out 192 horsepower and 192 pound-feet, which is best mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). A 6-speed manual is available, although we’re not entirely sold on its performance potential.
Honda offers a 2.0-liter turbo-4 that makes 252 hp mated to a 10-speed automatic that pushes the Accord into luxury-car territory, its pull is strong and impressive.
The Camry starts with a 2.5-liter inline-4 that makes about 200 horsepower, mated to an 8-speed automatic. Toyota skips a manual transmission in the Camry, it isn’t missed—the smooth 8-speed is more efficient and smoother.
An optional V-6 in the Camry makes 301 hp. It’s one of the last among mid-size sedans. The engine overpowers the front wheels, is less efficient, and it’s expensive—tl;dr, we’re not sold.
Both sedans offer hybrid powertrains, which we cover separately.
2019 Toyota Camry
Comfort, safety, features
In a game of inches between the Accord and Camry, Honda takes two to edge ahead of the Toyota.
Specifically, the Accord’s two extra inches of leg room help it separate from the Camry on our comfort score. The Honda offers about 40 inches of leg room in the rear of the Accord, which vaults the mid-size sedan toward full-size space. The Camry makes do with 38 inches of leg room, which is enough but just short of palatial.
Both sedans are more comfortable in the front seats, where the Accord impresses thanks to its material quality and size. The Camry’s an improvement over recent iterations, although in top trims, the Accord nears luxury-car territory.
The Camry’s 15.1-cubic-foot trunk is marginally smaller than the Accord’s, which measures 16.7 cubic feet, but both adequately handle plenty of gear.
Among new cars on the road, the Camry and Accord rate highly with crash-test scores and active safety features. Both cars earned top, five-star overall ratings from federal testers and cheers from the IIHS. The Camry is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ winner thanks to its superior headlights on XLE Hybrid models with an optional headlight upgrade. The Accord’s headlights don’t fare as well on the IIHS’ tests, they’re only rated “Acceptable” on most trims—strangely, top trims fared worse.
Both cars feature life-saving gear such as automatic emergency braking, active lane control, and adaptive cruise control. Blind-spot monitors are on both cars’ options lists.
And those spend-up lists are prolific.
2019 Honda Accord Hybrid
The Accord is available in LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, and Touring trim levels and costs about $24,600 to start. The Camry is available in L, LE, XLE, SE, and XSE trim levels and costs $24,800 to start.
We see value in the Camry LE and Accord EX trims that cost about $26,500 and $28,500, respectively. The Camry LE is equipped with a 7.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment with Apple CarPlay compatibility (but no Android Auto), 17-inch wheels, power-adjustable driver’s seat, active safety tech, and Bluetooth connectivity. A split-folding rear seat costs $500 more and is a worthwhile upgrade.
The Accord EX goes a little further with 17-inch wheels, heated front seats, two USB power plugs, a moonroof and an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Although the Camry LE is less expensive, comparably equipped with similar options the Camry LE costs $120 more than the Accord EX.
That’s a small price gap between two cars that split hairs when we consider mid-size sedans. Although the Honda gets a small nod in our numbers, sedan buyers should win every time with both cars.