2021 Honda Accord vs. Toyota Camry in Midsize Sedan Madness

2021 Honda Accord vs. Toyota Camry in Midsize Sedan Madness

Let us start with similarities because in many ways these two family sedans are quite alike. Size is such one area. The wheelbases are within 0.2 inch of each other, with the Toyota Camry having a 111.2-inch span between the wheels, whereas the Honda’s is 111.4. The cars’ tracks, length, height, and width are also nearly identical. An argument can be made for midsize family sedans being the most mature and competitive segment in the business. Outside of trucks, that is probably true. The point being, these carmakers watch each other like hawks. If one makes a move, the other quickly follows.

Which Is Most Powerful: Camry or Accord?

The layouts of these sedans are quite similar, though the powertrains do differ. The Honda uses a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), whereas the Toyota masters an eight-speed automatic transmission. The suspension choices are literally identical. DRIVEtorque copied this next part out of the Accord’s spec box: “Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar.” Or was that the Camry’s? You get the general idea. Same-same, as my 4 year old loves to say.

The engines are fairly different from each other. Toyota likes to keeps things simple in the Camry, with a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter I-4 pumping out 151kW and 250Nm of torque. The Accord sports a turbocharged 1.5-liter I-4 that is good for 143kW and 260Nm of torque. Let us see, the Accord is available with a 143kW and 260Nm turbo 2.0-liter four-pot and a 10-speed automatic gearbox. That variant can hustle to 100kmh in 5.7 seconds and run the quarter mile in 14.3, though that variant will cost more.

One last objective thing to note before we get to the subjective evaluations: The Honda is much lighter than the other two. At just 1454 kgs, it is nearly 91kgs lighter than the Camry. This, plus the dramatically downsized engine, helps the Accord achieve the best combined fuel economy of the group.

Which one is our winner?

I would go for the Honda. You probably want to hear some reasons and rationale behind such a declaration. If time is money, you can save yourself some much-needed (let’s assume) money and time by just buying the Honda Accord. What of the Camry?  It is just that you, the informed, intelligent, and incredible DRIVEtorque reader need not wade into the finer points of what, why, how, and where. You can just trust me when I say that if you are shopping for a midsize family sedan, the best one is the Honda Accord. It is merely a trust me issue, that I do know what I am talking about? Just to bolster my case, here are some thoughts from my colleagues.

  • From a driver’s perspective, Honda has probably hit the perfect balance between engagement and comfort
  • If Porsche had to engineer a mainstream sedan, the Accord would be it I think. Whether it’s design, engineering, technology, interior space—the Accord aces the segment.
  • If you’re in the market for this segment and you actively care about what you drive, the Accord should be your number one pick.
  • Toyota Camry is second best. There is nothing particularly wrong with Toyota’s worldwide bread-and-butter sedan, but there is nothing particularly right with it, either. The Camry looks OK. Its interior feels OK. Its handling is OK. It is fairly comfortable. It just does not drive quite like a Honda.
  • The brightest spot for the Camry is that it is cheaper than the Accord.

Specifications

POWERTRAIN/CHASSIS

2021 Honda Accord (EX-L)

 

2021 Toyota Camry SE

DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT

Front-engine, FWD

 

Front-engine, FWD

ENGINE TYPE

Turbocharged I-4, alum block/head

 

I-4, alum block/head

VALVETRAIN

DOHC, 4 valves/cyl

 

DOHC, 4 valves/cyl

DISPLACEMENT

91.4 cu in/1,498 cc

 

151.9 cu in/2,487 cc

COMPRESSION RATIO

10.3:1

 

13.0:1

POWER (SAE NET)

143kW @ 5,500 rpm

 

151kW @ 6,600 rpm

TORQUE (SAE NET)

260Nm @ 1,600 rpm

 

250Nm @ 5,000 rpm

REDLINE

6,600 rpm

 

6,750 rpm

WEIGHT TO POWER

10kg/kW

 

10kg/Kw

TRANSMISSION

Cont variable auto

 

8-speed automatic

AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO

3.24:1/1.31:1

 

2.80:1/1.89:1

SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR

Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar

 

Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs,

 anti-roll bar

STEERING RATIO

11.8:1

 

13.8:1

TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK

2.3

 

2.6

BRAKES, F; R

11.5-in vented disc; 11.1-in disc, ABS

 

12.0-in vented disc; 11.1-in disc, ABS

 

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