The 2021 Toyota Camry and the 2021 Honda Accord are two segment-defining mid-size sedans. Let’s see which is better.
- The Toyota Camry is currently in its 8th generation.
- The Honda Accord is currently in its 10th generation.
2021 Toyota Camry
Base Price: $24,970 / Read our 2021 Toyota Camry Review
What we like: Available AWD; available V6; fuel-sipping hybrid variant; sporty TRD model; good resale value.
What we would change: Offer AWD with the V6 and hybrid powertrains; add blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert to lower-spec trims.
Overview: The Toyota Camry has long had a reputation for reliability but also for dullsville design and a milquetoast driving experience. The latest Camry subverts those criticisms with styling that if anything is overdone and newfound driver appeal. The latter is particularly true of the racy Camry TRD with its potent 301-horsepower V6 (available also in the XSE and XLE). The base 2.5-liter engine and the available Hybrid deliver the more traditional Camry benefit of good fuel economy: 31–32 mpg EPA combined for the base engine and as much as 52 mpg for the Hybrid. All-wheel drive is now available but only with the 2.5-liter. The roomy interior is nicely finished in the upper trims but is not class-leading.
What’s new for 2021: Toyota nixed the L model and added a sporty XSE trim to the Hybrid. There’s also revised front-end styling, an upgraded forward-collision warning system that detects cyclists and pedestrians, and new 7- and 9-inch touchscreens.
Features and technology: All Camrys include forward-collision warning with pedestrian and cyclist detection and automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and automatic high-beams. Blind-spot monitoring and rear-cross-traffic alert are optional on LE, SE, and SE Nightshade, and standard elsewhere. The XLE and XSE grades get leather, wireless charging, and heated front seats. Navigation, a head-up display, and a surround-view camera are optional on top trims.
What does the future hold: The Camry lineup is fully fleshed out, so we wouldn’t expect major changes soon. See 2021 Toyota Camry models for sale near you
2021 Honda Accord
Base Price: $24,970 / Read our 2021 Honda Accord Review
What we like: Engaging driving demeanor; spacious interior; a reputation for reliability; available Hybrid version; standard active-safety features.
What we would change: Make AWD available; switch to a traditional gearshift; bring back the manual!
Overview: The Honda Accord is in its 10th generation, and Honda’s long experience with this model is evident in its general excellence. The Accord is engaging to drive with a lively and responsive chassis that deftly controls body motions. Note, though, that ride quality deteriorates with the available larger wheels. The 192-hp 1.5-liter turbocharged base engine is mated with a CVT, while the 252-hp 2.0-liter turbo uses a 10-speed automatic. The Hybrid pairs a 2.0-liter four and an electric motor for a total of 212 horsepower and 232 lb-ft of torque. Gear selection is via an oddball arrangement of buttons and switches. The base engine’s combined fuel economy is 32 or 33 mpg (depending on trim level), while the 2.0-liter turbo returns 26 mpg. The Accord Hybrid boasts a 48 mpg EPA combined rating (43 mpg for the Touring). The 2021 Accord features coupe-like styling with a sleek roofline, yet Honda has carved out a spacious interior. Rear-seat legroom is expansive, though passengers will need to duck their heads getting in. Trunk space is best in class. Up front, narrow pillars and a low dash make for good visibility.
What’s new for 2021: A new Sport SE trim replaces the previous EX 1.5T. The base LX upgrades to the 8-inch touchscreen used by the other models. A new Rear Seat Reminder system is added, and Touring trims get a low-speed auto-braking feature. Both turbo engines have revised throttle mapping, and the brakes are said to deliver smoother engagement. Finally, Honda has dropped the manual transmission from the Accord, a sad move but not a surprising one.
Features and technology: The Accord is offered in LX, Sport, Sport SE, EX-L, Sport 2.0T, and Touring trim levels. All trims now have an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (wireless in the top three trims). Unlike some earlier Honda touchscreens, the Accord units are supplemented by knobs for volume and tuning. Navigation is optional on the EX-L and standard on the Touring, which also gets a Wi-Fi mobile hotspot, wireless device charging, and a head-up display. The long list of standard active-safety features includes forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beams, and a driver-attention monitor. Most trims also come with blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.
What does the future hold: With AWD now available on the Toyota Camry and Nissan Altima, we could see the Accord adding that feature at some point. See 2021 Honda Accord models for sale near you
Camry vs. Accord: Strengths comparison
Toyota Camry Benefits: Available AWD; better fuel economy; strong V6; gas-sipping Hybrid; impressive resale value.
Honda Accord Benefits: Economical base engine; roomy rear seat; available fuel-sipping Hybrid; longstanding reputation for reliability
Camry vs. Accord: Which is better?
The Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord are top choices in the segment, and buyers can’t go wrong with either model. We give the Accord a slight edge in this matchup, but its advantages are mostly subjective: more handsome exterior styling, nicer interior design, and more rewarding driving demeanor. See 2021 Toyota Camry models for sale or See 2021 Honda Accord models for sale.
|2021 Toyota Camry||2021 Honda Accord|
|Engine||2.5-liter I4||1.5-liter turbo I4|
|Horsepower||203 hp @ 6,600 rpm||192 hp @ 5,500 rpm|
|Torque||182 lb-ft @ 3,600 rpm||192 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm|
|Fuel Economy||32 mpg (28 city/39 hwy)||33 mpg (30 city/38 hwy)|
|Also Available||3.5-liter V6; hybrid; AWD||2.0-liter turbo I4; hybrid|
|Warranty||3 years/36,000 miles||3 years/36,000 miles|
|Powertrain Warranty||5 years/60,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|NHTSA Overall Safety||5 stars||5 stars|
|Max Seating Capacity||5||5|
|Wheelbase||111.2 inches||111.4 inches|
|Overall Length||192.2 inches||192.2 inches|
|Width||72.4 inches||73.3 inches|
|Height||56.9 inches||57.1 inches|
|Turning Diameter||37.4 feet||38.1 feet|
|Headroom, Front||38.3 inches||39.5 inches|
|Headroom, Rear||38.0 inches||37.3 inches|
|Legroom, Front||42.1 inches||42.3 inches|
|Legroom, Rear||38.0 inches||40.4 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Front||57.7 inches||58.3inches|
|Shoulder Room, Rear||55.7 inches||56.5 inches|
|EPA Passenger Volume||100.4 cubic feet||105.6 cubic feet|
|EPA Cargo Volume||15.1 cubic feet||16.7 cubic feet|