The all-new 2020 Honda Accord launched back in February brought Honda’s A-game back to give a good fight against its arch rival, the stunningly beautiful 2018 Toyota Camry. If you think this will be another boring uncle’s car comparison, you’re in the wrong, because these two D-segment sedan has grown edgier, sportier and get this: fun to drive.
How does these two compare based on specifications alone? To be fair, we will pit the highest spec Honda Accord 1.5 TC-P against the Toyota Camry’s sole 2.5V variant, because the TC variant does not feature Honda Sensing, and it wouldn’t be a fair fight against the ADAS equipped Toyota Camry dubbed Toyota Safety Sense.
Another note to add, we could not get our hands on the Honda Accord for a review due to the Movement Control Order (MCO), hence this comparison will be based mainly on specsheet and also various review from our friends at Thailand, as ours are specced quite similarly. Now that is out of the way, shall we begin?
Powertrain – Accord wins, hands down
It currently makes 201 PS with 260 Nm of torque mated to CVT-type transmission, sending all the power through the front wheels.
The Toyota Camry on the other hand solders on with the 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated Dual-VVTi unit carried from the previous generation Camry. It makes 184 PS and 235 Nm of torque, driving the front wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Without a doubt, for those seeking outright performance should check out the all-new Accord, as it is the most powerful D-segment sedan in its class.
Old it may be, but underpowered it isn't as the Camry delivers the power in smooth and fluid linearity. Obviously the new Dynamic Force engine similar to the Lexus UX would be the ideal pairing, but supply is limited worldwide. Plus, the new engine would be more appropriate for larger market where the demand for Camry is higher, such as Thailand and USA.
Fuel consumption wise, Honda claims the Accord will do an impressive 6.3 litre/100 km in mixed driving condition, which is very, very fuel efficient for vehicle of this size.
During our test, the Camry averaged 7.7 litre/100 km on urban roads with a mix of smooth and heavy traffic. In our opinion, the fuel consumption is around what is expected for a 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated engine in a D-segment sedan.
Features – Honda's Man Maximum, Machine Minimum philosophy prevails
In terms of features, both cars are quite evenly matched – both range-topping versions get LED headlights, 8-way power adjustable driver seat, leather upholstery, and dual-zone automatic climate control. For the first time, the Accord comes with shoulder switch for the front passenger seat – a trademark feature in the Camry for the longest time.
The Accord’s new dashboard design is more on the subtle and safe side, compared to the fussier looking Camry’s dashboard filled with various curvature at every angle. It is the most user friendly too. Honda has always been ahead in terms of ergonomics, and the new Accord are no different. In terms of material cabin quality, it’s on par.
Boot space is also Accord’s best forte in the segment, offering up to 570-litre of boot space, the biggest in its class with a wide and low aperture for easy loading.
The Camry on the other hand only offers 493-litre of boot space, but exude similar wide and low aperture loading to the Accord. Interior spaciousness wise, it matches the Accord’s class-leading feel, with ample leg and shoulder room.
Infotainment – Accord for the features, Camry for the speakers
Simply put, the inclusion of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in the Accord is the only reason why the infotainment is slightly better than the Camry. Despite having 10-speakers versus 6 over its predecessor, nothing can top the Camry’s 9-speaker JBL audio system.
It is that good, so much that we think it sounds even better than both the Bose system in Mazda 6 or Mercedes-Benz C200’s Audio 20. Such a shame, the Camry could’ve lead the class in the infotainment department if Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is included.
In terms of screen quality, the Accord has sharper pixels and looks bit more sophisticated than the one in Camry. Screen size on both cars are 8-inch, and both infotainment is easy to navigate and smooth to use.
Ride and Handling – Toyota’s TNGA platform is fantastic
For the spirited driver, you will appreciate the Camry’s driving experience and chassis dynamics. It totally transformed the image of the Camry as a boring uncle’s car – it is now fun to drive, especially in the cornering department. Not just that, it excels in the ride comfort area too, so much that it feels like a European car instead.
You might think the Mazda 6 would be a better drive, after-all Mazda are known for being the most driver-focused brand at present time (yes, BMW are no longer the brand it was), but the Mazda 6 suspension rides the bump a little harsher, especially when it comes to potholes and tall speed bumps.
That said, it’s not like the Accord couldn’t handle in corners or offers terrible ride comfort, but the Accord approach these department in a much more regal and noble feel, versus a more driver-oriented focus that the Camry offers.
Safety – Almost identical, thanks to ADAS
Like its predecessor, the Honda Accord comes with Honda Sensing ADAS suite (1.5 TC-P only), which includes a rather comprehensive list of features:
- Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
- Road Departure Mitigation (RDM)
- Lane Keep Assist (LKA)
- Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
- Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS)
- Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
- Low Speed Follow (LSF)
- Auto High Beam (AHB)
It is also worth noting that both the 1.5 TC and 1.5 TC-P variants of the Accord include the Honda LaneWatch camera.
The Camry, on the other hand, gets the Toyota Safety Sense ADAS suite, which bundles equivalent features, such as:
- Pre-Collision System (PCS)
- Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) with Stop&Go
- Automatic High Beam (AHB)
- Lane Departure Alert (LDA)
- Lane Tracing Assist (LTA)
- Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)
With that said, the Toyota Safety Sense is an older version, so its adaptive cruise control are not capable of operating in stop-go traffic like the Toyota Corolla Altis.
Prices – Evenly match
Prices start from RM 185,900 for the 1.5 TC variant, before topping out at RM 195,900 for the Accord 1.5 TC-P variant. As mentioned earlier, the extra price is worth every penny as the TC variant does not come with Honda Sensing features.
As for the Camry, the sole 2.5V model made-in-Thailand is priced at RM 196,888.