2014 Honda Accord Hybrid offers more for your dollar than Toyota Camry
The Toyota Camry is arguably the most recognized airport rental car in North America. Known for reasonable cabin, trunk space and entry level price point, companies such as Avis, budget and Hertz love the Camry. Me, not so much so.
While I can appreciate what the base model Camry offers for the price paid, I find the ride and interior noise level to be unacceptable. In the entry “L” trim, the seats are uncomfortable and the engine rev-line noise level for the 4 cylinder CVT is a bit unsettling. None the less Toyota was the #1 auto retailer in North America for 2013. They’re affordable, recognizable and built in America.
And, out of fairness to Toyota, rental car fleets while offering the consumer an opportunity for long term exposure to the product, tend to be cheapened down a bit as to creature comforts and optional accessories. Cloth interiors, cheap seats and 20,000 mile airport maintenance service cycles don’t lend itself to a fair comprehensive review of the product.
In its base non Hybrid trim, the Toyota Camry’s suggested msrp for a bare bones yet very drive-able “L” is $22,425. A base model Accord LX will set you back a bit less at $21,955.. But, in looking closely at the “standard” features offered at the bottom of the line-up, Honda includes a few more standard features for the $ than Toyota offers. The same holds true when pricing the Hybrid.
One problem I find with Toyota’s “build your car” online shopping tool is that I find it to be a bit less than transparent.
When reviewing the Toyota consumer sales tool, it appears that Toyota utilizes a ‘cost plus’ approach to automotive marketing and sales. This approach is absolutely to the benefit of the Dealer. While Toyota offers a very reliable and largely trouble-free driving and ownership experience, they leave it up to the buyer to dig through menial options, and then add them to the shopping cart to generate the final “ estimated” sale price while paring the buyer with a dealer of choice.
In comparing the top of the line Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE with a base msrp of $28,625 to a comparable Accord with an msrp of $29,155., we find that the base model Accord offers as much as the top of the line Camry for about $600 more then the entry level Toyota.