2018 Honda Accord vs. Toyota Camry
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2018 Honda Accord vs. Toyota Camry - Why the Reviewers' Favorite Is Way Behind

In the 2018 Honda Accord vs. Toyota Camry sales race, one car has taken off while the other has declined. We explain why the favorite of auto publications isn't winning more customers.

For decades the highest selling midsize car in America has come down to the Honda Accord vs. the Toyota Camry. Camry has been the leader in almost every year of the past twenty, but the Accord had caught up as recently as a couple of years ago. The reviews and comparisons done by enthusiast auto publications seem to pick the all-new 2018 Accord as the clear winner in this matchup, but shoppers are choosing the new 2018 Camry over the Accord by a huge margin. Here's why.

2018 Toyota Camry vs. 2018 Honda Accord - Customer Choice Data
For the past two months, the all-new 2018 Toyota Camry and Honda Accords have both been on sale. Last month the Camry outsold the Accord by a massive 40% margin with the Accord selling just 17,677 units. The Camry sold 24,638 units. That alone is a clear indication of just how much the buying public prefers the Camry. The Accord's sales dropped by 10% in January and the Camry's went up by 21%. Last month, in December with the 2018 models on sale by both brands, the Camry almost doubled the Accord's sales with 43,331 sold vs. the Accord's 22,215 sold. Do three months make a trend? November's sales were similar. The Accord has now had three consecutive months of sales declines and the Camry three consecutive months of sales increases.

2018 Toyota Camry vs. 2018 Honda Accord - Car Magazine's Opinion
The folks who like to test pricey sports cars and luxury vehicles come down pretty solidly on the side of the Accord. MotorTrend* is a good example. MotorTrend tested the Accord 1.5 EX vs the Camry 2.5 XLE trims and came to a clear conclusion on which was best. These are the slightly upscale, base engine trims of both cars. Their final conclusion was "Holistically, though, there’s no comparison. The Accord is more comfortable, spacious, and luxurious than the Camry. It’s quieter, rides and handles better, and drives more elegantly. It offers superior technology with a more user-friendly interface. Simply put, Toyota built a better Camry, but Honda built a better car."

Based on that summary, and from the Accord's win in almost every individual category, one would think that the Accord would be an easy choice for shoppers. However, there are a couple key buying factors that comparisons like MotorTrend's gloss over, and a couple that they just plain leave out, which may be very important to shoppers.

2018 Toyota Camry vs. 2018 Honda Accord - Reliability and Quality
The MotorTrend story does not address quality and reliability in its story. Yet, that is a key factor to shoppers considering an affordable family car. Consumer Reports gives the 2018 Accord a 3/5 score for reliability and gives the Camry a higher score of 4/5. J.D. Power and Associates found in its 2017 Initial Quality Study that Toyota had a higher than average score among all brands and that Honda had a lower than average score. We could keep going with these quality, reliability, and durability source listings, but is it really necessary? Toyota owns this important category, shoppers know it, and it matters.

New Toyota Camry vs. 2018 Honda Accord - Value
Shoppers who are looking at the Camry and Accord are on a budget and value matters to them. Otherwise, they could head on over to Lexus and check out the ES 350 or Acura and check out is TLX. When compared with the same features, the Accord and Camry always come up very close in price. Dealer discounts matter and dealer location always play a role. It is difficult to make a comparison based on buy-price and location. However, one aspect of value is easy to compare - included service. Toyota offers two years of included service. Honda offers none. You are not likely to read that in an Accord vs. Camry story in a magazine with an Italian supercar on the cover.

2018 Toyota Camry vs. 2018 Honda Accord Fuel Economy and Power
Although the new Accord and Camry are similar in performance, a test drive will never give a buyer any indication of what their actual fuel economy will be. For that information, they look to the window sticker or to places like www.FuelEconomy.gov. Despite having a larger engine with more horsepower, the Camry has a higher combined EPA fuel economy number. Let's face it, who wants a smaller engine with less power and lower fuel economy if all else is equal?

2018 Camry vs. The New Honda Accord - Safety
Car magazines sometimes mention safety, but they rarely go very deep on the subject. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does though, and publishes a very easy to read guide. The Camry has a higher safety rating than the Accord. The Camry earned the highest possible score, Top Safety Pick Plus. The Accord scored very well also, but could not earn that rating because its headlights are lower-rated than the "Good" score IIHS requires for a model to earn its highest rating. Headlights are part of safety and the Camry is ahead in this regard.

Why More Buyers Are Choosing Camry
The comparison of the new Toyota Camry vs the 2018 Accord is very close. Taste and brand loyalty may be the final factor for many shoppers. Or maybe it all comes down to which has the deeper discount. However, the Camry has higher fuel economy, a larger engine, more horsepower, better headlights, a higher safety rating, included maintenance, a better reliability rating from Consumer Reports, and a higher quality rating from J.D. Power. The Accord has its advantages for sure, and enthusiast magazines (perhaps grudgingly) reviewing family cars find those. Actual shoppers know what is important to them and the Camry was their pick by a 40% margin this past month.

*We chose to single out Motor Trend because the staff is known to us and we have nothing but the highest respect for the authors of the well-written comparison story we link to above.

If you are a Honda Accord or a Toyota Camry owner please let us know your view in the comments section below. How did you make the decision to choose Accord vs Camry or vise versa?

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I wouldn't pick either of them. They're both Fugly. I'll take a Fusion or a Malibu any day of the week.
Lol. I guess you plan to lease if you’re buying one of those bottom of the barrel cars with below average reliability and no resale value.
Honda offers no financing deals for their 2018 accord. Toyota is giving better incentives and offers.
Yeah, exploding airbags on hondas killing people, and toyotas famous engine sludged and arrogant sales people are really going to turn me to either of those two overrated brands.
I'm looking to get the touring within a month or two. It will be my third top of the line Accord. Yes true about Toyota including maintenance, and very rude aggressive sales people. Two bad experiences with toyota and one with lexus while shopping for my previous cars. my 07' honda has about 185000 miles changed tires 3 times and brakes 3 times. Im sure next year they will change the headlights in Accord for better rating. Also, toyota factors in fleet sales as in cars that go to car rental companies and goverment issued vehicles. Accord have never been sold to "3rd Parties" and counted in its sales numbers.
(Author here) I tested the Accord 2.0 Touring in October just before its release and I loved it. I have owned two V6 EX-L Accords (03 and 06) and I felt the new one was the best one I have ever driven by far. With regard to Honda and fleet sales, Honda tells Torque News its dealers sold "Less than 8,000" Accords to fleets in 2017 and those sales are included in its monthly total sales figures. Toyota has much higher fleet sales than Honda (though lower than Ford and GM). Subtract the average monthly fleet sales from both Camry and Accord and the monthly figures above don't look very different. Good luck with your new Accord. You're going to love that new engine.
I have driven 'premium' cars for a number of years but since all cars have gotten so much better I am considering moving to a more mainstream and less costly car soon. I haven't yet driven either the new camry or accord but based on everything I have read and the looks of each car I totally favor the accord touring 2.0 . I wonder if it would be wise to wait until the 2019 comes out with fixes to anything missed/found in the initial 2018? To be honest, the biggest thing I would miss if I leave the premium (Infiniti, Audi, etc) brands is the customer experience those dealerships provide. I still get a free loaner car on when my 2010 Infiniti needs service (which is rare). I walked into a Honda dealership and was surprised by the cramped mess of a showroom. Made me feel like I was in a Chevy dealership.
These are excellent points and I thank you for expanding the discussion. Dealerships vary from location to location. A Chevy dealer near me has loaner cars for customers, as does the Honda dealer I used for many years. By contrast, my GF's local BMW dealer suggested she take an Uber when her BMW broke down the last two times (yes, it broke down twice). I favor the mainstream bands now personally. - - With regard to waiting, I can offer my own experience. In 2003 I bought the new generation Accord with the new V6 and new 6-Speed auto. The transmission was defective and mine failed after about 50K miles as did so many others. There was a class action suit that helped owners financially, but I was without my Accord for a week and it cost me a grand. Shortly after Honda extended its drivetrain warranty to 60K, it was 36K back in '03. Many publications, such as Consumer Reports have shown a correlation between first years of new designs and higher repairs. Drive a new Accord 2.0T and then any premium car back to back and I think you will be shocked at just how good the Accord is. I tested it in October just before it was released for sale and was blown away. The only feature I found missing on the Accord was a heated steering wheel. Acura has to have something to sell I guess.
Agreed, I wonder at times about Acura and what their strategy is. I live in the Chicago area and the Auto Show is this week so I am going to go there and check out a number of cars. As for the new Accord, the prudent thing is to wait until the 2019 comes out which is generally in the fall timeframe I believe. Regardless, I will drive one once the snow melts and check it out myself. Based on everything I have read, I suspect I will like it very much. I will also check around the various Honda dealerships and see if any offer loaner cars (that would be awesome if they did). The other feature I hear is missing is the fact the passenger front seat cannot be raised/lowered. Not sure if that is true but have read that complaint in a number of places. That and the robot voice telling you to buckle your seat belt LOL.
I actually drive both and did like the accord better. I bought the Camry and like it a lot as well. Where Toyota made up the ground was in sheer price. And it wasn't even close. The Camry I purchased stickered for 3 grand more than the honda. Still beat the price by a wide margin. Honda dealership offered a terrible trade in price for my truck. They made me feel like they wanted to rob me of my equity in my vehicle. Toyota offered 3400 more than honda. Yes 3400. You do the math. Could not in my right mind buy the honda even though I liked it.
If I drive a car long enough, the factors these 'so called' critics tout upon and write cars off based on those, really do not matter. I have a multi functional gps unit on my car that does LTE, screen mirroring, android auto, apple car play and all the bells and whistles... but then what i conveniently do? I plug in my usb and enjoy my music on my way to work. I dont think i need to put GPS on it everyday to work lol... and nothing beats google maps/ apple maps on your 1000 dollar phone which lets you work naturally, in case you are on a trip with unplanned pitstops and what not... as a car owner I think i am better off without these quirks... trust me, if you are just a normal human being (non critics, self proclaimed enthusiasts) a Camry would really make more sense.. a relatively simple engine with a great reliability is all I need and yes I like my car as an appliance, if thats what these critics think, me and fellow customers dont care what these authors care.. nice rely to them Camry... You would be my next car for sure