It's rare that the two top-selling cars in a given segment are all-new in the same model year, but with the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord for 2018 that is indeed the case. Both models are all-new in the sense that they have new engines, styling, and interiors for the new year. We break down how these cars remain similar, and where they diverge in their new designs.
- Focus Story: What Makes the 2018 Camry so Different?
2018 Accord vs. Camry - Engines, and Transmissions
For 2018 both Toyota and Honda have new engines for their mid-sized cars. The biggest news is that Honda is dropping its V6 engine and instead will offer a new 252 hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. This will put the Accord at a decided horsepower disadvantage against the Camry, which sticks with a V6 as its up-powered engine, now with 301 hp. How they drive normally will be the most important test (obviously), but with up-powered trims horsepower and 0-60 MPH times matter to many buyers.
In the bulk of the Camrys and Accords sold the four-cylinder engine will still be the most important and here, both also change the engines. Honda will offer its 190 hp 1.5-liter turbo we like in the CR-V and Civic, but will it have enough grunt to push the bigger Accord? And will Honda recommend Premium fuel for the Accord with this engine, as Honda now does with the Civic when it is tuned to 190hp? Worth checking if you are shopping in the near future.
The Camry has a 2.5-liter, non-turbo engine now with over 200 hp in every trim. The XSE has 206 and the other trims 203 hp. Torque matters in everyday driving, so the Honda's turbo may be at an advantage.
Those who shop this class for exciting exterior styling will be pleased to see that both cars now are sharper in appearance. The big news for Toyota's Camry is the catamaran-inspired front grill which seems to offer a dynamic look, but not a polarizing one like the Lexus spindle. Those who want a more sedate grill on a Camry will find it in the mid and XLE trims. The XSE gets the more stylish one. The Accord looks a lot like all prior Accords and has a bold grill as well. The Accord has a more sculpted hood. The Camry has some trims with a black roof that makes it look more modern and upscale. If you plan to place a comment below saying "These are ugly, etc" please tell us what top-selling midsize car you think is better looking. We'd love to hear your opinion.
The new Camry has a driver-focused infotainment system. Nav is available, but Apple Car Play and Android Auto are not. This is almost shocking since these phone-integration systems are now hugely popular. These will be available on the new Accord. It is hard to understate that advantage for Honda. Both the Camry and Accord have
The new Camry will have active safety standard on all trims. We suspect the new Accord will be an IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus, but it has not yet been tested. The Accord will also have standard active safety on every trim. A first for Honda. Both cars will have actual knobs in addition to touch-screen and steering wheel controls for audio.
Summary - 2018 Camry vs. Accord
Midsized car buyers are in for a real treat in 2018. Both top-selling cars are all-new at the same time and both have interesting twists to consider. The Camry seems to have the edge for traditionalists and the Accord for those looking for more new changes to explore, but both stick to the mainstream in important ways. With both having active safety like automatic emergency braking on every trim, the roads will be a bit safer going forward as well.