Comparo: 2018 Toyota Camry Grande vs Honda Accord 2.0T Sport

Comparo: 2018 Toyota Camry Grande vs Honda Accord 2.0T Sport

Midsize sedans are increasingly being sidelined in the face of the crossover revolution. Many manufacturers are starting to give up on the segment, but there are two that have been consistently successful — the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord. Both have been launched in all-new forms for the 2018 model year, with launch events held at the same location in Dubai, and only a month apart, as if aligned by some cosmic intervention. These two stalwarts have undergone massive changes, with one bringing back the V6 and the other one going full turbo. Seeking to answer the “which is better” question that we constantly receive, we decided to drive them side-by-side and settle it once and for all (or at least until the next model change).

We would’ve preferred to test the base-engined versions of these cars since that is what most people will buy, but Toyota did not have a 2.5-litre Camry for us to test (which features a carryover 178 hp motor in the UAE, even while there is a new 204 hp 2.5-litre offered in KSA), which would’ve been easily trounced by the entry-level Accord’s 198 hp 1.5-litre 4-cylinder turbo that we drove earlier. So this Japanese face-off features the powerful top versions of both models — the 297 hp Toyota Camry V6 Grande Sport and the 247 hp Honda Accord 2.0T Sport. Wait — is the Accord losing the horsepower race already?

Style & Desirability

The 2018 Toyota Camry is longer, lower and wider than before, with the side-window line lowered to create the appearance of an even lower car. It looks rather fetching in Sport trim with its uniquely-sculpted front bumper, different 18-inch wheel design, four little exhaust tips and a rear lip spoiler. It is a cohesive design language that’s hard to fault, except maybe the fake vents running down the LED tail lamps. Extra points to Toyota for offering a version that looks different from base models.

In contrast, the 2018 Honda Accord is actually shorter in length than before, thanks to its downsized turbo motors allowing for a smaller engine compartment. However, it is also lower and wider, making the new model look longer than the old one. It’s also unique with its liftback-style rear-window profile, although it still has a sedan-style boot lid. The front grille juts out and is smoked-chrome in Sport trim, while featuring a rear lip spoiler and wide dual-exhaust tips. The distinctive LED headlights look very expensive, but the LED tail lights look like an afterthought, even if they look good at night. Also, it doesn’t look very different from the base model, aside from the larger 18-inch wheels.

While we never put a ranking on style because it is a matter of personal preference, we think the Camry looks better than the Accord (at least until you get tired of seeing the former as taxis everywhere).

Interior size & cargo room

1st: Honda Accord

The Accord wins with maybe an inch more knee room for rear passengers, based on our front-seat settings. The Accord appears to have a shallower boot with a smaller opening, but in terms of volume — at 473 litres — it is way ahead of the Camry, with a tiny bit more length and a lot more width.

2nd: Toyota Camry

That’s not to say the Camry is cramped. It is still limo-like for rear passengers, and the boot — 428 litres of it — may actually be more practical than the Accord thanks to its larger opening and taller height.

Interior quality & trim

1st: Toyota Camry

The new Camry features well-padded stitched leatherette on huge chunks of the dashboard, aside from soft-touch surfaces on the dash-top, upper door window-sills both front and in the back, and padded door inserts as well as armrests. The chunk of hard plastic around the front cup-holders and shifter is cheap though, and easily scratched. Hard plastics are relegated lower in the cabin.

2nd: Honda Accord

The new Accord’s interior will actually be more preferable to many consumers, with its BMW-inspired clean lines and tablet-style screen perched on top. The dash-top and front door window-sills also feature soft-touch surfaces, with well-padded door inserts and armrests. However, the window sills for the rear doors are oddly hard plastic, so it loses points in our book. It makes some of those points back with the leatherette-padded sides of the gear/cup-holders console in the front, but the passenger-facing parts of the lower dash remain hard plastic, as do all other lower panels.

Technology

Honda Accord 2.0T startup

Honda Accord 2.0T startup.

Posted by DriveArabia.com on Monday, 19 March 2018

1st: Honda Accord

The Accord 2.0T by far has the most equipment, starting with the Honda Sensing suite of active driving aids such as adaptive cruise with stop-go feature, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist, low-speed following, collision mitigation braking and more, aside from range-wide standard features such as ESP, ABS, hill-start assist and more. There’s also standard LED lighting, dual-zone auto a/c, smart key, remote start, electric parking brake and cruise control on even base models. Inside the 2.0T Sport, we got an 8-inch touchscreen with a fairly responsive interface, 10-speaker stereo, Apply Carplay and Android Auto, a heads-up display, a gauge cluster with two-thirds of it as a 7-inch LCD screen, a button-operated gear-selector, paddle-shifters, rear camera with multi-angle view, navigation, blind-spot monitoring, LaneWatch right-side blind-spot camera, ventilated front seats and a regular-sized sunroof. The wireless charging and blind-spot monitor options have been skipped for GCC-spec cars.

2018 Toyota Camry Grande start-up…

Posted by DriveArabia.com on Tuesday, 20 March 2018

2nd: Toyota Camry

The Camry Grande justifies it significantly lower price by cutting out all the active driving aids and some of the luxury features that are available in U.S. models. As such, the Camry range only makes-do with standard ABS, ESP, hill-start, cruise control and other such basics. The V6 Sport gets LED lighting, an electric parking brake, an 8-inch touchscreen with slightly delayed responses, 6-speaker stereo, rear camera with an odd fish-eye view, 7-inch LCD screen between the gauges, dual-zone auto a/c, smart key, navigation, paddle-shifters and a regular-sized sunroof. The V6 Limited model adds a wireless charger, chrome exterior trim and illuminated door scuff-plates, but loses the paddle shifters, sport exhaust and the body kit. Aside from all the safety nannies, the 360 camera, heads-up display and panoramic sunroof options have also been skipped for GCC-spec cars.

Engine power & acceleration

1st: Honda Accord

The Accord 2.0T looks like the loser on paper, down by a massive 51 horses less than the Camry V6, with 247 hp at 6500 rpm. But you see, the 2.0-litre VTEC turbo-4 also makes a massive 370 Nm of torque from just 1500 rpm all the way to 3500 rpm. And then there’s the 10-speed automatic to hurry things along further (the 1.5T gets a well-tuned CVT). We fired off a 0-100 kph time of 6.1 seconds in our testing, pounding out a wheelspinning launch even with ESP on.

2nd: Toyota Camry

The Camry V6 is no slouch other. The upgraded 3.5-litre V6 makes 298 hp at 6600 rpm. However, it makes 356 Nm of torque, that too at a higher 4700 rpm. Mated to an 8-speed automatic, the car feels pretty quick, but power builds up linearly rather than giving a hard push from the low revs itself, which the turbo Accord does. We timed the Camry V6 at 6.4 seconds in the 0-100 kph run with ESP off, and it’s even slower if you leave the ESP on.

Fuel economy

1st: Honda Accord

The Accord 2.0T did 10.6 litres/100 km (9.4 km/l) in our time with the car. The engine downsizing seems to have paid off. Mind you though, the fuel tank is a bit smaller, at 56 litres.

2nd: Toyota Camry

The Camry V6 Grande did 11.7 litres/100 km (8.5 km/l) during our test period. Still impressive for a V6. The fuel tank size is 60 litres.

Ride comfort & noise

1st: Honda Accord

With more sound deadening than ever before, the Accord can finally be classed as a “quiet” car, with some road and wind noise starting to intrude at 120 kph. It rides well too, only a hint firmer than the Camry.

2nd: Toyota Camry

While the Camry rides a tiny bit smoother than the Accord, even with supposedly-sportier suspension in the V6 Sport, there was no hiding an odd wind-noise issue with the Camry that made it sound like a window was open from 100 kph onwards. Below that, it is as quiet as the Accord.

Handling & driving dynamics

1st: Honda Accord

The Accord drives better, with a bit meatier steering weight, more responsive brakes and slightly firmer suspension than the Camry. The smooth 10-speed gearbox responds well, although there is some waiting time when you force it to downshift 4 gears at once with a hard push of the throttle. It’s certainly a much better automatic than Fiat-Chrysler’s horrendous 9-speed effort.

2nd: Toyota Camry

The Camry drives very well too, with enough weight and feel in the steering to keep things interesting. The suspension is well-tuned, even if a bit floaty over big bumps, but the ESP is more restrictive than in the Accord. The 8-speed gearbox is generally smooth and responsive, but not as quick to downshift a gear as the Accord’s one.

Verdict

Both of these all-new cars are absolutely perfect buys for anyone from commuters to enthusiasts, and hugely entertaining in their powerful sporty forms. In the UAE, the Camry V6 Grande Sport comes in at Dhs 122,500 (or range from Dhs 114,500 for the V6 SE Plus to Dhs 124,500 for the V6 Limited). The Accord 2.0T comes in only one Sport trim for Dhs 140,000, which is steep, but you also get a ton of extra features for the price. But while we would’ve preferred a lower-trim 2.0T for a reduced price as a choice as well, it is clear that the Honda Accord 2.0T Sport is the winner if you’re looking for an all-rounder car with the works.

Photos by Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury.

What do you think?

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Comments

  1. i would simply pass over both of them wait and buy the new generation 2019 Toyota avalon… at least it looks good plus it has all the toys you need Apple car play, safety tech… etc, A buyer you can pay 130K -140K can pay a little over 150k for a better machine such as avalon or even a ES250.

    with AED 140K price tag with a unibrow grill, a turbo engine (read long term reliability??), awkward gear switches…

    sorry a big pass..

    having said that i think Honda’s accord 1.5T at a price below 100K can be a winner, it has much better value.

  2. Both models are much better than ever before. I have seen that Camry Grande on the road in red and it’s a looker! Kudos to Toyota for the styling effort!

    For majority of the buyers in that segment, features of Camry would be enough hence it would be better of Honda to offer a lower trim for 2.0T motor as well. Also, that lane watch on these modern Honda’s are just lame

  3. In my opinion both sedans are overpriced a bit. There are offerings cheaper & better from other rivals. So much for these boring sedans i guess…

  4. This is what i am waiting for 😉

    Thanks !!!

  5. @ PRADO. Well Avalon is not in the same league i guess as it is an entry level luxury large sedan & prices for 2018 Avalon S start @ 119K AED & goes up till 155K AED. Lets wait for Avalon & compare it to the Maxima & some other larger offerings from the Koreans as well both KIA/Hyundai are showing impressive cars with great value in this segment also.

  6. WIth this price tag for 2.0 turbo accord i dont think its gonna sell well. Expect to see the 1.5 turbo to selling for the accord. 140k for the 2.0 turbo feels very exorbitant for the accord.

  7. 140k? Are you kidding me?

    And then they whine when cross overs sell like hot-cakes -,-

  8. @ PRADO. Dear as everyone knows Avalon comes in comparison to Luxury large Sedans from other car manufacturers also that’s why that Luxury segment is there. By the way New Avalon 2019 is just an expensive Camry in shape & style at least. If you like Camry & the taxi image attached to it here in the Gulf region then you are welcome to purchase one with a price tag of 155K for the Grande Version & that’s for the 2018 model they will increase it for 2019 for sure. Would take the new offering from Korean Hyundai Azera for 130K as re-sale these days is not much for any car manufacturers.

  9. Great Review… was looking to get the new Honda Accord for my daily drives Abu Dhabi- Dubai , taking into consideration the 5 year unlimited km warranty. But with the new turbo engines, i wonder if its a good choice over long term use? any recommendations for daily AUH-DXB commutes ?

    • Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury Author

      If it’s unlimited, then get it and wring that warranty till the last drop, and let us know 5 years later how it went. 🙂 I have more faith in Honda than any German car.

    • @ Winn

      if long commutes are your thing go for a V6… despite the Mash’s enthusiasm turbos develop problems, especially in high heat and fine dust conditions..

      but if you do go for it please update us how it went 🙂

  10. It’s terrible that Toyota’s skimped on the HUD, Safety Sense, Pano rood & JBL sound system for our market. All the other midsize sedans come with driver assistance tech & there are ones that are much cheaper like the Renault Talisman and Chevy Malibu that have way way more features. I would just save the money and go for the Talisman, Sonata, 6 or Malibu or spend the same money as the Toyota on a much more premium Skoda Superb. The Toyota is way too overpriced & overrated in our market & they’re ripping customers off which is simply unacceptable in my book. Specifically the Superb, 6, Talisman & Malibu have way more features and are much nicer cars!

    • @ Sasha. Totally agree with u AF is ripping-off customers here in the UAE specially with the Toyota brand. Spending 100K+ for a new car& not getting features a other manufacturers is surely a rip-off!

  11. I think both sedans have much improvements and its cool to have 8 speed automatic with 300 hp or a 2.0 turbo with 10 speed. I would prefer to upgrade the purchase to an All New Azera which has great build and safety with tech. And the ne camry should have had a floating screen like all the new cars because that’s a safety design so that the driver is not distracted. Kudos to Honda for the nice dash lay out.

  12. Just for the info, The 2.0T Engine in Honda Accord is slightly de-tuned version of Civic Type R.

    Technically Accord has a smaller Turbo as compared to the Civic Type R.

    Having said that I would opt for Accord as this engine is love to drive.

    Only car enthusiast would understand this. Cheers 🙂

  13. test drove both, exact observation as the writer … sad to see MAF skipped saftey teach .. but have a feeling they wanted to test the take rate for the v6 camery and with petrol at 2.30-245 its gona be little tough to get those indians into a v6 but the 2.0t accord is better buy yes 140k is shit load of money but you get a beautiful car .. the lonf term reliability of accord is not an issue in dubai

  14. Great review! What about turbocharger problems, has Honda over come anticipated problems of turbocharge engine.

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