Two prominent Japanese automakers, Toyota and Honda, were the first two companies to provide American consumers with hybrid cars. The Prius was the first, released in 2000, and it’s still one of the best hybrid cars you can buy. The Honda Civic Hybrid would go on sale three years later. While the hybrid market has gotten more crowded in recent years, both Toyota and Honda are still popular choices. The Toyota Camry Hybrid has been praised for years as one of the best hybrids, especially the 2018 version. How well does it compare to the Honda Accord Hybrid?
About the Toyota Camry Hybrid
The Toyota Camry Hybrid is powered by an electric motor and a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine generating a combined 208 hp. This system is paired with a CVT and offers drivers a smooth ride even when going over large bumps. Its acceleration is subpar, but this isn’t abnormal for a hybrid. In Car and Driver’s review, it managed to get from 0-60 mph in almost 8 seconds.
While it can’t offer the speediest performance, the Camry Hybrid gets some impressive fuel economy numbers. According to EPA estimates, it gets 51 mpg during city driving and 53 mpg at highway speeds. Upgrading to a higher trim will slightly lower this figure, but you’ll get more fancy interior features.
The Camry Hybrid SE gives drivers a more stylish feel, thanks to the added paddle shifters and sports seats. The XLE trim includes an upgraded infotainment system, ambient interior lighting, a head-up display, wireless charging, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Smartphone integration, compatible with both Apple and Android devices, is standard for each Camry Hybrid.
About the Honda Accord Hybrid
The Honda Accord Hybrid is slightly more powerful than the Camry Hybrid. Its powertrain consists of two electric motors and a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. It’s paired with a CVT and can produce up to 212 hp. The engine has plenty of pep during everyday driving, but it can produce a lot of noise on the highway.
The Honda Accord Hybrid is very fuel-efficient, getting an estimated 48 mpg on city roads and 47 mpg on the interstate. Like the Camry Hybrid, critics reported smooth driving performance, especially around tight corners. It’s not available in all-wheel drive, but the Touring trim comes with bigger wheels.
Every Accord Hybrid beside the base trim includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Higher trims can also have heated seats, a larger touchscreen, a moonroof, built-in navigation, and more safety features. The standard Honda Sensing safety suite is already well-equipped with lane-keeping assistance, collision braking, traffic sign recognition, and adaptive cruise control.
Which is the better hybrid car?
Historically, the Toyota Camry Hybrid has always had better reviews than the Honda Accord Hybrid. However, in Car and Driver’s recent comparison test, the Accord Hybrid proves to be a slightly better option. For one thing, the fully-loaded Camry Hybrid was more expensive than the Accord Hybrid by a few thousand dollars. It also has fewer features, making the Accord Hybrid a better value.
The testers found that there was little difference between the two cars’ interiors. Both offer luxurious seats and an easy-to-use infotainment system. However, the Camry’s second row doesn’t offer as much legroom as the Accord. Because its battery pack is located under the rear seat, the Accord can also accommodate more luggage than the Camry.
The Camry’s transmission is more refined and it performs better on the highway. However, C&D reviewers had more favorable things to say about the Accord in this category. It has stronger brakes and can handle uneven pavement better than the Camry. While both vehicles have excellent gas mileage, the Accord proved itself to be a better pick overall in this review.