Sedans & Coupes

Is the 2020 Toyota Camry TRD Faster Than the Honda Accord?

The Camry isn’t usually what comes to mind when you think of sporty Toyotas. However, the Toyota Camry TRD goes some way to rectify that. But how does it stack up against one of its main sedan rivals, the Honda Accord? Specifically, the most powerful version of the Accord? YouTube team Throttle House wanted to find out.

How do the 2020 Toyota Camry TRD and the 2020 Honda Accord Touring 2.0T compare on paper?

The side view of a gray 2020 Honda Accord Touring 2.0T
2020 Honda Accord Touring 2.0T side | Honda

Admittedly, the 2020 Honda Accord Touring 2.0T isn’t exactly the performance trim. For example, it doesn’t have the Civic Type R’s adaptive suspension or limited-slip differential. But it does have a detuned version of the Civic Type R’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. In the sedan, it makes 252 hp and 273 lb-ft, Car and Driver reports.

The Honda Accord Touring 2.0T doesn’t have the hot hatch’s manual. But it does have a smooth-shifting and responsive 10-speed automatic, Motor Trend reports. It’s not quite as fast as the Civic Type R. In Car and Driver’s testing, the Accord needed 5.5 seconds to hit 60 mph; the CTR did it in 5.0 seconds. However, the two cars have the same 5-60 time: 6.1 seconds.

A white 2020 Toyota Camry TRD
2020 Toyota Camry TRD | Toyota

The 2020 Toyota Camry TRD’s modifications are less about horsepower than handling, MT reports. Compared to the base Camry, it has a lower ride height, stiffer shocks with TRD-specific valving, new springs and bump-stops, and stiffer stabilizer bars. The sedan also has additional chassis braces, a cat-back exhaust, a retuned steering rack, larger brakes, and lighter wheels wrapped in Bridgestone Potenza summer tires. That’s on top of the rear spoiler, front splitter, and body kit.

However, the Toyota Camry TRD is the cheapest V6-powered Camry. Its 3.5-liter V6 makes 301 hp and 267 lb-ft and is linked to an 8-speed automatic. It’s about 170 pounds heavier than the Honda Accord, Car and Driver reports, so it hits 60 mph 0.1 seconds slower. However, it’s one of the few cars whose rolling 5-60 (aka the ‘real-world acceleration’) time closely matches its 0-60 time.

Throttle House’s testing methods

A gray 2020 Honda Civic Type R on a city street
2020 Honda Civic Type R | Matthew Skwarczek

To be fair, it’s unlikely that people buy sedans like the Camry or Honda Accord for outright performance. There’s the upcoming Corolla hot hatch and the Civic Type R/Civic Si for that.

RELATED: The 2020 Toyota Camry TRD is More Capable Than We Thought

However, the existence of the Toyota Camry TRD suggests that there are at least some interested buyers. And while MT reports the Camry TRD’s strengths are best demonstrated on an autocross course, straight-line performance is also a common comparison metric.

With all that in mind, Throttle House ran two ¼-mile drag races. The first was a typical standing-start race, and the second was a rolling race. Normally, the first turns into a launch control and traction comparison, and the second is all about engine and transmission tuning. However, neither the Accord nor the Camry has launch control.

RELATED: Toyota Camry TRD vs. Dodge Charger SXT

Instead, these races are about horsepower and torque. The Honda Accord has more torque and more of it at low RPMs. The Toyota Camry TRD has more horsepower, but it has to rev high to fully exploit it. Plus, the Camry’s 8-speed automatic is somewhat “sluggish,” The Drive reports.

Did the Toyota Camry TRD win, or did the Honda Accord Touring 2.0T win?

Throttle House’s races were fairly close, especially the rolling-start race. Unfortunately, in both cases, the 2020 Honda Accord Touring 2.0T beat the 2020 Toyota Camry TRD.

RELATED: Avoid the Toyota Camry, Buy the Honda Accord Instead

So, does that mean potential buyers should discount the Camry TRD completely? Not necessarily, Automobile reports.

Both sedans are fun to drive and deliver similar EPA fuel economy ratings and braking performance. And they offer similar levels of equipment. The Toyota Camry TRD, though, is about $5300 cheaper than the Honda Accord Touring 2.0T. However, the Accord has more passenger and cargo space, a larger touchscreen, and, as Throttle House just demonstrated, more speed. Plus, unlike the Camry, it’s a Car and Driver 10Best winner.

But the best way to pick between them is to drive them yourself.

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