If you’re looking for a sensible, used sedan, then there’s no better choice than either the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. But which one should you pick? It’s a tough choice as either one will give you exactly what you’re looking for in terms of fuel efficiency, style, and pragmatism, however, when you comb the finer details, you might be able to spot some differences. Here are a few head-to-head comparisons between some of the older generations of these two legendary stalwarts.
2018 Honda Accord vs 2018 Toyota Camry
We’re not going too far back in the timeline with this comparison, however, both the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry were redesigned for the 2018 model year, so we figured it would be a good model year to look into. Also, considering you can find either car in this vintage in the low-to-mid-$20,000 range on the used market with the same features and options as the current 2020 models, it could be a good place to start. We checked Carcomplaints.com and Consumer Reports to find out what each site reported about both 2018 models.
It’s not too surprising that Consumer Reports rated both the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry a 5 out of 5 when it comes to reliability, as well as a solid 4 out of 5 when it comes to comfort and convenience, braking, and performance. So both cars are pretty even, however, the 2018 Camry has far fewer complaints than the Accord of the same year. But that doesn’t mean the Accord is less reliable as most of the complaints are concerning dash squeaks and rattles. It’s a “buyer’s choice” when it comes to these two cars, but you really can’t go wrong with either.
2013 Honda Accord vs 2013 Toyota Camry
Torque News did a similar comparison between these two cars and model years and found that the two cars didn’t compare nearly as well when going back to this generation, and upon doing our own digging, they’re not wrong. According to Car Complaints, the 2013 Accord has 551 complaints logged, most of which cite issues with the starter. On the other hand, the 2013 Camry only has 51 complaints logged, which mostly pertain to a “moldy smell” from the A/C vents. While a starter issue isn’t exactly the kiss of death, we can say that it would be a hassle to deal with.
Looking at Consumer Reports, both 2013 models are neck-and-neck once again when it comes to reliability and comfort, both of them scoring a 5 out of 5 and 4 out 5, respectively. If you happen to be in the market for either one of these cars from this vintage, then Consumer Reports recommends the EX trim for the Accord and XSE trim level for the Camry as those will likely give you the more bang for the buck. And for comparison’s sake, we would say that the Camry might be the better choice between the two.
2008 Honda Accord vs 2008 Toyota Camry
If you’re really looking to scratch the bottom of the barrel, then you might be interested in a 2008 Accord or Camry, however, just note that things get a little rougher when you back this far. Although you can get away with spending around $5,000 for an Accord or Camry in this model year, just remember that the mileage for either will likely be well over 120,000. However, you can seek solace in the fact that Consumer Reports rated the 2008 Toyota Camry a 4 out of 5 for reliability, while the Accord was rated with a 3 out of 5 due to engine issues.
Taking a look at Car Complaints, the story unfolds a little as 2008 Accord owners filed over 2,400 complaints, mostly regarding premature brake wear and excessive oil consumption. But on the Camry side of the equation, only 243 complaints were recorded with most of them being for excessive oil consumption as well. While neither of these two sources can be considered the “ultimate word” in which car to choose, we would likely choose the Camry as the more reliable choice, all things being equal.
Which one is a better value?
It’s safe to say that you really can’t go wrong with either the Honda Accord or Toyota Camry in the newer years, especially the 2018 models. However, as you get the older models, there’s a bit of a divide between the two in terms of reliability. Not just from a Consumer Reports standpoint, but also from a price and mileage standpoint. As always, we recommend getting a pre-purchase inspection done before buying a used car. But as far as this comparison goes, you might be better off with an older Toyota Camry.