Why Camry is number one.
The Toyota Camry has been the number one selling midsize sedan for many years with the Honda Accord usually the runner-up. A comparison between the 2011 Camry and Accord shows why Toyota has long maintained this lead.
There’s a kind of art and science to comparing midsize sedans that you don’t need to apply when comparing, say, muscle cars or sportscars. With those, many buyers simply go for the fastest one they can afford or choose the car that elicits the strongest emotional response. Choosing the sedan you must rely on every day for many years, however, takes a more discerning approach. Held up to that scrutiny, the Toyota Camry shines.
Both the Camry and Accord offer a choice between four-cylinder and V6-powered models. That’s typical for midsize sedans. You’re not going to choose one over the other by comparing compression ratios and such. What’s most important is how these cars drive in every day situations, and here, the Camry offers a compelling difference.
First of all, both Camry’s standard manual transmission and optional automatic are six-speeds; both of the Accord’s transmissions are five-speeds. The difference goes well beyond any kind of bragging rights. A transmission with more ratios makes it easier for the engine to remain in its most efficient power range in all kinds of driving; a six-speed is likely to be in the “perfect” gear more so than a five-speed, especially when you’re driving in changing terrain such as going through hilly areas.
With its four-cylinder engine, the Camry offers an edge in torque, 167 lb/ft vs. the Accord’s four-cylinder’s 161 lb/ft. The Camry also delivers its peak torque at a slightly lower engine rpm than the Accord. Coupled with the added flexibility of a six-speed transmission, that difference can make the Camry feel more energetic in routine driving.
Other attributes become more appreciated over years of ownership. The Camry has a tighter turning circle than Accord (36.1 vs. 37.7 feet) and a larger trunk (15 cubic feet vs. 14 cubic feet). Camry gives rear-seat passengers more legroom, too.
Both the Camry and Accord offer a wide range of model trim lines, and here is where the Camry offers a significant advantage over its rival. With the Accord, to get certain features, you need to step up to a higher trim line, and that can mean a big jump in price. With the Camry, you can choose more stand-alone options, which results in better value.The picture becomes clear when comparing two of the most comparable and popular four-cylinder models, the Camry LE and Accord LX, both with an automatic transmission. With an MSRP of $22,985, the Camry is slightly higher than the Accord ($22,730). Yet, the more sophisticated transmission and a few extra standard items in Camry more than make up that small difference. The Camry LE also comes standard with a driver’s power-adjustable seat (including lumbar) and an outside temperature gauge, two items that, once you have them, you don’t want to do without.Now, consider options. If you want a power sunroof, you can get it in the Camry LE, and the option also includes an illuminated visor, vanity mirrors and rear-seat reading lights. To get a sunroof in an Accord, you must buy an EX model or above, starting at $24,905 with the automatic transmission. With the Camry LE, you can also order an accessory rear-seat DVD entertainment system, but not in the Accord. Camry would certainly get the kids’ vote.Not shown in any specification sheets is the overall smoothness and quietness that make commuting in a Camry so pleasant. In many road tests, critics usually call out the Accord for allowing too much road noise to intrude into the cabin. That’s something you have to live with on every drive. But why, when you can enjoy a quieter ride in a 2011 Camry?
Come in and experience firsthand why Camry continues to be America’s best-selling midsize sedan.
Why Camry is number one.