Midsize sedans are becoming less popular, especially compared to the ever-expanding crossover and SUV market. However, there is still demand for this type of vehicle, specifically customers that prefer to be driven around, as well as those that want to drive big four-doors. It's also the reason why automakers like Toyota, Honda, and Mazda continue to offer them locally. Toyota Motor Philippines even launched the refreshed 2022 Camry this month to keep its mid-size sedan competitive.
Unlike before, TMP offers the 2022 Camry in one variant only – the Camry Hybrid. Yes, it's now exclusively an electrified model. In addition to the powertrain, Toyota also gave the sedan an upgrade in terms of style and features. But how does the new newly updated Camry Hybrid stack up against another midsize sedan – the Honda Accord?
To give you a better idea of what both models have to offer, we will be comparing the 2021 Honda Accord and the 2022 Toyota Camry Hybrid.
Turbo or Hybrid power?
Let's start with the powertrain. As mentioned earlier, the refreshed Camry is available as a hybrid only. Under the hood, you'll find a naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter inline-four paired with an electric motor. The engine alone is already good for 178 PS and 221 Nm torque, while the electric motor produces 120 PS. Toyota says total system output is rated at 211 PS. Power is then sent to the front wheels via an E-CVT.
While Toyota went for the hybrid approach, Honda took the forced induction route. Powering the Accord is a 1.5-liter DOHC i-VTEC engine similar to the current Civic. With the assistance of a turbocharger, the engine produces a healthy 190 PS and 260 Nm torque. Honda's Earth Dreams CVT then sends power to the front wheels.
In terms of power output alone, it seems Toyota has the advantage with a combined output of 211 PS on the Camry. However, the Accord's motor does have more torque, which is what you want in an urban environment. Theoretically, it also means Honda's midsize sedan can carry more stuff should the need arise.
The biggest ace the Camry has, over the Accord is the hybrid system. While we've yet to test out the Toyota, we're certain it can beat the Accord's 8.6 km/L city fuel economy without even trying. Then again, if you have the budget for a big sedan, fuel economy is probably the last thing on your mind. What you want are space and comfort.
More space, more fun
Size-wise, the bigger sedan is the Honda Accord. It measures 4901mm long, 1862mm wide, and 1450mm. The size isn't just limited to the exterior. With its 2830mm wheelbase, rear occupants in the Accord will surely enjoy the legroom the midsize four-door has to offer. A longer wheelbase usually translates to more space, after all.
While the Accord might be bigger, the Camry Hybrid isn't significantly smaller. The Toyota measures 4885mm long, 1840mm wide, and 1445mm tall. The wheelbase is also only 5mm shorter than the Accord at 2825mm. It might not be much, but that 5mm difference could make the Camry feel a bit smaller inside compared to the Accord.
Honda did not disclose the ground clearance of the Accord, but Toyota says the Camry has 140mm at its lowest points. It's not a lot, but remember these are midsize sedans, not SUVs or crossover. With that, better mind the humps in your village whether you're driving the Accord or Camry.
High tech cabin
In terms of tech and features, both the Accord and the Camry Hybrid are well equipped. These are pricey four-doors, and customers expect them to be “fully loaded” with features and gadgets that the manufacturers could think of.
The 2021 Accord comes with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, and iPod & iPhone connectivity that sits front and center of the dashboard. Unlike the new Civic, this one still has physical buttons and knobs. It's paired with an 8-speaker system (with 4-tweeters) and an intelligent dual-zone climate control system. To give it a more upscale feel, there's wood trim on the dashboard and the siding. Rear occupants will also be glad about the rear aircon vents.
In the Camry, TMP replaced the old T-Link system with a new 9-inch touchscreen unit that now has Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Smart Device Link, and Miracast. Compared to the standard speakers in the Accord, the Camry comes with a 9-speaker JBL unit. Instead of a dual-zone, the TMP fitted a tri-zone climate control system - meaning the rear passengers can set their own temperature.
2022 Toyota Camry
Rear occupants can also enjoy the rear seat control panel that can adjust the aircon, audio, along with the rear window shades and door. Aside from the JBL speakers, the Camry also has better rear seats. These are now electronically adjustable via the center control panel, giving rear occupants more options in terms of seating position. In addition, the seats also have more comfortable butterfly headrests.
Safety-wise, Honda and Toyota have occupants covered. Starting with the Accord, it comes with 6 airbags and the standard array of safety features such as ABS, EBD, stability control, traction control, and the like. But the highlight of the Accord's safety system is Honda Sensing. This gives the sedan adaptive cruise control, along with low-speed follow which gives it semi-autonomous driving capabilities. It's also equipped with collision mitigation braking, lane-keep assist, road departure mitigation, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning.
2021 Honda Accord
Over in the Camry, it now comes with the latest version of Toyota Safety Sense for the first time. Similar to Honda Sensing, it gives the sedan an added layer of protection for drivers with Pre-Collision System (PCS), Automatic High Beam, Lane Tracing Assist, Lane Departure Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. It's the first time the Camry will be fitted with the system following the Corolla Altis Hybrid, Corolla Cross Hybrid, Super Grandia Elite, and the Alphard.
As both the Camry and Accord come standard with their respective driving aid, you have peace of mind when it comes to safety no matter which vehicle you're in.
Premium look and feel, premium price
Vehicles like the Camry and the Accord aren't the most affordable models on the market. With the introduction of the refreshed model, the 2022 Camry is now available in one variant only – 2.5 V HEV and it retails for PHP 2,335,000. Those that want the sedan in White Pearl will have to cough up an additional PHP 15,000 on top of the SRP, bumping the price to PHP 2,350,000.
Between the two, however, the Accord is the more expensive model. Honda Cars Philippines also offers the sedan in one trim level only – Accord EL Turbo CVT Honda Sensing – and it starts at PHP 2,350,000 only PHP 15,000 more than the Camry.
On paper, it seems the 2022 Camry Hybrid seems like the better choice, in terms of pricing and packaging. However, some might prefer the more aggressive styling of the Accord. At the same time, it also packs a turbocharged engine, which feels more lively than that of a hybrid.
If you happen to be considering these two models, we suggest you try them out for yourself. It's one thing to be read about the specs on a website (and from a brochure), but it's another to see and experience it in person.