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Honda Accord vs Toyota Camry



  • I'm trying to decide between a used 2001/2002 Accord or Camry. However, I'm very worried about both the Honda's transmission problems and the Camry's oil sludging during those years. I'm a Consumer Reports nut and like to really know what I'm in for. Honda did put in a recall for their transmissions, but Toyota put stipulations on their recall saying that the oil needed to be strictly replaced every 3000 miles and by a dealer. This makes me think that at least Honda is being a little more proactive at getting their problem fixed, instead of trying to pin blame on the consumer. Given that I'm buying a used car from a 1st or 2nd owner (private party seller), it could be questionable if a Camry was treated as it should per Toyota's specs. Although I dislike a dealer's higher price (w/tax, reconditioning fees, etc) as well as their mind game tactics, I wonder if a certified used car is the route to go in either case. The inspections, reconditioning, and 12 month warranty usually offered with certified cars is starting to appeal because of the above worries.


    I'm also trying to decide between a Japan or U.S. country of manufacturer/assembly. I've always heard that Japan plants put tighter tolerances and higher QA on their cars. Has that work ethic caught up with U.S. union auto workers who are assembling those cars here in the U.S.?
  • hmurphyhmurphy Posts: 278
    Another option is to just bring the car(s) you're looking at to a mechanic you trust, or to mechanics that specialize in Hondas or Toyotas. A mechanic that sees a lot of these cars would probably be able to tell whether a transmission has been replaced or whether there's sludge buildup. And if you find a Honda that has a replacement transmission, it might run just fine for a long time.


    I don't think it's worth paying a higher certified price for a 12-month warranty (if you can find one that old that has a warranty). Even if you do choose to buy a certified car, you should take it to a reputable mechanic and/or Toyota/Honda specialist before buying it. That will be your best guarantee.
  • Doppler, I do know that Honda extended transmission warranty on 200-2002 Accords, to 100k miles. I am not sure if this transferable to the new owner, so if you are looking for a used Accord, make sure it has the extended warranty and that it would be valid for you too, as a buyer.
  • Just FYI- No interest in starting another discussion!




    IIHS 2001-2003 Most recent model year


    Vehicle Name Injury Collision Theft


    (Lower is better)


    Toyota Camry 92 83 87

    Honda Accord 103 85 73


    Lexus ES 300 71 97 98

    Volkswagen Passat 4WD 66 120 103

    Volkswagen Passat 79 104 73

    Nissan Maxima 89 102 283

    Mazda6 129 112 ---
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    "Collisions that result in serious and fatal occupant injuries are relatively rare, so they have only a small influence on the insurance injury results reported in this publication. The results shown here are dominated by the relatively frequent low to moderate severity collisions and associated injuries."
  • Thanks all for the info.


    Basically, I want to see if my worries about those model years are warranted. Some people say, it's a problem, but then others say that it was only affected about 1.6% of the Accords out there for those years.


    I love Honda and want to stay that way.
  • peterpanpeterpan Posts: 120
    Statistics on injuries and death from the insurance industry are the most reliable measures of car safety IMO.


    The tests from NHTSA and IIHS are useful when historical data is not available, i.e. for new designs etc...


    It is clear from the data that the Camry is slightly better than the Accord in injuries and accident rates. The Lexus ES300 is identical to the Camry V6, but had 20% better injury rate. How can that happen?


    It did not say what year the data was taken. Between 94-97, IIHS stats showed driver death rate in Accord was 170% Camry.


     Vehicle Name Injury Collision Theft


    Toyota Camry 92 83 87

    Honda Accord 103 85 73

    Lexus ES 300 71 97 98
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Well, we've been around this block before. You believe those statistics are important and others here see no value in them. That's fine, you are entitled to your opinion as are the rest of the folks here.


    So let's agree to disagree and leave that can of worms where we buried it a while back. There's no need to have that argument all over again.
  • bizibizi Posts: 17
    I've noticed (and considered it interesting) that many purchasers don't know whether the cars they buy have full-size spare or not. Many of them don't even know after years of driving:-) Not that all these buyers/owners don't care, just that they don't know, or forgot to ask (even during the new car delivery check). That leads to interesting manufacturers' approach on the spare tire: From what I can recall in last a few generations, Accord sedans (excluding wagons) always had donut spares, and Camry always had full-size spares. It seems that full-size spare has not been a design goal for Accords. I guess if more consumers start to care, things may change (vice versa, if more consumers start not to care, things may change too). When met by true engineering limitations, both Honda and Toyota have shown creativity, evidenced by recent Toyota Sienna 4WD and Accord Hybrid.

    In future, hope we can all use practical flat-free tires. Is this the one?
  • Hey Doppler...I am just starting the same search as you are (used 2002 Accord vs Camry). Please keep us posted on what you find out. Thanx
  • The American built accord would be my choice. I have had an American 1996 Accord lx, a Japanese built, 2003 Accord ex, and now an American built 2005 Accord ex. My 96 had no rattles after many years, and 145000 miles. My 03 had several, plus a constant problem regarding my hvac and stereo lighting not working. I replaced it with my 05 when my 03 was wrecked.It has been flawless as my 96...Go with the one from Ohio.
  • What's up everyone? I'm considering leasing a 2005 Accord EX or Camry SE (4 cyl, 5-speed manual) to replace my '02 Hyundai Elantra GT. Drove the Camry today and was very impressed. It was possibly the quietest vehicle I've driven. Also seemed to have alot features for the money. The Manual was much smoother than I expected. I plan on driving the Accord soon. Any input, thoughts, etc would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks in advance for any help.


    Happy Motoring!


  • patpat Posts: 10,421


    I hope you are taking some time to read through the postings here - they'll give you a ton of input on your question!!


    Good luck.
  • mastromastro Posts: 39
    Okay, so I just read the last 6 months worth of messages...and I'm still undecided. Hang with me, I am going to buy a V6 Accord or Camry (I think). But, after all the helpful info on this site, I'm still undecided. Here's the deal - I currently drive a Volvo S60 Turbo and a C5 Corvette. The family (all 6 of us) travel in a Suburban. I'm selling the Vette and the S60's lease is up.

    I'd like to replace the Vette and the S60 with a solid second family car. I would like to keep my budget to less than $30K all in. Both the Honda and Toyota represent excellent values.

    Personally, I give the exterior appearance to the Camry and the interior to Honda. Space wise, the Camry has a slight advantage. I like both rides - I'd let my wife choose between the SE or LXE ride of the Camry (I'm neutral).

    Now, here's the question: What are the one or two things I should consider most in my decision?

    Thanks for your help!

  • Consider how the cars feel after you drive them--they're very different.

    The Camry is softer riding, but the Accord is a bit more sporty. Either way you'll have a good car, so it really doesn't matter if you have trouble deciding.

    One thing to consider is that Accords don't have any factory options because each model among DX, LX, and EX levels is sold separately with its included features. This makes the buying process easier and you can compare prices among Honda dealers precisely. Don't buy any dealer-installed options until you get the price on the car you're buying.

    I think Toyotas have a list of factory options and option packages that can be confusing and annoying unless you want to special order your car.

    I think it's easier to buy a Honda Accord that meets your requirements and any features you didn't want but get anyway because they're included will be features you'll appreciate later.

    I really didn't want XM radio nor a sunroof but had to get them with the Accord EX-L because only that model with the 4 cyl. engine had curtain airbags in 2004. Now, I enjoy the extra features that came with that upscale model......Richard
  • Why not spring for the Accord Hybrid. 255HP, 30/37 MPG, roomy, and it still has most of the EX's features. It's also a bit different.
  • The Hybrid is great technology, but the economic benefit doesn't exist at the price. You'd have to drive about 75,000 miles or more at current gas prices to get back the extra cost of the car over a V6 Accord without the hybrid feature.

    Resale will be poor as the car approaches the time when costly battery replacement is required.

    People who like to feel good about themselves will buy it and think they're doing the Earth a favor until they realize that if hybrids become popular, there will be dead batteries piled high like old tires are now. So much for environmental friendliness.....Richard
  • rutger3rutger3 Posts: 361
    Tough decision. I am in the same boat and have done alot ot research on this. Here are the major differences: between the Camry LE and Accord LX
    Camry: softer, quieter ride, power driver seat, outside temp gauge, bigger trunk and if money is an issue has a $700+ rebate and low financing, plus a longer powertrain warranty, but head airbags are an option.
    Accord: better handling,a bit more resale value,telescoping steering wheel,standard head airbags, low financing.
    Both great cars, cant really make a bad decision, but if you are like me and keep cars a long time, even the little things add up.
  • I wasn't suggesting the Accord Hybrid simply based on it's MPG. It's a "different" car. The 255HP is nice. And 255HP along with 37MPG on the highway is a good trade-off for the additional $3000 over a base Accord EX V6. I personally wouldn't buy a Hybrid but that's only due to the lack of sunroof and manual transmission.

    As for the reliability, get an extended warranty for 7 years/100,000 miles.
  • bizibizi Posts: 17
    Hybrid is a great technology. At this point, however, the street price difference between Hybrid and V6 EX is far greater than $3000. After Camry Hybrid is out, we will have more fun comparing them away, and hopefully the hybrids will be selling below invoice by then due to competition:-) BTW, Toyota has Prius for a while now, but do we think it's a direct competitor of Accord hybrid?
  • Seeing that you're on the sporty side of cars, long-term my guess is that you'll be happier with the Accord, which has more performance genes (forumla racing/motorcyle-derived engineering, 4-wheel double wishbone, etc.) than the Camry.

    If you're into it, the Accord sedan won't look disingenuous with bigger rims and a lip spoiler, which can't be said of the Camry imo.

    The kicker would be the Accord's higher resale and longer remaining life cycle (by 1 year; the Camry gets replaced by a new body as early as next year for the 07 model).
  • mastromastro Posts: 39
    Thanks. I was out and about yesterday and took a hard and critical look at both the cars. Surprisingly to me, I did feel the Accord's styling was more to my liking. Evaluating pictures on sites I thought I would lean towards the Camry.

    A friend of mine works in the auto industry suppling Toyota with some raw materials. He told me Friday night the same thing about the upcoming design change for the Camry. His timeframe was the same - in about a year.

  • Next Camry will be introduced Fall, 2006 ('07 model year) and next Accord will be Fall, 2007 ('08 model year).

    So, you'll have a newer style for a year longer if you buy the Accord.

    I think that it's best to buy ANY newly redesigned car after a year when the car's early defects have been corrected--there might still be problems, but fewer of them.

    BTW, don't be surprised if the next ('07) Camry looks like the Mark X recently introduced in Japan.

    I tried to copy and paste URL's showing pix of the Mark X, but the links didn't work on this page. Just GOOGLE 2006 Toyota Mark X and you'll find photos of it.....Richard
  • I have read about three different soruces that state the next Camry is coming out in Early 2006 as a 2007 model.

    I have heard the same things about the next Altima as well.
  • Well, of course, I can't be sure; however, both the Camry and Accord are currently on 5 year cycles with the Camry one year ahead. Unless there's a change in cycle time, the next Camry should be a 2007 model.

    Whether the '07 Camry appears early or late in 2006 is anyone's guess, but I'd bet on later next year.

    The all-new Avalon is a 2005 model--a fairly late introduction for a 2005 car.....Richard
  • jdeibjdeib Posts: 70
    You might want to look at the redesigned Avalon. The XL (which is very nicely equipped) starts out at around $26,000.00. The size is great, the power is fantastic (280 hp) and it is a nice looking car. The downside is that the deals on Avalons aren't going to be as good in that it was just released.

    Good luck.
  • I'm currently looking into both the Accord and the Camry. Looking to upgrade to something a little nicer from my 2001 Corolla LE. I'm partial to Toyota - that's all I've owned and I have always been satisfied - so I automatically favor the Camry slightly over the Accord.

    I like the options and features on the Camry like auto on/off headlights, outside temp gauge, full-size spare. I also like the exterior appearance of the Camry, particularly the SE model with the fog lamps, alloy wheels and rear spoiler. I'm not quite so sure on the interior of the Camry SE, particularly the dark charcoal interior with the orange gauges and speedometer (I'd really have to see it in person). Of course I don't have to get the SE model. I could get an XLE with even more features.... but for a young person, the XLE might make people think I'm driving my parents' car! I don't want a car that makes me look older than I am. I want something sophisticated but fun. And the XLE just doesn't look like a car for a a young 20-something guy. Which is why I favor the SE.

    I really love the interior of the Accord. The exterior isn't bad - it's grown on me. I like a lot of the standard features that come on the EX model. I definitely want the side/curtain airbags. I just wish the Accord came with some of the fun features that the Camry had. Even my Corolla has an outside temp gauge - why does Honda make it an option, even on their high-end model?!

    I've driven my mom's 04' Camry XLE. So smooth and quiet. I love the ride. I haven't driven a Camry SE to see the difference. Haven't driven an Accord yet either. I guess that would play a huge factor in which car I prefer. I really need to spend time behind the wheel of both cars.

    Of course, the Camry is due to be re-designed in late 2006 as a 2007 model. And the Accord should get a mid-cycle facelift sometime later this year for 2006. So if I plan to buy a Camry I should do it soon. But if I want the Accord, I definitely want to wait to see what changes come for 2006 (new bumpers, lights, grille, features, etc.?).

    So basically, I'm torn.
  • The Accord EX-L does have an outside temp gauge which shows in either of 2 trip odometers. The outside temp gauge does not show when total mileage appears in the odometer.

    It took me a while to become accustomed to leaving the odometer in a trip position, but I like that now and the outside temp is always visible.

    The Accord EX-L (leather) and EX V6 come with a standard XM radio which is great if you're willing to pay for a subscription to use it.

    I still like my '04 Accord better than the Camry I tested in August, '03 when I was car shopping, but it sounds like you might be happier with the Camry because you're currently a happy Toyota owner.

    The Accord's ride is much firmer.......Richard
  • If deciding between the V6 Camry SE and the V6 Accord, be sure and read the Toyota Camry forum: "Problems and Solutions."

    There is an ongoing discussion regarding a serious problem with the 2005 Camry SE transmission.

    My new '05 Camry SE with the V6 engine is anything BUT quiet and smooth! The electronic transmission has a terrible jerk and hesitation at low speeds. The sport suspension and low-profile tires are very noisy... especially on grooved highway pavement. The seats are extremely hard.....

    Needless to say, I am not pleased with my new Camry SE. Good luck.
  • "Statistics on injuries and death from the insurance industry are the most reliable measures of car safety IMO."

    Injury statistics are of little to no value. These numbers make no consideration for a wide array of influential factors. The type of person attracted to a particular car has a huge impact on that cars injury claim rate and accident rate. For example, a Mustang GT will no doubt have a much higher injury claim rate than a Windstar minivan. Which of these two vehicles would you expect to be involved in more serious crashes? The Mustang, driven by an inexperienced and reckless teenage male? Or the Windstar, driven by a more experienced, conservative mother? Driver demographics, location demographics, and a certain degree of randomness are all influential factors in these injury statistics.

    In order to ascertain the safety of a vehicle, you have to isolate and remove these extraneous factors and concentrate only on each particular vehicles ability to protect its occupants in a crash. Hence we have the IIHS and NHTSA crash tests.
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