2022 Toyota Camry vs Honda Accord – If it’s good enough for the PM, which is best for you?

In the same vein as Coke vs Pepsi, and Mars vs Snickers, the comparison between the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord is one that has taken place for decades. Each brandishing a slightly different take on the D-Segment family sedan, across multiple generations.

However, the Accord and Camry on sale today are far removed from the bland ‘uncle-barges’ of yore. Having taken on a Dynamic Force engine and 8-speed automatic, the 2022 Camry, dare I say it, is now a driver’s car befitting the fluidity of the BMW 3 Series, and the Accord is no slouch either.

Most Malaysians would also know by now, that our 10th Prime Minister has humbly opted to be chauffeured around in a 2022 Toyota Camry instead of a Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Thus, if it’s good enough for our PM, which of these two is best for you?

Also read: Make way for this black Toyota Camry, how much is PM Anwar’s official car without tax?

Overview

The big news is that there’s a new facelifted Camry in 2022. In addition to aesthetic updates, UMW Toyota Motor has finally given it the 2.5-litre Dynamic Force four-cylinder, with D4-S dual fuel injection (port + direct injection) and electric actuated valve timing (VVT-iE), replacing the previous 2.5-litre 2AR-FE Dual VVT-i four-pot. 

Power is up by 25 PS, torque is up by 8 Nm, now totalling 209 PS and 253 Nm. Sending power to the front wheels is also an 8-speed automatic, in place of the ageing 6-speed, aping the powertrain configuration in the Lexus ES and Toyota RAV4. 

Also read: 2022 Toyota Camry vs Honda Accord – Will the real winner please stand up?

In terms of design, the 2022 Camry gets a revised front bumper, black accents on the tail lamps and newly designed two-tone 18-inch wheels. There’s a host of equipment upgrades as well, notably keyless access for the front passenger door, tri-zone climate control, and a new 9-inch infotainment system.

2022 Toyota Camry vs Honda Accord 
Variant Camry 2.5V Accord 1.5L TC-P
Price (OTR with SST) RM 209,800 RM 197,400
Segment D-segment
Engine 2.5L NA 4-cyl, petrol 1.5L turbo 4-cyl, petrol
Transmission 8-speed auto CVT auto
Power 209 PS @ 6,600 rpm 201 @ 5,500 rpm
Torque 253 Nm @ 5,000 rpm 260 Nm @ 1,600‑5,000 rpm
Weight  1,550 kg 1,494 kg
Origin CBU – Thailand CKD – Melaka

Powertrain – Dynamic Force vs VTEC Turbo

Packing more firepower, the Dynamic Force engine has put the 2022 Camry firmly on par with the turbocharged Accord, and what an engine it is – quiet, almost free of vibration and extremely linear all throughout its rev range. 

Numbers aside, the 2.5-litre four-pot is even soulful to an extent, projecting a subdued rumble when you rev it out, which is so much better than the direct-injected clatter of the Accord.

Whilst, the 2022 Camry’s engine always feels athletic and eager to rev, the Accord’s turbocharged 1.5-litre is torquey, putting out all of its 260 Nm from as low as 1,600 rpm. Thus the Accord is more urgent from a standing start and when accelerating from low speeds. 

Once you get up to highway speeds both the Camry and Accord are pretty evenly matched. The Camry uses its slick-shifting 8-speed gearbox, intuitively dropping gears when climbing a hill or overtaking.

The Accord as well is very receptive to throttle input, adapting its CVT for more revs and speed. There is no denying the Accord’s CVT is capable, but it does feel a tad sluggish in its throttle response, especially after sampling the ‘updated’ CVT offered in the Honda Civic

Driving experience – Surefooted Accord meets the best-driving Camry ever

This is perhaps where the 2022 Camry shines the brightest. The pre-facelift Camry already offered great handling but the new engine and gearbox have simply made the 2022 Camry sublime. Finally, it now has an eager powertrain that fully exploits the TNGA platform and chassis. 

Also read: Review: 2022 Toyota Camry facelift – ‘Top up a bit more’ to get a 3 Series? Don’t bother

Quite brilliantly, the steering, suspension, body control and great grip levels all come together to create a composed driving experience without being stiff or crashy on bad roads. When you drive the 2022 Camry, there’s a real sense that Toyota aimed to create a fluidic and refined driving experience, but in doing so, have also created the best handling Camry ever. 

The Accord is on par on any given road. While the Camry is composed, the Accord is agile and light on its feet. Offering quick steering, great brakes and a chassis that effectively puts the power to the ground. The suspension is stiffer in the Accord, but it’s still a consummate cruiser, which manages to dampen road irregularities very well. 

Also read: Review: 2020 Honda Accord 1.5 TC-P – 7 Series space and tech for under RM 200k

On the open roads, the 2022 Camry just nips the Accord in being the more comfortable and refined of the two, thanks to the composed suspension and quieter cabin. 

Acceleration – The Accord still beats the Camry

The 2022 Camry is a whole second quicker than pre-facelift, but still slower than the Accord

Though both the 2022 Camry and Accord feel pretty evenly matched on the open roads, the Accord still beats the Camry in the race from 0-100 km/h taking just 8.7 seconds according to our internal tests, whilst the Camry takes 9.5 seconds

The low-down turbo torque and reposnsive CVT transmission of the Accord help it edge out the 2022 Camry, though the experience is far more engaging in the latter with its punchy engine and precise gearshifts. 

Interior – Camry gets a big boost in features and creature comforts

The 2022 Camry has received a big boost in equipment most notably on the inside. First up is a new floating-style 9-inch infotainment system that replaces the previous 8-inch unit. Along with it comes support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, putting the Camry on par with the Accord.

Another premium feature in the 2022 Camry is the addition of tri-zone climate control (unheard of in this segment) which can be controlled via a central control system, mimicking far more premium cars such as the Lexus LS and BMW 7 Series

Besides this, the 2022 Camry also brandishes a more premium 9-speaker JBL audio system versus the 8-speaker setup in the Accord.

Though the Accord’s audio setup doesn’t feel less powerful, the 2022 Camry inches ahead in terms of sound quality. 

With that said, the Accord still impresses more in terms of functionality, every button or switchgear is within easy reach and the infotainment system works flawlessly and is easy to get to grips with. Build quality and execution is great too. 

The 2022 Camry loses some points due to the infotainment system which is surprisingly sluggish, if you run multiple apps, such as Spotify and Google Maps, at the same time. No issues whatsoever in the Accord. 

The Accord’s unit is user-friendly and very easy to understand

Another bugbear is the rear sunshade, which requires the driver to fiddle through an instrument-cluster submenu to activate, what’s wrong with a button?

Comfort, space and refinement – The Camry is quieter, but the Accord wins on space

Choosing between the 2022 Camry or Accord could likely come down to this section. Features aside – the 2022 Camry offers better seating comfort both at the front and back. 

Whilst the Accord seats nicely bolster passengers, the 2022 Camry has more supportive seat bases. The Accord seat bases are also too short, lacking proper thigh support, which makes a difference over a longer journey.

Whilst both cars offer similar levels of headroom, where the Accord absolutely excels is rear legroom – forget the 2022 Camry, it’s comparable to a BMW 7 Series. However, we have to award brownie points for the 2022 Camry’s electric reclining seat – you’ll likely not use it all the time, but it’s a premium feature nonetheless. 

In terms, of refinement, the 2022 Camry is quieter and more refined, recording an average of 67 db at 110 km/h, whilst the Accord recorded an average of 69 dB at the same speeds. 

However, dB level measurement only tells half the story, as noise frequencies change as the car moves, this has a much bigger impact on noise level perception than sound power (measured in dB), which is why the Accord is always subjectively quieter than the number suggests. 

Safety and driving aids – Toyota Safety Sense vs Honda Sensing 

The Accord has led the charge previously with its Sensing suite of active driver aids but the 2022 Camry has now overtaken it thanks to a greater range of functionality. 

Crucially, adaptive cruise control (Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, DRCC) now adds Stop & Go function, meaning that it can come to a complete stop and resume driving with minimal driver intervention.

There’s also Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), which reduces fatigue on long-distance drives on straight roads by keeping the vehicle in the centre of the lane. The following is a short list of the safety equipment for the 2022 Camry and Accord:

Active and passive safety features – 2022 Camry vs Accord
  Camry 2.5 V Accord 1.5 TC-P
Airbags 7 6
Driver aids ABS, EBD, VSC ABS, EBD, VSC
Autonomous braking  Pedestrian and cyclist detection (up to 180 km/h) Yes, with Pedestrian Detection (Up to 100 km/h)
Forward collision warning (FCW) Yes Yes
Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) Yes with steering correction Yes with steering correction
Lane centering assist  Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) Road Departure Mitigation (RDM)
Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) Yes with Stop and Go Yes with Stop and Go
Blindspot information  Yes Passenger side only (LaneWatch)
Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) Yes with brake support Yes with warning only

Crucially, the 2022 Camry edges the Accord in terms of ADAS features with regard to the FCW speed range and offers Rear Cross Traffic Alert with braking support, a notable addition. 

Elsewhere, the 2022 Camry also offers blindspot information on both driver and passnger side, the Accord on the other hand offers the LaneWatch camera only on the passenger side. 

Fuel Consumption – NA Camry beats downsized turbocharged Accord 

Proving just how efficient the naturally-aspirated Dynamic Force engine is, during our internal tests the 2022 Camry returned a fuel consumption figure of 7.9-litre/100 km with an equal split of city and highway driving.

In an earlier test, the Accord returned an overall fuel consumption figure is 8.8-litre/100km, a small margin, but a big win for fans of naturally aspirated engines. This further proves that whilst downsized turbocharged engines always perform well in controlled lab tests, but in the real world, it’s poorer. 

Conclusion 

Insofar as facelift exercises go, the updates to the 2022 Camry are as good as they come. Taking an already competent and beautiful car and pretty much addressing every shortfall of the preceding model. 

More so than just making it a safer, more efficient and more powerful car, the 2022 Camry is now a genuinely desirable car with a soulful character that has shed its ‘uncle’ car image in fine fashion. 

In terms of buying rationale, you’ll love the Camry for its sublime design, superior comfort and handling and more advanced TSS active driving aids, but less for its sluggish infotainment and higher price. 

As for the Accord, it’s cheaper, offers more space for your passengers and luggage, offers a better user interface as well as ease of driving thanks to a torquey and composed powertrain. However, the Accord loses some points for lack of seat support. 

One thing is for sure though, both the 2022 Camry and Accord are definitely not the uncle-sedans they once were. Step into either and expect technology, comfort and a sublime driving experience on par with premium cars costing much more.

The question is, do you really need any more than this? Our new PM seems to think not. 

Source: 2022 Toyota Camry vs Honda Accord – If it’s good enough for the PM, which is best for you?

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