The Honda Accord Hybrid and Toyota Camry Hybrid are two of the best cars your money can buy at the moment – no word of a lie.
On the other hand, the 2019 Honda Accord Hybrid and 2019 Toyota Camry Hybrid have very little competition. But when we say they are the best cars your money we can buy, we’re not just talking about hybrids.
There are and have been many hybrid cars and utility vehicles on the market over the years but only recently have any of them become truly interesting. By this I mean that the cost of the integrated technology, performance and value have risen to levels where they are compromise-free.
The most recent generation of both the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord are the best of their kind ever. Styling aside, both sedans make a strong case for remaining in a 4-door car instead of jumping on the SUV bandwagon. Most surprising perhaps is the fact that the electrified hybrid iterations are hands down the most appealing of their respective nameplates in every way.
The question then is which of the two hybrid juggernauts should you consider? Read on.
Which is more enjoyable to drive?
Don’t fool yourself into thinking that they’re boring old cars with a small onboard battery tied to an ineffective mini electric motor. Fact of the matter is that both hybrids are peppy enough to get a person like me involved rather quickly with the local authorities, and not in a good way.
The 2019 Honda Accord Hybrid is powered by an Atkinson Cycle 2.0-litre engine, an electric motor and together deliver a commendable total system output of 212-horsepower. By contrast, the 2019 Toyota Camry hybrid moves about with an Atkinson cycle 2.5-litre 4-cylinder engine and an electric motor for total system output of 208 horsepower. Let’s call it even, shall we?
Both also are front-wheel driven with an electronically controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) manipulating torque and engine speeds. About that torque, it’s the electric motor’s twisting power at zero rpm that makes these cars as entertaining to boot around town. Between the two, the Camry has a little more zing to the way it responds to throttle inputs. The Camry and Accord feature decent if almost feedback-free steering and both provide annoyance-free reactive braking.
Chassis-wise, the tested Accord Touring Hybrid’s adaptive dampers are a notch over the Camry SE Hybrid’s “sport” dampers but in the spirit of relaxing and green driving, the Camry LE and XLE’s regular suspension setting is excellent.
Answer: the 2019 Toyota Camry Hybrid
Which is more fuel-efficient?
It’s difficult to imagine large cars, primarily powered by an internal combustion engine, to be this fuel efficient. Much like the powertrain outputs, both the Accord and Camry seem to hate stopping to fuel up. The Accord Hybrid averages 5.0/5.0/5.0L/100km (city/highway/combined). I did the math, it really does average 5.0L/100km.
Meanwhile, the Camry LE Hybrid will do 4.9/4.8/4.9L/100km (city/highway/combined). Fact-checkers will note that the SE and XLE Hybrids manage 5.3/5.0/5.1 L/100km (city/highway/combined).
I did the math again – they’re even.
Answer: It’s a tie
Which is more spacious?
It’s amazing how cavernous these cars now are as well. As they are competing with SUVs and crossovers as much as they are with each other, this is how it needs to be. Sitting in both cars reveals only that there’s a massive amount of space for all passengers, appendages and gear.
Deep-diving into specifications demonstrates that the Honda Accord provides a little more volume in every direction, including in the trunk.
Answer: the 2019 Honda Accord, by a slim margin
Which has the better value?
The base 2019 Toyota Camry LE hybrid retails for $31,550 while the entry-level 2019 Honda Accord Hybrid goes for $33,390. With the exception of a 12- vs. 8-way power driver seat, a higher-performing audio system, a leather wrapped steering wheel and a few other minor elements, little more explains the $1,840 difference.
At the other end of the spectrum, the $40,090 Honda Accord Touring Hybrid and the $40,790 Toyota Camry XLE Hybrid, the differences are just as subtle. The Camry gains 18-inch wheels over the Accord’s 17 inchers, however the Honda has rear heated and front cooled seat and adaptive dampers. The Accord’s a better deal here.
Answer: the 2019 Honda Accord, by a slim margin
Which would we recommend?
The debate would be a short one. We fancy the 2019 Toyota Camry Hybrid, if only by a slim margin (kind of a theme…) Having said that, if someone said they preferred the 2019 Honda Accord Hybrid for any and all reasons, we’d support the decision.
Bottom line however is that among the hybrid sedans currently available including the less expensive and better equipped Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and Kia Optima Hybrid, the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid (still out there), and Ford Fusion Hybrid, the Accord and Camry are tops.