Mid-sized sedans are arguably the most popular cars on the market. They are big enough for a family, yet fuel efficient and cost effective enough for those not willing to shell out the big bucks for a full-sized sedan. Enter the Toyota Camry, and you have one of, if not the most popular mid-sized sedan currently on the market. This week we will be comparing the Toyota Camry to a popular rival in the Honda Accord and an up and comer in the Ford Fusion.
Trim Levels and Prices
Mid-sized sedans offer great value for their price, while maintaining a slightly more luxurious feel than compact sedans like the Toyota Corolla. The Toyota Camry offers four trim levels with the L, LE, SE, and XLE, and are priced accordingly with MSRPs of $22,425, $22,870, $23,740, and $25,810, respectively.
The Honda Accord offers five trim levels with the LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, and Touring. Their MSRPs are $21,955, $23,715, $24,880, $28,270, and $33,480, respectively. A lower starting price for the base model than the Camry, but overall more expensive if compared across all trims.
And last, we have the Ford Fusion and its three trim levels in the S, SE, and Titanium. (They also offer a host of hybrids, but we will work on a hybrid comparison in the future). These three trim levels are priced at $21,970, $23,935, and $30,600 MSRP.
Overall, the Accord and Fusion start low, but then skyrocket the price of their top of line models to over $30,000, while the Camry tops out at just under $26,000 for the XLE model, giving it a better and more consistent value from top to bottom.
The Toyota Camry definitely keeps a traditional and more classic look to their design both inside and out, which is a good thing because, well, you don’t fix something if it isn’t broken. The Camry offers a very spacious interior with a leather trimmed and stitched dash, and an available two-toned interior that is sure to impress.
The Honda Accord is another great looking car with similar features to that of the Camry. It has a bit more of a sporty look to it with its side panel curves, but overall is very similar to the Camry. The interior is where these vehicles differ as the Accord’s design is a bit more curved and bulky with the addition of their oversized navigation display on top of the center dash and media display.
The Ford Fusion’s interior design is actually quite pleasant. It has one simple “do everything" media display in the center dash and does not appear too cluttered with buttons and knobs. Everything is set into the design instead of sticking out. The exterior, however, is a break from tradition with its unique grill, front, and taillights that all look like something from the Ford Fiesta, not their signature mid-sized sedan.
All three of these models have nearly identical measurements. The Camry is the smallest at 189.2 inches long, 71.7 inches wide, and 15.4 cubic feet of trunk space. The Honda Accord and Ford Fusion are nearly identical in length at 191 inches long and 72 inches wide, with 15.8 cubic feet of cargo space for the Accord and 16 cubic feet for the Fusion.
These cars are pretty versatile in what they offer in terms of performance. Starting with the Camry, it comes with a standard 4-cylinder engine, which can be upgraded to a powerful 6-cylinder engine on its SE and XLE models. The Accord can also be upgraded from its 4-cylinder engine to a 6-cylinder on its EX-L and Touring models. The Fusion however, only comes with a 4-cylinder engine.
The Honda Accord wins the mpg battle with 27/36/30 on its 4 cylinder. The Camry comes in a respectable second with 25/35/28 mpg while the Fusion trails the pack at 22/34/26 mpg.
The Honda Accord also wins the horsepower battle, but not by much at 185 hp, while the Camry comes in a close second at 178 hp and the Fusion right behind at 175 hp. The Accord also has a variable transmission while the Camry and Fusion both offer 6 speed automatics.
With the technical stuff out of the way, we can now move along to what great features will be included in these mid-size sedans. The backup camera is a great modern convenience that just about anyone would like to have in their vehicle. Lucky for them, backup cameras are standard or optional in most cars today. The Camry and Accord both offer standard backup cameras for all of their trims. The Fusion, however, only has it standard on their top of the line Titanium model and is an extra option on the SE.
Navigation is also a huge draw when choosing a car but can also be a more exclusive feature. The Camry offers navigation as part of an optional package on its SE and XLE models, while the Accord offers it as an option on its EX-L and has it standard on its top of the line Touring. Last, we have the Fusion that only offers navigation as an optional package on their SE and Titanium models.
The smart key is also one of those elusive features typically reserved for the upper tier trim models. Following that line of thinking, the Camry offers it as an option on its SE and XLE trim models while on the Fusion, it comes standard on its Titanium trim model only. The Accord does something a bit different in that while it technically has a “smart key” it is defined as only being used for push button start, rolling down windows, and playing music within the car.
Falling somewhere in between safety and technology is the blind spot monitor, which detects traffic in your blind spot and warns you of another vehicle's presence. This nifty feature is great, but is usually only offered on higher trim levels as well. The Camry offers it on their SE and XLE models as an option while the Fusion offers it as an option on its SE and Titanium models. The Honda Accord, however, has their own version of a blind spot monitor called “LaneWatch”. It is actually a camera system that let's you visually see the traffic to either side of you, and comes standard on the EX, EX-L, and Touring trim models. While definitely a cool concept, I would be worried about its potential to distract you from the road in front of you.
As far as audio and media goes, the Toyota Camry has its standard Entune infotainment suite, the Accord has its version called i-MID, and the Fusion has SYNC with MyFord. Basic Entune is available on the Camry L, optional satellite radio is available on the LE, a 7 inch display with apps is optional on the SE, and JBL speakers are optional on the top of the line XLE trim.
The i–MID comes standard on all Honda Accord trim levels but adds HondaLink for apps on the EX-L and higher.
Last, the Ford Fusion has its SYNC with MyFord system that comes standard on the S, SE, and Titanium. However, on the Titanium, you will get a Sony speaker system as well as Satellite and HD radio.
All three cars have been named IIHS top safety picks for 2014. Additionally, the Accord and Fusion have 8 standard airbags, while the Camry easily beats them both with 10 total airbags, including its standard knee airbag to prevent your legs from injury during a head on collision.
Cost Of Ownership
The cost of ownership is an approximate price that your vehicle will cost you to own over the course of five years. This cost includes fuel consumption costs, insurance, financing, state fees, and cost of maintenance and repairs. The highest cost of ownership belongs to the Ford Fusion at $37,475 over five years. Next is the Toyota Camry with a cost of ownership at $36,100 over five years. The lowest Cost of ownership belongs to the Honda Accord at $34,272 over five years, which seems to make up for how much more expensive their vehicle is up front.
All three vehicles offer 3 year or 36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranties. Toyota also offers its popular Toyota Care service, which gives you 2 years of complimentary maintenance including oil changes, tire rotations, and fluid refills, as well as 24 hour roadside assistance.
The Camry, Accord, and Fusion are all great looking mid-size sedans. The Camry is overall the most affordable and offers a wide variety of features. The Accord is the most expensive and also offers a wide variety of features comparable to the Camry. The Fusion, however, being priced in the middle, does not offer a great deal of standard features, which seems odd given the $6,000 price increase from the SE to its Titanium trim. It also has the highest cost of ownership over five years at $37,475, something you want to factor in down the line. The Toyota Camry and Honda Accord seem to go toe to toe in all categories. While the Camry beats the Accord in overall price and safety, the Accord has a lower cost of ownership over five years at just over $34,000, so you really can't go wrong with either. For that world-class Toyota reliability and peace of mind, as well as the benefits of ToyotaCare, we recommend that our Boston area Toyota drivers visit Wellesley Toyota to check out the 2014 Toyota Camry!