Toyota Camry vs Competition
The 2019 Toyota Camry more than holds its own against the competition in the midsized sedan segment. Its main rival is the Honda Accord, while the other serious contenders include the Subaru Legacy, Volkswagen Passat, Nissan Altima, Hyundai Sonata, Chevy Malibu, Kia Optima, and the outgoing Ford Fusion. As far as their pricing, there isn’t a wide range of starting MSRPs in this group. In fact, the Camry and Accord are neck-and-neck with their starting prices, which only differ by only a couple hundred dollars.
Since they’re not the lowest-priced models offered by their respective manufacturers, midsized sedans bring the expectation of a good level of comfort and nice features. The Camry indeed has exceptional interior quality, with soft-touch materials, real wood trim, and comfortable seats. Honda, Volkswagen, Hyundai, and Kia also offer above-average interior quality.
Power and Fuel Efficiency
With 203 horsepower from its base engine, the Camry beats all of the above: the Accord (192 hp), the Sonata (185 hp), the Legacy (175), the Fusion (175 hp), the Optima (185), the Passat (174), and the Malibu (160 hp). As for fuel economy, the base Camry is rated by the EPA for a class-leading 41 mpg highway. Although the Accord ever so slightly beats the Camry in EPA-rated city mpg (by a single mile per gallon), the Toyota has a higher combined rating. The Camry and most of its competitors offer a hybrid variant, although some do not – the Passat, Altima, and Legacy just come with conventional gas-only engines.
Reliability and Warranty Coverage
Several independent rankings put Toyota at or near the top of the reliability scale, such as a Consumer Reports survey or more than half a million readers, which placed Toyota second (behind Lexus). Honda, Ford, Volkswagen, and Nissan did not make the top ten in that survey. As for warranties, Hyundai, Kia, and VW offer more years of protection than the rest of the pack, which are all about the same with 3 years/36,000 miles of coverage.
Most of these sedans include a good slate of standard safety features on the base level. Backup cameras have become common on base trims, but automakers realize that they need to stay competitive in the popular midsized four-door segment by outdoing or at least staying in line with their rivals to hold on to their market share. Toyota Safety Sense, an active safety technology suite that’s standard on all Camry trims, brings a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beams, and dynamic radar cruise control. On the Accord, the Honda Sensing driver-assist bundle includes similar features, but without pedestrian detection or automatic high beams; the same is true of the Legacy’s EyeSight suite. In contrast, VW does not include a similar driver-assist bundle on the base Passat, nor does Nissan on the base Altima.