Toyota’s Camry and Honda’s Accord are the two top selling passenger cars sold in the US. Who will be number one this year? The battle lines are drawn and consumers have a chance to shape the outcome. Let’s take a look at what makes these cars so popular with American drivers.

Up until ten years ago, American cars dominated the marketplace with offerings from Ford or Chevrolet regularly securing the top spot. A series of bland and poorly made models from the domestic giants gave foreign car makers a unique opportunity to wrest control of the passenger car market. Since then the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord have been battling for the top spot with American models coming in a distant third.

Both the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry are noted for high quality, affordability, refinement, and durability. The Accord is the sleeker of the two, although the Camry Solara, the coupe version of the Toyota, is sportier than its sedan stable mate.

Honda Accord: For 2006 the Accord gets a significant make over. Redone from the ground up, the Accord’s exterior is even sleeker than before and its interior has been refreshed as well with a new instrument panel being the key factor in the updated cabin. The base Accord features a 2.4L i-VTEC 4 cylinder engine mated to a 5 speed transmission. Double wishbone suspension, front and side impact airbags, and ABS are some of the standard options for the Accord. Base models start at $18,225 with fully loaded Accords retailing well into the high 20s.

Toyota Camry: The 2006 Camry comes equipped with a 2.4L 16 valve DOHC 4 cylinder engine paired with a 5 speed manual transmission. Power windows, air conditioning, AM/FM/CD Player with 6 speakers, are some of the important standard features on the Camry. Base MSRP is $18,445 with fully loaded Camrys retailing as high as the mid 20s. The Camry was last restyled in 2002.

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Sales totals thus far this year suggest that the battle is very tight once again with perhaps only a few thousand sales ultimately separating the two models. With an updated Accord already in the mix, Honda has the best chance of winning this year’s battle.

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