Accord with CVT or Camry with 6 speed automatic transmission?

My Honda Odyssey was totaled in an accident a week ago. I am rushed to find a new car and, for the first time, have decided not to go used. I previously had a 1992 Accord which was running strong when I sold it with 205,000 miles. Thus, I have a bias for Honda. I have looked at new vehicles and am torn between a 2016 Camry LE and a 2016 Accord LX. My current stumbling block on my decision is my attempt to figure out which will last me the longest. I plan to keep it until it dies. The Camry has a 6 speed manual transmission and the Accord has a CVT. My research on the internet has not given me a good answer: Is a CVT or a 6 speed automatic transmission more reliable? I am very good about doing all recommended maintenance. What are your thoughts?

Did you say a manual?There are some hereabouts that would be all over that,but you know what,an automatic sure is nice in stop and go situations,CVTs have to get better ,right?You actually named the top 2 world renowned brands so take your pick.One thing that gets me is there any maintenance on a CVT?Even if you look at a eventual replacement,not having to have messed with it.amounts to something especially as you age and dont have access to a car lift etc.When I was younger getting on the ground and" limboing" under a vehicle for maintenance work didnt bother me,now after osteo arthritis and spinal fusion,its not my favorite way to spend time.

I would go with the 6 speed automatic Camry.

I have a Subaru with a CVT and it does get great MPG. But reliability is unknown. In either case, be sure to do transmission maintenance even though they may not be required.

The nearest dealer with a manual trans Camry se was 900 miles away. Hard to find. Clutches don’t last forever. But than none rebuilds an auto trans at 155k miles for $3200? Things do wear out/ break.

Although CVTs are getting better, I still think the regular transmission (properly maintained) might hold up better over time. Consumer Reports predicts the Accord will be 38% above average and the Camry will be 52% above average for reliability. Both are solid cars, but if reliability is your major goal, I’d say the Camry has the edge here.

I know Nissan has had problems with their CVT tranny’s. I don’t trust them yet. We tend to keep our vehicles for several hundred thousand miles…I don’t want to take the chance of replacing a $6000 tranny.

I would favor the Camry with the 6 speed automatic. The Camry is not only long lived but the 6 speed transmission is “repairable” while the CVT will basically be a $4000 throwaway unit if problems occur. I predicted this 4 years ago for CVTs and Consumer Reports surveys bear out the higher trouble frequency for CVTs.

If you trade every 4 years, it’s no problem. Since you will keep the car for a very long time a 4 cylinder Camry with the 6 speed auto is the best combination.

My sister has a 2000 model 4 cylinder Camry and it has been very trouble-free with only normal maintenance items.

I’d go with the Camry, but I’d get the SE (4 cyl) instead of the LE. A few bucks more, but a nicer interior and a better (more controlled, but not rough) ride. If the Accord didn’t have the CVT it’d be a coin flip.

This is another vote for the Camry.

This is yet another vote for the Camry. CVTs are still too relatively new to the market and the empirical data too lacking for me to feel comfortable in their long term reliability. Other than that, the Accord is a great choice.

I’d favor the Camry over the Accord if only b/c Honda’s reliability ratings as a whole have been on the downward trend lately for some reason. Toyota remains near the top, in second place. Lexus is in first. I’d prefer a conventional 6 speed automatic to a CVT, again for reliability reasons. So a Camry w/a conventional 6 speed automatic is my recommendation.

The Camry is the safer choice, but the Accord is the nicer car. CVT reliability has been an issue for a number of makes, but they are increasingly common and the top Japanese companies pretty much all use them, which suggests to me that they think the reliability is not going to be a problem. There are several companies making them using somewhat different technologies. In principle they are straightforward, with generally fewer parts than a conventional automatic. At some point the reliability won’t be an issue, but that may not be now.

You might also want to take a look at the similarly excellent Mazda6, considered by many the best car to drive in this class. Recent Mazdas have had very good reliability and it has a conventional six-speed automatic. It’s also a very sharp looking car and a bit more distinctive than the super common Accord and Camry.

Most other competitors have a CVT, including the Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima, Chevy Malibu, and Subaru Legacy. The Toyota, Mazda, and VW Passat are the only competitive models without a CVT. The Chrysler 200 actually has a 9-speed automstic, but it’s a fairly awful car. The Buick Regal also has a six-speed and isn’t awful, but not exactly strong competition for the Japanese.

Reliabily ratings on the imports are probaly not a real good indicator of anything,some owners are so brand loyal they consider big items a routine maintenance issue and wouldnt say they had any problem,Ive seen this big time with some domestic owners.
But that being said,the bottom of the barrel now is better then the top dogs from a score ago,but unless the manus will give an 100K warranty on the CVTs,I wouldnt expect them to last as long as a conventional automatic(the old Honda automatics were exceptionally good in my experience)seriously, what kind of maintenance can you do to a CVT?(Or are they something you must expect to replace at least once during the life of a car?)I expect during the next few years,transmissions of any sort are going to become a mote point.

No CVT, not until they are used in OTR trucks. Traction CVT, which is essentially all the automobile CVTs, slips all the time and are not as efficient as the manufacturers would like you to believe. There’s a reason why the European Honda CRV uses the a 9 speed automatic instead of CVT.

I am in the no CVT camp too. As long as other options are available why bother. The gas mileage savings are measly. I also agree that if the OP wants a good car, should at least test drive a Mazda 6 and a Hyundai Sonata, both of which feel more solid and fun to drive. BUT if selling in the next 6 years is a consideration, the the Toyota resale value might be better (though that can change too).

Sorry guys, but I do NOT consider the Mazda 6 to be a good looking car

I disagree with @db4690 on the Mazda6. I own a 2014 red Mazda6 Grand Touring model. I get comments everywhere I go about how sharp the car looks. I have NEVER owned a Toyota or Honda that people commented on. Almost every fuel stop now is accompanied by long looks and positive comments (and I am CERTAIN it is not anything to do with my looks). I recently drove to Albany and back and got almost 40mpg for over 500 miles. And when I drive it on mountain roads it is fun as heck to drive.

Back on topic, I don’t trust the CVT since I have seen too many of our sales folks suffer transmission failures on their Nissan Altimas. And, unlike a conventional automatic, nobody seems to be able to repair or rebuild these CVT units resulting in the only option being a new CVT unit. This is a horribly expensive option that typically results in most folks getting rid of their vehicle. I will stick with my conventional automatics and manual transmissions until I can see CVT reliability that extends into the 200,000 mile range and more.

@bloodyknuckles Or until there are shops that can rebuild CVTs economically. Dealers just replace the transmission when problem occurs within the warranty period. Agree that after the warranty expires you have to buy a NEW transmission, since no rebuilds are available.

I tell everyone shopping for a car they want to keep beyond the warranty period, NOT to get one with a CVT.


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder