By on May 13, 2021

In contrast to the Try Very Hard Japanese sedans of the Nineties, the early and mid-2000s period was a time for Japanese manufacturers to rest upon their laurels. It was a time to save some cash, and put in a bit less effort than in the tiring decade prior.

And lucky you, today you get to pick one to buy.

All today’s sedans are equipped with V6 engines and high trim specifications, with a target price of $28,000.

Honda Accord

The Accord looks stylish for 2007 and is in its final model year before the arrival of the eighth-generation model in 2008. Available with a 2.4-liter inline-four (166 HP) or a 3.0-liter V6 (244 HP), there’s a hybrid option as well as manual and automatic transmissions. The top-tier model today is the EX-L V6, with five-speed automatic transmission and power everything for $27,995.

Nissan Maxima

The 2007 Maxima is near the end of its life as well, as the architectural-looking sixth-generation lives on through the 2008 model year before its replacement. All Maximas had the same 3.5-liter V6 engine, good for 255 horsepower. 2007 brings a facelift to the Maxima, as well as a CVT in place of prior manual and automatic transmissions. For $28,050 today’s SE trim has cloth seats, power everything else, and the unique north-south arrangement glass sunroof panel.

Toyota Camry

In 2007 the Camry is all-new, as the more upright XV40 model replaces the now dated-looking organic shapes of the XV30. Engines are either a 2.4-liter inline-four (155 HP) or the stalwart 3.5-liter V6 (268 HP). Transmissions are of five-speed auto or five-speed manual persuasions. The V6 is available across three trims: SE, LE, or XLE. Today’s pick is the XLE V6, fully equipped with leather at $28,020.

Three V6 midsize Japanese sedans, all within $100 of one another on price and all less desirable than their counterparts from a decade prior. Which one is worth a Buy?

[Images: Honda, Nissan, Toyota]

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57 Comments on “Buy/Drive/Burn: V6 Midsize Japanese Sedans of 2007...”

  • avatar

    This was the very peak of the Toyota cost-cutting era. This generation of Camry was so uninspiring.

    This was also before Nissan really figured out the CVT. With a six this generation of CVT drives pretty well, but durability is a gamble.

    And on top of that this is the last year of Accord pre-bloat. This generation of Accord is tidy, comfy, and well-built. By this point the issues with the 5A had been worked out for several years.

    That makes the finishing order easy and clear.

    Buy Honda
    Drive Nissan
    Burn Toyota

  • avatar

    Buy Honda
    Drive Toyota
    Burn Nissan

    • 0 avatar


      Uncharacteristic miss on Corey’s part, IMHO: the Nissan equivalent here should have been the Altima V6. Still didn’t care for the “Mohawk” roof treatment on this Maxima!

      This Camry was OK. IIRC, the gauge cluster had the “disappearing” needles after the mid-cycle refresh, to match the outgoing Accord.

      I had a 2006 Accord V6 with navigation, and that one ranks below my 2013 Touring as my favorite. Perhaps my 2019 Touring 2.0T ranks below that 2013 and above the 2006. All good cars.

  • avatar

    All three merit “buy”. In order of preference
    #1 Camry
    #2 Accord
    #3 Maxima

    Nissan least reliable. Accord more fun to drive. I prefer Camry engine transmission in real world driving so it edges past the Accord.

  • avatar

    Incidentally, we’re not covering fours here, but the light weight of this Accord generation and the considerable power of the K24A meant this Accord with a four and a stick was a genuinely fun car. I think I’d prefer it to the V6 automatic, although there were a few unobtainium V6 stick sedans made too.

  • avatar

    Buy the Honda. Peak perfect balance of simplicity and modernity that will last 15+ years with no or minor problems.

    nitpicks: too small of a battery (CCA) of the 4-cylinder model,

    citation: personal experience with 185,000+ miles

    • 0 avatar

      This is v6 we’re talking about. That Toyota would go 400K miles. But I would say, without pleasure driving it.

      • 0 avatar

        If you want a Camry of that generation to go 400k miles, get the Hybrid, not the V6. That was the first Camry Hybrid that was approved for use as a NYC cab and they lasted well through that experience, which is the hardest duty cycle any car anywhere ever encounters.

        • 0 avatar
          Mike Beranek

          My Bro-in-law drove his ’07 Camry V6 to almost 300k, never did anything but change the oil.
          He got very lucky with that timing belt.

        • 0 avatar

          All the Toyota Hybrids of that era are the definition of bulletproof!

          As I recall, Prius cabs nailing 400k are a given! Then swap out the battery pack and keep going!

        • 0 avatar

          That’s the beauty of the hybrid system. In sub highway speeds, particularly in city stop and go traffic, the electric motor takes most of the “beating” and the gas motor is at zero RPM, and the regen takes the load off of the brakes as well.

  • avatar

    Buy the Toyota
    Drive the Maxima
    Burn the Accord

    I’ll admit that I don’t care much for any of these though. In 2007 I’d have probably gone for the Mitsubishi.

  • avatar

    Respectfully, the Maxima is the wrong Nissan entry for this comparo. It should be the V6 Altima.

    Maxima and Avalon filled the full size niche, while Altima, Camry, and Accord were the Midsize (D segment?) competitors.

    • 0 avatar

      There’s less than three inches difference in Accord and Maxima.

      Avalon is 3″ longer than even the Maxima.

      Maxima isn’t really large enough to be considered full-size.

      • 0 avatar

        Good points.

        It just always seems that the Altima was always in the same boat as the Camcord (and still is). The first-generation Altima was probably the one that didn’t fit the midsize mold—kinda grown-up Sentra.

  • avatar

    Buy Honda
    Drive Nissan
    Burn Toyota

    I don’t think the Accord looked stylish in 2007. They grafted on that weird rear end mid-way through that generation (initial version of that gen had droopy but more traditional Accord-like lights). Also the LED lights on the refreshed version like the 2007 pictured were WAY TOO BRIGHT.

    Likewise, the XV30 Camry looked dowdy and outdated upon launch.

  • avatar

    This comparo should have the new for 07 Altima not the maxima. Given that the maxima is really little more than a v6 altima I say…
    Buy camry
    Drive accord
    Burn nissan

  • avatar

    The Maxima has a CVT, so that’s an automatic burn (yes, pun intended).

    Buy: Toyota. Probably the most reliable, and yes, it’s boring to look at, but that also means it’s not embarrassing looking today.

    Drive: Honda, by process of elimination.

  • avatar

    Wasn’t this the Camry that got one of the former TTAC editors banned from the Toyota press fleets?

    • 0 avatar

      Is this the same Camry that Consumer Reports said is a must buy, before they even drove it? Once they drove it, they changed their minds (in small print, after the horse had been let out of the barn).

      • 0 avatar


        Quite likely. This generation debuted the new 6AT, which suffered some premature failure(s) early in the model run. The 2GR (V6) had some niggles, and the 2AZ (I4) would eventually gain notoriety for burning oil.

  • avatar

    The 2007 EX-L V6 was my fourth Accord. As noted above, this was the culmination of the seventh generation. I watched what Honda was doing with the eighth generation (2008-2012 model years) and waited in vain for better things to come with the ninth. When they didn’t, I reluctantly bought a 2012 Ford Fusion V6 SEL.

    Nice car, but no Accord in terms of build quality, and when it started to rust out in 2018, I sold it. By then I had turned against the trend to substitute tech toys for older virtues, and it still felt like I had gotten rid of the 2007 Accord too quickly.

    So I found a pristine 2007 Accord EX-L V6 online. 34,000 miles and being sold by the grandson of a deceased man who religiously had it serviced at the dealer. Price $13,000. I put it away for the winter here in western New York and in the summer it’s my road car. It’s a blast to drive. The engine and transmission are way better than the Fusion’s. The seats are more comfortable, and the Accord has adequate headroom, which the Fusion did not. The interior is a higher quality leather that is easier to keep clean.

    If I could steal two bits of useful tech from the Fusion, they would be the TPMS sensors (first mandated in 2008)and the backup cross-traffic sensors.

  • avatar

    I used two of the three of these to rationalize the Sonata that I actually bought in 2006.

    Buy Camry. Most impressive by far. Rode like a cloud and the V6 was spectacular by mid 00s expectations. Smooth, absurdly fast, good mileage too. Three grand more than the Honda, which it absolutely deserved to be, and my budget already didn’t go that far.

    Drive Nissan. Didn’t actually drive this one, the 07 Altima wasn’t out yet by a couple of months and the old one wasn’t as cheap as it looked, but the Honda sucked so it gets this position by default.

    Burn Honda. Really underwhelming. Felt just like my ’94 in all of the bad ways, harsh ride and incessant road noise and the V6 mandated the sunroof so you had to drop the seat all the way into the floor pan just like the old days. I get loving the used ones for not breaking much but as new cars they just weren’t comfortable.

    Actually bought Hyundai. Felt like a 9/10 baked Camry for two thirds the price. Discovered after buying it how it was two thirds of the price, a five year old Hyundai feels like a ten year old anything else and by 100K it’d depreciated to nothing at all. Got really bad mileage too. But for the first few years before it got too tired it was pleasant. The roomiest of the bunch and the powertrain was awfully smooth even if it wasn’t that fast.

  • avatar
    Offbeat Oddity

    Buy: Honda, I owned a 2007 EX 4 cylinder, and it was a wonderful car- the V6 would even be better. It was the last generation before Honda really took to cost-cutting, and I don’t think the V6 yet had cylinder deactivation, a huge plus. It was more reliable than the Camry during this time frame as well as Toyota’s quality took a hit around 2007-2008.

    Drive: Nissan. I’m more familiar with the Altima of this vintage, but the Maxima is a bit more upscale than the Accord and Camry, so it should be nice to drive. I wouldn’t trust the reliability though.

    Burn: Camry. Toyota’s cost-cutting was very evident here, and even their reliability took a hit- the 2007 V6 wasn’t even recommended by Consumer Reports. In hindsight, I actually think this interior is nicer than some interiors today though compared to pre-2007 it was a downgrade. I actually like the styling inside and out, and I’m sure it would be a comfortable ride, but in this comparison it’s the loser.

  • avatar

    This competitive set is relatively cheap now, so I’m going to choose independent of conventional wisdom and personal biases.

    Buy the Maxima. A victim of Ghosn-era cost-cutting and a lack of vision (many publications struggled to see substantial differentiation between it and the Altima V6), I’m nonetheless tempted by its daring styling, the legendary VQ engine, and the fact that I’ve never driven one. I hear that its dynamics were decent, if not as nuanced as those of past generations due in part to its bloat. Some of you likely think I should burn it on account of sporting a CVT, but I’m willing to let it try making its case to me.

    Drive the Camry. It was the cheapest path to the 2GR-FE, arguably the best mainstream V6 at the time. But while its handling is better-resolved than the previous generation’s, it’s nonetheless a poor match to its overachieving engine. And while the mechanicals are solid, its fit and finish are all too indicative of Toyota’s cost-cutting at the time. I can appreciate that not every car is going to delight a wannabe Lewis Hamilton, but I do wish this Camry offered more alternative points of interest to mitigate its dynamic mediocrity.

    Burn the Accord. Something of a case of familiarity breeding contempt; I’ve owned and/or driven several aught-era Honda/Acura JV6 vehicles, and the Accord as outlined brings nothing new to the party. It’d get my ‘buy’ pick if I could choose the EX V6 6MT, as it’d be as entertaining as it is reliable. Granted, the EX V6 5AT shares or apes other bones and organs from variants I like, but its comparatively clunky manual function curbs my enthusiasm. Sorry, Honda.

  • avatar

    If I follow the rules:
    Toyota – Buy. Resale value.
    Honda – Burn. Not worth the transmission troubles.
    Nissan – Drive. Probably the only fun one of the bunch.

    If I don’t follow the rules:
    Toyota – Who cares?
    Honda – Who cares?
    Nissan – Burn.

  • avatar
    Daniel J

    Only one I’d drive is a Mazda 6 speed.

  • avatar

    BUY: Camry> I own one, SE v6, over 200,000 miles. Peerless reliability. Gateway-drug to Toyo-/ Lexus ownership.

    Drive: Accord> The mid-cycle refresh ruined its visual appeal, for me, but I’ve enjoyed all other versions I’ve driven.

    Burn: Nissan> Dated design, harbinger/evidence of looming brand troubles, where the “4DSC” officially died, and the only of this trio I actually hated/regretted owning.

  • avatar

    If anyone wants one of those rare Accord Sedan V6 with the manual, one just came up for sale in my neck of the woods. It looks well-maintained but also thoroughly used.

  • avatar

    All tHis rubbish was available when I got my new car in Jan 2008, a Subaru Legacy GT which I kept for a dozen years. One factor in my decision was the review here on TTAC by Megan Benoit, back when the website was still reasonably new and brooked no BS. Founder Robert Farago ensured a good read and suffered no nonsense either in content or whackadoodle comments. The review was spot on for me. As for TTAC reviews these days, frankly, who’d base a choice on the jaded-outlook skimpy boring reviews presented here? Not me. It’s why I had to go out and drive two dozen vehicles, most of which were actually crap. There’s scarcely an ounce of joy or enthusiasm or outright dunning in any of the reviews these days. Deadly dull and boring. No sense of what the vehicle’s really like whatsoever.

    123 comments. And no head biting uninformed political BS either- Go on, have a read.

    So in all honesty I couldn’t pick out which of these naff sedans from 2007 would be worth keeping, burning or driving. The Honda had nice soft leather.

  • avatar

    Toyota should just revive the 92-96 Camry and add whatever modern tech it needs to be competitive. That was a solid, attractive car.

  • avatar

    I’d say burn them all but I wouldn’t want to waste the Gas

  • avatar

    Hmmm…no traditional moonroof but instead a glass panel? Just no. Im not messing with the Nissan at all, BURN. Buy Camry and drive the Accord

  • avatar

    Please burn the Accord. While the drivetrain is smooth and powerful, the seats are rock hard and unsuitable for driving more than a half hour. I made the mistake of driving a 2007 from Calgary to Vancouver and had to use the kids’ shirts and pillows to modify the seating position to make it bearable. Never again.

    Drive the Altima.

    Buy the Camry. Just because it’s a Camry. Pleasant, comfortable, reliable, sensible.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Buy the Camry–If you take care of it you will have it for as long as you want to drive it and Toyota’s have excellent resale value.

    Drive the Accord–Honda’s handle well and Honda gets a lot of performance from their engines. Honda’s also retain their value and make a solid buy.

    Burn the Nissan–Nissan has crappy CVTs and ever since Renault Nissan has been on a steady decline. Nissan’s depreciate like used toilet paper.

  • avatar

    I love the styling of the Maxima and the VQ engine is a winner – CVT, run away, now! This Camry took the car from almost a Lexus to kind of a Corolla, meh. The Honda is the best here, perfectly capable with the 4cyl and surprising with the V6, drive it!

  • avatar


    Buy Honda
    Drive Nissan
    Burn Toyota

  • avatar

    Burn em all since they are all targeted in the recent catalytic converter theft spree going on in the country. Too much of an insurance risk all around.

  • avatar

    Ahhh! I’m so sorry Toyota.

    Leading into the Sudden Unintended Acceleration scandal with this generation Toyota Camry, and just after the early 2000’s whiplash lawsuits for car companies, these “Japanese” cars are some of the most uncomfortable, worst designs out there. This is a hard one.

    Buy the Accord. Even though the head restraints will keep your neck safe in a crash, you’ll have long term issues with ergonomics in this funky head rest design era, and eventually you’ll say screw it and turn it around 180 so it stops digging into your skull. It will drink oil in its later years, but never stop.

    Drive the Nissan. I’d rent the heck of this, and tool around. The CVT’s were weird and overly hyped, do you remember the makeup commercial? I think they had problems later on down the road, but oh well.

    I want to like these Camry’s, I think they looked cooler than the super conservative version that came out after the floor board mat scandal, but I can’t. NHTSA was never able to prove it, but I don’t think Toyota was ever able to disprove it.

    If I had another drive it option, I’d drive the other Nissan. But I don’t know anything about Maxima’s, but does this classify as mid-size? I thought Maxima was full size? Why would nissan make 2 mid sized on the same marque?

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