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2004 Toyota Camry LE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 4A)
I bought my 2004 Toyota Camry very slightly used - essentially new. It gave me more than ten years and more than 120,000 miles of rock solid reliable use over its lifetime.
The Camry performed and handled pretty much as you would expect from a full-sized sedan of its class. It was designed as an everyday workhorse sedan with an emphasis on dependability, fuel-efficiency, and utility. It excelled at those traits and provided very satisfactory performance with the exception of the turning radius, which seemed overly wide and could be a pain in parking lot situations. I never had any real problem with acceleration when I needed it. Driving the Camry felt natural the ride was comfortable.
The technology in my vehicle featured some very nice convenience features - most especially an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, auto-off headlights, and auto-locking doors. My Camry also had powered driver seat adjustment.
The car's interior was roomy and comfortable. Its decor was tasteful and withstood ten-plus years of heavy use quite well. My only complaint about the interior was that the lid latch on the center console broke and repairing it was too expensive to be worth the cost.
Cargo capacity in the Camry was more than satisfactory. It had a spacious trunk and the rear seats could fold down if needed. This provided as much cargo room as I could ask from a four-door sedan.
The car's exterior characteristics were, on the whole, very good. It had a pleasing design and it kept its quality throughout its life. The sole outstanding negative of the 2004 Camry's body was that it had extremely low ground clearance, which could lead to scraping the bottom of the front bumper or the undercarriage in some cases.
The Camry's safety seemed to be good. There was a recall on the side curtain air-bags, including my own vehicle. Other than that, I always felt that it was a safe car and in the one major collision I had with it - one which was not the fault of the car - the car was rugged enough to prevent any personal injury.
Reliability is perhaps the most famous aspect of Toyota's reputation. In that regard, the 2004 Camry was absolutely incredible. Over the course of more than ten years of hard use - including a number of trips crossing multiple states - it did not suffer a single breakdown and had only one major component failure, that being a computer chip for the air conditioning system. At ten years, I would still rely on the 2004 Camry to take my from coast to coast without a second thought. And when I did replace this vehicle, I bought yet another Camry.
2004 Toyota Camry LE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 4A)
I've purchased my Camry in Jan. 2015, with about 196,000 miles on the odometer. I drive a lot and over the course of a year, I've put on about 36,000 grueling miles of San Francisco-area traffic; a lot of city street driving, with a decent blend of highway commuting as well. Because I drive so much in heavy traffic and because of the already high miles on the car, I was a bit nervous that it might bite the dust before I could afford something newer and nicer.
But in fact, it's only left me stranded once - and that was only because of a bad battery. Now at 231,000 miles, it's still running on the original 2.4L engine and original transmission. It's starting to shift harshly and it has a few electrical issues, but you can't say most cars will make it past 230,000 miles. Bulletproof reliability, even survived a bad accident I was involved in back in October. It needed a new control arm and has a few battle wounds from the incident, but still drives and handles like how some cars drive at 90,000 miles. This was my first Toyota and I'm VERY satisfied! Definitely going to be a repeat Toyota customer!
2004 Toyota Camry LE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5M)
Bought this car from brother in law three years ago who followed all maintenance requirements, as did I. Had to replace sagging headliner and rear speaker covers. Added new tires, brakes, alternator, battery, frequent oil changes, transmission flushes, etc. Car ran great for three years. In 2015, my son and I noticed a sloshing sound behind the dash. Coolant in reservoir was low, even though we checked it regularly. Filled it and took to mechanic. He initially thought that it was the stripped head bolt problem. Coolant was leaking into the engine. Cracked head. Said that the car had been overheated, even though there was never any indication of overheating on instrument panel or smoking, etc. Mechanic stated that it was nothing that I did and that this was a very poorly designed engine and I would be wasting my money to replace the engine, as I would be getting another defective engine design. He stated that he had always believed Toyota to be great cars, but not after working on this one. Car had 126,000 miles on it. Interior quality was also very cheap. Flannel cloth doors! Not at all the same quality as my 1994 Camry in terms of longevity or quality.
Gas mileage was good, but not so good now! What a complete waste of money for a car that had been so well maintained. Do not buy!
2004 Toyota Camry XLE V6 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 5A)
I read every review on this thread and it appears I am 1 of about 20 fellow 2004 Camry owners who have experienced similar, if not the same, issues with acceleration and/or rattling noises near the driver side firewall area. It's a shame, because prior to this Camry, which I purchased used from Carsense in 2014 w/76K miles on it, I was a devoted Toyota owner. Now my opinion of Toyota has changed. My advice to someone considering this model would be to move onto another option. Don't take your chances. And research EVERYTHING prior to signing the dotted line. Don't pass on the extended warranty either (even tough that's not a 100% guaranteed safety net either).
Heated seats during those ice-cold winters here in the Northeast.
Toyota should own up to it's engineering discrepancies and recall this model. It's obvious that there are several 2004 Camry owners experiencing the same acceleration and rattling issues.
2004 Toyota Camry SE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 4A)
I bought mine used in 2005 with 20K on it. Just traded it in (2014) with 175,000. Never replaced anything but the typical disposables! This car just goes and goes and never brakes down or needs repairs. I wish they still built them like this. Best value and reliability!