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2004 Toyota Camry Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: Owner Pros and Cons by greg.karch

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Reviewed: 2004 Toyota Camry

4dr Sedan 157-horsepower 2.4L I4 4-speed automatic FWD

Why the 2004 Toyota Camry?

Reliability & durability

Bought it for historical reliability. Ended up having transmission problems in the beginning after only 200 miles on the odometer. No problems with it since last fix at 35K. Bad water pump at 59K but fixed under warranty. Knock on wood no other problems.

Controls and instruments

Very simply laid out with functions clearly labeled and moderately sized buttons and knobs. No over-sized or undersized buttons with weird labels or graphics here (c.f. Acura).

Fuel economy

Better fuel economy than EPA estimates. Get 27 city, 33 highway (rated 25/32) without babying it. All highway driving at 55-75 mph with flow of traffic, A/C full blast, 4 full-sized adults and a trunk full of luggage can get close to 35 mpg.

Ride smoothness

Ride is very smooth. Stock Potenza A/S tires are crappy and can squeal going any direction other than straight at low speed. No traction to speak of in any conditions. Replaced with Michelins bought from Costco and ride quality/handling increased a lot!

Exterior styling

Clean lines with large greenhouse without appearing too tall. Got mine in Desert Sand which shows practically no dirt unless looking at it from a few feet or closer. Easy to see out of except for slightly larger-than-expected A-pillar.

Why Not the 2004 Toyota Camry?

Color choices

Not very many color choices that look good (but who am I to talk? I got a tan-ish color). Black, Maroon and Tan look the best IMO.

Handling

Stock handling is very poor due to cheap OEM tires. Very wallowy under any kind of spirited driving. Floats when going straight, however. Replacing stock tires with better ones will actually allow you to turn corners, accelerate and stop w/o squealing.

Safety & braking

Brake pedal is very squishy and requires a bit of travel before engaging. Great for smoothness, bad if you have to stop suddenly. Brakes do fade after one or two hard stops. Drums in the back cause the car to shudder when stopping from highway speeds.

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