Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book
KBB.com 2004 Toyota Camry Overview
The Everything Car
The Camry is one of those vehicles that defy classification. Technically it is listed as a family sedan, but talk to anyone who owns a Camry and youll find the car pulls duty as everything from a daily commuter to shuttle service for family and business clients. The Camry is so good that its name is now synonymous with bulletproof construction, extreme longevity and exceptional resale value.
The Camry name has been around for over two decades. The first Camry was not much bigger than the current Corolla and bore a revolutionary design that changed the course of the entire family-sedan segment. The Camry continued to evolve, with each generation growing larger and more powerful than the last. Todays Camry is almost massive by the original cars standards, and features far more trunk, hip, head, shoulder and legroom than any of its predecessors.
The Camry is available in three trim levels, each designed to appeal to a different type of buyer. The most affordable trim is the LE that comes with a long list of standard features including power windows, power door locks, cloth bucket seats, AM/FM stereo with cassette and CD, power mirrors, cruise control, tilt wheel, rear defroster, air conditioning and intermittent wipers.
The next step up is the sporty SE which features all of the LE standard equipment and adds a sport-tuned suspension, 16-inch wheels, front fog lights, leather-wrapped steering wheel and a special sport interior that includes textured sport cloth seats and silver-faced gauges. New for 2004 is the availability of a V6 engine in the SE trim.
The top-of-the-line Camry is the XLE, a model that displays the Camrys luxury-car side by offering such items as leather seats, wood trim interior, power seats, JBL audio, power sunroof and a rear sunshade.
A 2.4-liter engine that makes 157 horsepower comes standard on all three trims (except in California where a special Partial Zero Emissions or PZEV 2.4-liter engine produces 151-horsepower.) Youll be amazed how silent this engine is at idle and how well it performs for a four-cylinder engine. Even more impressive is the 2.4-liters EPA fuel ratings that go as high as 33-mpg. The LE and SE come standard with a five-speed manual transmission, though most LE buyers will probably opt for the optional automatic that adds about $800 to the price the car.
If you have your eye on the sporty SE, you may want to go with the new 3.3-liter V6 engine. The new V6which is also available on the XLEproduces 225 horsepower and provides the extra kick needed to transform the Camrys performance figures from acceptable to exceptional. The V6 option for the LE trim remains the old 3.0-liter engine rated at 210 horsepower. Last years optional five-speed automatic transmission is now standard on all V6-powered Camrys.
The Camry offers its occupants a roomy, comfortable interior that is solidly built and intelligently laid out. From the drivers seat, youll find you have an excellent view of the road and the clean and simple dash moves all relevant instruments up high where they are easily within the drivers line of sight. Short-armed drivers may find that the tuning knob for the audio system is too far to reach without leaning forward and that the lack of telescopic steering wheela feature found on the Accord, Passat and Altimasomewhat reduces the ability to find the perfect driving position.
For a mere $120, you can opt for the power-adjustable foot pedals that somewhat compensate for the missing telescopic wheel and helps shorter drivers to maintain a safe distance from the steering-wheel-mounted air bag: this option is available only with the automatic transmission.
Once settled, youll find the Camrys front seats to be a bit on the firm side, yet not in an uncomfortable way. Some of our taller testers noted that the seat bottoms seemed a bit short on thigh support and the power seats could do with a bit more upward angle. There were no complaints when it came to back seat comfort where the high rear seats provide loads of leg and knee room for tall passengers while also providing an excellent vantage point to see over the front seat occupants. Youll find that the Camrys deep trunk can easily swallow what ever you ask of it, from luggage to golf clubs to groceries. If you find that your expectations exceed the trunks 16.7 cubic feet (and thats with the full-size spare tire in place) you can always fold down the 60/40 split-bench seat and move your cargo forward into the passenger cabin.