2004 Toyota Camry G 2.0 gasoline from Philippines

Summary:

Excellent all purpose executive car even after more than a decade.

Faults:

Many of the faults mentioned were not so serious and were just because of mere wear and tear.

Circa 2006 or 2007 - The power mirror adjustment controls did not work anymore. Although they could still fold.

November 2008 - The right rear window did not want to go up. Took it to the dealer and it was fixed within 30 minutes.

Early 2009 - The lock of the rear right stopped functioning. Fixed by Toyota in an hour.

August 2011 - We couldn't unlock the glove compartment of the car. All we could do after taking it to the dealer is to use the glove box without locking it.

October 2011 - The suspension acted up. Our mechanic took care of the problem.

June 2013 - Fan belt was making a funny noise. The aircon compressor was also affected. Had to stay with Toyota for a week.

August 2013 - Engine mount had to be replaced.

June 2015 - Noticed suspension problems from September of 2014. You could hear squeaking sounds underneath while driving even on the smoothest roads. Did not really bother us so much and we only had it fixed by a mechanic in June of 2015.

September 2016 - Transmission got stuck on D while in heavy traffic. I pulled to the side of the road, turned off the car, and waited for the tow truck to take it to the mechanic. Apparently the only problem was that the shifting cable snapped.

Other than the problems stated above, the car only goes to the Toyota dealer every 5000 km for its Preventive Maintenance Check-up.

General Comments:

This car was only partially ours for the first 6 years of its life. We would only use it from to time when we were forced to or we just felt like it. Most of the time, my grandmother and auntie used it. When my grandmother passed away in November of 2008, we got to use the car more often, particularly during weekends. When my auntie passed away in 2010, we had no choice but to take the car. However, I have driven this car since I started in early 2009 when I was 16 already. It became my official car when we got a new Camry in 2013. The car had low mileage although it ran a lot from 2009 to mid 2013. For much of December 2014 and December 2015, this car was mostly only in the garage. During those times, the car only ran for the first few days to go to school for final exams and enrollment. This was in contrast to most cars usually overused for the Christmas holidays.

Actually, this car was meant to be chauffeur driven. I wish ours had a 2.4 engine instead. My uncle also had one before (although 2 years older than ours). Our Camry’s pickup was not so good. You struggle when you overtake slow moving vehicles, enter a flyover and Skyway or cruise along expressways. This car only runs fine in a city like Metro Manila where traffic is always bad. My dad said driving the car was like whipping a horse. We had a 1999 Mitsubishi Galant before our newer Camry with the same engine, but it did not struggle and was very fast.

Of all the cars we had, this is one of the most comfortable one we have ever had. The leather seats were comfortable and the legroom for everyone was wide and spacious. The air-conditioning was also very good. It cools the interior well.

In June of 2012, we transferred the original radio to our Galant before disposing of it. From the Galant, we put in the aftermarket Pioneer radio with USB to connect my iTouch/iPhone/iPad.

I really enjoyed this car. Of all the cars we had, this was the most reliable even when it was old already. Before when our cars reached at least 7-10 years old, problems would start to emerge. This car also had its set of problems when it was old, but they were mainly because of wear and tear. Prior to having the 2013 Camry, it was joy bringing it to an exclusive place like a 5 star hotel and special occasions like weddings and debuts. The farthest points of this car were only Subic in 2012 and Lucban, Quezon in 2006. Our relatives and family friends loved this car. When friends, classmates, and girls rode in this car, they loved it too!

The service at the dealership at the Toyota dealership is very good. We lost the warranty booklet, but they had a computerised record of past services and the parts that need replacement (though we only do the necessary ones at our mechanic).

We finally sold this car last October 29 of this year. The car had already lasted with us for 12 years and 8 months, 3 Presidents of the Philippines, 2 Presidents of the United States, 3 Presidents of South Korea, and 4 Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom. Time has already passed and it’s time to move on. There is no forever! The car is now is in good hands with the new owner. We're gonna replace it with a brand new Fortuner next year. I still miss this car!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th December, 2016

2004 Toyota Camry LE 2.4 from North America

Summary:

Nice and comfortable car, but not as convinced about Toyota quality as I used to be, anymore

Faults:

Right after purchasing the car (for about 9000$ including tax) I noticed that it was emitting a large exhaust cloud after the car had been standing for a day or two. After maybe 10 seconds, the visible exhaust was almost gone. I returned to the dealership under the 30 days / 1000 mile warranty. They changed some valve stem seals.

About 2 miles of driving after picking up the car at the Californian dealership, I noticed that the engine was vibrating a lot. When opening the hood, I also noticed that the engine RPM was going up and down without anyone touching the accelerator. The engine almost stalled a couple of times as well. Back to the dealership we went, and this time they removed carbon buildup from the (/a?) throttle body.

From then on it has seemed to be fine. I could not notice any visible smoke at startup after the repairs.

These issues happened despite a so called 160 point inspection prior to our purchase.

These issues were fixed under warranty. The people at the Toyota service center appeared very friendly and professional. Nice, when you get in car trouble!

General Comments:

Very comfortable. Little noise from the engine. We are a family of 5 people, the kids presently being 17, 14 and 11 years old. They seem to have good space for a 5 seater.

The automatic transmission is very smooth.

Gas mileage has thus far been measured to 26.25 to 26.5 MPG under various driving conditions in, and around, San Diego.

The original sound system also seems to be of high quality.

The reasons that I have become unsure about Toyota is because I had problems with the two last ones (Sequoia + this one, bought in the US), but absolutely no issues with a '95 Corolla back in Norway. (I have been wondering if the latter 2 have been US built, and if that means a lower quality than some other cars sold under the Toyota brand name.)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 4th October, 2015

11th Oct 2015, 03:15

Thank you for fixing your valve seals. While I'm not necessarily an environmentalist, my lungs wish that the guy who parks at the same train station lot I do would invest in those ;)

You will never regret your investment - bad valve seals kill catalytic converters.

12th Oct 2015, 15:47

The Toyota Camry is a great bang for your buck used car. For me the 05-06 (4 & 6 cylinder) is one of the better used car bargains. But finding a low mileage now for sale won't be easy. Many are well over 140,000, and up and up. Also never pay over Kelly Blue Book for one. And checking for odd engine sounds and smoke from the tailpipe is a must for any buyer when the engine is cold started, among of a lot of other items.

Last but not least, you have to get the car up to speed on the freeway to check for all types of other problems used cars have. Buying from a private party could have saved you thousands of dollars if you know what to look for when buying a used car. But having a warranty from a dealership can be priceless when you miss things on a used car.