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2004 Toyota Avalon

$1,896 — $8,580 USED
Sedan
5-6 Seats
25 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 2 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Ride comfort
  • Driving ease
  • Overall refinement
  • Interior space
  • Resale value

The Bad

  • Price, compared to Camry
  • Controversial design

What to Know

about the 2004 Toyota Avalon
  • Bold styling for a Toyota
  • Moderate full-size dimensions
  • Bench or bucket seating
  • Reputation for dependability
  • Standard side-impact airbags

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview
After receiving front and rear styling updates for the 2003 model year, Toyota’s largest passenger car essentially stands pat for 2004. Vehicle Stability Control is newly available on the XL sedan, but little else has changed.

Last restyled for 2000, the upscale front-wheel-drive family sedan is considerably more distinctive in appearance than the automaker’s class-leading midsize Camry sedan.

In terms of exterior dimensions, the Avalon is one of the smaller models in the full-size passenger-car class. The Avalon is related to the previous-generation Camry, which was redesigned for the 2002 model year. Both models are built at Toyota’s plant in Georgetown, Ky. The base XL and more costly XLS are available with either five- or six-passenger seating.


Exterior
Flashier in appearance than the original Avalon, the current model features a wider grille and a lower air intake that complements the steeply angled windshield and rear window. The Avalon’s A-pillars are rounded, but the most dramatic characteristic on this car is its rear-end appearance, which is highlighted by large taillights. A chrome accent goes above the rear license plate. Built on a 107.1-inch wheelbase, the Avalon is 191.9 inches long overall.

Interior
The Avalon’s seating configuration is a matter of choice. Front bucket seats or a three-place bench can be installed, which yields space for five or six occupants, respectively. No other Japanese passenger car offers seating ...
Vehicle Overview
After receiving front and rear styling updates for the 2003 model year, Toyota’s largest passenger car essentially stands pat for 2004. Vehicle Stability Control is newly available on the XL sedan, but little else has changed.

Last restyled for 2000, the upscale front-wheel-drive family sedan is considerably more distinctive in appearance than the automaker’s class-leading midsize Camry sedan.

In terms of exterior dimensions, the Avalon is one of the smaller models in the full-size passenger-car class. The Avalon is related to the previous-generation Camry, which was redesigned for the 2002 model year. Both models are built at Toyota’s plant in Georgetown, Ky. The base XL and more costly XLS are available with either five- or six-passenger seating.


Exterior
Flashier in appearance than the original Avalon, the current model features a wider grille and a lower air intake that complements the steeply angled windshield and rear window. The Avalon’s A-pillars are rounded, but the most dramatic characteristic on this car is its rear-end appearance, which is highlighted by large taillights. A chrome accent goes above the rear license plate. Built on a 107.1-inch wheelbase, the Avalon is 191.9 inches long overall.

Interior
The Avalon’s seating configuration is a matter of choice. Front bucket seats or a three-place bench can be installed, which yields space for five or six occupants, respectively. No other Japanese passenger car offers seating for six people, and the rear seat has more legroom than many competitors. Models equipped with the 50/50-split bench seat in front use a column-mounted gearshift lever. A perforated leather interior package is optional in the XL sedan with bucket seats.

Extras on the XLS include rain-sensing wipers, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with woodgrain trim, automatic climate control and heated mirrors with an auto-dimming feature on the driver’s side. The optional DVD navigation system uses a detachable remote control.

The Avalon’s trunk volume is close to 16 cubic feet, but the space looks even larger. A big opening makes it easy to load bulky items, and a small pass-thru section in the rear seatback permits owners to carry long objects, such as skis.


Under the Hood
Toyota’s 3.0-liter dual-overhead-cam V-6 engine develops 210 horsepower and mates with a four-speed-automatic transmission.

Safety
All-disc antilock brakes and seat-mounted side-impact airbags for the front seats are standard. Traction control, Toyota’s Vehicle Stability Control electronic stability system and emergency Brake Assist are available. Multistage front airbags and LATCH child-safety seat anchors are installed.

Driving Impressions
Even though its exterior dimensions may be smaller than those on other full-size models, the Avalon makes efficient use of its available interior space. People sometimes criticize Toyota for lacking excitement, but the Avalon’s styling can’t be called subtle or bashful.

Consumers who like the comfortable ride, smooth and easy driving, ample performance and unfettered refinement of the Camry may easily fall for the Avalon. Owners get all of the Camry’s attributes plus greater interior space and some additional amenities. The extras cost more, but they might be worth the price if it means getting a very civilized automobile that will still be worth something at resale time.

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.7
38 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.1)
Performance
(4.6)
Interior Design
(4.4)
Comfort
(4.8)
Reliability
(4.8)
Value For The Money
(4.5)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

Most reliable car I've owned.

by UKfan100 from Louisville, KY on October 29, 2018

Runs great, plenty of power with 210 horsepower. My mechanic brags about the engine compartment:"It's dry as a BONE under there--dry as a BONE. My friends couldn't believe how big the back seat was. Read full review

(5.0)

Exceptional value - Reliable

by WCThompson from Great Falls MT on October 23, 2018

I picked up my 2004 Toyota Avalon im 2018 for $5k with 182k miles. I put $1.4k into the suspension and I now have a car that will likely go another 200k miles. It's comfortable, roomy, quiet and I ... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2004 Toyota Avalon currently has 3 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2004 Toyota Avalon has not been tested.

Latest 2004 Avalon Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Avalon received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker