The Toyota Camry Solara, sibling to the popular, midsize Camry, is available as a convertible or coupe. Popular for its reliability, quietness, and interior comfort, the Solara outperforms many vehicles of similar styles.
Across each of its generations, the Solara's rear-seat room is generous enough for family transits while remaining feature-heavy for town road lovers. Impressive and smooth, the Toyota Camry Solara packs an impressive four-cylinder or V6 in newer models. Reasonably priced during every year, the Solara remains an incredibly popular used car too.
As a convertible, the Solara's traditional fabric is iconic across the industry. Its departure from retractable hardtops is notable, as is its prioritization of interior comfort. Make no mistake: The Solara may exist at the price scale's lower end, but it still carries luxury components.
The all-new Camry Solara sport coupe emerged in 1999, becoming Toyota's newest sport specialty segment entry. The Solara, aimed at consumers entering high-earning years, was designed to invoke nostalgia in sports-car-lovers while touching upon fine interior inclusions. The Camry Solara soon became the first Toyota Division model to utilize Toyota's North American manufacturing facilities.
Over time, the Camry's production shifted to Toyota's award-winning Cambridge, Ontario, location. In the 2000s, the Solara utilized either a V6 or four-cylinder engine while featuring either a four-speed or five-speed electronically controlled transmission. In addition, much of the Solara's history has included a four-wheel, all-independent MacPherson suspension, rear stabilizer bars, anti-vibration sub-frames, and a 16-inch alloy wheel upgrade package.
The Solara prioritizes comfort and consistent drives, maximizing smooth transitions with a stable, yet consistent, engine. Some Solara users report lacking excitement when opting out of high-end features, as the Solara's navigation system and stability control are mainstays of the sports vehicle department.
Earlier Solaras, while also consistent, may pack less "punch" when transitioning between low and high speeds. While earlier models pack 135-hp, four-cylinder engines, both four-speed automatic and five-speed manual transmissions may be lackluster if not equipped to a V6. The V6, however, does pick up easily on highways and city streets - giving drivers total control, stability, and input power.
Compared to other used vehicles of similar size, the Toyota Camry Solara packs incredible reliability and value. Historically known for requiring minimum maintenance, the Solara's ride doesn't dull over time. While convertible-lovers may experience higher noise resonation in earlier Solara models, other used cars lack the pickup achieved by the Solara in a year-to-year arena.
Value-wise, the Solara's interior still succeeds. Some users experience dash degradation in models released before 2005, however. Solara repairs and upgrades are cheap in comparison to other models, and even a four-cylinder Solara engine can last with minimal attention. Tires, brakes, oil changes, and light bulbs are frequent maintenance areas.
In any year, the Toyota Camry Solara packs smooth performance. Older models may suffer from a noisy rear suspension, but minor repairs can remedy any assembly shortcomings. The Solara's interior stereo performance is touted throughout the industry, renowned for its superb ride.
Lighting, too, is prioritized in each Solara model. While the Solara lacks heated seats and Bluetooth connectivity in older miles, its interior still packs hands-free phone options and up-to-date Sirius and Pandora Radio options. Many Solaras achieve 30 mpg, which provides for consistent performance divorced from high gas prices. Stylish and affordable, lesser Solara models still achieve an average of 21 mpg on city streets.
The Solara is available in four-cylinder and V6 versions, backing either a multi-point EFI or sequential multi-point EFI fuel system in older models. In addition, the Solara's engine features:
The Toyota Camry Solara's powertrain utilizes four-wheel drive and five-speed manual transmissions with four-cylinder engines. Meanwhile, its V6 offers a four-speed automatic transmission and Touch Select four-by-four driving in most models.
Available as either a two-door convertible or a two-door coupe, the Solara's body is both lightweight and durable. Post-2004 Solara models, however, feature a curved body to promote luxury. Again, the Solara lacks typical hardtop convertible roofs, and may suffer in harsh weather conditions.
Inside, many Solaras pack a navigation system and XM radio for comfort. With WMA CD playback capabilities and MP3 support, most used Solara models are praised for their comfort. Newer Solara models offer voice-activated navigation and Bluetooth Connectivity in SLE V6 models. Solara Sports Package owners benefit from a perforated, leather-wrapped steering wheel, power-adjustable leather seats, and re-tuned steering accessibility.