4 Star Reviews for Toyota Camry Solara

Overview & Reviews

Average Score

4.71/5 Average
1,098 Total Reviews
Model Overview:

Introduced as sportier siblings to the mainstay midsize Camry sedan, the Toyota Camry Solara coupe and convertible quietly enjoyed a reputation for being reliable, well built and pleasantly styled, if not excitingly so. For most family sedans, such qualities are certainly considered desirable, but when it comes to coupes and convertibles, we think that a little fun and pizzazz should figure in as well. The Camry Solara never offered much in terms of excitement, but that didn't prevent it from being a popular choice for a midsize two-door.

For both generations of the Solara, rear-seat room was generous and safety ratings and feature content were impressive. Smooth four-cylinder or V6 power resided under the hood, and overall the Toyota Camry Solara was reasonably priced and offered great value considering all that it delivered.

If you're looking for a sport-oriented coupe or convertible, the Toyota Camry Solara isn't going to be your best choice. And the most recent Camry Solara convertible's traditional fabric top can be seen as a bit dowdy given that many competing models from the same time period offer retractable hardtop designs. But if you treasure overall quality, value and comfort, there are few coupes or convertibles that put it all together as well as the Camry Solara.

Most Recent Toyota Camry Solara

The most recent Toyota Camry Solara was the second-generation model and was sold from 2004-'08. It was based on the 2002-'06 Camry sedan and was available as a midsize coupe or convertible in SE, SE Sport and SLE trim levels.

The standard engine on the Camry Solara coupe was a 2.4-liter four-cylinder rated at 157 horsepower and 158 pound-feet of torque, mated to either a five-speed manual or a five-speed automatic (four-speed prior to '06). Optional on coupes and standard on convertibles was a 3.3-liter V6 rated at 210 horses and 220 lb-ft of torque. Prior to 2007, horsepower ratings will appear to be greater; however, this was due to a change in the way horsepower is measured rather than an actual output change. No manual transmission was available with this smooth engine, but the automatic was a modern five-speed with a manual-shift gate for those who like to select their own gears. On the road, the Toyota Camry Solara's suspension tuning delivered a comfortable ride. The added stiffness of the SE Sport model gave it enough capability to provide some fun through corners while still maintaining the civilized ride quality of the other models.

The base SE was decently equipped with most modern convenience features, while the Sport version added a firmer suspension, 17-inch wheels, an exterior body kit, xenon HID headlights and unique interior trim. The top-drawer SLE provided a few extra luxury-oriented standard features. Major options included stability control and a navigation system (which was upgraded for '07).

The Solara's front seats offer plenty of room for even the tallest drivers, but the rear seats are still best reserved for short trips. While Solara coupes can seat three passengers snugly in back, the Camry Solara convertible can accommodate just two. The Solara convertible's standard power top could be raised and lowered in just 10 seconds, and it stowed neatly under a tonneau cover that matched the color of the interior.

Past Toyota Camry Solara Models

The Camry Solara originally debuted for 1999 and was produced through 2003. Mechanically, it was related to the 1997-2001 Camry sedan. Toyota hoped its new two-door would appeal to consumers who wanted the style of a sporty car but the room and comfort of a larger, more practical vehicle. In the first year, only the coupe was sold, but Toyota added the convertible version for model-year 2000.

For this Camry Solara's run, Toyota offered the familiar SE or SLE trim levels. Initially, Toyota offered either a 2.2-liter, 135-hp four-cylinder engine or a 3.0-liter, 192-hp V6. Either engine could be had with a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic. For 2002, Toyota introduced a new 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 157 hp. Revised front and rear styling was also introduced that year. For 2003 and beyond, Toyota discontinued the manual transmission option for the V6.

At the time, we commented favorably about the Toyota Camry Solara's roomy cabin and smooth engines. Downsides included a lack of driving or styling excitement and the absence of some higher-end features, such as stability control and a navigation system.

User Reviews:

Showing 1 through 10 of 1,098.00
  • Toyota solara 4 cylinder SE - 2004 Toyota Camry Solara
    By -

    Love the car when I first saw it pearl white 4 cylinder SE very classic lines looks looks more expensive than it is my only problem was that I've been the original owner for 17 years but the dashboard literally cracked after 10:00 by then it was too late for to get warranty work still on the car .

  • Good but not Great - 2004 Toyota Camry Solara
    By -

    Overall, its a good car. It seems to appeal to the older crowd from what I noticed. Not very exciting to drive and it doesnt turn heads. TV tends to make it look more exciting than it really is. Gets pricey when fully loaded. None the less, its a good car. One major problem on my car. The sunroof binds and makes horrible noises. This is not at all what youd expect from a Toyota! Ive made 4 visits (going on 5)to the Dealership over the last 6 months to have this problem fixed. The frequent visits are mostly due to an incompetent dealership. Very dissapointing. Ive gotten to know the Courtesy Driver very well. That cant be a good thing?

  • I love this car - 2001 Toyota Camry Solara
    By -

    I looked for a year for a used Solara convertible and Im glad I waited. I have the 6-cyl and it drives like a sportscar. I have only done regular maintenance (did the 90K mi service), as it has needed nothing else. I plan to drive this car until it falls to pieces, which could be 10 more years. Comfort is great for the driver and passenger, the back seat passengers have complained a bit. And, of course, its a bit noisy on the highway with the top up, just not completely airtight but who cares?

  • 99 SLE - 1999 Toyota Camry Solara
    By -

    I have had the car for about 2 weeks and I like it more each time I get to drive it (it is my wifes to drive). We were really only looking at 99-01 Accord EX-VL cars until I noticed this on a local lot (certified). One drive made me forget about the Hondas. Smoother ride, better leather, and better styling than the Accord.

  • 2003 Toyota Solara SE - 2003 Toyota Camry Solara
    By -

    I have enjoyed this car, it rides better than my 2001 Accord did. The only problems we have had is the bearings in one wheel went out. Other than that all we have done is replace the tires and have regular maintenance done.

  • All is good except for brakes - 2003 Toyota Camry Solara
    By -

    When I use brakes, the steering wheel shakes. Im surprised Toyota Rotors wharped after just 10K miles!!! Have to fight with dealship now to get them to machine rotors (free of charge). Otherwise the car is pleasant.

  • Nice Car - 2000 Toyota Camry Solara
    By -

    This has been a great car to Own. We have 4 months of winter, yet we use this as a winter car also. It handles great. We replaced our Audi 200 Quattro with this car. It does not have the great winter handling, since it does not have 4 wheel drive, but with snow tires on, it does very well with the traction control. The Boot that came with the car looks great, but is hard to put on, and has broken at the joint. Ive had to rivit it to use it.

  • OK but not great - 2006 Toyota Camry Solara
    By -

    Very good looking and comfortable. Navigation system is poor. Cannot use features when car is moving, i.e. change anything. Need to stop the car. Major flaw is that the chassis shakes like hell when going over bumps, cowl shake. Even the rear view mirror shakes. Dealer says convertibles do that. Ive had many previous ones and never experienced this before.

  • Problems... - 2004 Toyota Camry Solara
    By -

    From the beginning, the car pulled to the left. Toyota does not know how to fix. Also, Tire Gauge light does not turn off. Toyota does not know how to fix. Been in the dealer more than Ive driven it. Its a shame because its a beautiful car. Ive gotten lots of complements on it. Unfortunately, the dealer has not been very helpful. Instituted the Lemon Law. :(

  • 2008 Solara Sport Convertible - 2008 Toyota Camry Solara
    By -

    I did quite a bit of research and drove a number of convertibles before buying the Solara. All convertibles have "blind spots"... It is the nature of the car. I selected the Solara Sport convertible based on expected dependability (as per Consumer Reports, Edmunds, and Kelly Blue Book). I am not a "leather interior fan" and I liked the look/feel of the sport package fabric. The car has decent pick-up and provides acceptable MPG (I am getting about 24 combined so far, but I have less than 1,000 miles on the car, so I am hoping/expecting some improvement).

Toyota Camry Solara Reviews By Year:
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