Toyota Solara : Used

By Justin Pritchard
Toyota Solara : Used
History/Description: As an attempt to inject some fun and excitement into the Camry lineup, Toyota turned its reliable and well-loved sedan into the 2-door coupe or convertible Camry Solara, widely called simply “Toyota Solara.” Intended for shoppers after a more personal motoring experience, the 2nd-generation Solara debuted as a 2004 model, and has now transitioned into used-car territory.

2004 Toyota Camry Solara front 3/4 view
2004 Toyota Camry Solara (Photo: Toyota)

Look for 4 or 6-cylinder power with output of about 160 and 230 horsepower respectively, and automatic transmissions all around. All models were front-wheel drive. Feature content included a power and heated leather driver’s seat, traction control, automatic lights and climate control, auto-dimming rearview mirror, premium audio with CD changer and a full suite of power accessories.

Solara “SE” was the more basic model, while the “SLE” badge was worn by top-line models.

What Owners Like:
Most Solara owners rave about relatively generous trunk space, sharp looks, good gas mileage and an easy-to-use convertible top. A smooth ride and a comfortable interior round out the package. Of course, on convertible models, owners enjoy a relatively affordable and sensible way to take in topless motoring.

What Owners Dislike:
Most owners say the Solara is more set up for touring than sportiness — and that handling is less than inspiring. A few owners also report squeaks and rattles as the car ages.

Common Issues With A Used Toyota Camry Solara: Checking out a Solara Convertible? Be sure to inspect the roof mechanism thoroughly. Rips, tears, abrasions and duct-tape patches are all bad signs. Inspect the area where the roof stores for signs of rust, mildew or moisture, which could indicate a leak. Bring the model to a coin-operated spray-and-wash and soak it aggressively to inspect for water leaks. Some owners have reported leaks through the convertible top, as well as a tendency for water collected on the roof to drip into the cabin when the doors are opened.

2004 Toyota Camry Solara interior
2004 Toyota Camry Solara (Photo: Toyota)

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