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Toyota Camry Solara Prices Paid and Buying Experience



  • I am planning to buy a Certified 2006 Solara SLE V6 coupe in a nearby dealership, online price was 16k. This is my first time to buy a car and I'd just like to have your insight as to whether this is a reasonable deal. The car has 59K miles on it, has been serviced twice and had a single owner based on the carfax report. I am planning to head down to the dealer in a few days and was wondering how low I can bargain, since I really don't have any experience buying a car. I have financing from my credit union so I have wiggle room in that area. Any input will be greatly appreciated
  • We've decided on a convertible and our choices are down to a 2007 Solara SLE, or a 2007 Saab 9-3. Here in Ohio we seem to have a good supply of both.

    The Solara is: Red with Gray leather, Nav, 27k miles. pristine condition (I looked at a 2008 that was not as clean inside and out) - clean Carfax (but no service records), Dealer is asking $23,900 which I think is a little high.

    Saab 9-3's with similar miles and also in great condition run $4-5K lower in price. I know the reliability won't be a good as the Solara, and it will depreciate like a rock with the latest GM troubles, but it is fun to drive and the hard boot is such a clean look.

    What do you think?
  • How long do you typically keep your cars? Repair costs on the Saab will likely eat up that $4-5K difference in a few years. Also, my '06 Solara vert has a hard boot ~ but I don't use it! It is a pain to take on & off and bulky to store in the trunk. I'm not familiar with the boot on the Saab ~ if it is any more user-friendly. I do know that more than a few times I have had the roof down on a beautiful day, and have had to suddenly close it due to a rainshower. I'd hate to have to mess with a boot...
    Dealer might have wiggle room... esp these days. But if it is in such good shape, w/Nav..., sounds like a fair deal. My '06 SLE was a demo w/1800 miles on it (but classified as new), w/Nav, red/camel, & we paid almost $27K - and were lucky to get it. The '07s have better visibility due to the donut hole in the rear headrests; I'm sure the resale will be much better with the Solara.
    Just my H.O.
  • We tend to keep our cars a long time, and we have kids so the big back seat in the Solara is wonderful. I'm leaning toward the Solara - but trying to justify the extra $$$ now (vs. spending it over time repairing the Saab). The two complaints I read about the Solara are visibility (but we also have a old pickup truck with cap so we both know how to drive with zero rear visibility), and also cowl shake - is it bad enough to bother you? Isn't that the price of having a convertible - a little shake over bumps? Interestingly I don't hear people complaining about squeaks and rattles - meaning despite the shake they seem to live up to the usual high Toyota build standards.
  • Absolutely right! Cowl shake is the price one pays for 'topless' fun :blush:
    The other minor annoyance is the absence of drip moldings (due to the rag top) - so when it rains, and you have to open the window or out! You get a little wet...
    I have a small towel permanently stuffed under my seat :P

    No squeaks and/or other rattles noticed yet... and the visibility issue IS real - when the top is up. Sounds like you can handle that one just fine... and as I mentioned before, the 2007 was the first year with holes in the rear headrests to at least somewhat address the issue.

    I don't believe I have ever seen a Saab vert, so can't comment on the "look" ~ but the rear leg room in the Solara is a definite plus ~ as is the large trunk! When we were looking, we noticed that in many verts, the retracted roof took up most of the trunk space... So, just another thing to think about!

    Good luck deciding ~ not easy, is it??? :confuse:
  • If I were you I would definately go with the Solara. I've owned mine now for 4 years and have had no problems and the Toyota name is much more recognized than the Saab. Money wise the Solara will pay for itself with less repairs versus the Saab.
  • Just noticed post #273... they bought a Solara vert - and previously had a Saab!

    Don't know if you read that post... so I thought I'd let you know ~ add to the decision confusion! :cry:
  • We are considering a 4cyl Solara SLE coupe for our son, replacing an 02 SE coupe totaled in an accident (the other drivers' fault, fortunately!)

    This is a 4 cyl, so no timing belt, has around 90k miles - new (last 6 mos) tires and brakes.

    Are there any other things we should look for when we check the car out? I am strongly considering taking it to a Toyota dealership for pre sale inspection, as we did with the last one.

    Another ? - this car doesn't have remote entry (the lady selling it doesn't have remotes, she thinks the person she bought the car from never gave them to her) - but has power locks - can we buy remotes and program them to use?
  • The dealer just called - the red / gray 2007 SLE w/ nav and 27k miles has dropped to $23k. hmmmmm
  • The 4 cyl. engine is one of the best Toyota engines ever built. My mechanic tells me they are virtually bullit proof and has seen many with over 300,000 miles and still running strong. Mine only has 80,000 on it with no repairs to date. With respect to the door remote I bought mine from an ebay seller for just 14.00 with all the necessary instructions. Forget paying 100.00 from a dealer!
  • Hmmmm...."how low can they go?" (with apologies to The Limbo Song... :P)
    Are you a good poker bluffer???
  • Ok, it is a done deal. I am the proud owner of a Red 2007 Solara convertible SLE, with gray leather, and Nav. So far (ok so it has only been a few days) it is the nicest car I have ever owned. I'm considering those blind spot round mirrors to make it easier for my wife. otherwise it is fantastic.

    Thanks for all your advice.
  • CONGRATS, kfish2!!!!
    Have fun figuring out your Nav system... it took me awhile, but I don't leave home without it now!! :P
    I never thought about those mirrors... keep us posted on how they work!
  • I'm in the market for the 2008 sle solara convertible. I expect many to come back to the dealers on lease return. I calculate that these people paid around 17000 plus for that car already. Do you think I'm being realistic by offering $17,000 to the dealer to buy the car now? I'll probably finance $10,000.
    Thank you for your opinion.
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