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Toyota Solara Convertible - 2004 and Newer

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  • hapunahapuna Posts: 16
    Similar to Tyresmoker, I have already ordered my convertible. I have ordered an Absolutely Red SLE with tan interior/top and the NAV system. Mine will be out of production March 22 - should arrive at the dealer in the beginning of April. I have a good relationship with the dealer, he had to do quite a bit of work to get the exact car. According to him, 1 out of every 20 will have the NAV system. In addition, most of the models arriving in the dealerships soon will have the stone/black combo. If you are interested in the light interior, place your orders now. With respect to pricing, I have put money down and did not care so much about the price - this order was placed mid-February.
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Posts: 266
    I have a very similar arrangement w/a good relationship with a local dealer. It is a navigation SLE Black and stone. My gut is telling me once this car is seen on the street, you will not be able to get one.
  • as do tyresmoker and hapuna, I have a prearranged agreement with my local dealer. I was given a general price and put a down payment on the car the second week in february, immediately after I saw the car at the auto show. as hapuna says, most of the cars are being made to prearranged specs, so if you want something specific, get in good with a dealer. I have ordered a SLE cosmic blue with dark stone interior, no Nav. The dealer actually called me the other day and said that he had one switched from black to cosmic blue. No exact date for arrival, but I'm hoping by the end of this month (I'm at the front of the list)
  • hapunahapuna Posts: 16
    Great to hear there are others out there ordering the vehicle. I think it will be a hot item. Couple of questions:

    1. I am switching from a Benz SLK230 to the Solara and I am not used to the soft top. In the pictures of the Solara, you see that cover over the top when the top is down. Is that something you put on manually? Anyone know?

    2. Has anyone seen brochures specifically on the convertible? It is still hard to find specifics on the car (i.e. the Toyota site, auto mags).

    I am really looking forward to getting this car. I know there are mixed reviews on the design, but after seeing it at the Chicago Auto Show, I am convinced that this is a well-designed car. Much improved over prior years - I would not have even considered it before.
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Posts: 266
    If you search around the Solara boards there is a link to 32 press photos with the car in various "poses"...I actually based my purchase of the car on these photos as the ones on the Toyota.com site are really poor..I am glad to hear you say that the car looks really good in person.
    Back to the photos.. a few show the car with the top folded in the boot w/o a soft toneau..my assumption..it is a soft boot cover that will store nicely in the garage. My dealer (talked to him yesterday) says there is still no info, he has my production date and anticipated arrival. Will have the vin by next week.
    I am rolling the dice on this: as the "actual" cars show up on the allocation sheets, I am hoping I can get a better idea as to the color availability..we will see what happens...Still not quite ragtop weather here in New England..so if we have to wait a few weeks, we will..
  • sazaman1sazaman1 Posts: 22
    are you reserving the first-in models at MSRP?
  • kenitzerkenitzer Posts: 19
    My 17 yr. old son can take his test for his drivers license in August. He will inherit my Honda CRV and I will be looking for a new vehicle. I had been planning on getting a 01 or 02 Saab 9-3 Convertible until I saw the Solara. I am now leaning strongly towards the Solara. I drive 25,000 miles a year and need something that will go 150,000-200,000 miles and will be very reliable and dependable, hence my interest in the Toyota. I really like the look of the Solara, I only wish they made the SLE with a 5 or 6 spd manual, as opposed to the automatic. I am hoping by August or September that the newness will have worn off some and that dealers will have several to choose from on their lots. Also by early fall, people aren't quite excited about convertibles. Around here, the dealers have between 12 and 20 of the Solara coupes on their lot, and are offering incentives. Also, by waiting I might be able to get a deal an 04 or pick up one of the first 05 models.
  • cooldad24cooldad24 Posts: 162
    Please try this one: http://www.conceptcarz.com/folder/vehicle.asp?car_id=7849&pri- ntAllPictures=&whichPage=&pagesize=&autoshowID=&v- ehicleTypeID=0

    I can't tell how the soft top being covered. Like a cover will be raised and drop back when the top is up and down.
  • Sounds like the hype is building. I guess I'll have to put off any purchase of the Solara Convertible till much later.

    I refuse to pay MSRP+ or accept some other color/interior combo that I don't want. I understand the "buzz" and it's going to be popular car, deservedly so. Still it sounds like one of those cases where it may be a good idea to take a deep breath and relax.

    It's been 18 years since I bought my last new car. I think I can wait another year for the burn off. :-)
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Posts: 266
    I was crunching some numbers last night using the production numbers from this weeks Automotive News. Currently, the Solara is running at a 42k annual production rate. Toyota is forcasting upto 25% of production dedicated to the ragtop. That is about 10k units per year. For comparison, the 2004 Thunderbird is running at a 10.8k annual rate.
    What's my point? It will be a very long while- prehaps never, that these cars will be stacked up and heavily discounted...Or even discounted at all.
    In the Northeast, the last generation ragtop was very rare, and usually sold at sticker or above for its entire production run. Also, the first generation recieved warm reviews at best, being a true "hack job", with ASC doing the conversion. They certainly do the best they can do, but the first generation was not designed to have its roof sawed off, so there only so much one can do to an external structure.
    Take a look on Autotrader, do a nationwide search for a first generation convertible, first, note the lack of NATIONWIDE inventory, also note the asking prices. Simple supply and demand economics.
  • kenitzerkenitzer Posts: 19
    When the time comes to buy, I am not expecting a big discount, but a few hundred or more would be reasonable. We will just have to see. I was under the impression that production of the convertible was going to be higher than the previous convertible, simply because it will be easier to produce with the new production methods at the Georgetown assembly plant.
  • ashutoshsmashutoshsm Posts: 1,007
    Landed here out of curiosity, and I must say - this latest frumpy, chubby, overweight Thunderbird knock-off is even uglier than the source!

    (I won't be back - just mentioning how much I dislike this design. And yes, its all very subjective and individual - just expressing an opinion.)
  • hapunahapuna Posts: 16
    I am not really sure what value msg #43 has - this is obviously a forum for people who are interested in the car or learning more about it. As noted, design is a very subjective trait and I think, having seen the car at the Chicago Auto Show, the design is much improved over prior years and will attract attention in the marketplace.

    Has anyone heard when these cars will start rolling into dealerships? I know my actual order will not arrive until April, but I would like to see one even before that. Any other updates?
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Posts: 266
    agree with your point about the posting, I think the term "troll" is used for posters like that...Anyway, I spoke with my dealer yesterday, he says ours will definitely be in before the end of the month. He is a bit frustrated..still no pricing (offical) there is pricing on kbb, but it is incomplete.
    Anyway, we looked at dk stone at a local dealer (in a coupe) and it looks pretty good with black so we are going to take it. Dealer had a good point, chances are a black car with a tan interior will usually come with a tan roof (yuk)..especially early in the production run. As soon as I know more, I will post it.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    Is the info up already? Wonder when Toyota will update the Solara minisite.
  • jeffceejeffcee Posts: 12
    Dealer called today and said my Solara sle convertible is in transit and should arrive Wed or Thurs. I plan to pick it up on Saturday. I got the red with slate interior, stability control and no navagation.
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Posts: 266
    what part of the country are you from? How long ago did your dealer get the vin #?
    Toyota is really being quiet with this intro...
  • jeffceejeffcee Posts: 12
    I live in the Chicago area but bought in SE Wisconsin which is less than an hour away from me. Not really sure how long they had the VIN as my first contact with the dealership was on Monday. I went through the internet sales department. The whole proccess took less than 20 minutes and so far I think it will be a very smooth transaction. I have purchased two other cars from different dealers this way with no problems.
  • hapunahapuna Posts: 16
    I am in Chicago as well - still not expecting my order until early April. Gives me time to try and sell my SLK230. I think Toyota's approach is too subtle - they should update the website and make brochures readily available. The current strategy is too stealth-like.

    I ordered mine from my local dealership and have not heard anything recently from the salespeople.
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Posts: 266
    totally agree, my contact at the dealership (actually the owner) called this one almost to the tee. Figured he would have pricing/vin info just as the car was arriving out front...Still cold here, can wait a few more weeks...trying to off an '00 Passat V6 5-speed...
  • hapunahapuna Posts: 16
    Very exciting to hear yours is arriving so quickly. Be sure to keep us posted as you get the car and your initial thoughts. Really anxious to see one of these in a dealership.

    Anybody know how the JBL system has been received? From what I've read, most everything on the '04 Solara seems well received and reviewed - good quality vehicle. The only hang-up I have is with the manual tonneau cover. But that is minor.
  • andy71andy71 Posts: 96
    I think Toyota should make a convertible Lexus version of the Solara and name it SC330. Is there any possibility it would happen? If they can keep the price under 40G's I am there.
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Posts: 266
    They do, it is called a Solara convertible and it is $10g cheaper...what could they possibly add to the Solara to justify the price increase? If you need the brand...well that is a different discussion...
  • andy71andy71 Posts: 96
    How about the superb Mark Levinson sound system found across the Lexus line? The JBL sound system available in the Camry can't hold a candle against the ML. How about variable adaptive suspension system? I know these two features are not available in any Toyota vehicles.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Keep dreaming. Theres a reason why those features are found on Lexus and not Toyota models.

    ~alpha
  • howiebxhowiebx Posts: 20
    Anyone know how much it costs?
    Looks like "hapuna" snagged one?
    Would you mind sharing the cost / feature info?
    thx
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Posts: 266
    yeah, a superb balanced sound system for a car with no roof...
    Pricing is available @kbb. It does not look complete though (there is no listing for nav.) Dealers just got pricing. I spoke with mine on Friday, ours has a list of $32145.00. From what I understand, it has every option available. He is still saying we will be driving it by the end of the month...
  • hapunahapuna Posts: 16
    I do not know the exact price of my vehicle - I am assuming it will cost me between $32k and $34k (this includes the NAV). I have not communicated with my dealer in a while, I am thinking it might be in before Easter.

    As for the Lexus/Toyota comparison, obviously, they have to differentiate between the two lines - we shouldn't expect a Toyota to have all the details of a Lexus - Lexus owners pay a premium for those extras. I think the redesigned Solara Convertible is extremely well equipped and appointed - it's on the higher end of the Toyota family.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    just like the Avalon, Sienna XLE, Camry XLE V6, and Solara SLE V6.
  • Looking for a conv SLE...but many dealers in my area seem to be in the dark regarding prices and availability....except for one, who is one of the largest dealers on the east coast. That dealer was looking to charge a $2K premium.

    Anyone else have any luck with ordering an SLE with out a premium?
    Thanks
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