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2004 Toyota Solara



  • pzevpzev Posts: 807
    I agree. If they want to force paint sealant and rustproofing on their cars, that's their choice and it's my choice to take it or leave it. It's like paying above MSRP for the latest and hottest car. Some people simply won't do it, others are willing to do it. If no one was doing it then dealers would stop charging more than MSRP. I'm not arguing this. What I'm saying is that even the customer with some knowledge has to work around this at every dealer. This isn't just one dealer, every dealer in an entire region is doing this. Which brings me back to my question. If someone was to order a car then are they qualified to receive a current rebate that the cars on the lot get? If they can, and you can order exactly what you want from these distributors without having to take any accessories or packages AND receive the rebates or special financing AND be able to haggle on it as if it was sitting on the lot then I have no problem. The question is is this scenario possible?
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    Two options:
    1. Go accross state borders into a neighboring state that sells Toyotas without the ToyoGuard pkg.
    2. Buy a competitior's car. (e.g instead of Camry LE, how about Altima 2.5S or Accord LX?)
    The rebates on the Toyota cars probably don't apply to the custom orders, as does the low financing. The reason they offer these in the first place is to move cars on dealer lots- the ones with the ToyoGuard pkg.
  • carperscarpers Posts: 8

    Regarding your "build your own", I'd LOVE to be able to add the SE Sport suspension option to a SLE. I'm sure you could do it afterwards at very great expense since it's probably a swap of springs, struts and sway bars, but could we get this done at the factory where the incremental cost should theoretically not be as much?
  • blaneblane Posts: 2,017
    I just visited my local Toyota dealership and inspected the 2004 Solara. The interior is very nice, but that Hyundai Tiburon exterior rear styling just doesn't cut it for me. The Solara looks and feels huge too, a step backwards in my opinion.
  • 94supra94supra Posts: 32
    I also find many of the distributor options to be very undesirable. The best way to get an idea of what is available is to look at one of the dealer web sites that provides a regional search feature. I did it yesterday and I found that about half of the 04 Solaras in the southeast did not have ToyoGuard. I have bought cars including the package in the past, but I always let the dealer know that I am not going to pay $600 for that option. I really find some of the other distributor installed options to be even poorer values or less desirable and I just make sure to factor them into any purchase decision. Nobody is forcing anyone to buy these cars!
  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Posts: 932
    Tiburon tail on the new Solara? I just don't see it! If anything, it's the SC430.
  • jrp6977jrp6977 Posts: 87
    I went to the Honda website and did a competitive comparison of the EXV6 and the SLE. Interestingly, when you bring up comparison, the only SLE model you get is the 4cylinder. Even at that, the Honda compares worse than I thought. I bet the Honda designers are sweating. As an Accord coupe owner, I certainly hope they are. They deserve to sweat after screwing up the Accord coupe. Kudos to Toyota for the job on the Solara. The droopy butt and tailights are a bit iffy, but come of better in person than in photos.
  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Posts: 932
    There was a Cosmic Blue SE Sport at the dealer today. Wow! It does look better in person. It's very sleek and sporty. The camera tends to goof up this car's "look."
  • coupercouper Posts: 7
    Yesterday I was driving past the local Toyota dealer and spotted a black SLE 2004 out front. I have a 2001 SLE now with 0 problems since new, so I thought I should stop and check out the new one. First impressions are this a big car, they had an '03 right next to it, and it look dwarfed. Secondly it almost appears to be trying too hard to be "stylish". I'm not sure I like it or not but it does look a lot like it could be the Tiburon's big brother. Third the sunroof was way misaligned. The right rear corner was at least 1/4 inch low, the left rear corner a little low and the front basically even. I'm surprised they put this out to be seen. I'd like to sit in one and drive it along with following discussions on how the quality is holding up before I decide if I want to "move up". As good as Toyota quality is, it appears to be not what it used to be.
  • pzevpzev Posts: 807
    Well isn't that just great. The customer that buys a Corolla off the lot with the ToyoGuard package can pretty much use a $500 rebate to pay for it, and the customer who orders one to avoid it doesn't get the $500 rebate so he's no better off than the guy who used the rebate to pay for the useless extras. Can't win either way can you? Sure there are cars on the lot without any extras, but most of the time it doesn't have the options you want or the right color. I think you summed it up pretty much, either go to a state outside the region or buy a different brand.
  • jjgittesjjgittes Posts: 54
    What are the prices like on the SE 6 cyl. non-sport at the dealerships? None of the dealerships around me have one yet. If they actually sticker for about $21.5, seems like a nice car for the price.
  • tommyg12tommyg12 Posts: 158
    My wife and I visited our local dealer (SE Region) yesterday since the lot is closed on Sundays. You guys are right about pictures not doing the new Solara justice. The car looks great and hopefully will make a very nice convertible.

    Since we had time to kill we walked the lot in search of "Toyoguard" cars. Out of 68 cars on the front lot, 57 were toyogarbaged. The 11 non-tg cars consisted of a few Corollas, Celicas, but mainly 4runners. The four '04 Solaras that were sitting out were all optioned with TG among wheel locks, sunroof visors, etc. All options that should totally be up to the consumer.

    Maybe there ought to be a gripe thread for people that like Toyota cars but hate their regional tactics.

    By the way, the Toyoguard was listed as $699 and I have been told by two dealers that you do NOT have to have toyoguard to be eligible for a loaner car while having warranty work.

    And while I know this isn't the Corolla board, I cannot believe that cruise, abs, and side airbags are options and not one of the cars on the lot had these options, but they all had the Enkei wheels and BFG Skorcher tires though!
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    That's why they differentiate the trim levels SLE is Sport LUXURY edition as opposed to Sport Edition. We already went through this with the previous generation Solara. You can't have the auto climate control on the SE only on the SLE, you can't have the sport suspension on the SLE only the SE, etc, etc,..

    No, the Solara is not being recalled and neither is the Sienna. A recall is mandated by the government after people have been hurt or killed due to a problem on a vehicle. No one to our knowledge has been hurt or killed by this supposed "wrinkled" gas tank that in a "worst case scenario" may leak fuel and cause a fire if an ignition source is present. Toyota is voluntarily issuing a special service campaign to have these "faulty" gas tanks replaced at no cost to its owners. All of July's production and current Siennas being produced have this "new and improved" gas tank.
    Next topic please.
                     : )
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    How come one can't get a Solara SE Sport (either V6 or 4) with side curtain airbags and moonroof? That blows. Toyota is increasingly bizarre in the combos that are offered.

  • sbell4sbell4 Posts: 446
    it is a service campaign not a recall.
  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Posts: 932
    Well, I consider it a recall, being that Toyota is having them come back to the dealer for a fix. It's not a recall due to government intervention.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    Where do they stick the ToyoGuard badging? And since when did they raise the price to $699? Are they throwing in a set of Enkei wheels or what? All in all- just buy a Honda Civic if you're looking at the Corolla just to avoid the ToyoGuard. The reason the 4Runners might not have ToyoGuard is because owners want to get down and get dirty with their 4Runners and not have to worry about the car rusting on them because they got the rust-proofing.
  • pzevpzev Posts: 807
    I agree. $21,500 for an SE V6 with automatic sounds like a great deal. Of course at that price that's without any options. Not sure if many dealers are going to have any with no options, I would think Toyota would produce almost all of them with some sort of options. I guess someone can always order one with no options though.
  • maxamillion1maxamillion1 Posts: 1,467
    I think I will just go upstate and get a Corolla before I settle for the Civic. The Corolla is a far better small car IMO.
  • I saw a 2004 Solara during the now infamous blackout (Thursday) here in the NE. It was silver and absolutely gorgeous, the pictures absolutely DO NOT do this car justice.

    Don't know what model it was because it drove by going the opposite way (presumably test-driven as I was within a mile of the Toyota dealership), and I was surprised to see one cruising down the road. Much more awesome than the pictures lead you to believe!

    All I can say is WOW! Count me in for an SE Sport Edition V6 in either silver or black with smoked windows! What a sweet ride!
  • ksmanksman Posts: 8
    Has anyone seen the new Solara SLE in black with the dark interior? I saw it with the ivory leather interior but even though I liked the outside I didn't like the interior. I can't decide if I should wait and see it with the dark interior or just go for the silver car. If anyone has any thoughts if it looks too dark (black with grey int.) please post them. Thx.
  • mmrb02mmrb02 Posts: 2
    Hi, I'm just wondering if there is any info about the next generation Solara convertible. I love the styling and interior on the coupe, and am very interested to see how the convertible will look. Is there any pictures out?, and if not when can be expect them? Also, can anyone estimate a price or when that will that info be released? Any other info on the next generation solara convertible would also be appreciated.
  • tommyg12tommyg12 Posts: 158
    As far as I can tell there is no Toyoguard badging, you have to look on the window sticker.

    I'm not Corolla shopping as the Solara is going to look nice next to my Highlander if Toyota makes the convertible.

    However, maxamillion is correct. I used to think that the Civic and Corolla were very comparable. My neighbor traded her '02 Civic for a '04 Corolla S, and I am amazed at how much better the Corolla feels versus the Honda. Much more refined and feels like it should cost a lot more.

    Now that I have vented about Toyoguard, I will try and stay on the Solara subject now.
  • sbell4sbell4 Posts: 446
    How do you feel about Toyoguard? Do you feel like it is a good value or what? Please elaborate your feelings toward this product because I am on the fence on whether I should get it or not.
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    We have a black SLE in our showroom with the dark interior. This car is absolutely gorgeous! We had a lady look at it and commented the same, but unfortunately for her she needed a 4 door vehicle due to her handicapped child.
                             : )
  • pzevpzev Posts: 807
    I thought you were a dealer in the Gulf/SE region or at least had connections to the region. Either way I'll tell you why it's not a good value.

    Paint sealant and sealant cleaner - I would like to hear if anybody has a Toyota with this and one without and whether they notice any difference. To me I rather put my own wax or polymer sealant on rather than pay a lot of money for something that is probably no better. Put Liquid Glass or Klasse AIO or some other polymer sealant on your car every 6 months and you should be fine.

    Glass Etching - As stated above, it's possible to get this done for free, and if not a kit would run about $20.

    Fabric Protector - Plenty of low-cost options that would do the same thing. Not worth it.

    Undercoating/Sound Shield - Toyota already makes fairly quiet cars, if the sound shield does make any difference and somebody really wants it then they should simply haggle on that alone, not be forced to take it on 75% of the cars sitting on the lot. The undercoating/rustproofing stuff to me is worthless. The cars come from the factory already prepared in this area so no need to pay money for something Toyota already gives you. Also I've heard from some people that the rustproofing compared to another car without extra rustproofing actually rusted faster, and they were both used under the same conditions, climate, etc. As far as I can tell rustproofing is simply not worth it and I would actually not take it for free.

    Free oil change - Worth maybe $20?

    Free loaner with warranty work - As stated already, most dealers will do this for free anyway, and some brands build this into their regular warranty. Kind of a rip-off to even pay for this. A good dealer will do this for you anyway.

    And with an invoice price of $159 on all this, it's clear $600+ is a total rip-off. Even $300 is way too much. If someone just really wants this stuff, then the invoice price seems reasonable. The question is will the dealer roll over and give this stuff to you for invoice or will you have to haggle like crazy to get the price knocked down? And as I said, invoice is not dealer cost. And of course the region paid less than dealer cost, so I estimate they paid less than $100 to get this stuff put on a car, and that may mostly be the labor costs. Bottomline, it's a scam. If someone just really wants this stuff then the invoice price of $159 seems reasonable, but even then I think that's too much. There's nothing in this package that's worth anything in my opinion.

    And also there's the $525 "administration charge." Since I have no connections I have no idea what a dealer outside the regions is paying to Toyota over the usual stuff. This $525 charge is beyond destination charge and the other usual stuff. Add in the $40 extra freight charge and you have close to $600. So what extra charges are dealers in other regions paying? Are there true advertising charges that Toyota makes them pay? I don't know, so I can't say for sure if this "administration charge" is a total rip-off or not, but judging from everything else they pull I would say it is. Somebody would have to have connections to really know for sure. As a customer I don't know what's going on behind the scenes but on the surface it seems the Gulf/SE regions is ripping people off.
  • sbell4sbell4 Posts: 446
    it is just an optional package. I feel as if people buying Toyoguard keeps you up at night. I respectfully suggest we worry about world hunger and world peace a little more and Toyoguard a little less.

    Distributors admin fees...we don't have a TDA so what is the difference of a $575 admin fee or the rest of the countrys TDA being the equal if not more added to the invoice?

    It is OK not to want an option. It is OK to express your views, I respect that. But I hope you really are not that passionate about car packages and options.
  • jraysjrays Posts: 20
    Has anyone ever seen the Toyoguard package listed as an option on a USED vehicle?

    If a vehicle had the Toyoguard "option" when it was new then why isn't that same package valuable enough to be listed as an asset on a vehicle when it's sold again, whether it's a Toyota dealership or some other? Maybe I've missed them, but I don't believe I've ever seen this item listed on the option list for a used car at any dealership.

    Since we know this doesn't happen that pretty much sums it up for me that it's all "fluff" and total profit. Shame on you Toyota - you could do something about (if you wanted to).

    I have a 2000 Solara with no repairs since I bought it new. I would love to have a new 2004 Solara, but I would resist any attempt to pay more than a fair price - and the Toyoguard has no value to me and no place on any sticker associated with a company with quality vehicles like Toyota.

    'nuff said..
  • pzevpzev Posts: 807
    Read my other posts. I've stated a couple of times that if I'm wrong with what I'm saying then someone can feel free to correct me. You seem to have inside info about all this, so feel free to tell me where I'm going wrong. Almost everyone will tell you that rustproofing, paint sealant, etc. is a scam and not to buy it. Even Edmunds says this. In the FAQ section this is what they say.

    "15. Should I buy rustproofing, fabric protection packages, paint sealant, and other dealer-installed items?

    Of course not. Most new cars are covered against rust perforation for several years and up to 100,000 miles. Want to protect your fabric? Go to an auto parts store and buy a can or two of Scotchgard. New cars have clearcoat paint, which offers protection from the elements. A little elbow grease and a jar of carnauba wax will keep the finish protected and looking great. By investing a little time and effort into your automobile, you can save hundreds on these highly profitable dealer protection packages."

    Unfortunately most dealers will do whatever they can to try and get a customer to buy this stuff. But at least with other brands and regions you have a choice. The problem here is 75% of the cars are forced with this stuff on them. Can you just imagine if all Toyotas in all regions were forced with this stuff on them and charged extra by all these dealers? Lots of people would complain, not just me. I just want some of the people in here to realize that this package isn't worth it. If it's not a rip-off then feel free to educate us. This has gone off topic and doesn't belong in here so I'll let it go. But yes it does bother me that Toyota buyers in these regions are at a huge disadvantage compared to other Toyota buyers in other regions simply because most of the cars are forced with this stuff on it.
This discussion has been closed.