Toyota Camry Solara Prices Paid and Buying Experience

Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
edited September 2014 in Toyota
Share your Camry Solara purchase experience here.


  • ezshift5ezshift5 Member Posts: 858
    ....California State Auto [non-permissible content removed]'n has a buying service arrangement with certain dealers who satisfy "criteria"...........

    At any rate, the out the door price (Here in the 'golden' state we have tax, license and a documentation fee) of just under 25k. Dealer is in Placerville.

    SE-V6 optional side air bags, 16-inch alloys, power seat, JBL AM-FM/CD/Cassette and rear spoiler. No sunroof, leathor or automatic.
  • kartman0kartman0 Member Posts: 17
    On Saturday, I sent requests for quotes to six (6) Toyota dealerships in North Georgia. I stated the interest in buying a 2004 Toyota Camry Solara SE V6 (non-Sport) with floor/trunk mats and in one of two colors (Black or Oceanous Blue). I also stated that no other options would be entertained unless unbilled.

    The MSRP/Invoice/TMV for the car and options are:

    $21450/$19304/$20330 for SE V6
    $184/$112/$146 for floor/trunk mats option
    $21634/$19416/$$20476 for car plus option

    So, I made an offer of $20,500 not inclusive of the Tax, Tag, and Title, nor the deliver (destination) charge, and I stated my purchase timeframe was within two weeks, but the better the offer the sooner the purchase.

    Well, the cheapest counter-offer was over $22,900 for a vehicle that I clearly did not want. Not only was it not in either of the two colors I was looking for, but not in the option I wanted.

    At this point in time I am under the impression that the Toyota dealerships around me are not interested in selling a customer a vehicle 'they want', but rather a vehicle 'they don't want'. At no time did any of those the replied to my email offer to locate the desired vehicle.

    So, should I conclude this is a behavior to be expect in general of all dealerships in this day and age, just Toyota dealerships in my area, or just something I am not recognizing?

    I do understand that a floor sales person should sell what inventory is on-hand, but with a dealership's Internet sales people I would think they could put a little effort and at least attempt to find the vehicle the customer is desiring and not a vehicle the customer isn't desiring.

    Do Toyota Camry Solara SE V6 with trunk mats actually exist? There is such a thing as compromise, but their replies offer no compromise that I can see.
  • jschambergerjschamberger Member Posts: 32
    Have you gone to Toyota's website to build they vehicle you want to see if you can get the car with just those options?

    When I built my SE Sport, the only way I could have the extra floor mats and trunk mat was if I got the moonroof.

    Unfortunately, many places won't let you pick and choose exact options you want (from my experience).

    Your offer wasn't too outrageous... MSRP for my Solara was just under $25 and I got it for just over $21... If I were you I'd take a personal trip to the dealership and sit down to negotiate with them.

    Just remember, YOU are the customer... if they want to sell you the car bad enough... they will. If you don't get what you want... thank them for their time and walk away... there's always more dealerships! :)
  • kartman0kartman0 Member Posts: 17

    Yes, I have. The problem is that the Southeastern Toyota dealerships are completely different than elsewhere in the country. They place their own options on the vehicle and these are options that don't even correspond to those listed in the brochure. This only further aggravates the problem.

    BTW, my emails only went out after I got home from being at the dealerships. They were not willing to move off the dealer listed price, which is a far cry from the manufacturer's MSRP.

    I just don't think they are interested in selling a car to someone stubborn and willing to wait. There are too many gullible fish to sell these cars at outlandish prices.

    Its just seems like an impossible aspect of trying to buy what an automaker made rather than what a dealership thinks was made. This is completely different from when I negotiated for my wife current car in 1995 and my truck in 2001. The environment seems more catered to the seller than the buyer.
  • jratcliffejratcliffe Member Posts: 233
    Try - they claim they'll sell you that car in the Atlanta area for $20,123 including destination charge. It's a Carsdirect price, not a "target" price, so I think the deal would happen through them.
  • kartman0kartman0 Member Posts: 17
    Wow, its been a couple of years since I looked for a car, and at that time CarsDirect looked to be going out of business. Lemme go have a look!
  • swan898swan898 Member Posts: 15
    We contacted the nearest dealer,30 miles away in a small town. We told him what we wanted.He hadn't seen one yet but would do a search. He called back and said they are limited and asking a premium of a couple grand. His search ended up in Montana,we are on the coast of Wash. That was a Sport in a diff color. I called all dealers in a 200 mi area. Found just what we wanted 100 miles away from that dealer. Learned dealers hide certain models from search.They are in short supply here in the NW.We pd $24k incld $485 ship,
  • sbell4sbell4 Member Posts: 446
    Solara SE V6 model 2738

    Base Invoice......18661
    Admin (TDA for the rest of the country)...575
    Floor mats and cargo mat...166.10

    Invoice Total.....20610.60

    All of the Solara SE V6 are also coming in with the SZAT conv. Package which is 933. If you do not want this package it would have to be ordered and could take 30-45 days for delivery. You need to base your offer off of this info and you shouldn't have any problems gettingthe color and price you are looking for.
  • kartman0kartman0 Member Posts: 17
  • wilcoxwilcox Member Posts: 582
    ...1996 Crapery LE V-6, purchased at WestSide Toyota (Team Toyota)....very satisifed! Good luck.
  • jschambergerjschamberger Member Posts: 32
    Western Virginia

    Toyota Solara SE Sport V6

    Moonroof and floor/trunk mats option

    $21,500 plus tax, title, license

    -Salesman wasn't too bad... he was a younger guy (like me... mid-twenties) and I knew more about cars than he did so I think he knew he couldn't feed me any BS.
  • dvivinodvivino Member Posts: 8
    jschamberger said:
    "Toyota Solara SE Sport V6
    Moonroof and floor/trunk mats option
    $21,500 plus tax, title, license"

    This is strange. Here is the invoice price for that config:
    Base: 20,649
    Dest: 515
    Moonrf: 720
    Mats: 112
    Total: 21,996. Throw in the unavoidable dealer advertising of $549 and you're at $22,545. I don't think they're selling these cars for $1,000 under invoice. Am I missing something?
  • jschambergerjschamberger Member Posts: 32
    Don't know... the sticker off my car says:


    All I know is the price I signed for was $21,500 plus tax, title, and license. Who knows... maybe the dealer needed to sell a new Solara. My car was built in August... got to the dealer on August 30th... sat on the lot until Sept. 21 when I bought it. I was the first person to buy a new Solara at their dealership (so they say).

    Maybe they gave it to me for cheap because they knew they could screw me on my trade. I had a 97 Grand Prix GTP in MINT condition (maybe a few dings here an there) within only 87K miles on it and they only gave me $4300 for it. I stopped back to the dealership a week later and they had it advertised for nearly $9K! Someone bought it a week after that... not sure how much they paid for it though???
  • theflowtheflow Member Posts: 98
    i live in N.CA and the dealer offered me carsdirect price ($27,6xx)for an SLE V6 with Nav, side & curtain airbags, slip control, rear spoiler, special paint for white exterior (rip off from toyota), floor & trunk mat (big rip off from toyota), trunk net (another big rip off from toyota). dealer not willing to take out the mat and net because they came from the factory.

    jschamberger: just curious, what makes you get rid of the pontiac and switch to a japanese car? i still see my POS 2001 Civic selling on the dealer's website. I cannot get rid of it in months and I hope the dealer is having a hard time getting rid of that POS too.
  • jschambergerjschamberger Member Posts: 32
    I got rid of my Grand Prix because for three reasons...

    1- It had a small water leak in it that I couldn't find... and whenever it rained the passenger side front and rear floorboard would get soaked (started happening about 3 months before I got rid of it... a major PITA to clean!)

    2- As you may or may not be aware Pontiac loves to use tons of cheap plastic parts in their cars and as the car ages it rattled all the time... drove me nuts.

    3- It seemed to start depreciating (spelling???) faster and faster lately (wonder if it had something to do with the new model of Grand Prix coming out) that I wanted to get the most I could out of it.

    I have a new job that requires me to travel quite a bit. I wanted something that was 100% reliable, smooth, quiet ride, and had a sweet looking interior. The Solara did it for me.

    I will admit that I do miss the POWER of my Grand Prix... I modified the engine and exhaust a little and pushed the horsepower up to around 280 (at the crank). I loved hearing that supercharger whine!!!! If you want to know what it sounds like... rent the movie "The Italian Job"... whenever it shows chase scenes with Charlize Theron... the sound of her engine was just like an engine with a supercharger whine... greatest sound on earth! :)
  • cooldad24cooldad24 Member Posts: 163
    The cargo net is standard in SLE V6. You shouldn't be charged on that. If they did, ask them to refer the catalog and Toyota web site and refund the money.
  • theflowtheflow Member Posts: 98
    thanks cooldad.

    i just realized toyota has their pricing list for extended warranty on their website. called the dealer to see if they're willing to meet the MSRP on the extended warranty price before i cancel the contract. still waiting for them to call me back.

    for those that are interested in purchasing extended warranty, make sure you go to Toyota Financial Services and get an idea how much the extended warranty costs before negotiating with the dealerships.
  • bitnoj1bitnoj1 Member Posts: 17
    Who's offering the best deals on 04 solaras in the Chicago area? Is $500 over invoice doable?
  • theflowtheflow Member Posts: 98
    Just checked the price sticker on my car. They didn't charge for the trunk net.

    Regarding the extended warranty, dealer agreed to give me some coupons or vouchers for the differences between the amount I paid and the quote I got from another dealership. I can use it for parts or services at that dealership. Just hope that they won't close their door in the next few years. But I think by looking at how they rip ppl off, it'll be difficult for them to go BK.

    Why the heck do we have to buy a car through dealerships? Can't the manufacturer set up something so we can buy from them directly?
  • webguysterwebguyster Member Posts: 434
    Minimum 3 percent under invoice and expect a cargo net and floormats free, maybe wheel locks too. Otherwise walk, and wait until the end of the month when the dealers and slaesmen need to make their quotas. Go to Schaumburg Toyota outside Chicago as they are the largest volume dealer. Extended warranty should br 50 percent of retail.
  • joey_bjoey_b Member Posts: 5
    Solara SLE V6
    w/option group VS,GY,RF plus Carpet Mats

    $27,944 MSRP
    $24,980 Internet Quote
       $103 Below Invoice
  • joey_bjoey_b Member Posts: 5
    I have a question about dealer locate fees and vehicle delivery.

    After getting a great online quote on a new Solara, my dealer offered to locate the exact color and option combo I was looking for. He quickly found what I wanted (looked it up while I was on the phone) and the vehicle is now on it's way to my dealership. My questions are...

    What is reasonable for a locate fee on a car like the Solara? $0, $50, $100, $300?

    I was told my car will be transported by a "driver" to my dealership and may have some distance on it. How many miles is reasonable on a dealer-to-dealer delivery and should it affect the price?

    This is the first time I've had a dealer "locate" a vehicle for me. Even with the fee, the quote was still a great deal. But I'm concerned this car may have up to 300 miles on it. Is it something to be concerned about?
  • cooldad24cooldad24 Member Posts: 163
    It should be from $50-$150 depends on the area and cost of labor. I got mine for $80 but waived by the dealer. The car is 30 miles away so it's not too bad. You may ask the dealer for the distance then decide if the fee and mileage are acceptable. Good luck!
  • billmahanbillmahan Member Posts: 68
    Maybe Cliffy, or someone, can lend some insight on this. I sent out requests for a price on a new SLE V6 fully loaded. First dealership called and said they would make the deal for only $500 over Edmund's invoice price. That was less than 2% over and I thought that was pretty good. So I asked the dealer to fax me the specs and prices. The car, except for a few minor details, was what I had specified. This is what I got back:

    Dealer Profit: $500
    Dealer Advertising: $325
    Gas: $6
    Dealer Holdback: $519
    Whs Financial Reserve: $259

    All totaled the amount over invoice is $1609, not $500 as the salesman stated over the phone. I realize the VDA (advertising) is common, but I clearly stated that I wanted to know what the TOTAL price would be above dealer invoice, not counting tax, title and license. And I've never even heard of WHS Financial Reserve. Can anyone tell me what that is and is it a legitimate fee?

    I'm not saying the $1600 over Edmund's price is outrageous, but it will be interesting to see what other offers I get. I'd feel a lot better if they just told me $1600 in the first place. It would save everyone a lot of time.

    Can anyone tell me what Financial Reserve at $259 is and what you think of the other charges? Thanks.
  • cooldad24cooldad24 Member Posts: 163
    They just place all possible charge in the quote in case they decide to add it. Usually the dealer like you to go to their site to discuss the price. Check if they have fleet department hat also cover internet deal. I now never call ththe te rep in sales department for the quote! They are tend to play the trick to you. Believe me, there have different attitude.
  • cafastlanecafastlane Member Posts: 11
    Hi! I'm from SoCal and am planning to buy the 04 SE Sport Solara in either black or oceanus blue (?). I talked to my parents and we want to pay in full for the car, but I've never bought a car before and my parents aren't fluent in English. Can anyone please give me some tips on what to expect? And also, is asking $22k (give or take) too little for the trim I want?
  • badjurabadjura Member Posts: 26
    Bought my new 2002 Solara SE 2.4 in the summer of 2003 and paid CAD $26275 - List was $28175 and $1025 freight /PDI for a total of $29200. Toyota has a program in Canada (Access Toyota) like Saturn does - they tell you what to pay and you accept it, or you don't get it. Couple of months earlier I watched a guy $29200 for a 2003 which is the exact same car but a year later. Easist car purchase I ever made - walked in, told them what I wanted to pay, and drove it away. According to (we have to pay for such info here), the dealercost for a 2002 was $25800. The insurance is cheap as they list it as a Camry and its a couple of years old with only 5K that i have put on the odometer. The 04 just doesn't do it for me
  • cooldad24cooldad24 Member Posts: 163
    I assume you are asking for V6 SE. If you shop around, in So CAL you may find 22K would get you the trim you want. Use online quoting services (more than one) to find as much as possible and then check with any hidden cost such as Advertising fee or markup. If you want to call them, ask to talk to Fleet dept. which in charge internet deals and willing to get you better price since they are not rely on commission mostly. Good luck!
  • cafastlanecafastlane Member Posts: 11
    Thx so much! I'll try out your suggestions.
  • mackabeemackabee Member Posts: 4,709
    Since when does a car with over 70k miles on the clock, "dings here and there", water leaking into the interior, etc, etc, qualify for "MINT" condition??
                  ; )
  • inkwretchinkwretch Member Posts: 5
    I really, REALLY like the Solara, but am concerned about rear seat comfort and accessibility. I was originally planning to buy the '04 Camry, top of the line w/leather, and then I saw the Solara. So now I'm torn!

    I work from home and mostly drive alone or with my husband (no kids). While I am still in good shape physically (in my mid-40s), some of my occasional passengers are elderly, and my 75-year-old mother-in-law is also very short.

    We live in Southern California, and since this will be our household's official errand-running car, I am also concerned about the length of the doors in cramped parking spaces, which seem to shrink every year and in direct proportion to the number of SUV-drivers that can't park their vehicles properly.

    Are either of these big enough deals to drive me back into a Camry? Or have you been pleasantly surprised by the rear seat access/comfort and the door length and weight.
  • ral2167ral2167 Member Posts: 791
    if you intend to carry passengers-- go with a 4 door-- especially elderly passengers.

    personally, i'd go with the 4 door accord ex-L with navigation and XM radio-- 4cylinder has plenty of get up and go--- for around $24000- $24500 (msrp at $26700 or so) , but the camry is a nice car too.
  • ral2167ral2167 Member Posts: 791
    does XM radio come standard on the 4 cylinder SLE??? thanks
  • inkwretchinkwretch Member Posts: 5
    Will take a look at that Accord, tho that's what I am replacing, and kind of wanted to try something new.

  • david2david2 Member Posts: 12
    SLE V6
    side airbags/curtain
    vehicle skid control
    rear spoiler
    carpeted mats.

    MSPR about 27914
    Internet price is 25714.

    I think it was OK. But since I used to quote for a new passat GLX V6 Passat for about $26000. So I guess sometime dealers do sale cars far below invoice. Will this happen to the solara?

  • david2david2 Member Posts: 12
    Does Solara have any?

  • cards28cards28 Member Posts: 145
    What info can anyone give me on this car before buying? Pros and Cons, things like that.

    I'm new to this site, so I'll go back and read some of the previous posts.

  • sazaman1sazaman1 Member Posts: 22
    Anyone bought a solara convertible SE in the midatlantic region recently? How far below MSRP would be reasonable?
  • cooldad24cooldad24 Member Posts: 163
    1. For elder, 4 door is better. Minivan even better due to the hieght and they don't nned to drop in or lift up. In most minivan, they just slide in and out. For Solara, it's quite roomy at back (maybe an inch short of leg room and fraction of hip and shoulder room) but entry and exit need some effort as all coulp. The door is longer than the 4 door so tight spot will cause some issue as you concern. You'd better check it out during test drive. Go visit your dealer after making a check list. It's the only way to verify your concern and it's free.

    2. Accord is a very good alternative choice if not for its ugly exterior especially the rear, to me and many of my friends. If you are OK with that or different option, you may compare both by test drive one after the other.

    3. XM radio is dealer installed option on all Solara.

    4. If you can get a Passat V6 with similar standard option @26k and you like germany car, go buy it since it's a good deal. As I remember, GLX is the lowest trim on V6 line. So it might be more if options added.
  • sazaman1sazaman1 Member Posts: 22
    I am surprized by the lack of response here. Compare this to the number of posts of say Honda Accord (which is the same car for the past one and a half year and sales near invoioce price), it is amazing....
    No wonder Toyota is slow to update their website about everything.
  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 50,286
    Well, there have been very few converts to hit the dealer lots so far, so not a very big sample. From what I can tell (having been trying to see one this week), they sell quick. Had 2 dealers sell their only one just before I arrived, but at least the guy taking delivery last night looked happy!

    Anyway, what I meant to say is, don't expect to get one below MSRP (or very little at best) anytime in the near future, especially now that convertible weather is breaking out all over.

    Wait until December in the midwest if you want a bargain. Or some competition, which probably isn't coming anytime soon.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD, 2023 Maverick hybrid Lariat luxury package.

  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 50,286
    anyone notice that the convertible has a very limited color selection, or did the salesman make a mistake? I was told that the convert comes in about half the colors of the coupe, only Red, White, Black and lunar mist (aka silver).

    I liked the 2 blues, and the green wasn't bad. Since I won't get black or white, and don't want another bright red car, that leaves one option. It looks OK in silver, but isn't what I would pick given a choice.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD, 2023 Maverick hybrid Lariat luxury package.

  • tyresmokertyresmoker Member Posts: 266
    Those seem to be the colors in the marketplace right now, but all of the colors will be available once production fully ramps up.
    You are exactly right, because of relatively low production- for example, according to last weeks production figures (Automotive News) Chrysler built about 1100 Sebring convertibles, Toyota built about 200 Solara convertibles (assuming they are building a full 25% of coupe production).
    As i have mentioned before, why wait till December to save $500?
    In reeality, there is just over $2k of real money in the car, so a "deep discount" is a dream.
  • ccinnovaccinnova Member Posts: 3
    I'm looking for a Solara Convertible in the DC area (or 6-7 hour drive from DC). Any suggestions on dealerships and what price to expect.

    Seems dealers in this area don't have the inventory and want to require you take options whether you want them or not. Is this normal?

    Help! I'm new to this.
  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 50,286
    Yes, it is normal for dealers (or at least common, not all dealers do it) to add options/crap (depending on your perspective) to hot, low supply cars. It's just a way to make a killing on a few units, to make up for all the invoice deals on the models that don't move well.

    The general thinking is, if you don't buy it, someone else will, so unless the supply catches up to the demand, that's the way it will be (especially with nice 75 degree spring days coming).

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD, 2023 Maverick hybrid Lariat luxury package.

  • ccinnovaccinnova Member Posts: 3
    Thanks for the insight.

    Do you think there is ANY chance I'll get any $ off MSRP? Is it worth a try to reach out to dealers in more rural areas?

    Can you tell I haven't bought many cars?
  • jeffceejeffcee Member Posts: 12
    I think you can very easily find discounts. Mine was one of the very first delivered in the 2nd week of march. I got a $600 discount and did the whole transaction without setting foot in the dealership. I dealt with the internet manager of a dealership one hour from my city. Now that the cars are more readily available I don't believe they are selling as well as dealers thought. Many are listing their in stock units on ebay and I have yet to see one be sold. They get bids but never enough to meet the reserve. Here is one that is currently listed with NO RESERVE I bet it will go for it's opening bid price of $28,500 if it sells at all. It is in North Dakota but even if you paid $500 to have it shipped it would still be a bargain. Here is the web address...good luck! =2476226939
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Member Posts: 266
    One thing that is common in all the "deals" mentioned is the observation that the cars came from "b" or "c" dealers who viewed the incoming $32k convertible as a liability on the books as opposed to a money maker as the "a" dealers are doing. Search the smaller dealers.
    Making the assumption that they are not selling as Toyota expected is a HUGE one. You are afterall pointing to a car in North Dakota for your example. Dont see dealers in Fla, CA or even New England posting the same offers on ebay....
  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 50,286
    there ain't none of these sitting around gathering dust on the lots in my area of NJ. Maybe in December, but not now.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD, 2023 Maverick hybrid Lariat luxury package.

  • tyresmokertyresmoker Member Posts: 266
    I don't know where you are in Jersey, but Prestige in Ramsey has two SLE's in red. I think they are selling them at sticker (not over). They are a pretty high volume dealer, they have had a few of them already.
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