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Toyota Camry Solara Prices Paid and Buying Experience



  • 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 ohioPosts: 739
    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 ohioPosts: 739
    does XM radio come standard on the 4 cylinder SLE??? thanks
  • Will take a look at that Accord, tho that's what I am replacing, and kind of wanted to try something new.

  • david2david2 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 Posts: 12
    Does Solara have any?

  • cards28cards28 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 Posts: 22
    Anyone bought a solara convertible SE in the midatlantic region recently? How far below MSRP would be reasonable?
  • cooldad24cooldad24 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 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 Posts: 26,347
    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.

    2018 Hyundai Elantra Sport (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 26,347
    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.

    2018 Hyundai Elantra Sport (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • tyresmokertyresmoker 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 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 Posts: 26,347
    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).

    2018 Hyundai Elantra Sport (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • ccinnovaccinnova 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 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 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 Posts: 26,347
    there ain't none of these sitting around gathering dust on the lots in my area of NJ. Maybe in December, but not now.

    2018 Hyundai Elantra Sport (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • tyresmokertyresmoker 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.
  • jeffceejeffcee Posts: 12
    I still don't think they are selling as well as Toyota anticipated. Yes the car I gave a link to was in North Dakota but others on Ebay have been from South Florida and South Carolina. The Florida car in Palm Beach county only received 2 bids neither of which made the reserve. I bought mine in Racine Wisconsin less than 40 minutes away from Libertyville, IL which is one of the largest Toyota dealers in the Chicago area. If these cars are as "hot" as the dealers claim I cannot imagine why a dealer in S FL would have to list the car on ebay....why wasn't it presold or traded to a Miami dealer etc. Don't get me wrong I love my 04 convertible I just don't believe all the hype that the supply is so tight as to warrant list price or over.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 26,347
    I think there are a couple of reasons. One is the chance of getting someone desperate that pays way over sticker. The other is cheap advertising. That is, prospects call about the car which happens to have sold locally, but might get sold another incoming unit.

    It only cost $40 or so to list, so not a big deal for a dealer to troll some units out there to test the waters.

    2018 Hyundai Elantra Sport (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • tyresmokertyresmoker Posts: 266
    wasn't the car in south Fla. opening up at $35.2k? I think there was another one that was opening up at sticker, and there is one with 1500 miles on it with a "reserve not met" @$28.2k.
    It is a function of supply and local dealer still has two with $5k adm's on them..quite frankly if i was in his shoes..i would probably do the same thing. It is finallly the season in New England..and as they say..there is an a$$ for every seat!!
  • jeffceejeffcee Posts: 12
    If these cars are truly in such high demand and with summer just around the corner how did you convince a dealer in a major metro area (Pitsburgh)to give you a $2000+ discount. Again I think they are great cars but at list price and above I believe dealers will be sitting on them for a while. With dealers willing to discount as much as yours was and the ease of buying through the internet and low cost shipping the market will not sustain the price gouging for very long.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 26,347
    on these is not a bad deal IMHO, especially when you compare to the compitition. 28K for a nicely loaded SE is about sticker on a mid level Sebring (although the have rebates to offset some of the diff), and 10-20K off the Euros (Audi, BMW, SAAB), which don't really offer much different, feature wise (some safety stuff I guess, and gadgets). Heck, a PT cruiser costs more than the SOlara if you get the GT model.

    I happened to sit in a 3 series 'vert today, and the back seat is significantly tighter, basically kids only. It seems like the only other choice if you need to use the car as a "real" car (that is, regular back seat use and stuff in the trunk), on the the Sebring really competes.

    Discounts are nice, but they aren't making enough of these to turn them into distressed merchandise.

    2018 Hyundai Elantra Sport (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • tyresmokertyresmoker Posts: 266
    you have me confused with someone else..i believe another poster bought one somewhere outside of Pittsburgh..and got a decent deal...There are exceptions to every "rule" and "deal".
    A colleague, who lives outside Philly could not find, let alone get a deal on a Limited AWD Sienna. He found one at a dealer in the middle of the state, got a good deal and picked it up yesterday.
    Again, as i stated, the high exposure dealers have no incentive to unload the cars at discount, as they get the floor traffic and exposure to eventually sell the product at their price.
    In many cases, the smaller dealers prefer to sell Camrys and Corollas, and see floorplanning a $32k specialty car as a liability they prefer not to take, as a result, they sometimes are more likely to take a shorter deal to roll the unit.
  • mikebb278mikebb278 Posts: 1
    Just bought a new 04 Solara SE Sport V6 in Akron, Ohio from Ganley Toyota. The dealer was awesome, 1 hour 45 minuets to complete the entire deal (of coarse it was the last day of the month, and I walked in at 4PM and they close at 6.) They were very professional, their initial offer was $2200 off MSRP. The only hitch is that they had to dealer trade for the car from Cleveland, Ohio. Will be picking up later today. Total paid was $23244+tax+title+doc fee, that is base V6 with CD changer, Sport Package, sunroof, and floor mats. If you are anywhere in NE Ohio, go check out Ganley and ask for Tim Barnes! Good Day All!
  • ccinnovaccinnova Posts: 3
    I spoke to a dealer in Northern Virginia about finding the exact car I wanted from other dealerships. He said he could not do this. Is this true? From reading previous messages, it looks like it does happen.

    Makes me wonder if he wasn't trying to "push" me to buy what he had on the lot (cars with navigation).
  • mfullmermfullmer Posts: 819 can do that yourself on and save the hassle.
  • ahkimahkim Posts: 1
    Hi, I'm going to buy a Solara and I found a new 04 SLE loaded for about $25,400 with low financing. I also found the exact same car used with 10,000 miles and some minor rear bumper damage for $25,000. Obviously the new one is a better deal, but what would be a fair offer for the used? They actually started at $28,000, which is crazy. Thanks.
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