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Toyota Camry Solara Prices Paid and Buying Experience



  • swhondaswhonda Member Posts: 19
    Hi Moms_Max, sorry for the delay in response....the Solara I was inquiring about (and received the quote for) was a fully loaded SLE with Navigation and all the bells and whistles I could ever want! :D Happy New Year!
  • crazedcommutercrazedcommuter Member Posts: 281
    Well I test drove an '08 Solara SE today and liked what I drove. I've never owned a Toyota per se, but own an '05 Scion XB for my daily driver on my 70 mile commute. The sticker price was $22388 and it was marked down to $19888 for the old "red tag" sale. It is automatic and options from the sticker are: moon roof, cargo net, first aid kit, door sill enhancements, and an alarm system.

    I drove a 15 mile mix of back roads and interstates and paid careful attention to some of the issues that I've read about in the Solara forums. No hesitation was noted during acceleration but I did feel that the steering is overboosted, though it wasn't a deal breaker. The salesman stated that this is the rock bottom price with no further reductions. The car has been on the lot since last July and has not moved out of its parking spot since last November (I live near by and walk my dog through weekly). Does $19888 + T&T seem like a good deal to you Solara experts?
    Thanks to all..
  • buppersbuppers Member Posts: 25
    Are you sure that SE has an automatic trans. rather than manual? I am unable to configure an SE with auto and the features you listed at an MSRP close to $22,388.
  • crazedcommutercrazedcommuter Member Posts: 281
    Yes I test drove the auto and I couldn't configure it on the Toyota site either. The sticker states that it is a 2008 Solara SE with the 5 speed auto.
  • buppersbuppers Member Posts: 25
    Since we can't configure for come reason: I would estimate the invoice on the SE is close to 21,000 including the advertising add-on. At 19,888 my guess is you are getting it at invoice less the $1000 rebate. I have received quotes of 1800-2000 less than invoice on SLE's (including the rebate. Based on that, I would think you could squeeze a little more out of them. There aren't a lot of buyers, the car is out of production, and it is one (soon to be two) model years old. They should want to sell it to you at just a little better price IMO. You will be getting a good, brand new car at a great discount though. Let us know what happens-
  • crazedcommutercrazedcommuter Member Posts: 281
    Thanks for your expertise. I too thought that 19888 was too high on a 2 yr. old car. That was my 1st drive in a Solara and it was a very positive experience. Seats were comfortable, head & leg room were generous, ride was compliant, handling was good, and interstate accelration was acceptable with the 4 cyl. From the posts I've read here highway MPG should be in the 30's with this vehicle.

    In 2005 I test drove 22 vehicles priced in the sub-$16k range before I bought the XB. I rejected all do to comfort, mpg, or ride qualities. I commute 113 miles daily with 90% highway so comfort and MPG and paramount.

    My past history with this dealer have not been positive. They've been in business for many years in what was until recently a rural area that is rapidly being connected with the Wash. DC metro area. They still conduct business like they are one of the only dealers in town when, in actuality, most folks under 50 will drive in to the DC area and save thousands over this dealer's "Best Deal". I've bought 3 vehicles in the last 7 years-all in the DC area for substantial savings-over the local dealers. And yes Scion dealers do negotiate price but that's another forum.
  • crazedcommutercrazedcommuter Member Posts: 281
    Dealer called me back and decided to take another $500 off of the $19888 price. $19388 is still a bit high on an almost 2 yr. old car IMO. What would this car be worth once I drove it off the lot? A lot less than $19388 I'll bet. Other dealers are showing used, certified 2008's with 10k to 18k mileage in the $17500 range.
  • buppersbuppers Member Posts: 25
    I think you are getting real close to a fair price at $19,388. Using your comparison to used, an extra ~$1800 for 10-18,000 miles and a brand new car with a new car warranty sounds pretty darn good to me. You are right that it will be worth less when your drive it off the lot, but it will also be brand new with about 10 miles on the odometer. I'd say, squeeze what more you can and go for it.
  • canman1971canman1971 Member Posts: 61
    Just bought an '02 Solara conv. for $9800 for my wife. It is loaded with only 57000 miles on it. One owner and clean carfax. Seems like a solid deal as the KBB and Edmunds TMV were both a few thousand more.
  • sceptre75sceptre75 Member Posts: 3
    Went car shopping in the Northeast this past weekend. Got a price on a new black 2008 Solara Convertible Sport for $25.6K (MSRP $30.7K). I really like the Sport edition because of the stiffer suspension. I still don't think this is a good price because its a leftover 2008 and the dealer has 5 or 6 2008's on the lot. What do others think?
  • buppersbuppers Member Posts: 25
    From the numbers I have been seeing, that's a pretty good price. Appears to be nearly $2500 less than invoice when you consider the adv add-on. The market on Solaras seems really strange. Some dealers beg you to buy, others don't really seem to care and are willing to let 'em sit on the lot. Strange. Any others have recent pricing experiences?
  • crazedcommutercrazedcommuter Member Posts: 281
    Just got a call from Toyota sales. It seems the 08 Solara SE coupe has been reduced further to $18800. It's getting better........
  • crazedcommutercrazedcommuter Member Posts: 281
    I took delivery of the 2008 Solara SE yesterday. Sticker was $22951. Price was $18750 including the $1000 rebate plus tax. Options are: moonroof, VIP alarm system, cargo net, stainless steel door sill enhancements, wheel locks, and a $29 pack of bandaids called a first aid kit. I also traded in the trusty 1997 Astro van with 105k miles for $2000.
  • buppersbuppers Member Posts: 25
    Congratulations! Looks like you got a great deal on a great car. Good job!
  • crazedcommutercrazedcommuter Member Posts: 281
    Thank you. I m pleased with the car. The day after I picked it up I had to go on the road and I drove it to the airport and left it there all week. I inspected it fully on my return and was relieved that there were no door dings. It was such a pleasure driving the hour home in the Solara. Comfortable ride, smooth driving reflexes and the other attributes make this car a winner.
    BTW, I decided to forgo the $119 Solara carpeted floor mats for a set of $30 all weather w/carpet insert Michelin mats from Sears. They fit and look perfect and saved me $90. .
  • fto13fto13 Member Posts: 4
    We just picked up a "certified pre-owned"2007 convertible "Sport" about 3 weeks ago and have been thoroughly enjoying the drive and the constant looks that we get while we're out. This is my wife's car since we gave our daughter her old 2000 Accord.

    I've been pleased overall, but I'm disappointed in some of the features, or the lack-there-of, on Toyota's part. First off, the controls for the top, the "all down" window feature, and the headlight leveling adjustment are not visible while sitting in the driver's seat due to being blocked by the steering wheel. (bad layout design.. They should've place the cross supports at the 4 & 7 o'clock positions instead of 3 & 9 o'clock) and to go along with that, except for the headlight adjustment, they are not illuminated. Why backlight something that can't even be seen and not backlight something that can be (or just barely)? Go figure!

    Visibility is very limited which leads me to wonder why the back seat headrests are not removable or at least foldable out of the way. Another Toyota miss. Basic sound system is very lacking. Hopefully the Bose system that's available in the SLE is much better. We haven't had the opportunity test out the rain-proofness since we haven't had a rain here in North Texas, but I will post as soon as those results are available.

    It's pretty comfortable for the most part, but I'm planning to replace the manual driver's seat with the 8 way power one as soon as possible. We just need the extra adjustments, that the power seat provides, for a better fit for us.

    We got a great deal, $16800 with under 30000 miles on it and 6.5% financing through Toyota Motor Credit with Zero down. Not too bad. We were convinced to get the MPP extended warranty, since they figure it into the payment, but after doing a little research and reading the back of the contract, determined that it's not a very good deal at $1800. What they call "bumper to bumper" doesn't even cover the bumpers or any of the other things that could go wrong over time. (seals, the convertible top, water leaks, body frame, etc...) We have 30 days to cancel and get a refund and will exercise that option.

    Anyway, its a great car even given it's little flaws and nuisances. I hate to see them phasing this model out, before making further refinements. I think that they have a great looking convertible that just needs some improvement based on consumer input.

    "Forever the Optimist"
  • surftaxisurftaxi Member Posts: 2
    Hello Carman, I am trying to decide whether to turn in or purchase my end of lease '06 Toyota Solara SLE convertible. My lease ends on 3/24/09. The residual & puchase option at end of lease term is listed as 18,703 on my lease. Is this the amount I would have to pay to purchase the vehilcle, or is this price negotiable? I negotiated the cap cost to 29,500 when I leased the vehicle in '06. I added Gap insurance at the time, so 595 was added to the cap cost for a totlal of 30,568. I put 5899 down & my monthly payments on a 36 month lease were 297 (including tax). Depriciation is listed on my lease as 5938 & a rent charge of 3984. My FICO score was excellent ( and still is). The car has 18,500 miles on it & is in excellent condition. Thanks for any advice.
  • gened1gened1 Member Posts: 256
    Incredible that you were allowed to lease an 03 this long. Usually at the end of a lease the leasing company sends out a person to assess the car and you can take this assessment and decide what to do.
    Call the leasing company and find out what their practices are. I think the $11thousand plus is very high for a buyout. Do you really like this car enough to buy it? Have you run the car through edmonds or kelly blue book to see what the actual value is? How has your maintainance been and have you checked what it will cost for the next scheduled service?
    Questions you should be asking yourself to ascertain whether you want to keep the car or not.
  • CarMan@EdmundsCarMan@Edmunds Member Posts: 38,514
    HI surftaxi. More often than not, banks will not negotiate the end of term purchase prices of leased vehicles. Having said this, they occasionally will. Give it a shot. You certainly don't have anything to lose by trying. Don't bother involving a dealer. Place a call directly to Toyota Financial Services and see what they say. If your initial contact there is unwilling to work with you, try working your way up the ladder to a manager. Consumers who do so sometimes have more success. Again, there's no guarantee that TFS will be willing to negotiate, but it's worth a shot.

    Prices Paid: Buying & Leasing Experiences Forum
  • surftaxisurftaxi Member Posts: 2
    Thank you carman! It was great of you to respond so promptly and with such detailed advice to my end of lease inquiry.
  • CarMan@EdmundsCarMan@Edmunds Member Posts: 38,514
    You're very welcome, surftaxi.

    Prices Paid: Buying & Leasing Experiences Forum
  • solaraman2003solaraman2003 Member Posts: 92

    I am interested in purchasing a NEW 2008 SLEv6 coupe.
    If the MSRP on a particular vehicle is, let's say, $30k, what should I expect to pay for it? I'm very confused about this.

    Also, how much of a difference does it make to negotiate with the dealer that HAS the vehicle I want on his lot, versus negotiating with the dealer that I really WANT to buy from? The dealer that I really want to purchase from doesn't have the vehicle/options I really want.

    I already asked my (preferred) dealer for a price, but it looks like he's only coming down about $2.3k from MSRP. Judging from what I'm reading in this forum, it seems that some people are able to actually negotiate a price very close to or even BELOW dealer cost !
  • buppersbuppers Member Posts: 25
    I bought an '08 SLE V6 Coupe in March for $4500 under MSRP and over $2100 under invoice. Seems to me the deals should be getting better on this car, not worse. I would think the dealer who actually has the vehicle is going to more motivated to give you a great deal. You can always go to your preferred dealer for service. Also, once you get a price from the other dealer, you can give your preferred dealer the option to do better or match. There aren't a lot of buyers for any cars right now and certainly not a lot willing to pony up for an '08. You should be in the "driver's seat" on this deal! Once they figure out you are a serious buyer who knows the numbers, the deal should improve significantly.
  • solaraman2003solaraman2003 Member Posts: 92
    What exactly did you pay for it, and what options did you get?
  • solaraman2003solaraman2003 Member Posts: 92
    Hi gened1,

    You must've not noticed that the posting that you responded to was from July 2006, almost 3 years prior to your response ! That's why you were surpised I was leasing for so long :)

    Anyway, I decided to purchase the vehicle, and it was a good move. I leased it for 3 years, bought it, drove it for another 3 years and then traded it in last week for a new (leftover) 2008.

    I had 126,000 worry-free, happy miles on that car. And it was still in great condition when I let her go. I am very big on preventive maintenance and so just about everything that needed to be done was done - and done right.

    I expect to get plenty more worry-free, happy miles on my new Solara, and of course I expect to maintain it well as well.

    I tried to look at other vehicles but just couldn't find anything that was as good as this (2008 SLEv6).
  • buppersbuppers Member Posts: 25
    SLE V6 Coupe, VSC, mats. MSRP 28414.
    Paid under 24000 incl rebate.
    Let us know how you do...
  • solaraman2003solaraman2003 Member Posts: 92
    Done deal.

    I bought the 2008 SLEv6 coupe, VSC/TRAC, HID, special paint (Blizzard Pearl) (+some extras)
    Paid exactly 24k (no rebate available)

    I am VERY VERY :) happy :) !

    The only comment I have on this, compared to my 2003 is that the visibility is not quite as good. I'm sure I'll get used to it, but it's still not going to be as good as the '03. One thing I did is that since I don't usually have passengers in the back seat, I've removed the rear headrests. That helped quite a bit.

    I'll tell you, with 120k+ miles, my 2003 was a GREAT car. I had NO problems with it in 6 years. It was all maintenance work. And I expect nothing less from this one.
  • buppersbuppers Member Posts: 25
    Congrats!! That sounds like a terrific deal to me. Good job! You were fortunate to find one in Blizzard White... I believe that is the best color! I agree with the visibility issue, you just have to be careful. One last question... did you buy from the dealership who had it or the one you preferred dealing with?

    Oh... just a reminder that you are gonna have to change your handle to Solaraman2008 !
  • solaraman2003solaraman2003 Member Posts: 92
    Unfortunately I had to purchase it from the other dealer, and not the one I would've preferred - although BOTH of them have excellent ratings with the BBB.

    Yes, I've thought about changing my handle. I wonder if it can be done. I'll check !

    Thank you. Time to run out now and drive my new machine :)
  • prairiefire1prairiefire1 Member Posts: 1
    I bought a silver 2005 Solara SLE convertible in February. Purchasing it was almost too easy. Saw it online. Called and agreed on a (lower than advertised) price over the phone ($13000). Inspected the vehicle and thought it was fine. It had 34000 miles, was in great physical condition and ran nicely. Price included new tires, cargo net, and wind deflector.

    So far, car has been great. Better than advertised MPG. Top fits tight and does not leak even in the car wash. I find it true what people say about the rear visibility; in some ways I wish I'd bought an '07 or newer for the revised headrests. But I am good at side-view mirrors after years of cargo driving vans and trucks, so caution in reverse has kept me from ever having an accident in this or any other car.

    Several trips and I still like the car. May replace it with an 09 (or later, if they exist) simply because I like it and will be sorry when I have to replace it if they no longer exist. This is an area of severe winters, so it will be interesting to see how it (and the roof) handles and feels in deep snow or sub-zero temps. But so far, even with our bad Feb/March snows, it has been terrific. Yesterday we had two and a half inches of rain in 90 minutes, and I was driving. Car handled in water just fine, and there was not a leak to be seen anywhere.

    So far, I am a happy camper.

    Car has been running regular oil. Any thoughts on whether I should change to a synthetic.

    BTW, last car was a Saab 9-3 convertible. The Camry is not as fast in midrange, but overall I think it is a superior car. Not quite as luxurious, but mechanically it seems better built and probably a whole lot cheaper to repair.
  • mimi81mimi81 Member Posts: 1
    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
  • kfish2kfish2 Member Posts: 7
    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?
  • moms_maxmoms_max Member Posts: 62
    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.
  • kfish2kfish2 Member Posts: 7
    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.
  • moms_maxmoms_max Member Posts: 62
    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 door...watch 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:
  • nova7415nova7415 Member Posts: 8
    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.
  • moms_maxmoms_max Member Posts: 62
    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:
  • ttarkingtonttarkington Member Posts: 18
    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?
  • kfish2kfish2 Member Posts: 7
    The dealer just called - the red / gray 2007 SLE w/ nav and 27k miles has dropped to $23k. hmmmmm
  • nova7415nova7415 Member Posts: 8
    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!
  • moms_maxmoms_max Member Posts: 62
    Hmmmm...."how low can they go?" (with apologies to The Limbo Song... :P)
    Are you a good poker bluffer???
  • kfish2kfish2 Member Posts: 7
    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.
  • moms_maxmoms_max Member Posts: 62
    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!
  • leftcoast2leftcoast2 Member Posts: 13
    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.
  • CarMan@EdmundsCarMan@Edmunds Member Posts: 38,514
This discussion has been closed.