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Toyota Solara Convertible - 2004 and Newer



  • kmodykmody Posts: 3

    I am considering purchasing Solora (SLE). What should I expect to pay?


    Also, I have read a number of reports about rattling and veering. I have not test driven one as yet, but wanted to know if anyone found these so annoying that ended up dumping the car?


  • not even close. The car is as solid as anything you are going to find in the marketplace (if you can find one). I did see that Toyota City was advertising that they had four in stock a few weeks ago.

    You might be able to find one at a smaller dealership upstate but most of the bigger dealerships around ar at or very close to sticker. Regardless, the car is still a great value even at sticker......
  • koobskoobs Posts: 2
    After reseaching this vehicle for the past 6 months and reading messages in the discussion group, I decided to purchase a 2005 Toyota Camry Solara Convertible SLE model. I wanted Cosmic blue metallic exterior color with tan top and Ivory interior along with three options: vehicle stability control, windscreen and the carpet/mat package. I started with 6 dealers with 4 of the 6 wanting sticker or thereabouts. I worked two dealers back and forth and settled on $29,178 which is a few hundred dollars above invoice, I believe. I closed the deal on Nov. 2. The car is scheduled to be buiilt on Jan. 17 and should be in the dealership by end of Jan. I'm looking forward to delivery and hope things go well.


    FYI, I vacation in southern Florida several times a year. The dealers there are asking $3,ooo-$7,000 above sticker, depending if SE or SLE model.


    I also wanted chrome wheels but this option is not available, except after-market. I plan on ordering them from Wheel Concepts in California at a great price, even after paying for shipping.
  • I just completed a purchase of a 2005 Solara SLE convertible in the Los Angeles area. Here are the features:


    Arctic Frost White Pearl exterior

    Tan top and interior

    Navigation system

    Vehicle stability control

    Carpet/Cargo mat set

    (Accessory codes: FE NV PC VS CF)


    Purchase price was $30,353 plus

       Sales tax ($2504.12)

       CA license fee ($262)

       CA tire fee ($8.75)

       Document fee ($45).


    MSRP was $32,596, so purchase price was 93.1% of MSRP. I contacted six online car purchase sites, and this was the only deal I could find below MSRP. These cars are in very short supply right now, and the dealership I used had to do a trade with another dealer to get the car.


    I bought from Toyota of Glendale through their Internet Sales unit. They offered the final price on their initial response. No haggling, since I couldn't find another offer even close to this one. Their standard offer on the convertible is $800 over "invoice", although their definition of invoice includes dealer holdback and wholesale financial reserve. Here's the breakout of "invoice":


    Base $25,795

    Navigation $1,163

    Pearl paint $187

    VSC $559

    Carpet/cargo mat $114

    Destination $540

    TDA $300

    Gasoline $6

    Holdback $593

    Fin reserve $296


    Total: $29,553


    I'm pleased with the deal...all discussions by email and phone, and in and out of the dealership in 45 minutes.
  • Bought my black on black SLE December 4th in Raleigh, NC. Got as good a deal as can be expected, even at the beginning of the cold months. I even tried going through the AAA buying service and they couldn't do much. The dealer I went to matched the AAA deal though so I can't complain.


    My only two issues are 1) The rear headrests as people have mentioned. They block 50% of the rear window. I had a Celica convertible before this and I'm used to the major blindspots in convertibles, but the headrests make a tricky situation worse. And 2) the acceleration hesitation that is experienced when in the process of slowing down for a yield for example and then accelerating when you aren't quite stopped. I find that to be quite annoying. I'll try using the manual shift but I really don't like the idea of having to do that as 'workaround'. I wonder what the reason is for that delay/hesitation. It's as if the gears aren't actually engaged until the accelerator is depressed and when it does "catch", there's a lurch.


    I'm a major Toyata fan, loved my Celica and am very happy with my Solara. I couldn't wait for them to come back out after the short hiatus they took to re-vamp them.
  • If you search the boards, I think there was a pretty active discussion on the Avalon- future models board regarding the "lag" in the trans. It is a common complaint that has to do with the drive-by-wire (throttle) that the car is equipped with. It is annoying and I do not think there is a fix for it. I do not drive ours that often so I definitely notice it every time I get behind the wheel.
  • bb1129bb1129 Posts: 7
    I would be interested to know if anyone has added a reverse sensing system to their Solara. Before purchasing my Solara, I read the many posts concerning limited rear visibility so I was aware of this concern. I have a Cosmic blue SLE with VSC, mats, windscreen, 18" wheels, black top/gray interior. The service manager tells me adding the backup warning system will not void the warrenty.
  • Thanks tyresmoker for pointing me to the Avalon discussion forum about the transmission hesitation/lag issue. Very interesting. It's quite annoying but I'm figuring out how to get used to it and how much and when to press the accelerator in those "not quite coming to a stop" situations.
  • scoti1scoti1 Posts: 676
    Based on discussion of the hesitation problem in the Highlander Problems and Solutions forum, the Edmunds hosts have opened a forum for this problem. It is supposed to be for all makes and models. Because the Solara problem is most likely the same as the Highlander, Lexus, Sienna, etc. hesitation, it may be beneficial to discuss this with owners of other models. The forum can be found at "Engine Hesitation (All makes/models)"


    (please ignore that the title says "engine" hesitation -- it was definitely intended to address the tranny hesitation problems)


    I also would like to direct you to this article about hesitation: -- this is referencing just the Highlander and Lexus, but any resolution that Toyota comes up with for the problem should apply to all models, or so I would think.
  • Has anyone driven both the Solara convertible and Mustang convertible or read a review comparing the two? I rented a Mustang coupe back in the mid '90's and was not very happy with it. You sat on the floor with a high dash and it was cramped and had a fairly hard ride.
  • Depends on what you are looking for. They are completely different cars ('05 vs. '06, yes, the Mustang droptop will be introduced as an '06). For me, I would trade our '04 Solara ragtop in for a 'stang in a New York minute, but it is not my car, my wife is the primary driver. The thought of rear wheel drive in New England weather and a clutch pedal in New England traffic does not fly anymore.

    The Solara is a GREAT car, and a very good value. It offers plenty of power and refinement. The Mustang is more of a statement. The interior is great, but the materials used pale in comparision to the Toyota.

    One thing I really like about the Toyota is the relative rarity of it. Most people have no idea what it is as most have never seen one. With the Mustang, there is a very good chance that you will see yourself "coming and going" in no time.

    As a past Mustang GT owner, well, it is still not out of my system.........
  • marc6marc6 Posts: 1
    Trying to get a good price on an 05' solara SE conv. I live in NYC and have only seen one on the road. Can anyone give me an idea of how much I should pay here in the city and also any recommendations on dealers.


    Friends have told me it's not a good idea having a conv. in the city, but I cannot think of good reasons for not having one.


    I fell in love with the car when I saw it on the road and decided to trade in my 2002 Sebring coup. for the Toyota. Now I just have to find one.
  • Marc6, I don't live in NYC, but my family is there and I visit on occassion. The main reason your friends are probably saying it's not wise is that if anyone see's something inside the car they want, or just for kicks, they'll just slice the top. If you have private parking at home and at work that you're comfortable with, then maybe that isn't an issue for you.


    As far as price, they're selling for sticker or even higher because they know that if you don't buy what they have on the lot, someone else will. They're a hot commodity right now with low supply.


    Good luck! I'm enjoying mine thoroughly since I got it in December.
  • rtg33rtg33 Posts: 3
    I live in northern Jersey and I know of a bunch of dealerships nearby that have some in stock. There is Toyota of Morristown, Hudson Toyota, Crestmont Toyota, and many others nearby. I dont have one but i'd been looking into them but decided against it b/c im not ready for a new car yet. Therefore, i won't have any comments on negotiations, but i think theyd be more flexible than an NYC dealership....good luck
  • arpmnarpmn Posts: 1
    I'm excited since I'm just about ready to buy a 2005 Solara SE Convertible! FE SZ option included. Lunar Mist silver color and dark charcoal interior color. The Edmunds TMV price is $28,035 so that's what I was expecting but was surprised with the quotes I've received! Best one is $26,785. I'm in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Although it's a tundra here for six months I still want the Solara convertible! I figured it's best to buy it now when it's freezing outside before everyone gets spring fever for a convertible. I'll come back and let everyone know how the deal goes down.
  • rudy331rudy331 Posts: 27
    I have this exact car but 2004. I purchased in April on a whim and ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT. Have had alot of people stop me to ask about it and the color combination. I paid 29,500 so you are getting a pretty good price. Let me know how the chrome wheels turn out--I'd be interested as well.
  • I have be shopping on internet so far, and I think what you just bought is the perfect combo. I just saw one on a lot (it was closed) and I was stunned. It was gorgeous! I haven't had a test drive yet, but I am a huge Toyota fan. I currently drive a Sequoia, and it is simply TOO BIG for our family. My kids are teens and will be driving their own cars soon. As soon as possible, I will be running to that dealer and probably snatch that one off his lot, but until then, I would like a photo of a solara convertible in white. I can only access the red color on the Toyota website. (the other colors don't seem to work) Do you know where on the web I can copy a picture of one in white? I would like to have it for a screen saver.
  • Have had my Solara for two weeks now. Had a 99 Seville, before. Without a doubt, the Solara is quieter, no wind noise at all, and it rides every bit as good even with 17" V rated tires. My quandary is how the Select shift or S mode works. If I elect the S mode at a stop, it shows in 4th gear. Is it really in 4th and I have to manually shift it down to 1st or does it accelerate in 4th? In my opinion, the book is very unclear on several subjects, another being the operation of the lights. Then when describing the Multi-info displays, there is a Caution that says not to adjust the display while moving, only when stopped. This does not make sense when checking mileage, range and avg. speed.
  • koobskoobs Posts: 2
    I picked up my car on January 26th. It took 12 weeks from my date of order. My wife and I love it! Of course, there are some minor items that Toyota could improve upon, but overall it appears to be a great car for the money. It drives smooth and very quiet for a convertible and is certainly an all weather vehicle. My wife likes the heated seats. I had a Chrysler Lebaron and a 1996 Sebring. So far, the Solara is head and shoulders above the Sebring (unless Chrysler made some big improvements over the last few years).

    I'm looking forward to driving with the top down, but not yet here in Michigan. I just ordered MTK chrome wheels from Belle Tire for $572.00 complete with locks and trade in of my Toyota wheels ($40 per wheel). (Does anybody know where I could get a better price)?

    Wheel Concepts in California wanted $550.00, but the shipping would have cost $250.00 (both ways), plus $25 for locks and $30-$40 for mounting. Of course the wheels would be factory originals chrome-plated.

    I've already had two compliments on the car and I haven't put the top down yet.
  • I have a 2004 solara Convertible and the top is falling apart, but according to a regional manager this is normal wear and tear for a car that is 6 months old. I now have to go to the dispute board to have the top fixed/replaced. The liner is pinch pleated, the cables are broke, the outside top is pulling up and away and the back window is coming unglued from the material. Normal? Not really impressed with Toyota. They now want to fix the cables due to the tsb report. Not letting them touch this car. Was hoping some of you would share your work order information for when I go to the board. Thank you.
  • I just ordered a SLE convertible and the radio is Satellite capable but you have to buy a tuner which ran three hundred and something and is dealer installed. Look at the Toyota web site that lists costs for options. That's what I paid. I learned many years ago that options -even dealer installed ones - are a lot less if you buy them when you are buying the car.
  • The only real competition that the Solara Convertible has is the Mustang convertible which is new for 2005. It looks pretty nice and I wonder if I did the right think by ordering a Solara SLE. Has anyone actually driven one of the Mustang convertibles and compared it to the Solara? The Solara has more luggage space, probably rides softer, and will be more reliable (I've had several Ford lemons) but it would be interesting to see a real test of both cars.
  • I have 2005 Solara SLE convertible in white, tan top and love it. If you still need a picture, I have a few good one's I can send you. This car really gets the looks and reminds me of the Lexus SC 430. Great car so far (7500 miles).
  • I am currently looking at getting a
    Solora XLE Convertible. I live in upstate
    NY. How does this car handle in the snow
    and different weather conditions? I am also
    looking at Honda Accord and Mazda 6. I would
    like to get a convertible, if I could drive it
    year round.
  • dispencer1dispencer1 Posts: 489
    then spend a couple of minutes looking at the comments on the Chrysler 300 forum. This car is actually a competitor of the Camry and Accord and the car writers and car magazines love it. Test drives are all highly positive. It is interesting to see what real owners say about it -transmission problems, electrical glitches, pulls to one side, suspension problems. Typical Chrysler Corporation junk. Perhaps this is why Camrys are the the best selling mid size cars in the US.
  • kevinc1kevinc1 Posts: 1
    I am currently shopping for an SLE with everything but navigation and I have received a firm lease price of $399/ mth including tax and GAP Insurance. Rate sounds pretty good to me. I passed on the SAAB because I think the interior is so drab. The dash is too plain for my taste.
  • dispencer1dispencer1 Posts: 489
    Solara competes with the Mustang convertible and the Sebring Convertible. Has anyone driven these and then the Solara to compare them? It would be interesting to get feedback.
  • mcdaddymcdaddy Posts: 3
    The recent issue of CR gives a nice review of the Solara until the last sentence . . ." The convertible model suffers from pronounced body shake." There is no further detail.

    I did not see that comment with any other convertibles. Has anyone experienced this?
  • dispencer1dispencer1 Posts: 489
    What issue are you referring to? I checked Jan, Feb, and Mar, and none have anything about the Solara unless I missed something.
  • mcdaddymcdaddy Posts: 3
    Just got it a couple of days ago. It is the April 05 issue - Annual Auto Issue. The New Mustang is featured.
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