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Toyota Solara Convertible - 2004 and Newer

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    biancarbiancar Member Posts: 965
    It's my understanding that the SE Toyota dealers in general are a whole different story than the rest of the country. Take a trip to Virginia, I think you could get a much better deal here.
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    natenj1971natenj1971 Member Posts: 174
    Thanks for the tip. I couldn't stop laughing at that guy who quoted me $41k. Might as well get a BMW for that price.
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    biancarbiancar Member Posts: 965
    ...or the new Volvo C70. ;-)

    (I'm deciding between the Solara and the Volvo myself.)
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    natenj1971natenj1971 Member Posts: 174
    I've seen the volvo and it does look sharp (but my sister bought a volvo new in 03 it was always in the shop and in 2004 the electial system fried everything - goodbye volvo) she would chase me with an aluminum bat if I bought a volvo.
    The Eos looks nice too (`81 Scirroco was my first car) but I haven't read/heard many good things about VW.
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    biancarbiancar Member Posts: 965
    - of the new crop of hard-tops, the choice (for my budget) starts at Pontiac on the low side, Eos in the middle, and the Volvo at the top. One could make a case against any of them just based on dealer and/or manufactuer's reputation!

    Solara is sort of my fall-back position - it should be reliable, roomy, affordable. Has everything but the hard top.

    I've waited this long, the Pontiac and the VW both come out later this summer, and the Volvo won't be available for OSD until the fall, so might as well wait and see what the '07 Solara will be like, too, before deciding.
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    natenj1971natenj1971 Member Posts: 174
    Sebring is going hardtop also. I like that Solara comes standard with features like side airbags. Then again discounts are always high at Pontiac. It will be interesting to see what changes 2007 Solara bring. I don't think a major change is planned until 2009.
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    biancarbiancar Member Posts: 965
    But someone upstream was saying there wouldn't be a 2009, that Toyota won't be making the Solaras (coupe or convertible) after that. Do you have information one way or the other about that?

    To change the subject I bit, I test drove a Nissan Z-car today. Wow! Really liked it, and did NOT feel like I was driving a toy car, as I did in the Miata. Hmmm - might reconsider what I want to buy...
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    natenj1971natenj1971 Member Posts: 174
    Didn't know Solara was to be dropped in 09. Too bad. Glad to hear the Z was rocken good fun.
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    biancarbiancar Member Posts: 965
    It was so much fun I bought the thing! :D

    Solara was a good car in many ways, but had too many negatives for me. Poor rear visibility, the two latches in the front (driving alone, reaching over for that second latch on the passenger side would be a stretch), and the extremely fiddly tonneau cover. I can see why most people toss it someplace in the garage and never use it.
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    meegwellmeegwell Member Posts: 67
    I solved that problem by having Northridge Toyota install a back up sensor for me. They had one of their vendors to it for me and rolled it into the basic warranty. It beeps talks and has a visual display. Cost me about $400. Life is good.

    The 2006 is the only model I'm familiar with and passenger door on mine locks and unlocks from a button on the drivers armrest.

    I haven't used the used the tonneau cover yet. Nice to know I have it but I don't care much about it. I put the top up when I leave the car -- rather clean bird poop off the top than the seats.

    Meegwell
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    biancarbiancar Member Posts: 965
    I meant the latch to unhook the convertible top, not the door locks. The Nissan has one pull-lever in the center. The Solara has two latches, one towards the outboard driver's side and one on the outboard passenger side.
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    natenj1971natenj1971 Member Posts: 174
    Congrats on your new roadster!
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    300800300800 Member Posts: 2
    Hello-

    I'm new to the forum. I have a question about the Ground Effects kit for the 06 Solara Conv. The dealer tells me that the kit is installed at the port (Los Angeles) and that it's not an orderable part. Has anyone added this option to your car after the initial purchase? I'm picking my car up tomorrow, and I was hoping the dealer would be able to install for me, but it doesn't sound possible. Thanks..... Chris
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    bsramzybsramzy Member Posts: 6
    got the same answer from the dealer too, the solara accessory brochure says it too in small letters. it can only be installed at the port...weird.
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    tomcuddlestomcuddles Member Posts: 1
    When I bought my 2006 a month ago the deal mentioned that they were going to discontinue the hardtops but keep the convertible. The thought is that the new Camary is covering the market for the hardtop Solara's
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    tommyg12tommyg12 Member Posts: 158
    Posted this in the "Camry Problems" forum last week. Got no replies so thought it might get more visibility here since this problem applies to the Solara convertible only:

    On the '04 and up convertibles there is a semi-flat black trim piece installed between the trunk and base of the back window. The third brake light is mounted within this trim piece.

    I just happened to notice that the black paint has started flaking off around the corners of the brake light. This is obviously going to spread across the entire piece of trim.

    I'll get the dealer's response during my upcoming service, but just curious if anybody else has noticed this issue? My car is mostly garaged and has never been to a high pressure car wash, so something either went wrong with the paint and/or application of.
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    gla39gla39 Member Posts: 3
    I have a 2006 convertible 3000 miles that makes a clank when put in reverse on after the first start of the day after sitting all night.I did not hear this noise until we started leaving the top down ,it cannot be heard with the top up and windows closed .Has anyone else had this problem?.How much noise should be expected ?.
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    anniezmaanniezma Member Posts: 20
    My 2006 convertible just turned 25,000 miles (I've had it for 1 year now) and I've not heard any kind of clank sounds. I'd call toyota service and make an appointment.
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    h20randyh20randy Member Posts: 21
    I have a 2006 conv with 2700 miles. I don't have any such noise. Take it to the dealer and be on record of your concern and inspection. Then even if nothing is done for you, you'll have recourse if it turns out to be a problem later even after your warranty expires.
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    h20randyh20randy Member Posts: 21
    I have experienced with my 2006 that when I put the top down on sunny days, put on my polarized sunglasses; I can't see the displays on the multi-function instrument cluster, radio display, nor the climate control display. The polarized sunwear screens out the reflection of the LCD readouts so only a "blank look" background appears. If I pull off my glasses I can see all clearly. The speedo, tach, gas level, & temp gages are OK because they are not LCD instruments. :cry:
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    preinerpreiner Member Posts: 2
    Tyresmoker offered to suggest a CT dealer motivated to price and sell '06 Solara Convertible. What is the name of the dealer?
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    dianeifdianeif Member Posts: 4
    I have the same problem. If I want to see the radio displays, I just move my sunglasses out of the way for a second. I have the problem even with my top up. It just has to do with the sunglasses.
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    h20randyh20randy Member Posts: 21
    Thanks for the comments. What year Solara do you have? Have you seen the new '07. I like my '06 better. :)
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    h20randyh20randy Member Posts: 21
    Has anyone seen the new stereo in the '07 Solara? I am curious about the MP3/ipod feature. There are aftermarket add-ons for this feature for the '06 but it is $300.
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    paulopaulo Member Posts: 6
    Hello folks.

    I'm thinking of getting a 2007 Solara convertible and having it as my only car. I'd have to store it outdoors as I have no garage. I'd like to keep it 10 years plus. Is this crazy? Will the top get in terrible shape with so much time in the elements? I live in TN and we get very heavy rain sometimes, and some pretty hot sun in the summers. Would there be any way to keep the top in good condition? I've never had a convertible before so I don't know what the main issues are and how to deal with them.

    Thanks for your help!
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    gla39gla39 Member Posts: 3
    I would not buy a soft top and subject it to the conditions you mention .Pontiac has a new car with a metal top that retracts .It is the same price and just as good.Toyota cars are the same as most ,maybe fewer problems but they do still have problems.
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    mke60mke60 Member Posts: 18
    I would agree. The elements would not be kind to a soft top over that long of a period. I think the hard top convertible is a better option.
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    jlutin1jlutin1 Member Posts: 4
    Can anyone offer advice on solving a problem with a lousy backup camera?

    I had the dealer install a backup camera on my 06 Solara convertible purchased in March. They first put in a B&W camera that reversed left and right. They replaced that with a color camera and an interface module that intermittently switches to B&W and has terrible contrast.

    I told them to get the supposedly plug and play Eclipse camera mentioned on this forum several months ago, (like the one on my Lexus RX330) but they told me that Toyota had changed the radio from Fuji to Nippon Denso, so the Eclipse was no longer plug and play.

    I have been waiting for over two months reportedly for the camera manufacturer to develop a new interface that is supposed to solve my problem.
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    autoboy16autoboy16 Member Posts: 992
    Personaly I'd rrecomend you wait for a Vw Eos. Its a has a msrp of $27990 and has a hardtop and sunroof standard. It has a standard 2.0T engine and a v6 optional. Soft tops are not very good foul weather vehicle. My mom has a miata and the top got caught on a branch and left a small hole (thankfully it doesn't leak) snd she likes the Eos also.

    I recomend it over the solara in every way except for the missing Toyota Badge. CarandDriver say its a very good car and should please everyone who likes it. So get ready to :shades:

    Hope this helps :D
    Cj

    ps: I mean no disrespect to solara owners. I get mean glares for doing this in other rooms. :cry:
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    dianeifdianeif Member Posts: 4
    My Solara is a 2006. I just love it. I love the way it drives, the way it looks and of course the convertible. I haven't seen the 2007 yet, but to my experience syles don't always improve.
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    topgeartopgear Member Posts: 111
    I just read the August '06 Car & Driver magazine. It suggests that the Solara Convertible is the least desirable Toyota since the Echo. It's on page 88, -a Tony Quiroga comment about the new Pontiac G6 GTP convertible.
    Am I missing something? Are Toyota dealers car lots full of Solara convertibles that nobody wants? What an idiot!
    Anyway...I just wanted to know if perhaps I am missing something since I've never heard that one before.
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    gla39gla39 Member Posts: 3
    I would not go that far,but the solara convertable is not as good as Toyota would like all to belive.I have a 2006 with 4000 miles makes loud noise when put in reverse sounds like constant velosity joint,rear bumper is not fastened on correctly has space with clips showing on the passenger side . Car does shake more than it should at lower speeds . Top would not close correctly took two people to close it until dealer adjusted it. Toyota is getting bigger and sloppy. I have seen the G6 nice car but not any better than toyota. It seems the cheeper cars as strange as it may seem are put together better solara coupe etc
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    topgeartopgear Member Posts: 111
    Thanks for your response gla! I too have an '06 with about 4000 miles. I have no loud noises though when going in reverse, no clips showing, top problems, etc. Actually (knock on wood) mine is fine. I think if we had many other owners complaining about their Solara too, I'd agree with you about the poor quality. Sure, you almost always find a few defects that will make itself known in this forum.
    My point about my previous comment is that, -aren't Solara convertibles desired? To compare them to Echos was dumb. That was my point of contention.

    I hope you can get your problems settled though, so you too can enjoy your Solara to its fullest.

    While I don't know how bad yours is, almost all convertibles have a little shake with the top down when driving over unduly roads -even at low speeds.

    I just thought it was a stupid, mindless comment by C&D about our cars.
    -P
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    larrymitlarrymit Member Posts: 80
    I've got a 2004 Solara Convertible with 30,000 miles on it. So far not a single repair! I did have to replace the high-performance Bridgestone tires that came with it at 30,000 miles. Ouch! $700 a set.

    The most trouble-free car I've ever owned.
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    anniezmaanniezma Member Posts: 20
    I agree...my 2006 Solara (which I picked up in April 2005) just hit 30,000 Miles!!! The worse problem I've had is something snapped in the windscreen so the screen doesn't stay up..that just happened and the dealer said they'd fix it tomorrow when I bring it in for a 30K checkup!! My tires are still fine! I live in Massachusetts and the car drove great through the winter too....I don't have a garage, but did put up a carport which sufficiently protects it from the changing weather here in New England. I LOVE my car!! And everyone I know loves my CAR!! :)
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    dianeifdianeif Member Posts: 4
    Hi

    I have a 2006 convertible that I keep outdoors. When I was inquireing about any problems, I was told that there shouldn't be any. I got it in November and so far everything is OK, but it is only 6 months, not 10 years. I live in the Philadelphia area, so there is snow in the winter and we have had a lot of heavy rain recently with no consequences. My big problem is getting it washed as they say not to use a car wash and I don't have outside water in my condo. I would have looked at the pontiac G6, but there was no mention that they were going to come out with a hard top convertible. I also have always loved every Toyota that I have owned.
    Good Luck, whatever you decide. :)
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    anniezmaanniezma Member Posts: 20
    During the summer I only 'hand wash' my solara, during the winter though I did use the 'touchless' drive through car washes with no problem....I only do the wash though...didn't want the 'wax' stuff getting into my cloth top....
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    topgeartopgear Member Posts: 111
    Hi everybody!

    Well...I just saw a couple of 07 Solara coupes at the dealer and noticed the new style LED taillights. Very nice and I'm jealous. I considered installing them on my 06, but Toyota has now re-located the reverse lamps directly into the rear bumper. So, just replacing the taillights won't cut it, I'm afraid. I would have to replace the whole rear bumper to get those back-up lamps.
    The front looks basically the same with what appears to be a slight chin modification. I didn't look inside as it was raining and I was getting wet, but I'm pretty sure it is similar if not exactly the same.

    Actually I just went Toyot'a website and there are photos of what I speak.

    (Well, after looking at the website, there is a new speedometer cluster, and bluetooth is available and an ipod connection, too -not to mention a bunch of other changes!).

    http://toyota.com/camrysolara/index.html?s_van=GM_HOME_SOLARA_IMG

    -P
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    rellik01rellik01 Member Posts: 7
    Just got the following price quote and was wondering if it was a fair price.

    2007 SLE Convertible
    with options FE NV QI VS CF GO P2

    Sticker price is 34282.00
    Buy price of 31139.00 (Invoice price) the only other fees are tax and reg.

    So what do you think??

    Thanks
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    moms_maxmoms_max Member Posts: 62
    What state? Sounds like a deal to me!
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    nc_tomnc_tom Member Posts: 9
    I have the same problem on my conv, which I purchased in 1Q04. I was thinking I must have been careless with applying a cleaner somehow. I haven't asked Toyota about it, let me know what you find out. I would expect it is our problem at this point. The strange thing is that it is limited only to the area around the 3rd brake light, not anywhere else on the same piece. It was been there the better part of a year.

    That is the only problem I have with it, though.
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    vicevice Member Posts: 9
    First convertible, saw it on lot, drove it for the afternoon, got it that night. Blue with black top. Any tips on taking care of the top? Also only car, should I put snow tires on it for the winter, live in PA?
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    anniezmaanniezma Member Posts: 20
    I've had mine (also Blue,Black top) since April 2005 and haven't done anything to the top. They sell a product called 'RagTop' a cleaner and a conditioner, but I haven't been able to find it anywhere except to purchase on line. I live in Massachusetts and drove the car all winter....NO snowtires and it was great,handled real well in all weather.
    Congrats on your car...you'll LOVE it....
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    h20randyh20randy Member Posts: 21
    I also have the blue with black top, bought in March 06. I have only used soap and water on it so far but I want to put a cleaner/conditioner on it to protect from UV looking sharp. I will have to look for ragtop
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    vicevice Member Posts: 9
    Thanks for the help, where on line did you get it? Put about 100 miles on car so far and love it. Only problem is the Nav. system, says my house and phone # does not exit. Tried some friend's phones and it has same problem, states no such number, area code change. Car draws a lot of "lookers" when going down the road.
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    thebugthebug Member Posts: 294
    Finally got to do the ultimate road test. Covered 19 states and 5400 miles. Did the test over 17 days in the month of June. Yes, I did a road trip, and it was cool. I was hoping for some rainy weather but only got about 30 minutes of rain on the entire trip while driving through Southern Ohio.

    Overall I was very impressed, but not suprised. And although most of the trip was with the top up, I Did drive a full 9 hours with the top down from San Antonio to New Orleans (bad idea)couldn't really tell how hot it was because of the breeze, and I was exhausted at the end of that run.

    The car handled very well in the twisty turnys,through the mountinous road ways, but you couldn't push greater than 85 mph (lots of body role), I thought the wind would be to much at 80 mph top down(windows up) but it was great.

    Did hit a great deal of cross (50 mph +)winds and it handled well. You can cruise much faster with the top up and the ride is pretty quiet for a convertible. There is a noticable whistle from the top above 90 mph. This is somewhat corrected after getting the dust and bugs off the seam.

    I think most of the whistle was produced by the strong cross winds, because when I faced the wind the noise would stop. This however was not the case at triple digits. Average mpg at 80 mph was 28 (not bad). In the mountains it averaged about 26 mpg at 75-80. I didn't push it to an empty tank at any point (usually had 3 or 4 gals left at fill up) because when you are in the middle of nowhere you just don't risk it. Tank to tank got about 470 miles.

    I really enjoyed the trip and loved the car. Very happy with my purchase. I just wished they would do something with that stupid top cover. What a waste. I don't even use or plan to use it.

    thebug...
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    mke60mke60 Member Posts: 18
    Congrats on your new car. I have had mine since March 05 and have used RaggTop on my tan top from the very beginning. I treat the top twice a year. It still looks brand new after one winter and two HOT summers (live in Missouri). I purchased my first bottle online (can't remember the web site but found it via Google). Since then, I found a place in town that sells it. This place specializes in installing/repairing convertible tops so you might want to look up a similar place. Enjoy your car!
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    h20randyh20randy Member Posts: 21
    Thanks for the informative letter 'home' to all of us. It sounds like you had a good time and enjoyed the car. :shades:
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    h20randyh20randy Member Posts: 21
    Thanks for the info on the RaggTop. I will get a bottle and try it right away.
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    vicevice Member Posts: 9
    Searched the internet, cheapest place for the kit is Amazon.com. The actual order site is Autogeek, $36.95. Also this site has tips on top care and if you enter the term "Raggtop" in one of the search engines, you can come up with a lot of sites that have tips on top care. They are all the same and seem to come from the maker of this product.
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