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Toyota Solara Convertible - 2004 and Newer



  • vr4vr4 Posts: 2
    I've ordered mine (SLE, convertible, Pearl White, NAV, 18" wheels, Michelin tires) two weeks ago and it just hit port today. It should be in my town by tomorrow. I'm very excited! As for the MSRP, I got mine $1200 less then sticker and got all those extras. I've been looking around to see what the 18" wheels looks like, but no one has pictures.
  • mfullmermfullmer Posts: 819
    Hit port? They are made in Kentucky. Who is telling you that it "hit port"?
  • plengpleng Posts: 14
    I am enjoying my new red SE with the black top. It is my first convertible, and it sure is fun. Only one concern in the first 600 miles - We were loaned a Highlander with 1200 miles on it and seemed much peppier that the Solara! The HL would downshift and rev up very responsively, but my convertable hesitates to downshift and then the revs build slower. All this while I am still feeding more throttle, and then more power comes on than I originally wanted. I now have to lift the gas. Is this something that will go away as the engine loosens up, or does the car need adjusting?
  • vr4vr4 Posts: 2
    Only certain models are made in Kentucky. Like BMW, some models are manufactured in Greenville SC and other models are manufactured overseas. I believe for Toyota the 4-Runner, Solara, and another model is produced overseas and the rest is produced in Kentucky.
  • sbell4sbell4 Posts: 446
    is a slang term used in the southeast which means it arrived at the distribution center either in Commerce, Ga. or Jacksonville, Fl. (which is the port facility where all of the imported vehicles arrive). I agree that the dealer should have been more descriptive to the buyer but I don't think any major harm has been done.
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Posts: 266
    Dude, the car is built in Georgetown, just like every other Solara, Camry, Avalon and Hylander. "1" as the first digit in the vin indicates country of origin, as the good 'ole USA.
    I do not believe Toyota is importing any Camrys from Japan anymore.
    The Solara ragtop is actually the first Toyota to be completely penned in California and mfd. in Kentucky, making it the first "true" American japanese car.
    As far as BMW, Spartanburg builds the X5 and the Z4 only. There are a few 3-Series built in South Africa, but generally do not show up on US shores.
  • rudy331rudy331 Posts: 27
    Thanks for all the replies. After 3 days and numerous voice mail messages to the Asst. Service Manager I finally was able to speak to him (although he never returned any calls). My last message was to indicate I was contacting the regional rep. for Toyota. Now he tells me that initially when the top problems were found, the quickest and easiest fix was to replace the entire unit. He indicated that when Toyota becomes aware of an issue they try to correct it as quickly as possible, then they investigate to find out why its happening and the best way to economically fix the problem. Now they have the cables needed being shipped as necessary and that Central Atlantic Toyota (the regional "experts") will be assisting them with the repair when the cable arrives. He indicated that CAT actually employs the experts that meet with the Engineers at Toyota as well as perform training to Toyota technicians. Cable should be in about 2 weeks due to the rising number of problems and that complaining directly to Toyota regional center MAY result in an extended warranty. Will keep everyone up-to-date as the saga unfolds. The real kicker was that he told me I had too much time on my hands to be as informed as I was!!!! Other than that I love my SLE.
  • rudy331rudy331 Posts: 27
    I was able to get my SLE (minus NAVI and 18" wheels) for $29,500. Sticker was almost $32k. Have not seen the 18" wheels but would be anxious to see them as well. The standard SLE wheels are about the only thing I don't like about it--think they could have been a little nicer, but they are almost identical to the wheels on the 04 Lexus RX330 (my stepdaughter's).
  • rsblaskirsblaski Posts: 68
    It's interesting seeing the various good (and not so good) deals people are getting on the Solara convertible, but I think it would help prospective buyers if they knew where the deals are.

    If you mention the price you paid for the car in a post, it would really help others if they lived in your area if they knew what dealer, or at least what city has the best deals available.
    Just an idea,
  • solara4solara4 Posts: 12
    I assume that the deals for the 2004 Solara convertible will get better and better as the summer goes on. I assume that Toyota will eventually ramp up the supply from 200 a week and demand for a 2004 convertible would logically decrease by the middle of the summer.
  • mfullmermfullmer Posts: 819
    Vr4, that is so wrong. There are no Solaras that are built anywhere but Kentucky. They don't "import" Solaras here because they were designed in California for the US market only.
  • redhotredhot Posts: 4
    Just brought home my Red SLE Nav from Temecula Toyota. It was a demo with 900 miles, They discounted it $2,000 to $30,200. I was very excited, since I could not find one anywhere in San Diego.

    My question is, do you all think I should purchased the extended warranty for $1,500 and Lojack for $695. I'm leaning towards the Lojack.

    Thanks for any input.
  • rudy331rudy331 Posts: 27
    My SLE with VSC/traction (no navi) was $29,500 at Toyota of Bowie in Bowie, MD. Of course, they didn't jump to offer that price so I had to haggle. I think it also helped that the GM wanted my trade (03 Acura MDX with only 23,000 miles).
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Posts: 266
    Your logic is flawed because regardless of model year, demand still far outstrips supply. Even at 200 units per week, which they are still not building to, they are not reaching demand for the product. As i have mentioned in the past, your best bet is the smaller "b" dealers that see this type of inventory as a risk especially as the summer wanes.
    Look, the big metro dealers get the inventory and the traffic, so to expect to get a good deal from one of them, forget it, someone will pay sticker (or above) to get into the car.
    Search your geographic area for a smaller, more obscure dealer that might have one coming in or one on the ground that they just want to move.
    Notice where the dealers are that the "deals" are being reported on, for the most part, not your metro dealers.
    Also, when posting prices paid, to keep the playing field even, post the transaction price WITH any pacs, i saw a post recently with someone saying what a great dela thay got...but spent six hundred bucks on rust and dust...sorry pal, but that just gets added to the gross.
  • solara4solara4 Posts: 12
    You may be right but that is a scary thought that someone would have to pay sticker on a 2004 at the end of the summer because they won't be able to get delivery on a 2005 for many months.
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Posts: 266
    Simple economic principle of supply and demand. Try and find a 350z roadster. Worse, not only are there no deals, there are no cars!
    This is nothing new though, the old, inferior, solara ragtop was the same way right up until it went outa production.
    Bottom line: production numbers were almost nil. Even with tepid demand, the vehicle was almost impossible to find.
  • I'm glad y'all were able to get your Camry Solara convertibles. I've given up on Toyota. When they first came to the US to sell in the early 1970s, they were begging folks to buy, and the deals and cars were excellent. We were one of their first customers and bought a Corolla Station Wagon for $4000. Loved it to death and never had any problems (except when some idiot put cardboard in the gas tank -- but that's another story). After seven years with a body that was rusting out my husband insisted we needed a four-wheel drive car and I sold it for $2500 cash. Every since, we have been trying to buy Toyotas (minivan, convertibles, SUV)and basically we've found that arrogance rules at dealers all over the country (we've lived in 10 states). This latest go round was for the Camry Solara convertible. No dealer in the Birmingham, Alabama, area would allow us to test drive one and informed us that everyone was just buying them "off the sticker" which is Southern for no test drive and sticker price, no deals. Gee, guys, I have never and will never pay sticker price, even for a Toyota. We ended up with a gorgeous convertible by another manufacturer with all the bells and whistles and some features Toyota didn't offer for less and love it. Since we keep our cars an average of 8-10 years, trade-in price isn't a big deal for us. Point is, though, if you want a deal (of sorts) you will probably only get one at a small dealership in the sticks that might have some inventory and you might even have the choice of more than one color. But don't count on it. Toyota makes a great product but they just seem to want to wear out their welcome. I hesitated to comment on this site since we aren't current owners of a Toyota, but just thought you should know that what you're experiencing has become the norm. And, yes, as far as fixing a Toyota, you have to be persistent. They're great cars but too many dealers don't have folks trained to do a proper job -- a holdover from the old days. By the way, my youngest son and his wife just bought a 2004 Camry at a fantastic deal but that was due to overstock in our area. I know they'll love their car because they know what to expect.
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Posts: 266
    Lemme guess, you ended up with a Sebring...great, enjoy it..BUT understand, if Chrysler dealers were granted about 1 Sebring per month, you would more than likely experience the same buying experience. I have been on these threads for what seems like centuries preaching the basic economic theory of supply and demand. You cannot blame the dealer or the mfr. for that matter for a product that is in very high demand in the marketplace.
    I remember doing deals on ML320's back in the late '90's when there was a 4 month waiting list and the dealer told the consumer what color they were most likely to get. That is just the way it was. Today, dealers are choking on ML350's.
    This weekend, while i was waiting for an oilchange, i saw a ragtop with a $7500 markup on the SOLD line. I guess someone really had to have it!
  • mfullmermfullmer Posts: 819
    I have to agree with Tyre. I mean please, these people are out there to make money.

    Scenario: You are going to sell your used xyz model car. You know it's in high demand so you put it in the paper for high blue book (or more!). If you know there many people just waiting to get their hands on the car for the full price, you are going to "be arrogant" and brush off the person that calls you offering lower right?

    And, let's be honest, since you got the Sebring you really aren't the kind of person who would see the value in the Solara. I've rented many, many of those and trust me, you won't be keeping that one for "8-10 years" (and loving it, anyways).
  • indykenindyken Posts: 6
    Hi. There won't be a lot of controversy, yelling, screaming, sniping in this post.

    I just want to say I am absolutely in LOVE with my new car. I have had it since June 12, a red sle with grey interior and black top.

    As I have gotten used to it a little, I am really happy with the pick-up, brakes, and general luxury feel. I am stared at constantly, which was a little strange at first, but now am getting used to it a little. I've only seen one or two others on the roads in Indy, so people are naturally curious. I hope that it stays a rarity, it's kind of fun.

    Everything works well, it feels solid, and I'm getting about 27 MPG (even with the top down). This is with 87 octane and mostly freeway driving.

    Just thought I'd let you know. If you're considering it. I paid about 600 under sticker...but I would have paid full sticker. However...I don't think I would have gone over sticker. It's a cool car, but come on! Once you're in the low 30's you have other options.

    Good luck, and keep us posted on problems that pop up!

  • tyresmokertyresmoker Posts: 266
    Totally agree, even at $32.2k w/nav, the car is a bargain. Although, at this pricepoint, there really is not anything else in the marketplace that is a worthy comparo. The Europeans are in the low $40's and there is nothing from our soil that compares. Sure, you can get a Sebring at a great discount, but you get what you pay for. One thing that is pretty much guaranteed with a low production run is the fact that you will not see yourself coming and going on every street corner.
    Last (reported) week Toyota built 725 Solaras, if they are building at a 25% conv. to coupe ratio, they only built 182 convertibles.
    For comparos, Cadillac built about 110 xlr's last week. How often do you see one of them?
    As long as the numbers are flying, DCX built about 1150 Sebrings and just under 1200 PT Cruiser droptops last week.
    Btw..these numbers are provided weekly in the Automotive News.
  • I had to laugh at all the controversy I apparently created. I WAS NOT being facetious when I congratulated y'all on your new Toyotas. Yes, Toyota was very savvy in its marketing of the Solara convertible, both for waiting to introduce it mid-year and limiting its production run. No, I do not resent them trying to make money. To correct your one error, these cars are made on good ole US soil -- and good for Toyota! I'm also impressed that y'all went to my profile to figure out what convertible we did buy. As for keeping it a long time, I heard the same thing when we bought a 1992 Ford Mustang convertible and kept it 12 years. It is the car we traded in and I had to pry my husband out of it. There was only one identical to it in the Birmingham, Alabama, area. My point was that I have always loved Toyotas and I have been very disappointed in the company not showing at least some loyalty to those of us who gave them their start in this country's market. Silly little ole me. Anyway, buying a car isn't, for me, a competition. I use to find a car that will give me what I want for good value. Dealerships do make a difference. The largest Toyota dealership here is known by my friends who own Toyotas as "the dark place." So, you should feel very good if you have a good dealership. I truly do wish y'all well and would really like to see some pictures of your cars. But I'm afraid to sign onto this site again lest I whip up a frenzy once more. One last thought. At least my comments made y'all actually stop and think about the happiness yours cars are bringing you, and isn't that a good thing? Now you know that, regardless of price, you feel good about the money you spent and the pleasure you're getting. So, for now, happy riding.
  • redhotredhot Posts: 4
    Is it just me, or does anybody else cares that you cannot roll the rear windows independently. When the roof is up, one kid wants the window down and the other one wants it up. We have had the car a week and just love it. Took a cruise to Coronado Island this weekend and just drove around. Felt great.

    Tyresmoker-can you please provide a link to Automobile News. Thanks
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Posts: 266
    Automotive News is a trade pub not generally available to the public. if you go to, i think the production table is available on a pdf on a section of their "free" site..most of the content is password protected.
    Also, i carefully worded "US soil" as a reference to the now defunct "big 3", since DCX is owned by the Germans.
    As far as the windows, the kids should be thrilled that ma & pa kettle bought such a cool car to cart them back and forth to little league!!
  • toppertopper Posts: 13
    I'm located in Phoenix, AZ. We have the same top problem with our 2004 Solara Convertible on the passenger side. Our dealer had no hesitation in contacting Toyota re this problem after taking a couple days to look at it closely and the new top has been "on it's way" for 6 weeks now. Much longer than the 2 weeks we were told it would take. My question is has anyone had this top problem fixed by Toyota and is the new top working properly?
  • rudy331rudy331 Posts: 27
    No fix yet. I'm in Washington, D.C. area. I'm not sure if I'm relieved to hear that others are having the same delay problem or not. Although they have told me that Toyota has now decided the more frugal (and supposedly better approach) to repair this problem is to replace the cable I've been waiting now for almost 2 weeks for the new cable. I'm waiting til Tuesday and contacting Toyota directly to complain. I'm also going to complain and demand until they provide an extended warranty since the vehicle is only 2 months old and I consider a top malfunction on a convertible a major component. Who knows what will happen 3 years from now after standard warranty has expired. It's very frustrating to say the least. Keep us posted on your wait and/or repair.
  • toppertopper Posts: 13
    Still no fix, but we called again to the service manager at our dealer to ask the delivery status of our new top. Now he is telling us that the top has been discontinued by Toyota and that they have had to order certain parts, the infamous cables, to repair the top. We were told that the cables should arrive this week. I have not appreciated the delays and misinformation that we have been fed on this issue. If the cables do not arrive this week, we will be contacting Toyota directly to follow up on this as well. I'll keep you posted and if anyone else has additional information then please post it here.
  • What does "top has been discontinued" mean? Are they redesigning it? Are they gettng them from some other supplier?

    I'm really interested in knowing what's going on, since I'm planning a test drive in one...
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Posts: 266
    Well I don't think a top cable malfunction will have any adverse effects on your test drive experience, but wear a helmut anyhow in case one of those pesky cables decides to snap...

    It sounds to me like the mfr. has found a fix for the cable WITHOUT changing the whole top. Keep in mind, Toyota is in the business to make $$ as well as keep their customers satisifed. I would imagine the whole top assy. costs them close to four figures, so changing out the entire part every time a cable snaps would not be prudent to the bottom line.
    Does it stink? Yes, but remember we all bought the "first ones off the truck", and even Toyota sometimes does not get all the kinks out before delivering early production vehicles to the consumer.
  • Tyresmoker-
    I just like to be aware of issues, especially on new (year 1)models, that may factor into a decision to buy/not buy. Considering the top of a convertible is a fairly significant aspect of the package ;-) I would like to know if it's something to be wary of...

    I've seen other discussion topics about BMW 3 series convertibles vs. Solara vs. Saab vs....Anyone here looked at them first?

    Like someone else posted here earlier, I want to like the Solara, but I'm also carting a family in it more than occasionally, and safety is something else I factor in. WIth no rollover protection on the Solara, that's something else I'm considering. But it's a whole lot less expensive than the BMW too...
    I'm new at convertibles, so this is all new research for me.
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