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Toyota Solara Convertible - 2004 and Newer



  • stickguystickguy Posts: 25,305
    IIRC, the rollover hoops are built into the rear (non removable) headrests, one reason that they are so pronounced. So, it does have the same (similar) level of protection as the Euros, just not the fancy pop up hoops (and who wants to find out id they really work??)

    At least with the Toyota, they are always "on", and of course in the way.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • rudy331rudy331 Posts: 27
    You are exactly right (at least from what I'm being told). Any time Toyota discovers a problem (i.e., broken cables) they do whatever they can to complete an immediate fix. Once they see that it is happening more often then they reevaluate and their technical reps (on the East Coast it is Central Atlantic Toyota) go back to the engineers and find a better more frugal solution to the problem. While it makes sense and to some point explains the delay, it is still very frustrating to all of us experiencing this problem. Going on week 3 now and still no word. I'm calling dealer again today and directly to Toyota to see if that will get some response. All in all we still love this vehicle and are very happy with our decision. Will keep everyone posted with any info I am able to find.
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Posts: 266
    Don't forget the Audi as well, probably the closest competitor since it can be equipped nicely with a transaction price @=/-$38k. The best rollover protection I have ever seen is right in the drivers seat, the connection between the gas pedal and the steering wheel. Simple, dont operate the vehicle beyond its limitations and it will keep all four corners planted where they belong. VSC will help you do that as well.
    I dont know about you, but kids in the back seat of a 3-series is wishful thinking.
    The SAAB, while a nice package, is simply overpriced by about $10k.

    One thing to keep in mind too is once mfrs like Toyota find a probelm and a fix, they incorporate it into production asap rather than let it lag. While i am sure this is not the last problem that the car will encounter, it is pretty safe to assure that by the time you decide to buy one, this problem will be corrected on the particular unit that you purhase.
  • Can you expect a ~$30k to compare with a ~$55k vehicle's audio system? The Lexus' SC Mark Levinson system is superb as you've noted. Most folks probably don't have a home systems that sound that nice. (Well, maybe those who can afford a Lexus SC430) The system was boasted on "MTV's Cribs" as "the first car audio system I didn't have to replace." (I'm sorry, I forgot what Rap music artist made that statement.) The point is, Toyota certainly didn't spend Mark Levinson money on the JBL system but, it sounds good to me. I'm impressed that I can actually hear the bass when the top is down and I'm on the road. (And I didn't have to upgrade it.)
  • toppertopper Posts: 13
    I don't mean to be negative about the Solara. We did buy the first one of the truck, literally. The GM told us we were the first to own the convertible in Phoenix. We test drove a hard top because the convertibles were still in their wrapping paper. We absolutely love this car! My wife and I had just started car shopping and this was the first vehicle we looked at. We were so impressed that we purchased on the spot. We couldn't have bought a better convertible for the price (unless we got a solara with a top that worked). I do trust that Toyota will resolve this issue, but it is better for all of us to actively pursue the issue in order to get results sooner rather than later. The wind noise is a minor annoyance, but I am more concerned with the monsoon season that just started here in Phoenix. Luckily, knock on wood, we've had no rainy days to test the roof in as of yet.
  • rksolararksolara Posts: 3
    Anyone have any comments on the effectiveness of the optional windscreen for the 04 Solara convertible? Saw one in the trunk of an undelivered Solara convertible at the dealer - it didn't look very substantial for the $395 list price.
  • tyresmoker-
    just wanted to clarify- these are two teens in the backseat of the 3 series; no child seats required. (dropping off to school, sports, etc...)

    thanks for the info on the Audi, and to others about the built in rollover protection.
  • rudy331rudy331 Posts: 27
    Just got a call from dealer. The cables arrived yesterday via fedex. They will be replacing the cables on both sides in accordance with Toyota instructions. They apparently have redesigned the cables and don't want these issues to arise again. Schedule to take in on Monday morning for repair and they indicate they feel pretty confident I'll have it back by late afternoon. We'll see how it works and if it makes a difference. I'll keep you posted.
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Posts: 266
    Exactly, even worse than child seats is the lack of legroom in the 3-series. Even with the seats in a "normal" position, there is little to no room back there.
    Before i dropped that kinda cake on a 3, i would search for an '01 or '02 CLK 320 cab. They are out there in the mid to high $30's.
    Keep in mind a new 3 bodystyle is due out this fall, so in either case you would be driving an outgoing model.
  • diver577diver577 Posts: 3
    I have a new 2004 Camry Solara Convertible --1600 miles(most back and forth to the dealer) and already have had two of the tires fail. Not in the tread it is ruptures in the sidewall. The tires are the 17" Bridgestone Turanza tires that came with the vehicle. It seems rather strange to me that this would happen considering my wife and I had never experienced this with our other vehicles. Has anyone heard of or experienced any problems with the tires on this vehicle. Otherwise, our SLE is fine but we are becoming weary of driving it because we fear for our safety if these failures were to happen at high speed.

    Toyota has told me not their problem! I would appreciate any feedback
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Posts: 266
    Sidewall failure is usually related to potholes or too close encounters with curbs etc. A co-worker had a 9-3 conv. with the sport package and this became routine for him due to harsh New England roads- or lack of them..
  • plengpleng Posts: 14
    I have found the windscreen to be very effective in reducing wind turbulance on the driver and front seat passenger. With the windscreen up, top down, and front windows up, my 5'-1'' wife's hair is barely moved at speds up to 60 mph. With the side windows lowered, there is more air into the car, but not the violent blast I have seen on other convertibles. The windscreen removes easily and can be stored in a zipper bag provided so you have several choices based on how you use the windscreen. I believe windscreens are common on newer roadster sports cars such as the Honda S2000. The windscreen has greatly contributed to my enjoyment of the car.

    The instructions indicate the windscreen should not be used if there are passengers in the rear seat.
  • plengpleng Posts: 14
    Does anyone know the proper way to wash the top? I don't want to use a cleaner or soap that will harm it.
  • toppertopper Posts: 13
    Dealer called us as well and said that the cables were in. We have an appointment Tuesday morning to take the car in. They said they would need the car for two days.
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Posts: 266
    Dude, calm down & turn your caps lock off..
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    Post #267 refers to prior post deleted for spamming and soliciting, which is verboten in Town Hall forums.

    thank you

    Shifty the Host

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • rksolararksolara Posts: 3
    Thanks for the comments pleng, particularly regarding the instructions advising not to use the windscreen with rear seat passengers. My main interest in the windscreen was to reduce turbulence affecting the rear seat passengers.
  • rudy331rudy331 Posts: 27
    Dealer replaced both cables on the top yesterday. Everything seems to be great! Definite improvement--very little wind noise and very tight. They completed everything in one day.
  • rudy331rudy331 Posts: 27
    We use Meguires car wash on a regular basis with no problem. I have also purchased convertible top cleaner (can't remember the brand) from Advance Auto Parts for more stubborn marks or stains although I haven't had to use it yet. Comes in a spray trigger white bottle with blue label.
  • rudy331rudy331 Posts: 27
    I have not yet seen the windscreen. I assume it is being sold at the dealer?? May consider this option.
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Posts: 266
    Without a chalkboard, it is difficult to explain how the windscreen works and how it could not work for rear seat passengers. In a nutshell, the turbulance has to do with a vacuum created by the passenger compartment. As the car moves forward, it creates a backdraft, pulling air around the windshield (and windows when up))and pulling it back into the open area. The only way to effectively block the backdraft os to cover the "hole", which would require, for lack of better terms, a wall behind the rear seats.
    If wind is an issue, save some $$ and buy the coupe.
    As far as washing the top, unless it is dirty, don't. It is fabric, and just like anything fabric, exposure to water and soap and whatever else will only cause the fabric to break down quicker.
    As i recommended awhile ago, visit a local marine store and get some top and canvas cleaner for the occasional spot that may appear.
  • napickardnapickard Posts: 4
    Has anyone upgraded the 04 Solara convertible to XM radio.
    I contacted the dealer and heard I need to pay $488 to replace
    the tuner on a car that's suppose to be XM capable.
    Makes no sense to me.
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Posts: 266
    I cannot speak for cars without navigation but i know the nav equipped cars are already compatible. There is a button on the right side of the screen which activates the service.
  • napickardnapickard Posts: 4
    Mine is without the NAVI and I got a quote from the dealer for $600 to add a tuner and antenna; Unbelievable. I think I'll try the Roady2 when it comes out in a few weeks.
  • toppertopper Posts: 13
    So the cables worked. That is great news! Thanks for letting us know. Our Solara went in today and should be done tomorrow. I'll let you know if we get the same results.
  • lfmlfm Posts: 35
    The Solara Convertible with Nav is not XM capable. It requires the same hardware as a non-NAV does.
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Posts: 266
    It is other words the software is in the unit somewhere, whether or not you need any other adapters, antenas etc. is a different story..
    Those with the nav system, has anyone noticed that FM reception is not that great?
  • rgihlergihle Posts: 7
    I have a 2004 sle and have been reading your postings since before I got the car (I couldn't test drive one because there were none in my area until mine). I love the car and the only problem is the top. The dealer was wonderful (although I did receive a lot of teasing and disbelief about the wind noise before they double checked. Yet, their disbelief did not stop them from double checking). They contacted Toyota and ordered cables (thanks in major part to my knowing that there was a problem due to your postings- I used to have a LeBaron and there was less windnoise there than on my SLE. That's how they knew something was up so I brought the car in). Toyota is making sure they replace both sides.
    So thanks for the info. I will keep reading to see how it goes and if there are any other things I need to be aware of :-)
  • napickardnapickard Posts: 4
    I went back to the dealer this morning to complain about the misleading window sticker. It says it's XM compatible and requires a subscription and an antennae. Only when you look into the owners manual do you see a tuner/receiver ($488 for the part) is also required. Buyer beware! Otherwise luv the car.
  • diver577diver577 Posts: 3
    My Solara Convertible has a NAV system and I had the XM system installed. The dealer charged about $690. Initially the dealer put the antennae in the trunk (not the best place for XM reception) They relocated it on to the trunk lid, it works much better now. The XM is great I have it at home and in a new GMC Yukon XL.
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