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Toyota Solara



  • My recommendation is that you put the seat in the passenger side (rear of course). The passenger side front seat slides all the way forward rather easily (press the foot lever), while the driver side seat takes a bit more pushing (on purpose in order to keep the driver's back rest position). You will still need to have a good strong back as you'll have to do some bending to buckle in your child (especially if you put the seat in the center position), but again it's easier if you put it in the passenger side.

    As for me, I have the convertible and usually what I do is put the top down -- it's a lot easier to buckle in my 18 month old! Now with winter upon us I've gotten good at putting her in the more conventional way. Good luck.
  • I have 12,000 on my 2000, and no problems yet. You might want to ask this question on There are quite a few manual solara owners there. Keep us posted on the situation.
  • ral2167ral2167 ohioPosts: 723
    28000 miles on my solara SE v6 5 speed-- no problems with clutch-- the coin box is brutal, tho. honda accord coupes have lovely coin boxes-- what happens with theirs is, you pull on the door and the whole "box" slides out, kinda like a file cabinet, whereas in the solara the door just "flips" and the box stays pretty much stationary, or some sort of lottery drum thing going on... now don't get me wrong, the solara has more advantages over the accord coupe, but woe is me when it comes to the coinbox. don't live near a toll road with a solara unless you're prepared for many tears at the toll booth with unsympathetic toll booth personnel who seem to actually mock you as you reach for coins.

    hope this helps in your question about the clutch.
  • HI. My 2000 SLE is just under one year old with about 11,000 miles on it. I never purchased the extended warranty as they said I had one year to do so. Are there any choices on the extended warranty in terms of carriers? How much should I pay? Do I go back to the dealer?
    Thanks for any comments. Bill
  • decondecon Posts: 56
    Ever since the weather has dropped below 40 degrees, I have been having trouble closing my door.

    I literally have to slam it closed sometimes.

    Any suggestions?
  • Decon...This topic was a recurring theme around this time last year too, so you probably have the same problem that several of us have had. When you open the door next time, look at the clearance between the window and the moulding that's at the top of car where the window seats when closed. I would bet that you probably have only about a fingernail width of clearance at best. What happens is the window is catching on the moulding and makes the door extremely hard to shut. I had the same problem with mine and took it in for an adjustment last Friday. It was completely covered under warranty so it only cost me about an hour and a half in my time. After adjustment I have about a 1/4" of clearance.

    I bought the car in January, so it was pretty chilly for a few months after I got it, but the problem did not show up at all. It wasn't until it started getting below 40 at night this fall that it showed up. Which is good because I've already got 22.5k miles on it in 11 months!!! I think I'll hit the 36k long before the 3 year warranty!

  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Is this really that different than in hot weather? When the weather is warm, do you leave your window cracked? These cars are quite air tight and it is normal to need to slam it pretty hard. If you leave your window cracked during the warm months, you may not have realized that this is normal.

    Just a thought. If it really has gotten worse and you didn't leave the window cracked, take ti to the dealer.
  • wayneewaynee Posts: 16
    I doubt that the closure problem is due to window binding simply due to colder weather. Actually, glass and metal contract as the temperature is lowered, so any existing gap would tend to get larger with colder temps. Simple test - lower the window all the way down and close the door. If it is still hard to close, then you know the problem is with the latching mechanism or in the hinges.
  • Cliffy,
    Yes there was that much of a difference on mine. I don't leave the windows cracked in the summer because you never know when a storm may decide to pop up.

    It wasn't till it started getting cool that I had a problem. It did not effect how the door operated, but when the window would stick on the plastic channel above, the door would not shut if you closed it normally. It would hood on the first latch, but not lock shut. In the cases where the window stuck on the moulding and the door actually closed, there was a gap big enough to put your finger through.

    I agree with your theory, but I know for a fact that the window on my car did not hit the plastic moulding during the warm months. Knowing that glass and plastic are two different materials with different compositions, perhaps the glass and plastic moulding contract at different rates thus potentially causing a problem where tight clearance is an issue. The problem would only occur after the car had sat in the driveway all night, so apparently the vehicle had to get pretty cold for the issue to arise.

    Either way, it was just something else for decon to look for. Let us know what you find.
  • When it gets cold, the molding gets stiffer cannot flex to let the glass pass. It was probably too close anyway, but the molding flexed just enough to let the door close when it was warm.
  • riri23riri23 Posts: 15

    I am debating between the sporty look of the
    Solara and the Mini-ute RAV4. I think I will get
    the RAV because of the 4dr and the cargo space.

    I don't have a child yet, but in the near future I
    will. I love the Solara but you bring me back to
    reality when you say I will need a strong back;
    otherwise, my choice would have been the Solara.

    Thanks for your help.
  • Vitahawk:

    My folks found this site for their Chrysler. You might want to check out the Toyota warranty they offer.
  • Oops! Here is the correct link for post #366.
  • I too had the door problem. I bought the car during summer and didn't experience the problem until cold weather set in, but who really knows? The dealer adjusted the window mechanism, no problems since.

    I own an older model (1999) SLE V6, 13500 mi. The only problems I've had are the door problem and the rocking chair driver seat.
  • gpoltgpolt Posts: 113
    If you wait two months, you will be able to get the Solara engine in a larger vehicle - the Highlander
  • Yes, you're better off with 4 doors, regardless of what you buy. The solara is "my" car, my wife has a wagon which is our primary family vehicle. The kids are in my car only 3-4 times a month. Good luck.
  • Without question, the current model Toyota Solara is one of the most beautiful pieces of automotive engineering ever made for the general public. I would just like to have the chance to test drive one, as I am in the market to replace my one year old Ford Focus. I love the way the Focus handles and drives, but I hate how much time it spends in the service department. So it must go.

    My latest attempt to test drive the Solara resulted in the worst insult that I have ever been given in my 15 years of buying numerous new cars. Let me state up front that I am also notorious for controlling the entire deal from the onset until I get the deal I want. So, I am no timid rookie when it comes to meeting up with intimidating car salesmen. I told the salesman that I wanted the base Solara with an automatic transmission as the only option. Yet every Solara has all sorts of useless options on the sticker, elevating them out of my desired price range. So he suggested a Corolla, and I told him that the Focus handled much better. As usual with any dealer, the salesman tells you to wait in this chair while he talks to his manager. Now I am already mad while I am waiting, as there was nothing for me to test drive, yet they are hell bent in selling me something. After five minutes of what seemed like eternity, the salesman comes back and tells me that they just got a used Focus in today that I could have for $12000. I came to buy a Toyota and they offer me another Focus?!! Needless to say, I stormed out of there!! They looked like they were glad to see me go. Their attitude was like "If we see that you don't want to spend big bucks, then we don't want your business". This was the most pronounced cocky attitude that I have ever seen at Toyota dealers, but I find all of them guilty of being overly cocky to some degree. They feel like they are selling the most reliable car and that everyone who walks in will simply buy a car at a price the salesman wants. When I find fault with the car, such as uncomfortable seats on the Corolla or poor handling, they don't want to hear it and try to sell me anything else.

    Due to some of Toyota's marketing practices such as charging you extra for the lug nuts, combined with the cocky attitude of their sales staff, I have not bought another Toyota since my last one left me stranded at 40K miles on a dark and lonely highway some 15 years ago. Ironically, it was a Toyota that inspired me to trade in every car before it reached 60,000 miles, and I still have yet to own another Toyota. If Toyota doesn't straighten out the attitudes of it's sales staff, many others like me will continue to spend their money elsewhere. I have only encountered one pleasant Toyota dealership in these last fifteen years, but why should I have to drive more than 100 miles to do business with them. So, it looks like Solara is out of the picture for me. For me, "Toyota" is a Japanese word that really means "over-rated and over-priced". This is really sad, as the base Solara with it's only option being an automatic transmission finally appears to be an excellent value offered by Toyota. But good luck finding one of these at a dealer who knows how to treat it's prospective customers. If anyone finds one, I would surely like to know.
  • ral2167ral2167 ohioPosts: 723
    well... it was unclear to me whether you actually test drove the solara-- even though you wanted a base solara with just automatic, couldn't you have test drove a loaded 4 cylinder auto that might have been on the lot, just to make sure you liked the ride? then the dealer can try to see what he can locate from other dealers in the geographic was unclear in your post whether you actually test drove the car, it didn't seem you did...

    by the way, did you go into the dealership with an attitude?

    secondly, seems to me that if you can only "afford" a stripped down solara, why not order the car and have it built that way? cause i have to believe finding a solara that just has automatic could be a problem....if nothing else they'll add a minimum package with power driver seat/floor mats/maybe a radio upgrade.

    third, now, listen to me, buster, this is tough love here, don't be buying no stripped down solara... there's plenty of 4 cylinder accord coupe automatics at your honda dealers....go that route...i own a solara, don't get me wrong, but if all you want is automatic and nothing much else, heck, get an accord LX coupe w/auto-- invoice is about $17,800..i'd think you'd be able to buy one for $18,300--and you can get it option free (other than the automatic added). i know, you want a solara, but listen, paul, finding a solara with JUST automatic, maybe i'm nuts but i have to think there's going to be at least a few other options added to most solaras you'll be able to find. you'll have a nicer coinbox in the accord so you can save your dimes to afford a solara WITH options in a few years.

    i will say this, them offering you another focus to replace your focus, well, that was kinda hot... i'd have been ticked off too.
  • Hey guys, I have a 2000 Toyota Solara,

    And I recently has a serious of events go wrong with mine. the drivers head light fell into the lens and the dealership wanted to charge 140.00 to get it out......and wouldnt warranty it. The battery cable bracket broke and the dealer ship said it was due to someone messing with the head light treat me like Crap I cant belive this> Kinda like im wrong and there right..... makes me a little angry with toyota now. A serious of events happen to this car and im peanlized for it. Does anyone else out there going thru the sames similar problems
  • gpoltgpolt Posts: 113
    If your dealer won't cover an ostensibly, warranted item, put the repair on your credit card and when the monthly statement comes, call your bank and tell them to deny payment to the dealership. At the very least, this will cause THEM some administrative headaches and waste of time.
  • ral2167ral2167 ohioPosts: 723
    maybe toyota thought the lens and battery bracket problems were due to an accident you had ... i assume if i have an accident of some kind, and a fender needs repair, that's not covered by warranty. did you indeed have an accident that caused the battery bracket to become deformed and the lens to fall into the light? if you did, you're trying to pull a fast one. pay the deductible to the insurance, and let the insurance cover the rest of the cost. and what's with the "serious" when you meant "series", and "peanalized"--- i have typos too, but i tend to try to proofread at least once to catch most of them. this isn't an accord coupe forum, after all-- we're solara owners-- show some dignity.
  • AnakinAnakin Posts: 410
    Most of us Accord Coupe owners learned to capitalize the first word in every sentence.

  • jraysjrays Posts: 20

    I think we can all sympathize with your plight. There are good salespeople and bad salespeople and the same can be said for customers.

    I have a 2000 SLE Solara and think it was one of the best buying decisions I've ever made. This car is classy, refined, sporty, comfortable, quick, quiet and reliable. Did I leave anything out? I've never owned such a "well-rounded" car with so much attention paid to every detail. It's a joy to drive (and be seen in). You owe it to yourself to test drive one. I think that will clinch the deal for you.

    There are other choices when it comes to buying your Solara. I bought my Solara through (the now defunct) CarOrder, but there are many others out there. One of the nicest guys selling Toyotas frequents this forum quite a bit: Cliffy1. If you want to talk with a straight-shooter with no run-around, he would be your best bet. Depending on where you live, you may want to travel to Cliffy's dealership and buy straight from him. You can still have your car serviced locally.

    Another person, who is in the Solara convertible forum a lot, is Dianne4Toyota. She sounds like another person who goes the extra mile to make her customers happy.

    You see, it's not just about the money to all salespeople. Don't give up on the Solara, if that's what you truly want.

    One more thing I would suggest: get as many options as you can afford. You may want to test drive the manual, 4 and 6 cylinders to see the difference. I got mine loaded and I enjoy all the options. Of course, that adds a bit to the price of the car, but hey, don't you deserve it?

  • Touche Anakin! I love it.

    To cllmartin. Charging the repair on a credit card then stopping payment is a bad idea, unless you enjoy making trouble for yourself.
  • no dealer wants to sell you a car without any extras. and no dealer ever orders any car without any extras. to fit your price range, they offered you a corolla. but you liked the focus better, so they offered you a focus. what's wrong about that? you have to realize that salesmen try to sell cars. that's their job. believe it or not, the cars don't usually sell themselves. would you buy a $20,000 stereo system if a salesman said it wasn't any good? also, there are very few dealers that can factory order a car for you. why don't you try or talk to the fleet manager?
  • Used cars have MUCH more profit in them than new cars - especially a stripped down model. Dealers make MOST of their long-term profit off the used car lot.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    I was quite ready to sympathize with your story after the first sentence. I am well aware that many (if not most) Toyota stores still employ the kinds of people who earned us our reputation. Cockyness and arrogance are rampant. As I continued to read you story, my sympathy dwindled. At any point did the salesman or manager explain why the car you were asking for is nearly impossible to find without a factory order? If they had, would you have listened? It seems to me that they did the only reasonable thing when faced with an unreasonable request: They tried to sell you something you would buy.

    If I am wrong and there is more to this story, I apologize. If they were guilty of nothing more than listening and responding to your demands, I can't really fault them.
  • I turned my anger of the insulting dealership into persistence and found two nice dealerships!!
    I also took a long lunch today and finally got to test drive a Solara SE with automatic, moonroof, alloys, and pearl white paint. Both dealers told me that base Solara's without any extra options simply don't exist, and ordering one is out of the question. My goal then was to minimize the useless options. This turned out to be a very good car for me to test drive.

    At first, I was very impressed with the car on city streets and bumpy roads. Noise level (or lack of, should I say) was superb! Interior was extremely attractive and well laid out. Then I got onto the highway, and the 4-cylinder engine showed it's true colors. It was a slouch in that department. Basically, the 4-cylinder Solara is an economy car that pretends to be a close relative of the Lexus. I also have no need for such pretensions. I would imagine that the
    6-cylinder engine would be more ideally suited to the Solara, but I drive 35,000 miles per year, and fuel economy is a major factor. I can afford the extra gas, but why waste the money at the pump. Too bad that the Solara is not available in an engine size between the 2.3 and 3.0. One is too little, while the other is a bit too much for my needs (and budget for speeding tickets).

    Since the Solara does not meet my needs, I did not buy it. However, the moonroof should be considered mandatory for this car, as there are only two windows to open. I judged the power seat to be useless, but that's just my opinion. Alloy wheels should also be mandatory for appearance purposes.

    Being that I was on a roll (literally), I decided to test drive the other top two cars on my list, such that back-to-back comparisons could be made.
    After work, I test drove the 32 MPG Olds Alero GL1 with the 3.4 liter V-6. This engine has less horsepower than the Solara 3.0, but gets better highway mileage than the Solara 2.3. I checked all the figures for accuracy long before test driving, and these figures are indeed correct. The 3.4 Olds engine was actually designed more with fuel economy in mind than exceeding 200 horses. I was actually more impressed with this Alero than the Solara, and especially with it's $4000 cheaper price tag. Then the thoughts of warped rotors and water leaks came back to mind, and I didn't but that car either.

    Now thinking it was time to go home and weigh the pros and cons of each, I chose to drive the third car just for the heck of it. Well, I just drove home a brand new 2000 Nissan Sentra SE with no added options. It's 145 BHP engine has almost as much pep as the Alero's 170 BHP (due to weight differences), good gas mileage, and a great ride to boot. It was also $7,000 less than the Solara, with similar base equipment and reliability history. This was the exact color and equipment I had wanted on this car, and I considered myself lucky that this last 2000 model was still on the lot after we saw it 2-3 weeks ago. Most SE models only come equipped with the Power Package, which has a harsh suspension and an ugly black fabric for the seats. My persistence got me the base SE with automatic, which already has PW, PL, PM, cruise, 100-watt AM/FM CD, fog lights, leather wrapped steering, titanium gauges, alloys, and remote keyless entry. That's all I need anyway.

    In the end, I judged the Solara to be a great car, but the engine choices just don't not fit my needs. And yes, there are truly nice Toyota sales people and closers out there. One just needs to keep looking until they're found, and then give them the verbal credit that they deserve. I would not hesitate to send a Toyota buyer to either one of these dealers. As for the one who tried to sell me another Focus, I wouldn't send my worst enemy to them.
  • You should try a Mercury Cougar v6. I test drove one and it was really nice. It had decent power, good gas mileage, and good handling without being too stiff. They're also VERY inexpensive...I saw a used one with 23k miles for just $12k.
  • nori10nori10 Posts: 24
    Just came to my mind today, watching the car and drvier best 10 cars for 2001, that toyota was not even in one of the sixty candidates... and accord was once again the winner. Where did camry go?..
    Not only that,almost everyone in this forum loves their solara, but so little reviews and attention is put into solara from motor trend..C&A..R&T and any internet sites. Also shopping for carparts online, many times from the scroll down bars, there is no such a choice as Solara. ( I guess they just classify it as a Camry). Why do cars such as accord get soo much attention and not the Solara? when they are in the same market? Is it just not popular yet? how are the sales statistics? I was just wondering..
    Can anybody make me more proud of owning a SOLARA!!
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