Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Toyota Solara



  • webguysterwebguyster Posts: 434
    everyone was bragging about their car, and raving about it, some getting TRD kits. Now it seems, everyone is either too busy driving their cars, or too busy fixing them!?! :)

    30K, and already a drivers side window control failure??? Minor problem, but there is something to be said about "Planned Obsolescence"!!! At 3 years, 36K, that would be several hundred $$$'s out of your pocket. IMO, money pit. It looked good in the beginning, but the the amount the Solara cost, for me, versus 2 years later, and the current resale value, and the various minor problems, not worth it. I believe I could have done better with a Chevy or a Dodge!?! Wait a minute, I had a Chevy and a Dodge. Chevy, no complaints, just too many trouble free miles, before moving on the Dodge. Dodge, too many days in the dealers shop for repairs, for minor issues, and parts delays.

    My 2 cents about this car, it that it looks nice, and the interior has a higher quality feel than the competition, but it is not what Toyota quality used to be.
  • automophileautomophile Posts: 780
    This board was full of happy NEW Solara owners a couple of years ago when the cars were new to the market. Everyone was happy with this great car. Check out any other board for a newly released car - it will be very similar.

    NOW, there are many thousands more of the Solaras out on the road, they are no longer rare and new. So, the board is like most others - a sounding board for those with problems. Considering that there must be several times as many Solaras on the road now as compared to 2 years ago, there sure aren't very many problems reported. This is still a GREAT car, a GREAT quiet drive, and a GREAT value with VERY few problems. Enjoy!
  • jraysjrays Posts: 20
    Automophile: I agree with you that most people are satisfied with their Solaras and that's why this board is not as active. Has anyone else noticed that the same few people go on endlessly about picking the car apart for every little (perceived) problem. Get a grip! If you aren't satisfied with the car then get rid of it. The rest of us are happy with our Solaras. I've had mine for 2 years with ZERO problems. If one does come up, I'll be sure and get it repaired, under warranty, and then keep on enjoying the car. Don't get me wrong. We all want to hear about problems with the car, but some of the complaints are so minor that they are almost laughable. It's a machine and all machines will have problems and need repairs and/or adjustments, sooner or later.

    I'm sure when the Solara is close to a redesign, this board will once again become very active with excited new owners.

    There's probably a lot of other lurkers, like me, that check this board every day. I may not leave a post very often, but I am still here.
  • webguysterwebguyster Posts: 434
    Even Edmunds says it is pricey. Dollar for dollar, the Acura, any Acura, seems to me, to be a better value. Not too many whiney Acura people on the sites. The car looks GREAT, but IMO, quality is lacking, for the price. If this car were, say...$5-10,000 less, then I would give it an "11" on a scale of 1-10, but it's not.
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    The price? The things go for under $20k.

    What would you pay for the same sized, similarly-equipped Acura?
  • I'd have to pay $3K, perhaps as much as $5K depending on the deal, more than I paid for my 02 SLE to get a base Acura CL. What extra do I get? A flip reverse rear view mirror on the right side. A micron air filter. 60 extra hpwr under the hood. For 3 grand? Acura is a better...what now??

    Ezshift, I am interested in tires too. I note the following from CU tests:

    the new camry 4 cyl has potenza 205's, and stops from 60 mph in 149 feet.

    the new camry 6 cyl "handles much better than the 4 cyl" with it's 215 Continentals, and stops in 128 feet. It gets 20 mpg average.

    The Solara SLE with the potenza 205's stops in 140 feet. It gets 22 mpg.

    These data aren't exactly apples to apples, but it looks like the Solara would do better with good 215's, maybe more so with 225's, but mileage
    would cost you.

    One more item. Did anyone try a K&N drop-in air filter in their Solara? Did it do anything for pedal responsiveness or mileage?
  • webguysterwebguyster Posts: 434
    You are lucky if you got a Solara for under $20,000. I have the 2000, SE V6, option #4, add keyless remote and alarm. MSRP, $25,000ish, Premium Wheels, JBL stereo, plus a few dealer add on's, cargo net and the like, tax, etc, and I have a $31,000 car. They were more expensive when they first came out, and the new Solara models have LESS STANDARD features, and lack "Premium Features", so maybe the NEW MODELS are under $20,000, bare bones. My point, is I do not have a bottom of the line, but a 00, top of the line, 00 SE V6(remember the features are different now), only lacking leather, moonroof, dimming mirror, and electronic climate control, things I do not care for. IMHO, I could purchase an equally priced vehicle of better value and/or quality, plus I would not have the potential sludge issue to worry about.
  • bjrichbjrich Posts: 125
    We pick up our new 2002 Sle v6 Monday nite. Black with two tone taupe interior, leather, tail fin, moon roof and it is a really good looking car. we traded in a 97 cl Acura, a car we loved because it drove so well, but the new Solara really out drives it. Hard to believe it drives better than the CL. I believe it is pretty well loaded as it listed for close to $27,000 and we paid $24,000 minus $10,000 for the Cl. and we are happy! Anxious to get it home.This is my first time on this forum but will keep reading and writing as time goes on.Bob
  • canccanc Posts: 715
    Congratulations on your new car! I'm sure you'll really like it. It's a real pleasure to drive, and the superb sound system is a real treat whenever there's a great song on the radio.

    The car is very well equipped and extremely well built. It's no wonder they compare it to a Lexus.

    Anyway, have fun driving, and keep posting your comments.
  • webguysterwebguyster Posts: 434
    Congrats' on your Solara, and may you not have the ongoing trim, finish, and mechanical issues I have had. Good Luck! Mine started out as 'The BEST car I have ever owned!" Now...Hyundai's are startin' to look good!?! :^)

    Anyone know how to get the piezo chirper to start working again. Mine stopped! Techs stumped. Almost prefer it this way, but it is not supposed to be this way!?!
  • gotta hand it to ya - yer one of the few - however, if you think paying $26K for an Acura CL (why go there? it's the Accord 2-door coupe which is the Solara's real and noteworthy rival) and saying that's a better deal...? A stripper CL? who gets an entry-level luxo coupe stripped? And how much shopping did you really do? i got my 2000 SE V-6 stick w/ moonroof and leather, premium stereo/wheels: out the door at $23,500.
    only peeps who can't confirm that they change their oil regularly (and peeps with Sienna's, it would seem) seem to have a sludge prob. i have no sludge prob at 36K miles...
    no carmaker is perfect, and check the BMW/Acura/Lexus chats for their various complaints (remember the misaligned body panels brouhaha that the 99 Acura CL/TL's ran thru?)
    you got a legitimate beef, but to say that the Solaras as a whole are not good, well, I have to disagree. IMHO
  • webguysterwebguyster Posts: 434
    silversolara, I did not do too much shopping for the car. I went to Acura, I could not get a saleman to come to the lot, and drove to Toyota a few blocks away. The Solara looked kinda' like an Acura, IMO, swoopy lines, sporty, conservative, Camry reliability!?! I can not say what I honestly paid, as I traded in my 1997 Dodge Avenger, and they fudged the numbers. On paper, $22,000 ish, but I got the dealer trade in special on the Avenger, and the speech on saving sales tax, not selling it myself, yatta, yatta, etc. I just got back from fixing the chirper, it came unplugged, and a wheel alignment, and found that the SAI is out of spec, and cannot be adjusted. That's probably the cause of the endless alignments. They can't fix it!?! Oh well.
  • canccanc Posts: 715
    It's been rumored that if the CL numbers don't improve, Acura would discontinue the CL. It's no surprise, like SilverSolara said, why pay $26k for an Acura CL when you can have a Solara, or a 2-door Accord? I don't like Acuras because they all look alike. I have a hard time distinguishing a TL or a CL from a distance.

    The Acura CL is not a bad car, but I wouldn't buy it.
  • luphyluphy Posts: 31
    I'm approaching my two year mark and am planning on getting my ATF changed to a synthetic, as well as getting my coolant flushed/changed. Has anyone had this done, and about how much did it cost? Also, what are the advantages/disadvantages of using either Dex II or III (I think those are the two you can use...I don't have my manual in front of me).
    And if I remember right, the V6 engine does not need to have the differential fluid changed?
    Would appreciate any help, thanks.
  • webguysterwebguyster Posts: 434
    I would ask your service advisor for the local recomendations for the diff-fluid, and look at driving habits. This is another fluid in the car that you do not want to scrimp on maintenance, IMO.

    Yeah, the Acura's all look alike, but so do the Solara's. If I see another exactly like mine, AAAHHHH! 2 years ago, it was nice to have a somewhat unique car, but now, they are everywhere, and with limited aftermarket parts to trick them out, without going TRD, they are becoming like that "Antique Sage" green Camry or Silver Civic's. Everyone has one! Maybe white stripes down my hood??? EECH!!!
  • canccanc Posts: 715
    What I meant is that the whole Acura line in general all look alike. The CL doesn't bear remarkable differences with the TL, and the same goes for the RL. At least with Toyota, the Solara is completely different than the Camry, or the Avalon, or the Celica.
  • chop420chop420 Posts: 7
    Interesting comments from everyone. I've owned my '02 Solara fro about 2 weeks and so far I love it. I traded in a 2000 Volvo S70 GLT and was able to work a straight-up trade for the Solara. Not sure I got a great deal, the sticker on the Solara was 21,675 and they originally offered me $20,500 for my Volvo. I got the SE Coupe with the new 4cy engine -- I think it's got plenty of power for daily driving, not the throw you back in the seat power of the turbo-charged Volvo, but the power is very controllable and consistent. I love the smoooooth ride and handling. It's a very easy car to drive and I hope will be very dependable. My only gripe is I've struggled to get a comfortable seating position for the drivers seat -- I was spoiled by the Volvo's seats--too bad the electrical system was a mess.
  • webguysterwebguyster Posts: 434
    It's nice when you can get a so-so even trade, even if you down grade a bit. I hope you enjoy the Solara. There have been many times I wished for an even trade, even for a Ford Focus. LOL! The "throw you back in the seat " thing can be obtained with the V-6, and I like for highway driving, and merging, in friendly, good luck getting in, Chicago driving. Seats in Solara are fairly adjustable, but I believe Volvo's are wider. You will adjust, and I hope you have Toyota's reliablity, as I have not seemed to have picked one of the better Solaras, probably bult on Monday or Friday. :^)
  • webguysterwebguyster Posts: 434
    Yeah the Acuras are difficult to distinguish from CL, TL, to RL, and the rest, but the driver knows what he has under the hood. While waiting at the dealer the other day, I was looking at the 02 Solara's, and the MSRP is down from a few years ago, but so is the "flashy" silver chrome-look grill, and standard features. The new SE's have plastic wheel covers standard!?! Not even the 15 inch alloys, let alone the 16 inch premo's!?! What happened??? Still like the way it looks, from a distance, plain, aero-dynamic, and somewhat sporty, at most angles, as long as you don't look at it from behind. I would like to see a "sportier spoiler" however, although I prefer the look of the car without the spoiler, IMO.
  • chop420chop420 Posts: 7
    My new Solara is a the dealership today for installation of a security system and re-installation of my Alpine CD Changer from my Volvo. They gave me a new Volvo S40 as a loaner car -- what a piece of junk! It seems so small and cheap compared to the Solara -- but the sticker is nearly $8,000 more. Sure makes me appreciate the smooth and quiet Solara!
  • westsolarawestsolara Posts: 18
    Anyone know the procedure for changing the transmission fluid for the Solara? I had a Honda Accord and it was very simple...just remove the plug from the pan(the plug was magnetized and acted as a filter),clean the plug and re-install it and then replace the fluid.
  • cnmancnman Posts: 7
    I can report that after two years and 20,000 miles of driving my 2000 DWP SLE that I am still very pleased with this car. The only real bugaboo is an annoying rattle in the passenger seat cushion that is heard on uneven pavement. I intend to have this fixed one of these days. Other than that I have not had any of the other issues that I have read about in this forum from time to time. No sludge, no front end alignment snags, everything has functioned and held together well, and the CD changer had worked perfectly (its almost always on when I'm driving). Compared to other cars in its price range I feel that the Solara is a great value. My wifes' 2001 Accord sedan also is a well designed and built car but it does not have the overall feel of quality that I get when driving the Solara. The Solara is quiet and smooth, qualities normally only found in upscale automobiles. I also like its smooth looks and interior room and comfort. I intend to keep it until I find another car that can beat it in all of these qualities in this segment of the market.
  • ezshift5ezshift5 West coastPosts: 857
    ..........con automatico this time. Just broke the 31k barrier. No real complaints. Warranty is still effective for awhile to handle just about anything that could arise. Have been continually impressed with fuel economy, low cost of maint (oil change is 20 skins at the dealer) and quiet ride. Will be replacing tires later this year: going to 215/55 - - - probably Mich MXV4+; then perhaps less bouncy shocks...............ez
  • ezshift5ezshift5 West coastPosts: 857
  • bjrichbjrich Posts: 125
    250 Miles and loven it;We really could not believe that any car could have given us the great feeling that our 97 Acura CL 2.2 gave us. I tried to talk to the Acura salesman but all he could do was blow smoke at me. We drove the SE Sedan, 4 cylinder, and the V6 XLE Sedan and liked them. Being we liked the CL coupe, we tried the Solara coupe, and fell in love. It really impressed us. It took the sting out of leaving Acura that we had so enjoyed. The service at the Acura dealer was really marvelous and I doubt if the Toyota Dealer will match it. However, we feel the service will very good, at least better than most car dealers.I do not expect any problems at all with the Solara. It just feels perfect.Will post in one year and let you all know how we are doing. bob
  • webguysterwebguyster Posts: 434
    I had this too! There is a TSB to use a heat gun to schrink a cable, or something like that. Mine had to go to a trim shop. It was quiet for about 5,000 miles, and started rattling again, but not as bad. Good luck with yours. Best solution, move the seat forward a bit, and the rattle is not as bothersome. I am closing in on 36,000, miles, and most, not all minor probs worked out, and/or getting used to. Most things have been replaced, so maybe can get another 36,000 out of it!?! Maybe this time trouble-free!!! LOL

    Westsolara... about the tranny fluid. My suggestion, go to the dealer. I have found that just about everything that was user maintainable in other cars, in the Solara, requires a lazy quiet afternoon to change anything, down to even a bulb, which took at least 25 minutes...after finding the right tools!!!
  • curlyqcurlyq Posts: 54
    Has anyone been through this process with Toyota? Any positive results? Your imput is aprreciated. Curly
  • curlyqcurlyq Posts: 54
    Hi Everyone. There is a new Solara topic in the Maintainence and Repair section. Please take a look. Thanks, Curlyq
  • I've been away from the topic a while. Our 38 month old '99 SE #4, auto, sunroof, Michelin 205/16, alum. spare rim, black cloth Beauty has been great. Not flawless, but great. Mobil One filters and 10-30 every 6-7K miles, 21 mpg mixed and love the silence of operation. Brittle paint chips easily, "rocking chair" fixed under TSB,thunk not solved by...replacing the tank!
  • curlyqcurlyq Posts: 54
    Hello fellow Solara owners. Please share your experiences good and bad regarding any paint chipping your Solara has experienced. Please include year and color. Also, any tips you have for minimizing chips, repairing chips, etc. And how has your Solara's paint finish compared to other vehicles you've owned. Hopefully we can all learn from each others experiences. Thank you, Curlyq (Red 2000 22K)

Sign In or Register to comment.