This is my second 2000 Toyota Solara. I purchased my first in 2009 when it had 103,000 miles on it. I really wanted a newer car, with less miles, but I "settled" for an old car with high mileage, wondering if I had made a mistake. Fast forward to September of this year, my 'mistake" now had 310,000 miles. It was beginning to show its hard, long mileage. So needing a reliable long distance vehicle for my job, I bought ANOTHER 2000 Solara with ONLY 176,000 miles from a couple that decided their poor old car was aging. Yay for me!
We bought a bright red coupe automatic about 3 years ago when it had 57k miles on it. Now it has 84k. I've replaced the brakes, tires, spark plugs, battery, and a starter, all wear items (except the starter). The car is exceptionally smooth and quiet (like a sewing machine), the leather feels like the leather in a Avalon or Lexus, gas mileage is good (mid 20's), and has never let us down. This has been a great car for the kids to drive. It also makes me feel like a teenager when I drive it (long doors, sporty feel). It is not terribly powerful (135 hp), but it does not overwhelm a young driver with power either. It also has a surprising amount of back seat room.
Looks, leather interior, sunroof.
I'd like 2-3 more inches of headroom (tall waisted), and the arm that holds the seatbelt up should be a bit higher (comes to below my shoulder).
I bought my 2000 Solara used in '02 (with 61k) and had it for 10 years (ended at 162k). I had a 89 Beretta and 93 Civic before buying my 1st Toyota. Both were often in the shop so I bought this b/c of the Toyota reputation and it never let me down. In 10 yrs all I did was replace the brakes & battery twice, the alternator and the air conditioning. It rode smooth until some asshat hit & totaled it. It was even pretty good in the snow! If anyone is looking to buy a Solara I would highly recommend it--and trust me I'm not a "car guy". My family was always American car owners. Now everyone owns a Toyota. Well, except me, I bought a Lexus w/ all the $ I got for its high resale value!
The classic exterior.
The comfortable interior.
The fact that I rarely had to do anything with the car other than put gas in the tank and oil in the engine.
Sometimes in cold weather the audio system would freeze up and I couldn't change the radio station.
And when the air was on high it would
occasionally drip water on my feet.
I had a '96 Camry that was totaled and my mechanic was selling a 2000 Solara with 125k on it for the right price. I had to put in a clutch and repair suspension the first year (as can be expected at 130k plus miles), since it has been amazing. I've put 50k on the car, and it drives smooth, the steering is tight, and it gets great gas mileage. I highly recommend it.
Stick shift, handling, ride quality.
A little more room in the front seat, I'm 6'4 and can feel cramped occasionally.
I have had this car for 4 years. I bought it as a compromise between mpg and comfort as I commute over an hour to work. I have only replaced the battery and tires in those 5 years and have put 200K+ miles on. Performing past my expectations.