Vehicle: 2006 V6 SLE coupe
Purchased Aug 2013 with 166K km (103K miles).
I already have a 2010 Camry Hybrid (and a 2000 Camry CE) so I bought this as a newer "second" car given that the 2000 is getting a bit old. I was looking for something a bit sportier but still reliable and this seemed to be the best choice.
Quite comfortable, nice looking car, good power (with the V6), high-end features (in the SLE). For a 7 year old car, it still looks quite stylish. Has a good reliability record so it should last for many years. Body in good shape: doesn't show its age.
Not a sports car but has a touch of Lexus styling and fun to drive with the sunroof open. I generally avoid cars with a sun roof because of the headroom (I'm 6'4") but I'm OK in the Solara. Back seat is very usable and it has a great trunk.
Lots of power. Able to get 8L / 100km (30 mpg) or better on the highway. With a light touch, city gas mileage isn't too bad either.
Things that could be better:
* Leather seats look good but aren't as comfortable as the seats in my 2010 Hybrid. Lumbar support isn't sufficient.
* Back seat headroom is limited so you don't want to go on any long trips with 6 footers in the back.
* The V6 engine is hard to service on the rear side. It has long-life spark plugs but when they need to be done (192K km?) the labor is quite expensive.
* If you ever need to change the rear shocks, the back seat needs to be torn apart to do it.
Iím very disappointed on how the car's finish has held up. My sun visors on both sides have been replaced 3 time because of a wear hole in the same place, dashboard marks up and canít remove marks, top has a hole in it from where it folds over when the top is down, window rubber stoppers keep falling off after 3 repairs, door panel is coming undone and about 5 more things that are poor quality. Iíve been to the dealership MANY times and was told by Toyota area tech that Toyota ďdoesnít careĒ and thatís what happens to convertibles when exposed to the sun. POOR ENGINEERING!!! I thought I was buying a Toyota and a company that stands behind without a fight, but I was wrong. This was my 5th new Toyota.
Toyota needs to listen to long time (any) customers, because no one makes a PERFECT car and problem solving will lead to higher customer satisfaction. I never asked Toyota to eat the problems, just look at them and improve and learn from them!
We bought the car during the summer months. Should have driven the car with the top up. Impossible to see on the sides. I hate driving at night due to the terrible blind spots. We have owned other convertibles never had blind spots as bad as this Camry. With the top down it's great. But we live in the Midwest so the top is not down a whole lot. I hope Toyota works on the blind spot problems. If anyone test drives this car they need to drive with the top up as well as down. Be careful. I have almost cut off many people due to the blind spots. Added the little round mirrors on the side mirrors to help with this problem. Most likely would not buy another Camry convert.
I leased this car in May 2005 (2006 model) and was impressed with the ride, acceleration, and quietness. I guess I should have driven a little more with the top up for the test drive. Top- down driving is pure pleasure! Top-up is challenging due to the large rear headrests (cannot remove) and the large c-pillars. One quickly learns to drive using only the side mirrors. I have had MANY close-calls cutting people off because I could not see them beside me or slightly behind. Backing up will require putting your head out the driver's window to look back. Mechanical & build quality are PERFECT!
Engine power. Quiet with top up. Comfortable seats. Toyota reliability!
We bought the first 2004 Solara to arrive in this area, and enjoyed it greatly until it perished in a collision. We sought an exact duplicate as fast as we could. The replacement 2006 model has served us well for over 36,000 miles with no repairs at all. We have received many compliments on its appearance (red with black interior), and it is quiet and smooth at highway speeds. The trunk is large and the front seats are very comfortable. The only small complaint I have is the transmissions reluctance to downshift quickly after my wife has been driving the car slowly around town. This can be re-set by gassing the car from a stop several times, and it will "learn" to downshift quicker.
The top-down cruising is great. Reliable and practical in every day use.
Rear visibility needs improvement, and a rear view camera should be an option. A "sport" mode for the transmission to allow quicker downshifts would cure the hesitation from a dead stop.