This is by far the best vehicle I have ever owned, period! Although advertising a 5-speed manual option, no dealer would carry it, so a letter to the CEO of Toyota in CA., quickly forced a dealer to order me a navy blue, dark gray, V6 powered, manual Solara. So unique that Toyota mechanics would call each other over to see it when I took it in for service. With only one significant issue (which out of warranty, Toyota still handled for me), this car was a flawless operator all the way up to 297,000 miles. It averaged between 27 to 38 miles per gallon, mainly averaging around 32mpg. The shifter was smooth, and although the V6 only generated 198hp, it definitely made it accelerate with urgency because of the manual shifter. The interior stayed solid, no rips, no tears, no dashboard cracks. The AC stayed cold. Maintenance was minimal, even the clutch didn't need to be replaced until just over 200,000 miles. The car drove smoothly and quietly like a Camry, but with an extra pep in its step. A little old lady ran a red light and destroyed it, with me in it. Yet those 18 year-old airbags did their job, the belt pre-tensioner held me in place and I'm walking today. It was the best car I ever owned and I tear up every time I see one on the highway.
It is fast for a toyota. The storage space is decent in the trunk but you might have trouble getting some things in the trunk because the clearance isn't amazing. It has never not started. I expect it to keep running into the 300g of milage and I run it pretty hard into high rpm often. It can get to 60 mph in less the 7 sec. the interior is well built and looks nice but the seats don't last. Sound system is very nice and can be very loud.
I bought my Solara new in December of 1998 even though it is a 1999 and it has been the best car I've ever owned. The gas mileage is unbelievable as is the cost to own. Change the oil regularly and your good to go. Fast forward to 2016 and I still own my 1999 Solara that's how good of a car it's been.
I've racked up over 300,000 miles on this thing and the engine still starts and runs as quiet as the day I bought it back when it had 70K miles on it. The only mistake I've ever made was a valve repair job at the Toyota dealership that cost me $1300. Could've taken it anywhere else for half that price. Outside of that, for a car to be this old, replacing parts is normal, but infrequent. It's ridiculously over-powered and has higher horse power, torque, and towing capacity than some brand new SUVs. Why Toyota decide a car this size needed this much power in it's class, who knows. I've never towed a damn thing with it. I love this car. I talk to it and tell it so. I believe it loves me too.