2002 Toyota Camry Solara SE V6 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl 5M)
My third Solara (had 4cyl and SLE). The V6 5spd is the best! Much more power(200hp) than 4 cyl and much more fun to drive than SLE. Not a sports car, but has a real sporty feel. If you really enjoy the driving experience, you must get the SE V6 5spd! Very quick acceleration, silky smooth and quiet, but responsive and sporty handling. Fine overall quality of workmanship (virtually trouble free). Great bet for the mid-lifer who didn't quite make it to that sports car.
5 spd man tran (fun,fun,fun). Overall quality of workmanship. Spruced up '02 styling.
I've owned the 2002 Toyota Solara Convertable for 3 years now, and I still enjoy driving it, particularly around town, somewhat less so on the highway (especially with the top down, when wind noise can be tiring). For a convertible, you probably can't do better in this price range. I note a few rattles at high speeds, and lately the brakes "shimmy" when slowing from highway speeds, but I've had no mechanical trouble with this car-- just change the oil, rotate the tires, typical wonderful Toyota reliability.
Handling, acceleration, CD changer and sound system, visibility (with top down), relatively quiet ride (for a convertible).
Heated seats, passenger-side electric seats, better visability (with top up).