Used 2002 Toyota Camry Solara Convertible

2002 Toyota Camry Solara
List price range
2002 Toyota Camry Solara


  • Roomy cabin, convertible version, reliable Camry genes, delectable V6.


  • Expensive, Camry name doesn't inspire visions of excitement, no manual offered with SLE trim.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Stuck on the old Camry platform, the Solara coupe offers little when compared to all-new '02 Camry and its modern features, unless you want a convertible.

vehicle overview

Toyota has an all-new 2002 Camry this year, and it looks to be significantly better than the previous one. While the 2002 Camry Solara has "Camry" in its name and has freshened front and rear styling, don't be hoodwinked; the Solara is still built on the previous Camry platform, and will likely continue this way until the Spring of 2003.

Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily. With its own distinctive sheetmetal and a convertible roof option, the Solara does have its own particular attributes. Available in two trim levels, SE or SLE, and in your choice of coupe or convertible formats, Solara looks like a promising package. Under the hood you will find either a 2.4-liter 157-horsepower four-cylinder engine (new for this year) or a 3.0-liter 192-hp V6.

Either engine can be had in the SE model, but the premium-grade SLE comes only with the V6 and an automatic transmission. For buyers looking to get the maximum "sport" out of the Solara, the SE V6 with a five-speed manual is your best bet. Note that the Honda Accord Coupe V6 does not offer a manual transmission, or a convertible top, for that matter. Yessireebob, Toyota does give the consumer a wide variety of choice.

For handling duty, Toyota takes the previous Camry's basic suspension and makes it stiffer by increasing the damping rates and adding a brace that joins the front strut towers together. It also reinforces the transom between the trunk and the passenger compartment and stiffens the front and rear suspension mounts for improved overall body rigidity. Additionally, the Solara features a steering system that is more sport-oriented than the Camry's. However, the Solara is still geared for comfort. If you're looking for true handling excellence, check out the Celica or even the sport-tuned '02 Camry SE.

The interior is quiet and full of high-quality switchgear laid out in a logical manner. Cloth upholstery is standard, with leather available on SLE models. The pricey convertible features a power folding top, automatic-down power rear-quarter windows and a glass backlight with defogger. Too bad a proper seal between the windshield and roof was overlooked, giving our test car a hackneyed feel.

Safety is high on Toyota's list of priorities when it comes to the Solara, but the stuff that matters is optional. Base SE models don't come with standard ABS. Optional side airbags can be ordered on any model. If you purchase an SLE model, traction control can be checked on the options sheet. You can also get a JBL audio system, so long as you opt for the leather package. The anti-theft and engine immobilizer system is restricted to SLEs, while SEs come standard with a six-speaker cassette stereo.

Ultimately, the Solara is an older two-door Camry with more aggressive styling and minor suspension differences. Style takes precedence over utility. This makes it an OK choice, but the new Camry is clearly a better car than the old one. Go with the convertible if you seek something a little more whimsical.

2002 Highlights

More power is in store from a new 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. On the outside, Toyota has added a redesigned front grille and bumper, new headlights and taillights and a bolder rear bumper. A new appearance package (only available on the SE Coupe) includes alloy center caps for the wheels, a three-spoke perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, black trim and Black Pearl emblems. Rounding out the changes are standard daytime running lights, optional seat heaters (coupes only) and a trunk-opener function for the keyless remote.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2002 Toyota Camry Solara.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Good value
Have had for 4 years. Smooth, quiet, only replaced tires during this time. Dependable, and enjoyable to drive. Excellent sound system. Very reliable. Expect to have this car for many years to come.
My opinion
LSC III,06/21/2005
Great automobile, fun to drive, mechanically solid, looks great, worth the time.
Not too bad but could be better
chin 2,11/29/2008
Our 1st convertible & although the top down is nice I am very disappointed with the mpg which is 19 not the 22-23I was hoping for. The leather is hard and the kids need to sit on pillows because of that. It has a squeak that's annoying when driving at low speeds. and the paint quality isn't great for a white pearl color. It is peppy and the radio/cd is nice. We had it for 3 months now and only got a valet key with it and now the dealer has to replace the ecm to have new master keys programmed and made. The ecm is free, keys aren't. Overall for 7300 price its an ok deal. I just wish I got better mpg, also it does have an occasional puff of smoke on start ups, aka valve seals worn, fun car though.
Solara Convertible
Terrific vehicle - Lexus like build quality at a Toyota price. Haven't driven the new Chrysler, but if want a convertible and need more than 2 seats, this baby is tough to beat!
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Features & Specs

17 city / 24 hwy
Seats 4
4-speed automatic
198 hp @ 5300 rpm
17 city / 24 hwy
Seats 4
4-speed automatic
198 hp @ 5300 rpm
20 city / 28 hwy
Seats 4
4-speed automatic
157 hp @ 5600 rpm
See all Used 2002 Toyota Camry Solara Convertible features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated

More about the 2002 Toyota Camry Solara
Used 2002 Toyota Camry Solara Convertible Overview

The Used 2002 Toyota Camry Solara Convertible is offered in the following styles: SLE V6 2dr Convertible (3.0L 6cyl 4A), SE V6 2dr Convertible (3.0L 6cyl 4A), and SE 2dr Convertible (2.4L 4cyl 4A).

What's a good price on a Used 2002 Toyota Camry Solara Convertible?

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Should I lease or buy a 2002 Toyota Camry Solara?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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