2002 Toyota Camry Solara Review


Pros & Cons

  • Roomy cabin, convertible version, reliable Camry genes, delectable V6.
  • Expensive, Camry name doesn't inspire visions of excitement, no manual offered with SLE trim.
Other years
List Price Estimate
$1,596 - $3,745

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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.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Tim Mitchell,04/03/2016
SE 2dr Coupe (2.4L 4cyl 5M)
We bought this Solara in 02 from an auto auction. This car amazes me every day. We have 232000 miles on it and nothing ever goes wrong. Just regular oil changes and thats it. It runs smooth with no shaking, vibrating, noise, or rattles. I seriously wonder if Lexus parts were used in this vehicle. If you have a chance to get an 02 Solara, get it. It will prbably last another 10 years. Amazing!!
Fantastic Car
I bought my Solara in 2006 with 78,000 miles and it now has 242,000 miles on it. I have only replace the flex pipe on the exhuast,the driver side door window glide bar and the calipers on the front brakes total cost for parts so far is less than $500.00 it still runs great and get around 30-32 miles per gallon and burns no oil.I had a 1993 Lexus LS400 before I bought this car and it had 330,000 miles with no problems, so it also was a great also car.
Best car I have ever owned
I decided to give Toyota a try with the purchase of my 2002 Toyota Solara. This is by far the best vehicle I have ever owned. The only thing I have had to replace on this car in 4 years is tires and a battery.
Awesomely Surprised
I am surprised in the performance and most of all the gas mileage. I live in Los Angeles, my mom found this car in Hayward. I drove from Hayward to Los Angeles which was about 380ish miles I used a little more than a half of a tank. And still had enough to last me for the work weekend which ended it 500 miles to the tank. I have a lead foot so I was perhaps speeding. WOW. I like the V6 power and the sunroof. It is a fun car and I know Toyota are reliable. And I got the car under 65k miles so it is has a lot of life to go.

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 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 Overview

The Used 2002 Toyota Camry Solara is offered in the following submodels: Camry Solara Coupe, Camry Solara Convertible. Available styles include SE 2dr Coupe (2.4L 4cyl 4A), SE V6 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl 4A), SLE V6 2dr Convertible (3.0L 6cyl 4A), SLE V6 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl 4A), SE V6 2dr Convertible (3.0L 6cyl 4A), SE 2dr Convertible (2.4L 4cyl 4A), SE 2dr Coupe (2.4L 4cyl 5M), and SE V6 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl 5M).

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

Price comparisons for Used 2002 Toyota Camry Solara trim styles:

  • The Used 2002 Toyota Camry Solara SE V6 is priced between $3,896 and$3,896 with odometer readings between 189766 and189766 miles.

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Which used 2002 Toyota Camry Solaras are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2002 Toyota Camry Solara for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 2002 Camry Solaras listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $3,896 and mileage as low as 189766 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2002 Toyota Camry Solara.

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Find a used Toyota Camry Solara for sale - 8 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $16,228.

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Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota Camry Solara for sale - 9 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $18,988.

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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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