I've had this car about a year now! I love it. It's very spacious, well made, has a luxious feel, and an awesome stero. I love the hard lines and sporty look. It runs smooth, light, and fast. Its truly a great car!
My best friend refused to buy American cars and always bought Toyotas, Nissans and Hondas. I laughed at him until I got stuck with a LEMON American GM car. I bought two Toyotas both 2004 models and they are flawless perfect vehicles. I keep them maintained religiously and they have never let me down. This Solara is mine and I am absolutely in love with this car. I am 62 and have never had such a reliable vehicle. You couldn't pry it from mt cold dead hands (unless you gave me a new one)
at 49 I have owned many car brands but this solara has been the best ever. Bought it 3 years ago with 82km and now have 171km and it runs like new. 3 weeks ago I hit black ice and went over a bank and almost cried at the thought that it may be totalled. It was repairable and will get it back this week. Regular maintenance & new timing belt, water pump is all I've ever done to it. Plan on running it until it literally falls apart. Only thing I would trade it for is a newer one with less miles.
I bought the car from a small dealer's online ad and the dealer is 2 highway hours away from my home. The previous owner[s] had all services done at two Toyota dealers. My selling dealer had to have the front upper strut mount body metal reinforced due to heavy corrosion. The repair seems fine. The rear suspension was very noisy - constant clanking/knocking noises over any road surface. Had to drive the car all the way back for the dealer to inspect, and just before the drive test, and during it, the noise reached catastrophic levels - sounded like a jackhammer crew was bashing the underside to pieces. Dealer replaced both rear strut mounts and struts, and brake rotors and pads. I had the rear sway bar bushings replaced by my local Toyota dealer. The repairs left the car with mild clunking at times, but basically it's not too bad. I've had to replace the entire parking brake cable/shoe assemblies, but at 12 years, it's expected.The car otherwise is absolutely wonderful and I love it more as the weeks go by. The JBL stereo cassette and CD performance is superb. The lighting at night is great. Most people think it's a new car, and you can only tell its age from the driver's seat leather wear. I'd buy another in a heartbeat, but only a coupe. I think the convertible top is hideous when up. I do think having no lock cylinders in the right door and deck lid is dumb though. Two year report: I still feel exactly the same way. Noisy suspension at slow speed but everything else is wonderful.
As I enter my fourth year with this car I can honestly say I am more impressed as time goes by. The car is powerful, capable and gets surprisingly good mileage. I have not had one major repair and the only expense has been maintenance. This is my second Toyota and won't be the last. I came out of an 2002 Audi A4 that was a disaster. Toyota is the benchmark of well built and fairly priced mass market automobiles.