Used 2006 Toyota Camry Solara Coupe Consumer Reviews
This is a great choice as a used car. They aren't too expensive, they still look classy and they are very reliable. With the V6, the gas mileage is still decent. I bought this a a second car so I didn't want to spend too much. I bought it for $8500 with 166k km (103k miles) on it. Like (almost all) Camry's these cars last a long time and they have a strong reputation for reliability. It's been about 6 months since I bought it and I have no regrets. This car is comfortable to drive, pretty quiet and has power when you need it. Not a sports car but sportier than your average sedan!
I was in the market for a used car that was not too big, too small, not a real expensive "luxury" model nor a real basic model with no frills. I knew I wanted leather interior, a power drivers seat, good acceleration,comfort, quiet interior and VG seat comfort so the search went on for about two months reading reviews and test driving used cars. A 2010 Lincoln MKZ caught my attention but I found that the seat was not as comfortable as I wanted and the three Ford service centers in my area stunk when it came to appointments and their attitude towards their customers. I then test drove a 2004 Solara SLE and I knew I had found the right car so the search began for the right Solara for me. I ended up driving 149 miles to a Toyota dealer in Georgia to look at a 2006 Solara SLE V6. Based on the CarFax and Autocheck reports and the overall condition of the vehicle, it seemed to have been pretty well maintained so I bought it and drove it home. (newer timing belt and water pump) I had my local Toyota dealer go over the car and it needed spark plugs and a battery. The $498 for spark plugs (mostly labor) was a shock but the irridium plugs do last for a very long time and I only put about 5,000 a year on a car so those are likely the last plugs to go in for me. The transmission felt sort of odd in the way it sometimes shifted when I coasted to a slow speed then reapplied pressure to the gas pedal so I mentioned that to the dealer and they cleared and updated the computer module to learn my driving habit and that did make a difference. The new plugs did improve the feeling of acceleration and I've been using 89 octane for the last two months then I plan on going to 87 soon to see if I feel a difference in performance. The car is comfortable, quiet inside, everything does what it's supposed to do and the styling is timeless IMHO. Driving around town is pleasurable but this vehicle really shines on the highway at higher speeds with enough reserve power to pass other vehicles that are already doing 70MPH even with the A/C on. Thank goodness I felt the 3.3 engine was mandatory for me. On a smooth road surface the car rides on a cloud and when there's a bump or rough road surface the "sport suspension" shows up but the bumps are cushioned. So if you want a big old luxury car ride or a real sports car ride this car may not be for you as it's a combination of both. There is some "road feel" through the steering wheel but not like a real sports model but overall this is a very nice vehicle and I'm not sorry that I bought it. Just be aware of the older Toyota "dashboard" problem with cracking or feeling sticky and the pulling the left on some model years that I've read about on-line. If the car pulls to the left don't rely on a wheel alignment to cure it. Find another Solara that doesn't pull to the left or that has a dashboard in better condition.
No car is perfect but the Solara comes close. First the few cons: 1. If you are over six feet tall you will find the headroom tight especially in the rear. 2. The view out the rear window is poor. Other than that this car ROCKS! To have a smooth, powerful, reliable, beautiful loaded head turner of a car for under 27m is incredible. The interior is impeccable with high quality materials fit for the finest Lexus. Outside the car looks like the $64,000 Lexis SC430 except that it has a real back seat (roomy too!) and a big trunk. Go figure. The smooth powerful V6 is a joy to behold and the interior cabin seems soundproof. The SLE is loaded with features but the best feature is owning one.
I drive long distances and this car gets fantastic gas mileage, is comfortable, quiet, and fun to drive. I have the 2.4L and was surprised with the power. It gets 30-32mpg on the highway consistently. We love the ride quality and comfort. It gets lots of compliments wherever we go.
When I first got the car I instantly realized all the things I didn't like about it...minimal head room, seat belt is hard to reach and it is very hard to see where the bumper is when backing up. After driving it for a while though I have realized that those things don't really matter once you get used to it and it is a REALLY FUN CAR TO DRIVE! It's like a full sized sporty sedan. Highly recommend it.