Toyota introduced the Camry Solara for 1999. It’s a coupe version of Toyota’s popular midsize sedan. This five-passenger model was joined by a four-passenger convertible in 2000. Both body styles were built through 2008, covering two generations.
Toyota Camry Solara Overview
The Toyota Camry Solara was introduced in 1999, representing the first Camry coupe since an earlier model was sold from 1994 to 1996.
The first-generation Camry Solara’s sheet metal is more rounded than the Camry sedan’s, with a sloping roofline, profile sculpting and unique front and rear fascias.
Upon its debut, the Camry Solara offered a pair of engine choices. A 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine was standard and a 3.0-liter V6 was available. Both engines were paired with a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission.
For 2000, the convertible version made its debut and SLE models added a premium JBL audio system as standard equipment. A six-disc CD changer became available as well.
Two years later, Toyota swapped out the base engine for a new 2.4-liter four cylinder. Tweaks were made to the front and rear fascia. Daytime running lights became standard equipment and optional heated front seats were offered with the Solara coupe.
The lone change for 2003, the final year for the first-generation model, was the elimination of the manual transmission for the V6 engine.
The second-generation Camry Solara reflected a more nuanced design departure from the Camry sedan. The 2004 model offers an angular presentation with Lexus-like headlamp assemblies dominating the front fascia. The same teardrop-shaped design seen up front is applied to the combination lamps in the rear.
The base engine was a carried over from the previous-generation, while a newly available 3.3-liter V6 engine was paired with a five-speed automatic transmission.
Standard equipment includes keyless entry, power accessories, cruise control, antilock brakes, side air bags and a six-speaker audio system. A sunroof, leather seats and a DVD-navigation system were options in 2004.
Changes for 2005 apply to the SE convertible only and include leather touches added to the shift knob and to the steering wheel. For 2006, Toyota shuffled the equipment to include power-adjustable lumbar support for the driver’s seat across the model line. The previous four-speed automatic transmission with the base engine was replaced by a five-speed automatic.
The Camry Solara was refreshed for 2007 with new front and rear fascias. Other exterior changes brought in available HID xenon headlights and new taillights. Inside, the available navigation system gained voice activation. Bluetooth connectivity, an auxiliary jack and satellite radio were also added. No changes were made for the final year of production.
The most direct competitor to the Toyota Camry Solara was Honda Accord coupe. Other models in this segment include the Chrysler Sebring coupe and convertible, Pontiac G6, Volkswagen Eos and Volvo C70.