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2000 Toyota Solara Convertible

2dr Conv SLE V6 Auto

Starting at | Starting at 19 MPG City - 26 MPG Highway

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  • $30,488 original MSRP
Printable Version

2000 Toyota Solara Convertible

Printable Version

2000 Toyota Solara Convertible


2000 Toyota Camry Solara

Source: MSN Autos

America's top-selling Toyota Camry first turned into a two door—the Toyota Camry Solara—in 1998. For 2000, Solara adds a 2-door convertible model that's more attractive and a bit showier than the hardtop. Still, the emphasis here is on comfort, not sportiness

It was just a matter of time before a car whose name, Solara, refers to the brightness of the sun would become a convertible.

Introduced in fall of 1998 as a coupe, the Toyota Camry Solara, not unexpectedly, added a convertible model just in time for summer 2000. What better way to make the most of sunny, warm-weather travel? And what better way for Toyota to continue to expand sales of the Camry, which already ranks as America's best-selling car?

Camry derivatives
Don't expect the open-air Solara to be an exotic, fussy or startling driver, however. Don't think of the 2-door Solara hardtop as a real sporty coupe, either.

Rather, think of the convertible as a topless Camry and consider the Solara coupe a 2-door Camry and you'll begin to get the sense of the dimensions and cushioned ride, the smooth V6 drivetrain and the predictable, rather mainstream steering feel of the Solaras.

Attractively styled ragtop
Personally, I think the Solara's 2-door body style looks better as a convertible than a hardtop. It's sleek and attractive, if not real showy. But note the Solara Convertible comes at a price premium of about $5,000 over the Solara hardtop.

The mid-$20,000 retail price for a base Solara Convertible with a 135-horsepower 4-cylinder engine also is about on par with the manufacturer's suggested retail price for a Chrysler Sebring convertible with more powerful V6. It's a few thousand dollars above what Ford asks for a Mustang convertible with more powerful V6, too.

Decent room inside
The Solara is Toyota's largest convertible for the United States, capable of carrying four people plus two golf bags. And like its hardtop Solara sibling, the Solara Convertible emphasizes comfort—from its cushioned ride to its fully lined, power drop top.

The same spacious interior of the Solara coupe is found in the convertible, save for rear-seat shoulder room, which is scrunched from 52.9 inches in the coupe to 45 inches in the convertible. Room is needed in back for the soft-top mechanicals and storage. This also explains why the coupe has seats and safety belts for five riders—three in the back seat—but the Solara Convertible has maximum capacity of four people—two in the back seat.

Still, front and rear seats are comfortable in all Solaras, though the seats aren't sporty or sculpted. Legroom in the back seat of the coupe and soft-top is at least 35 inches, which is a bit better than what you find in the Honda Accord coupe.

Rear side windows in the Solara Convertible are understandably smaller than they are on the coupe, so the side view out of the car for rear-seat riders in the convertible is curtailed when the top is up. And these rear windows in the soft-top can only be operated together—not separately—all by a switch up front on the center console.

But I was glad to see that the Solara Convertible comes standard with a glass rear window that's decently sized.

Rear seatbacks in the Solara coupe split 60/40 and fold down to allow long items to stretch from the trunk into the interior. But the seatbacks don't lie flat, and the opening between the trunk and interior is pinched in and not as large as you might expect.

Trunk space alone is competitive for this class of car, though it shrinks, as you'd expect, from the coupe to convertible to provide room to stow the soft-top when the top is down. Specifically, the Solara coupe has 13.8 cubic feet in the trunk. In the convertible, there's 8.8 cubic feet of room.

This is still more than the 7.7 cubic feet of the Ford Mustang soft-top, but it's expected to be a tad less than the trunk space of Chrysler's redesigned 2001 Sebring convertible.

Easy-to-read gauges
The interior of all Solaras is typical Toyota, with well-placed, sizable gauges, dials and buttons. In fact, the radio display in the Solara SE coupe is so large, it reminds me of the clocks with the big numbers that older folks often use. The up-level SLE coupe includes a 200-watt JBL sound system that has a more normal-looking display.

The Solara Convertible gets JBL treatment, too. An up-level JBL sound system not only produces rich sounds with a depth and quality that I appreciate, it includes a special audio equalization system that automatically adjusts bass and some sound frequencies when the top goes down. This means stereo sounds are not degraded during open-air driving. The system automatically returns to its original equalization settings when the top goes back up.

Easy ride
The front-wheel-drive Solara Convertible drives just like the Camry Solara coupe, which is to say it's a mostly mainstream feel but a bit sportier than a regular Camry sedan.

Toyota officials said they didn't even need to change the suspension tuning to develop the convertible. Up front, there's a MacPherson strut arrangement, while an independent dual-link configuration works in the rear.

But the convertible is some 200 pounds heavier than the coupe because of all the structural reinforcements needed in the body to help alleviate body shake. Even with the reinforcements, however, I detected some shake up front at the cowl in the test Solara Convertible. It didn't occur at every bump, but it was noticeable on some uneven road surfaces.

V6, transmission work smoothly
The Solara Convertible uses the same 4- and 6-cylinder engines of the Solara Coupe. Only a 4-speed automatic is offered in the convertible, and on the test convertible, it did a great job of smoothly managing the 200 horses from the 3.0-liter 4-cam V6.

There was never any jarring or noticeable shift points—I just pressed the accelerator and the car effortlessly moved forward.

Yet this engine, with 214 lb-ft of maximum torque at 4400 rpm, is rated at 27 mpg on the highway, which equals the rating of the Sebring and Mustang competitors.

A 5-speed manual is available for the Solara coupe—with either the 2.2-liter four or the 3.0-liter V6.

Final thoughts
You do hear more road noises in the Solara soft-top than you do in the coupe, even when the fabric top is up. I heard a good bit of the semi trucks as I passed them on the highway, for example.

And the one-piece tonneau cover takes practice to use. I fumbled for a good while, trying to fit it correctly behind the back seat and over the folded roof without covering the tops of the rear-seat shoulder belts.

Still, you don't have to look far to see that the usual Toyota quality is built into the Solara, even the convertible. Body panels on the tester were evenly aligned all around on the test car and interior buttons and knobs had the familiar Toyota look and feel.

Note that there are no rear-seat head restraints in the Solara Convertible.

And don't expect to see a lot of Solara Convertibles around. Just 3,500 sales were expected for calendar 2000, with 6,000 being the sales target in full year 2001.

Printable Version

2000 Toyota Solara Convertible

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade n/a
Passenger Crash Grade n/a
Side Impact Crash Test - Front

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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear

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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
Traction/Stability Control Opt

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Opt

Road Visibility

Daytime Running Lights Std
Fog Lamps Std
Electrochromic Rearview Mirror Std
Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std
Printable Version

2000 Toyota Solara Convertible

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Drivetrain 5 Years/60,000 Miles
Corrosion 5 Years/Unlimited Miles

Toyota Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

12-month/12,000-mile Comprehensive Warranty*

7-year/100,000-mile Limited Powertrain Warranty**

1-year of Roadside Assistance***

160-Point Quality Assurance Inspection

CARFAX® Vehicle History ReportTM****

Certified customers are eligible for standard new car financing rates*****

*Whichever comes first from date of Toyota Certified Used Vehicle purchase. The Comprehensive Warranty covers any repair or replacement of components which fail under normal use due to defect in materials or workmanship. (Program not available in Puerto Rico and Hawaii.)

**Whichever comes first from original date of first use when sold as new. See your Toyota Certified Used Vehicles dealer for warranty details. Program not available in Puerto Rico and Hawaii. For AL, FL, GA, NC & SC, warranty coverage differs in the following ways: 7-year or 100,000-mile Toyota Certified Limited Powertrain Warranty coverage begins on January 1st of the vehicle's model year and zero (0) odometer miles and expires at the earlier of seven years or 100,000 odometer miles.

***From date of Toyota Certified Used Vehicle purchase. Covers most services, including flat tires, lockout service, jump starts, fuel delivery up to 3 gallons and towing for mechanical breakdown or collision recovery to the nearest Toyota dealership. Services provided exclude any parts required. Coverage not available in Mexico. See Certified Warranty Supplement for warranty details.

****Beginning December 1, 2005 CARFAX® Vehicle History ReportsTM are a required part of every Toyota Certified Used Vehicle. See your local dealer for details.

*****Rates mentioned are for standard new car rates, and do not include new car specials or subvented rates. Not all buyers will qualify. Financing available through Toyota Financial Services for qualified buyers only.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 7 years / 85,000
Lease Term Certified Yes
Point Inspection All TCUV vehicles must pass a comprehensive checklist that includes a 160-point inspection. This way you can rest assured that your pre-owned Toyota is in perfect condition. To see full inspection list visit http://www.toyotacertified.com/inspection.html
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance 1-year of Roadside Assistance from date of TCUV purchase.
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $50

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2000 Toyota Solara Convertible

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