Between 1998 and 2009 Toyota had two models of its best selling car the Camry. There was the standard Toyota Camry and the Toyota Camry Solara, also known as the Toyota Solara.
While these two cars share similar features, there were also several notable differences. This article will cover the history of the Solara and how it is different from the Toyota Camry. Here is what you need to know.
Toyota Solara Beginnings
Toyota began manufacturing the Toyota Solara in 1998 as a two-door, sportier version of the Camry. The Toyota Solara was a replacement for the Toyota Camry Coupe. Toyota created the Toyota Camry Coupe four years earlier, to provide a sportier option for people considering buying a Camry. Its main competition was the Honda Accord Coupe, a mid-sized car with sporty features.
As a replacement for the Camry Coupe the Solara featured a four cylinder engine with slightly more power than a standard Camry engine. The model also featured an upgraded stereo as well as sport options. A few years after introduction, Toyota added a Solara convertible to its lineup of mid-sized cars.
Toyota Solara Performance
As noted earlier the Toyota Solara had slightly more power than the Camry. Toyota also offered a V-6 option in 2002 for better performance. In terms of gas mileage a typical Solara got between 19-23 miles per gallon for city driving and 26-33 miles per gallon for highway driving.
By comparison, the latest Toyota Camry gets similar gas mileage. It gets 22 miles per gallon for city driving and 33 miles per gallon for highway driving.
Toyota Solara Exterior
The most notable difference between the Solara and the Camry was the exterior. The Solara was a two door car whereas the Camry was a four door car. The Solara also featured more sportier trim options. The Solara also had a more streamlined look to its exterior.
As mentioned before the Solara also had a convertible option. The convertibles typically had V-6 engines in them.
With the Toyota Solara you could also get some additional features. Options included sport suspension and performance tires, leather upholstery as well as a six-disc CD changer. You could also get 16-inch aluminum wheels.
Later models of the Solara, featured Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio, navigation systems and MP3 support.
Toyota Solara Discontinued
Despite its unique style, Toyota decided to discontinue the Solara from its Camry lineup in 2009. This was due to dropping sales over the years. There was not much demand for sportier mid-sized cars with convertible options.