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 characteristics, there were also several notable differences. This article will cover the history of the Solara and how it differs from the Toyota Camry. Here is what you need to know.
Toyota Solara beginnings
Toyota began manufacturing the Toyota Solara in 1998 as a sportier two-door 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 a Camry. Its main competition was the Honda Accord Coupe, a midsize car with sporty features.
As a replacement for the Camry Coupe, the Solara featured a four-cylinder engine with slightly more horsepower than a standard Camry engine. The model also featured an upgraded stereo, as well as sporty options. A few years after the introduction, Toyota added a Solara convertible to its midsize car lineup.
Toyota Solara High Performance
As noted above, the Toyota Solara had a bit more horsepower 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 and 23 miles per gallon in the city and between 26 and 33 miles per gallon on the highway.
By comparison, the latest Toyota Camry gets similar fuel consumption. You get 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, while the Camry was a four-door car. The Solara also featured sportier trim options. The Solara also had a more aerodynamic look to its exterior.
As mentioned above, the Solara also had a convertible option. Convertibles generally had V-6 engines.
With the Toyota Solara you could also get some additional features. Options included sports suspension and high-performance tires, leather upholstery, and a six-disc CD changer. You can also get 16-inch aluminum wheels.
Later Solara models featured Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio, navigation systems, and MP3 support.
Toyota Solara Discontinued
Despite its unique styling, Toyota decided to discontinue the Solara from its Camry lineup in 2009. This was due to falling sales over the years. There wasn’t much demand for sportier midsize cars with convertible options.