Toyota Solara Years To Avoid (Best and Worst)

Toyota Solara Years To Avoid – As a mid-size coupe and convertible that took inspiration from the reputable Toyota Camry, the Solara aimed to fuse reliability with a sportier edge. However, not all years of this model lived up to expectations, and prospective buyers ought to be aware of the Toyota Solara years to avoid.

Introduced in the late ’90s as a 1999 model, the Solara sought to captivate drivers with its sleek design, improved suspension, and tuned-up engine for a more athletic driving experience.

Despite its attempts to carve a niche in the market, the Solara faced stiff competition, particularly from the high-end German sports vehicles of Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and BMW.

Toyota Solara Years To Avoid

Unfortunately, this resulted in wavering sales, leading Toyota to bid adieu to this model after a decade-long run that ceased in response to the declining demand.

An interesting aspect of the Solara’s lineage is its close relation to the Camry, a bestseller in its own right. Much like the Toyota Supra drew its foundations from the popular Toyota Celica, the Solara found its roots in the Camry.

The Camry catered to the traditional executive vehicle segment, and the Solara set its sights on appealing to a younger demographic, offering both a convertible and coupe option.

Toyota Solara Years to Avoid

Before sealing the deal on a used Toyota Solara, it’s crucial to identify the specific years that might pose potential problems or disappointments. Researching and understanding the nuances of each model year can spare you from unexpected headaches down the road.

Therefore, when considering a purchase, be mindful of these Toyota Solara years to avoid, ensuring that your investment brings you satisfaction and quality synonymous with the Toyota brand.

Toyota Solara Years To Avoid

Let’s explore the intricacies of the Toyota Solara, pinpointing the years to avoid and understanding the reported problems.

2008 Toyota Solara

The 2008 Toyota Solara exhibited several reported issues across various categories. Interior accessories topped the list with 12 reported problems, followed by 5 concerns related to exterior accessories.

The lights and electrical components, body and paint, engine, transmission, and windows & windshield each reported a singular issue.

While this year wasn’t fraught with numerous problems, it’s essential to consider these reported glitches before making a purchase decision.

2007 Toyota Solara

Moving back a year to the 2007 model, we observe a slightly higher number of reported issues. Interior accessories presented 16 reported concerns, indicating potential problems with elements inside the car.

Engine-related issues were a significant concern, with 11 reported problems, raising reliability questions.

Additionally, the exhaust system, AC & heater, body & paint, brakes, electrical components, and suspension each accounted for a single reported issue.

This year showed more engine-related problems, which might be a red flag for prospective buyers.

2006 Toyota Solara

The 2006 Toyota Solara exhibited a higher frequency of reported issues across multiple categories. Interior accessories led with 24 reported problems, signifying potential quality or functionality issues with various interior elements.

While the engine had five reported problems, the concern surrounding seat belts & airbags, body & paint, exhaust system, transmission, and wheels & hubs each accounted for a singular reported issue.

This year’s higher number of reported interior accessory issues might warrant careful consideration before purchase.

2004 Toyota Solara

Looking further back to the 2004 model, several reported issues across diverse categories were noted. Interior accessories saw 23 reported issues, indicating potential recurring problems with elements within the vehicle.

Engine-related issues totaled five reported problems, while seat belts & airbags and windows & windshield each had three reported concerns.

Moreover, the exhaust system, steering, and transmission each accounted for multiple reported issues. This model year showed a variety of reported problems across different areas, raising caution for potential buyers.

Which Year of Toyota Solara is Best?

When searching for a used vehicle that combines reliability, practicality, and a hint of sophistication, the Toyota Solara emerges as a noteworthy contender. Though it may not exude the same drama as some other convertibles, the 2004 to 2007 Toyota Camry Solara holds its ground as a dependable, sensible choice in the automotive landscape.

Toyota’s reputation for setting a high bar in terms of reliability extends seamlessly to the Solara.

Despite its production span from 1998 to 2008, specific years within this range stand out as exceptionally dependable and warrant consideration if reliability is at the forefront of your priorities.

The following model years—1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, and 2008—represent the pinnacle of the Solara’s reliability.

These years boast a track record with few reported problems, solidifying their positions as prime choices when on the hunt for a dependable used vehicle.

1999 Toyota Solara

Kicking off the list is the 1999 Toyota Solara, which sets the standard for reliability in the early stages of the model’s production. With its commendable track record for dependability, this year stands as a testament to Toyota’s commitment to building sturdy and reliable vehicles.

2001 Toyota Solara

Following suit, the 2001 Solara maintains the trend of reliability. This year’s model exemplifies Toyota’s dedication to consistent quality, providing owners with peace of mind and a trustworthy driving experience.

2002 Toyota Solara

Continuing the streak, the 2002 Solara upholds the brand’s reputation for reliability. Its reliability coupled with practicality makes it an attractive option for those seeking a dependable used vehicle.

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2003 Toyota Solara

The 2003 Solara reinforces Toyota’s commitment to crafting dependable cars. Its minimal reported problems position it as a standout choice among used car buyers.

2005 Toyota Solara

Stepping into the mid-2000s, the 2005 Solara maintains the legacy of reliability associated with Toyota. This model year offers a blend of dependability and practicality that resonates with discerning buyers.

2008 Toyota Solara

Closing the list, the 2008 Solara represents the pinnacle of reliability in the later years of production. With its low incidence of reported issues, this model year continues to uphold Toyota’s legacy of building enduring and dependable vehicles.

For those contemplating an investment in a Toyota Solara, these highlighted model years—1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, and 2008—stand as shining examples of reliability and durability.

Their track records for a few reported problems reinforce their status as top contenders for a reliable used vehicle.

Choosing any of these most reliable Toyota Solara years assures not just a positive ownership experience but also significantly reduces the likelihood of encountering expensive repairs during the vehicle’s lifespan.

Toyota Solara Problems

The Toyota Solara has maintained a reputation for reliability, but like any vehicle, it’s not without its common issues across various model years.

Per insights gleaned from user experiences and comprehensive data sourced from, here’s an overview of the recurring issues reported in Toyota Solara models:

Toyota Solara Problems

Common Toyota Solara Problems

  • Check Engine Light (CEL) Due to Failed Oxygen Sensor: One of the frequent concerns encountered in Solara models involves the illumination of the check engine light, often triggered by a malfunctioning oxygen sensor component. This issue requires attention to ensure optimal engine performance.
  • EVAP Purge Control Valve Issues Causing CEL: Another recurrent problem stems from issues with the EVAP purge control valve, leading to the check engine light activation. Resolving this concern is crucial to maintaining the vehicle’s efficiency and emission control.
  • Engine Problems Arising from Debris in Idle Air Control Valve: Debris accumulation in the idle air control valve has been known to cause engine problems in some Solara models. Regular cleaning or maintenance may help prevent potential issues related to this component.
  • Engine Sludge Buildup Due to Infrequent Oil Changes: Failure to adhere to a regular oil change schedule may result in engine sludge buildup, impacting the engine’s performance and longevity. Timely oil changes are imperative to mitigate this issue.
  • Ignition Coil Failure After 100,000 Miles: Another concern reported among Solara owners involves ignition coil failure, typically observed after surpassing the 100,000-mile mark. Being aware of this potential issue post-mileage milestone can aid in prompt diagnosis and resolution.
  • Rough Running Conditions, Smoke from Exhaust, and Rough Idle: Some Solara models have exhibited rough running conditions, emitting smoke from the exhaust, and experiencing rough idling, often accompanied by a lit check engine light. These symptoms warrant immediate attention to identify and address underlying causes.

These problems, spanning various model years, underline the importance of staying vigilant and setting aside a budget for unforeseen repairs, regardless of whether your Solara falls within the best or worst production years.

Alternatives To Toyota Solara

When seeking a vehicle akin to the Toyota Solara or considering alternatives in a similar category, exploring the array of Toyota’s lineup can provide a diverse range of options that cater to various driving preferences and needs.

Let’s explore some Toyota models that serve as compelling alternatives or competitors to Solara, each offering distinct features and attributes.

Toyota Camry

At the forefront of the alternatives list stands the Toyota Camry, a stalwart in the midsize sedan segment. Renowned for its reliability, comfort, and practicality, the Camry offers a spacious interior, fuel efficiency, and a smooth ride.

While it lacks the convertible option found in the Solara, the Camry stands tall in providing a comfortable and reliable driving experience for those prioritizing a sedan’s attributes.

Read Also: Toyota Camry Years To Avoid

Toyota Supra

For enthusiasts seeking a more exhilarating driving experience, the Toyota Supra emerges as an alternative to the Solara.

Renowned for its performance, the Supra boasts a powerful engine, sporty handling, and an iconic history in the realm of sports cars.

While distinct from the Solara in terms of body style and purpose, the Supra appeals to those seeking high performance and a more thrilling driving experience.

Read Also: Why Are Toyota Supras So Expensive?

Toyota Celica

Another model worth considering as an alternative to the Solara is the Toyota Celica. Known for its sporty design, nimble handling, and affordability, the Celica offers a coupe-style driving experience.

While the Celica ceased production in the mid-2000s, its reputation as a fun-to-drive compact sports car makes it an appealing option for individuals drawn to the sportier side of Toyota’s lineup.

Read Also: Toyota Celica Years To Avoid

The Toyota Solara holds its unique position as a midsize coupe and convertible, its alternatives within the Toyota family cater to different driving preferences.

The Camry emphasizes comfort and reliability in a sedan format, while the Supra and Celica appeal to enthusiasts seeking performance-oriented vehicles with sportier designs and driving dynamics.

Is a Toyota Solara a reliable car?

Absolutely. The Toyota Solara stands out for its remarkable reliability. Even after 15 years of use, many owners have experienced minimal to no issues. Some drivers have encountered situations like hydroplaning or collisions, yet their Solara cars remained robust and resilient.

For instance, after a significant impact with a curb, a Solara was able to recover and function seamlessly after a trip to the mechanic.

These instances illustrate the car’s durability and reliability, showcasing its ability to withstand unexpected challenges and continue performing reliably.

How long can a Toyota Solara last?

The lifespan of a Toyota Solara can be impressive if maintained properly. With consistent and meticulous maintenance, it’s realistic to expect a Solara to reach and even exceed 200,000 miles. The key factor in prolonging its longevity lies in adhering to a strict maintenance schedule.

Regular servicing and upkeep contribute significantly to the Solara’s potential for enduring performance.

Why was the Toyota Solara discontinued?

Sales for the Toyota Solara began to decline notably from approximately 50,000 units annually to just over 20,000 between the model years 2005 and 2008. The coupe variant saw a halt in production after the 2008 model year due to the steep decline in sales.

However, the convertible version, which comprised the majority of units sold, continued to be manufactured for some time after the coupe’s discontinuation.

Are Toyota Solaras Expensive To Maintain?

Toyota Solara cars are generally cost-effective to maintain compared to the average maintenance costs for other vehicle models. According to, the annual maintenance cost for a Toyota Solara averages around $400, significantly lower than the $900 annual maintenance cost (per 10,000 miles driven) for the average vehicle.

Regular preventive maintenance not only contributes to cost savings but also helps detect potential issues early, preventing them from escalating into expensive repairs.

Despite the Solara’s reputation for reliability, it’s crucial to stay vigilant with ongoing maintenance to ensure continued optimal performance and longevity.


The concluding statement, “Toyota Solara Years To Avoid,” encapsulates the essence of the article’s content regarding the potential issues and problems associated with Toyota Solara models across various production years.

It serves as a reminder to prospective buyers or current owners to be mindful of the specific years or models that might have experienced more recurrent problems or issues.

The phrase “Years To Avoid” suggests that within the spectrum of Toyota Solara models, there might be certain production years that have had more reported or prevalent issues compared to others.

Therefore, potential buyers or current owners should exercise caution or consider avoiding those specific years to minimize the likelihood of encountering these common problems.

Incorporating this key phrase at the end of the final thoughts reinforces the importance of being knowledgeable about the potential problematic years when considering purchasing or owning a Toyota Solara. It acts as a prompt to remain vigilant and informed about the specific model years that might present more challenges or recurrent issues, ensuring a more informed decision-making process for prospective buyers or owners.