Back-seat and trunk space; ride comfort; fuel efficiency; overall practicality.
Toyota's Solara coupe models come with either an inline four-cylinder or V6 engine for 2008, while the convertible comes only with a V6. Both are offered in SE, Sport, or SLE variants. The four-cylinder engine is the familiar 2.4L that powers many other vehicles in the Toyota line; here it makes 155 horsepower and can be paired with either a five-speed manual gearbox or five-speed automatic transmission. The V6 is a 210-horsepower, 3.3L, available only with a five-speed automatic. Both engines have variable valve timing for improved response through the rev range without a sacrifice in efficiency.
Fuel efficiency is a strong point, especially with the four-cylinder; with the five-speed automatic, the Solara coupe is rated at 22 mpg city, 31 mpg highway.
The Convertible comes with a power-retractable soft top that raises or lowers in only ten seconds. Convertibles also get a glass rear window, soft headliner, and power rear quarter windows with controls next to the driver. An available windscreen helps cut high-speed turbulence. With the top up, the convertible actually has more headroom than the coupe.
The Solara's suspension has been calibrated to offer a good compromise between a soft, smooth ride and crisp handling. Both the front and rear suspension systems are mounted onto anti-vibration subframes. In the convertible there's extra foam filler inside panels to help reduce road and wind noise.
In either coupe or convertible form, the Solara is one of few models to provide enough rear seating space for adults. In the coupe, the back seat has adjustable headrests and is split 60/40 and can fold forward.
SE models come with standard cruise control, a power driver's seat with lumbar adjustment, remote keyless entry, and power windows. The Sport models add larger 17-inch chrome-finished alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, a chrome exhaust tip, sport-tuned suspension, and black graphite trim. Convertible Sports also get high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps. At the top of the line is the SLE, which has an automatic climate control, a JBL sound system, a power moonroof, heated exterior mirrors, and a security system. V6 SLE models also add a leather interior and heated front seats.
Noteworthy options on the SLE include XM or Sirius satellite radio compatibility, and a DVD-based, voice-activated navigation system.
The Toyota Solara is carried over into 2008 with no changes.
Available as a coupe or convertible and in three different model grades, the Solara can serve a wide range of needs spanning sporty yet economical coupe to luxurious boulevard cruiser. The Solara has a very comfortable interior, with real space for back-seat occupants, making it one of the most practical coupe or convertible choices, the ride is smooth and refined, and with either engine, it's quite fuel-efficient.
Vehicle Price: 20,930.00
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