Which Toyota Solara Years To Avoid? (Explained)

Toyota Solara officially referred to as Toyota Camry Solara, is a mid-size coupe or optional convertible series built by Toyota. The first Solara coupe was introduced in late 1998 as a 1999 model, and in 2000, Toyota introduced its convertible version in North America.

Unfortunately, all released Toyota Solara models do not serve with the best quality performance, and some released models like 2004 and 2006 were reported to have notable interior and engine troubles.

Thus, read the following article to learn more about these models and decide whether you should consider them or not.

Toyota Solara Years To Avoid (With Reasons)

Toyota Solara was originally designed and developed mechanically based on Toyota’s other bestselling series Toyota Camry, which was a successful series in its Japanese market.

Solara models were designed with ampler sportiness, more rakish styling, and feature uprated suspension as well as engine tuning or configuration to deliver a sportier feel.

However, some Solara models are infamous for having defective convertible tops, sticky dashboards causing blinding reflection issues, and shiney or cracked dashboards.

Therefore, if you are looking for a used Solara model, remember to avoid the following released years:

  • 2004 Toyota Solara
  • 2006 Toyota Solara
  • 2007 Toyota Solara
  • 2008 Toyota Solara

All these mentioned years made Toyota rank in the 14th position in the Least Reliable Toyota Models category due to 151 received complaints and a 9.75 score on the PainRank™ scoring system.

Let’s learn more about these particular year’s models to find out why they are considered the leased reliable-

2004 Toyota Solara Problems

According to Carcomplaints.com reports, 2004 Toyota Solara users got highly disappointed due to these models’ defective interior accessories.

The most common complaint against any 2004 Solara model was the faulty factory fitted dashboard which tends to crack very frequently and randomly.

Besides, consumers also complained about other notable issues, such as excess oil consumption, engine surges, airbag light staying On, the dash over the airbag exist tends to crack easily, and faulty shoulder harnesses.

Few consumers also claimed that the sunroof either explodes or flies off the vehicle. One particular 2004 Solara user even claimed that his rear window shattered without any reason.

2006 Toyota Solara Problems

2006 Solara model users claimed that the vehicle’s dashboard turns sticky, shiney, and/or cracked.

Users also claimed that the shiney or sticky dashboard issue commonly occurred at 44,000 miles, and the dashboard tends to crackdown at mostly around 88,000 miles of operation.

Users also mentioned several engine troubles such as unintentional or unexpected acceleration, engine erratically jerks or misses when at acceleration, excess engine movement when cold, and excess oil consumption.

Besides that, 2006 Solara users also complained that the airbag tends to delay in the wreck or the warning light stays On, the flat tires do not last long, and the window in soft-top convertible sometimes falls out.

2007 Toyota Solara Problems

According to the Carcomplaint.com website, 2007 Solara models are prone to several interior and engine-related problems just like some other previously released models.

The most highlighted interior defect was the dashboard cracking and melting, which ultimately forced the user to replace the dashboard with a new one.

Consumers seemed to deal with typical engine troubles such as excess oil consumption, unintentional sudden acceleration when not needed, and the check engine light keeps illuminating.

2007 Toyota Solara users also mentioned other problems like rusted heat shields, the rain gutter around the Convert top leaks, A/C hesitates or won’t turn off, and occasional brake failure.

2008 Toyota Solara Problems

Another year of Toyota Solara with several interior defects, and people also reported exterior and lights problems against 2008 models.

Most 2008 Solara model users encountered that the vehicle’s dashboard tends to turn sticky and eventually causes blinding reflection issues while driving. Some also mentioned noticing defective Convertible Top on their vehicles, and sometimes headlights also do not respond accordingly.

If your vehicle’s headlights randomly go off while driving on a highway at night or rainy day, it’s definitely dangerous.

The headlights malfunctioning issue commonly occurs at 80,000 miles, and you need to spend around $800 to fix it.

Worst Years Of Toyota Solara:

Let’s learn more about the top three worst Toyota Solara years-

2004 Toyota Solara

According to the 2004 TOYOTA SOLARA PROBLEMS & COMPLAINTS graphical representation published on the Carcomplaints.com website, there are 39 complaints reported against these models.

Users mainly encountered two significant problems- interior (23 complaints) and engine-related (5 complaints) issues.

The most highlighted symptoms of the 2004 Toyota Solara models are a cracking dashboard, excess oil consumption, engine surges, and a rotten egg smell coming.

2006 Toyota Solara

According to the 2006 TOYOTA SOLARA PROBLEMS & COMPLAINTS report published on the Carcomplaints.com website, there are 35 complaints reported against these models.

While using the 2006 models’ users again encountered two major problems- interior (24 complaints) and engine-related (5 complaints) issues.

The most highlighted symptoms of the 2006 Toyota Solara models are shiney, sticky, and/or cracked dashboard, flat tires that do not last longer (typical fixing cost $1,000), excess oil consumption, and unintentional acceleration.

2007 Toyota Solara

According to the 2007 TOYOTA SOLARA PROBLEMS & COMPLAINTS published on Carcomplaints.com, there are 35 complaints reported against these models.

While using 2007 Solara, users again encountered interior (16 complaints) and engine-related (11 complaints) issues.

The most highlighted symptoms of the 2007 Toyota Solara models are dashboard cracking, excess oil consumption, and dash melting.

However, based on Carcomplaints.com, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not issued any official recalls against any of the released Toyota Solara models yet.

Most Common Problem of Toyota Solara:

Let’s learn more about the most common Solara problems that make some of its released models worth avoiding-  

1. Dashboard Problem

According to Carcomplaints.com, dashboard melting, warping or distorting, and cracking issues are common in Toyota’s 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 released Solara models, but the severity rates are pretty bad in 2004, 2006, and 2007 Toyota Solara models.

According to reports, Toyota Solara dashboards have been reported to melt and deform when exposed to the sun heat since Toyota released its 2003 Solara models.

Reportedly, the melted plastic of these dashboards eventually cracks and makes a notable blind reflection in the driver’s front area, which is an alarming concern for the drivers’ and passengers’ safety since it can lead to a potential accident while driving.

Due to multiple consumer complaints and lawsuits, Toyota issued the official Technical Service Bulletins (TSB), where they claimed that some 2006 to 2008 Solara models had sticky interior panels.

Toyota claimed that either the instrumental panel pad or the door panel pad is having this condition, and these panels have a shiny or degraded appearance.

The company also voluntarily extended the service warranty to compensate the consumers.

2. Engine Problem

According to Carcomplaints.com, several engine troubles are common in Toyota’s 2004, 2006, and 2007 released Solara models. But the severity rate of the problem is awfully bad in the 2007 Toyota Solara models, and reports claimed that the most common problem occurs at 72,000 miles.

Consumers mostly reported symptoms such as excess oil consumption, sudden unintentional acceleration, the check engine light malfunctioning, the engine tending to surge, excess movement when cold, jerks, and misses at acceleration.

Due to defective piston rings, this extreme oil consumption issue has been occurring, and in most cases, the problem gets fixed after replacing the piston rings with a new set.

Reportedly, the check engine light tends to malfunction due to Failed Oxygen Sensor Component or EVAP Purge Control Valve, and the only solution is to replace the faulty components with new ones.

Which Toyota Solara Years are Safe to Buy Used? 

According to the TOYOTA SOLARA MODEL YEAR COMPARISON, following years’ models have been considered safe by most consumers and auto experts-

  • 1999 Toyota Solara
  • 2001 Toyota Solara
  • 2002 Toyota Solara

The 1999 Toyota Solara Coupe is equipped with a V-6 aluminum powerplant engine for delivering smooth and quiet yet powerful performance. According to Cars.com Consumer Ratings, this 1999 Solara model got 4.6 out of 5, andmost users claim that it is one of the most desirable, reliable cars with great value for the price and has great resale value too.

2001 Toyota Solara five-seater coupe lets the user enjoy the features and quality of its prototype best-selling Toyota Camry at an affordable range. Based on most consumer reviews, the 2001 Solara model not only carries a sportier exterior look but also lets the driver feel sportiness.

The 2002 Toyota Solara is a revised and improvised version of the previously released Toyota Camry midsize two-door coupe and convertible models. The additional fresh front fascia with restyled bumper, grille, and headlights of the 2002 Toyota Solara has been considered extremely reliable by most users.

Which Year’s Toyota Solara Have Most Interior-related Problems?

Toyota Solara’s 2006 released models have the most interior-related defects based on the Carcomplaints. Even 24 complaints were reported against vehicle dashboards.

Which Year’s Toyota Solara Have Most Engine-related Problems?

According to the Carcomplaints.com reports, Toyota Solara’s 2007 models have the most engine-related issues, and 11 complaints were reported against them.


Although Toyota discontinued the production of its Solara Coupe and Convertible series due to its falling sales record after a successful journey of ten years, some of its released models are still in high demand as used Coupe and Convertible sports cars.

But while choosing between models, remember to avoid the models mentioned as the worst ones in today’s article.

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