The 2006 Toyota Camry Solara Coupe and Convertible models offer a compelling blend of elegant style, sporty performance and documented Toyota quality while delivering the bonus of impressive fuel efficiency. Both models also provide levels of room and practicality that belie their sleek exterior design. The Solara Convertible is powered exclusively by a 225-horsepower 3.3-liter V6 engine, which is also available on Solara coupe models. The standard power retractable roof lowers or raises in just 10 seconds.
In the Solara Coupe models equipped with the standard 157-horsepower four-cylinder engine, the optional advanced ECT-i five-speed automatic transmission replaces the previous four-speed automatic as the standard automatic transmission. The five-speed automatic, which is standard with the V6 engine, features intelligent electronic controls to enhance performance and response.
Four-cylinder Solara models equipped with the automatic transmission have EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of 23 MPG city/33 MPG highway. With the five-speed manual transmission, the four-cylinder models are rated 24 MPG city/33 MPG highway. An 18.5-gallon fuel tank in all Solara models helps provide a long driving range.
The Solara Coupe is available in three distinct model grades: SE, highlighted by a sporty metallic-finish interior trim; SE Sport with an aggressive body panel treatment, specially tuned suspension and a unique interior, and the SLE with greater luxury content and an updated woodgrain-style interior trim. For 2006, all SE and SE Sport grades receive a power driver’s seat lumbar support as standard equipment. The Solara Convertible is available in SE and SLE grades.
"The Solara delivers all the sporty appeal and fun of a coupe or convertible, while at the same time providing impressive room, comfort and low operating costs," said Jim Lentz, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager.
The Solara’s rakish profile does not sacrifice passenger room. The 107.1-inch wheelbase allows for a roomy interior, particularly in the rear seat, where many coupe and convertible models can feel confining. Solara passengers will find ample headroom and legroom in the rear seat, as well as generous front and rear shoulder and hip room. Compared to its closest competitor, Solara Coupe offers 3.5 inches more rear legroom and nearly an inch more rear headroom. With its power top up, the Solara Convertible provides two inches more rear headroom than the coupe.
When lowered, the Solara Convertible’s soft-top stows behind the rear seat and sits low for a sleek overall appearance. An available windscreen can be installed when the top is down to suppress wind turbulence. The all-window control system allows the driver to open and close all door- and quarter-windows by pressing one button on the instrument panel. To ensure passenger comfort, the convertible top features a headliner and a glass rear window. All Solara models are equipped with standard side airbags, while optional front and rear side curtain airbags are available on coupe models. Seatbelt extension arms make it easier for the front seat occupants to reach and engage the belts. In the Solara Convertible, a magnetic front seat belt guide allows the seatbelt to be easily moved to the side for improved access to the rear seats.
Sleek, Strong, and Quiet
Solara provides a quiet, serene ride reminiscent of luxury models. The Solara Coupe registers a 0.29 coefficient of drag (Cd), which helps to minimize wind noise. Using foam filler in the roof and pillar panels further helps to subdue road and wind noise. Vibration-damping and noise-suppressant materials are used throughout the cabin, as well as in the wheel housings, dash panel and trunk.
The Solara design process included a convertible from its conception to ensure no compromises with engineering, performance or quality. Reinforcements optimally located throughout the vehicle provide high torsional rigidity, resulting in a smooth, quiet ride and responsive handling.
Two Levels of Sporty Power
All Solara Coupe grades come equipped as standard with a double overhead cam (DOHC) 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 157 horsepower at 5,600 RPM and 162 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,000 RPM. The all-aluminum V6 produces 225 horsepower at 5,600 RPM and 240 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,600 RPM, with plenty of torque at low and mid-range speeds. In both engines, Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) ensures an even spread of power across the engine speed range for sporty response.
The smooth, quick-revving four-cylinder engine comes equipped as standard with a crisp-shifting five-speed manual transmission that provides for lively performance and excellent fuel efficiency in addition to an available five-speed automatic transmission. The V6 is teamed exclusively to a five-speed automatic transmission and a gated shifter with a sequential shift mode.
All Solara models receive California Level II Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV-II) and EPA Tier II Bin 5 certification, underscoring Toyota’s commitment to environmental compatibility.
Confident Handling, Quiet Running
The Solara suspension and steering systems have been specially tuned to provide lively handling response. Front and rear suspension systems are mounted to anti-vibration sub-frames, ensuring a smooth, quiet ride that can be compared with luxury models. The SE grade features standard 16-inch alloy wheels with 215/60R16 tires. The SE Sport grade further sharpens handling response with a distinct suspension calibration, 17-inch alloy wheels and 215/55R17 tires.
All Solara Convertibles and the SLE V6 Coupe also feature standard 17-inch alloy wheels. Four-wheel disc brakes and an anti-lock brake system (ABS) help provide responsive, reliable stopping power on all Solara models, and the SLE V6 can also be equipped with optional Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) with traction control. VSC helps maintain direction during cornering by manipulating engine torque and individual wheel-braking control when it detects tire slippage.
SE Sport Sharpens Style and Handling
The Solara SE Sport accentuates its sleek design with a bold six-piece body kit and 17-inch alloy wheels. Inside, the SE Sport transforms Solara into a distinctively sporty machine with a unique dark-charcoal interior featuring black graphite-style trim, all black sport-fabric seats, exclusive sport gauge design and trim, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob and aluminum-trimmed pedals.
The SE Sport also heightens the handling reflexes with a performance-tuned suspension that includes stiffer front and rear springs, specific front and rear shock absorbers and 215/55R17 summer tires on 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels (all-season tires available). The SE convertible receives the Sport interior treatment and 17-inch alloy wheels and offers the six-piece body kit as an option.
Sporty, Luxurious Interior
Inside the Solara, a sweeping console and deeply contoured front and rear seats emphasize the intimate feel that a coupe should impart. A standard tilt/telescopic steering wheel helps the driver to set an ideal driving position. The gauge display uses three main meters highlighted by a 3-D chrome trim ring design, with soft lighting and fully illuminated needle pointers at night. A center-mounted three-pod multi-function display integrates a five-feature trip computer in the left pod, with functions that include fuel consumption, average speed, "miles-to-go" and elapsed time. The middle pod houses a digital clock and the right pod houses an outside temperature gauge plus passenger seatbelt and airbag indicator lights.
Solara targets class-leading fit and finish quality by narrowing gaps between interior surfaces to 0.5 millimeters or less and using a full soft-touch dash panel, invisible front-passenger airbag seams and chrome accents. All register knobs use silicone dampers for smooth operation. Versatile interior storage space includes a front console box, cupholders that double as additional storage, and a center console that provides dual storage compartments.
Outstanding Toyota Value
Solara SE offers an expansive standard equipment list that includes a tilt/telescopic steering wheel, cruise control, power windows with driver-side auto up/down, power driver’s seat lumbar support, power door locks, remote keyless entry, engine immobilizer, an AM/FM/CD stereo system with steering wheel audio controls and dual 12-volt power outlets.
The SLE brings the Solara closer to the luxury realm with standard automatic climate control, a power adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar, power moonroof, heated exterior mirrors, auto-dimming inside and driver’s side mirrors, JBL premium 3-in-1 audio system with six-disc in-dash CD changer and eight speakers in six locations, HomeLink® transceiver/garage door opener, and a security system with an alarm and engine immobilizer. SLE Coupe V6 models also add a leather-trimmed interior with heated front seats (optional on the SLE four-cylinder coupe).
Options for the Solara models include Satellite XM radio capability and the latest generation in Toyota’s DVD-based navigation systems with more than five million verified data points. The 6.5-inch screen is among the largest on the market today.
All Solara Coupe and Convertible models are assembled exclusively at Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Georgetown, Kentucky.
The Camry Solara coupe comes in SE, SE Sport, and SLE trim levels. All coupes are available with the 2.4-liter four-cylinder or the 3.3-liter V6. Automatic transmission is standard on all except the four-cylinder SE and SE Sport, which are available with a five-speed manual. Four-cylinder Solaras now use the same five-speed automatic as the Camry.
The Solara convertible comes only in SE and SLE trim, and only with a V6 and automatic transmission.
The Solara SE coupe ($19,530) is the base level in the two-door lineup and comes standard with ABS; side-impact airbags; P215/60 all-season tires on 16-inch aluminum wheels; air conditioning; cruise control; power windows, mirrors and locks with remote keyless entry; and AM/FM/CD audio. The SE V6 coupe ($21,860) is similarly equipped. Side curtain airbags are optional.
The Solara SE Sport coupe ($21,025) comes with sport-tuned suspension and P215/55R17 all-season tires on 17-inch aluminum wheels; it also gets aggressive exterior appliques; and substitutes Graphite and Charcoal trim for a lot of the SE’s interior brightwork. Solara SE Sport V6 ($23,355) is similarly equipped.
The Solara SLE ($23,405) is the most luxurious model with automatic climate control, power moonroof, JBL stereo with six-disc CD changer, power seats and woodgrain interior trim. Choose the SLE V6 ($26,405) and you also get leather seats and the same sport suspension and performance tires as the SE Sport.
Solara SE V6 convertible ($26,940) comes with the SE Sport’s dark interior trim and 17-inch wheels, but is otherwise equipped much like the SE V6 coupe. The SLE V6 convertible ($30,210) is equipped the same as the SLE V6 coupe.
The Solara convertible is not as quite as the other models. Its soft top lets in noise, especially from the rear. Road noise, engine noise, even bicyclists talking to each other could be heard when the top up.
The Solara’s suspension filters doesn’t isolate the driver from valuable road feel. Still, the Solara is no sports car, either. It corners fairly flat, but the tires start squealing when it’s driven hard.
The Solara offer sophisticated five-speed automatics for all engine options. Five-speed automatics generally offer better response and better fuel economy than four-speed automatics, because more gears mean the engine runs closer to maximum efficiency more of the time.