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2002 Toyota Camry Solara

$1,787 — $6,635 USED
Coupe
4-5 Seats
22-28 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 3 trims

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview
A modest face-lift for 2002 is evident on Toyota’s Camry-derived midsize two-door coupe and convertible. Appearance revisions include a fresh front fascia with a restyled grille, bumper and headlights. Daytime running lights have been installed, with an “off” switch. A new 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is available, but the V-6 is unchanged. A new Appearance Package is offered for the SE coupe.

Designed in California and sportier in style than the previous-generation Camry sedan, the twin Solaras use the same front-drive chassis and engines, targeting middle-age baby boomers. For the younger crowd, Toyota focuses on the smaller Celica sport coupe.

Introduced for 1999, the Solara coupe is a two-door spin-off of the Camry sedan; a convertible joined the original coupe in the spring of 2000. Both come in SE and SLE trims, and the SLE is offered only with a V-6 engine.

Exterior
Softer lines give the Solara more flamboyant styling and a more intense personality than the Camry on which it was based. Relatively small headlights surround a more prominent grille, with a “toothy” air intake standing out below the front bumper. Toyota refers to the 2002 grille as “aggressive,” noting that it is complemented by fog lamps and four-bulb headlights.

Both body styles ride a 105.1-inch wheelbase and measure 71.1 inches wide and 191.5 inches long overall. The coupe is 54.3 inches high, while the convertible stands 55.5 inches tall. Trunk capacit...
Vehicle Overview
A modest face-lift for 2002 is evident on Toyota’s Camry-derived midsize two-door coupe and convertible. Appearance revisions include a fresh front fascia with a restyled grille, bumper and headlights. Daytime running lights have been installed, with an “off” switch. A new 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is available, but the V-6 is unchanged. A new Appearance Package is offered for the SE coupe.

Designed in California and sportier in style than the previous-generation Camry sedan, the twin Solaras use the same front-drive chassis and engines, targeting middle-age baby boomers. For the younger crowd, Toyota focuses on the smaller Celica sport coupe.

Introduced for 1999, the Solara coupe is a two-door spin-off of the Camry sedan; a convertible joined the original coupe in the spring of 2000. Both come in SE and SLE trims, and the SLE is offered only with a V-6 engine.

Exterior
Softer lines give the Solara more flamboyant styling and a more intense personality than the Camry on which it was based. Relatively small headlights surround a more prominent grille, with a “toothy” air intake standing out below the front bumper. Toyota refers to the 2002 grille as “aggressive,” noting that it is complemented by fog lamps and four-bulb headlights.

Both body styles ride a 105.1-inch wheelbase and measure 71.1 inches wide and 191.5 inches long overall. The coupe is 54.3 inches high, while the convertible stands 55.5 inches tall. Trunk capacity is 13.8 cubic feet in the sedan vs. a more modest 8.8 cubic feet for the convertible.

The convertible has a standard power top with a glass rear window. The SE features restyled 15-inch wheel covers, while the SLE gets different 16-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, and front and rear mudguards.

Interior
A lot of the Solara’s interior design has its roots in the Camry. But in the transition to two-door form, some space was lost. The rear seats, for instance, are tighter than those in the Camry sedan, and getting in and out is tough because occupants must squeeze past the front seats. The front passenger seat lacks the slide-forward feature that is found on many two-door coupes.

For 2002, additional wood trim surrounds the gearshift lever. The SE model has air conditioning, a tilt steering wheel, cruise control, CD and cassette players, and power windows, locks and mirrors. The SLE edition adds perforated-leather upholstery, automatic climate control, a remote keyless entry system, heated mirrors, and other comfort and convenience features. Options include a 200-watt JBL premium cassette/CD stereo, heated front seats and a power moonroof. Convertibles may be equipped with a 300-watt JBL sound system that incorporates automatic equalization.

Under the Hood
A new 157-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is standard in the SE, and a 3.0-liter V-6 rated at 200 hp comes standard in the SLE and as an option in the SE. Both engines can mate with either a five-speed-manual or four-speed-automatic transmission in the Solara coupe. All convertible versions come with the automatic gearbox only.

Safety
Antilock brakes are standard on V-6 models but optional on the four-cylinder SE. Side-impact airbags are optional on all Solaras.

Driving Impressions
Underrated by some, Toyota’s two-door models have a lot to offer, even though their prices aren’t the lowest. The Solara is smoothly shaped and rich in appearance, so it defies the criticism of Toyota products as lackluster in design. Performance is similar to that of the Camry, and acceleration with the V-6 engine is about as smooth as it gets.

The Solara’s suspension is taut, but it deals competently with pavement imperfection to yield a beautiful ride, whether you’re out on the highway or driving in the city. The coupe and convertible handle with proficiency, perform stably on the highway and remain pleasantly close to flat through curves. It’s no sports car, but the Solara might just satisfy all but the most ardent precision-minded drivers.

Headroom in the front seats is less than abundant, and backseat passengers are likely to bump their heads on the rear window. The seats are both comfortable and supportive.

Convertibles aren’t common in the midsize field. Other than the Chrysler Sebring, which has become the class leader partly by virtue of its longevity, the soft-top Solara has little competition. Suave and refined, and augmented by Toyota’s reputation for high resale value and reliability, either Solara body style could be a satisfying car to own and drive regularly.

 
Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com
From the cars.com 2002 Buying Guide

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.8
22 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.6)
Performance
(4.7)
Interior Design
(4.4)
Comfort
(4.5)
Reliability
(4.9)
Value For The Money
(4.9)

Read reviews that mention:

(4.0)

Toyota Solara Reliable Good Cars

by zgreers from Fort Worth on August 14, 2018

I think if the car maintenence is kept up on any vehicle, it's a good car! This car is current with all receipts kept . It's an excellent first car, liesure car.... Sunday afternoon cruising car! It's ... Read full review

(5.0)

Stylish and fun to drive

by Buffalomege from Reno, NV on July 27, 2018

The Solara has been extremely reliable, low maintenance and is a classic convertible. The car is in excellent condition, rides extremely well and is low cost to own and operate. Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2002 Toyota Camry Solara currently has 0 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2002 Toyota Camry Solara has not been tested.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Camry Solara received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker