- Plush ride
- Luxurious interior
- Lots of available features
- Convertible seats four
- Mushy handling
- Nondescript styling
The 2008 Toyota Camry Solara has a creamy ride and a luxurious interior, but even a convertible top can't sharpen its dull handling and nondescript styling.
The 2008 Toyota Camry Solara is offered as a coupe and a convertible. In either form, it's a two-door in the classic mold. It damps out the world around you and cossets the body parts behind you, while giving you an easy grip on the road ahead of you.
The 2008 Toyota Camry Solara's soft shape echoes parts of the Lexus SC's silhouette, but its unfussy lines are somewhat anonymous. It blends in well with the surroundings. Enthusiasts may shy from its plush seats and tightly grained faux-wood trim, but the interior is built with care, using quality materials. All the controls are clearly marked and easy to use without diverting your eyes from the road ahead.
The front-drive 2008 Toyota Camry Solara is powered by a 3.3-liter V-6 with 210 horsepower and 220 pound-feet of torque. Teamed up with a five-speed automatic, the Solara's drivetrain couldn't be creamier. There's also a version with a 157-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder, but as inexpensive as the Solara V-6 can be (starting from just under $28,000), it's hard not to justify the extra cylinders. The Camry Solara gets 22/31 mpg in four-cylinder form, and 18/26 mpg with the V-6 convertible.
Beneath the sheetmetal, the Toyota Camry Solara rides on a typical control-arm and multilink suspension, with a body still rigid enough to compare well against newer coupes like the Accord and the Nissan Altima Coupe. While its ride is smooth and controlled, the steering is dull, and the car protests in tight corners with lots of body roll.
Inside, the Toyota Camry Solara's seating position is ideal for a wide range of frames. The backseat's not easy to get into, even though the Solara has long doors. The rear seats are reasonably comfortable for two adults.
The cabin in the 2008 Toyota Camry Solara is trimmed with Lexus-like audio and other standard equipment. A JBL audio system with a six-disc changer, an iPod jack, and a navigation system with Bluetooth are options.
All Solara coupes come with anti-lock brakes and curtain airbags, with stability control available; convertibles have side airbags. Safety ratings for the coupe are five stars for front and side impacts, along with a Top Safety Pick designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, but the convertible has only an "acceptable" side-impact rating.