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1999 Toyota Solara by Ray Plymouth,WI on 12/08/2012. Trim: 1999 Toyota Camry Solara SE, Owned 7 years.
Pros: Follow the recommended maintenance schedule for this car and it will never let you down. Engine and drive train always smooth and predictable. Interior quality is superior, after 14 years it still looks great, handles, knobs, buttons, latches,and controls all operate as new. Toyota did not go cheap on interior plastics, and electronics on this model. Its comfortable on long trips and has plenty of room for four adults. The car is driven in WI in all seasons and still shows no sign of rust. The under carriage is solid no rust, This is a major safety concern for cars this old in WI.
Cons: This is Toyota's 3.0 v-6 engine and gets 25-26 mpg at best. For a sporty model the suspension is to soft and mushy. The factory installed struts fail at less than 100,000 miles and are very expensive to replace.
Overall review: I have bought this car used in 2005 with 88,000 on it. Currently it has 318,000 miles. I read about 3.0 engine failures and being a concern on this model's reliability record. The problem was oil jelling which led to engine failure. But the real problem was not with the engine as much as it was with poor maintenance. YOU MUST CHANGE THE OIL AT RECOMMENDED INTERVALS. This car has not had a single failure except with the struts in the years I have owned it. This car has had multiple drivers in my family with different driving styles, from hard to easy and on every type of road you can think of. I know I will get at least 400,000 miles plus out of this car before it gets recycled. An outstanding car as many other toyotas thoughtfully engineered.
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