Last post on Jan 12, 2004 at 6:39 AM
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Toyota, Toyota Camry Solara, Coupe, Convertible
#653 of 672 Auto A/C and CD changer
Dec 22, 2003 (10:30 am)
I have a 99 Odyssey EX with auto A/C and I like it better than the one in Solara. You may leave the Auto mode for switching cold and hot air but manually adjust the fan speed. In Solara, once you change the fan speed, the auto mode is off. I leave it in Auto which is the default once you start the car. I think this is the evidence of cost cutting.
For the CD changer, mine is working all right and smooth. If I remember right, you need to select the empty slot before insert the CD. If not, the system will assume the slot it is on. I will double check and confirm that. The one in Solara is much better than the Escape I rent for a week. Escape need to shuffle one by one instead of press the slot number for this. And it takes some time before accepting CD. I don't have problem on switching between CD and radio so I guess is bad luck? Have you read the user manual of operation or you just figure it out by yourself? More than often the problem can be resolved by reading the manual. Just my suggestion since it works well 90% of the time!
#654 of 672 Air Control
Dec 22, 2003 (4:39 pm)
To each their own. Frankly, I would not want my automatic system to change the fresh air mixture without my explicit input, since this control has as much to do with humidity control as temperature control. If the automatic system also let me set my humidity preferences in addition to my temperature preferences, I might change my mind, but I havenít seen an automotive system with that capability yet. If I find pushing 1 button to be too challenging, I may be ready for the retirement home!
Dec 22, 2003 (6:38 pm)
The difference in the Solaras torque advantage is GREATER than the difference in the Accords HP advantage....
Accord: Peak HP by 15 horses
Solara: Peak torque by 28 foot pounds
Just something to think about
#657 of 672 air control....again
Dec 22, 2003 (7:51 pm)
Finally figured it out.
2k1trd -- you're 50% correct. But your response inspired me. Here's what I found.
If you use Auto, and manually increase or decrease the temp., the mode (front, front/floor, floor) will automatically switch according to the temp. When the temp goes up, it'll switch from front, to front/floor, to floor. It will also automatically switch back (from floor to front) if you lower the temp.
Now if you turn off the system, and turn it back on by pressing the Fan speed, this "automatic mode switch" function will still be there even Auto is off. Increasing or decreasing the temp will automatically switch the Mode.
Now if at this point, you manually hit the Mode button to switch the mode because you don't want to heat up your foot, this "automatic mode switch" function will be disabled, until you hit Auto again.
Whew. 2k1trd and cooldad can you try that on yours and see if it's the same?? I don't mean to be so anal about this air control thing. But I just want to make sure I'm in control and know how it operates.
"toyota a/c is crap compared to honda." ????? Is that an opinion or fact? What kind of testing have you done to both systems to come out with such conclusion? Please share with us here. BTW, the new Solara came out in Fall/Winter and there's no exteme hot weather to test the A/C system yet.
alpha -- you forgot to mention both HP and Torque come out at higher rpm too.
#658 of 672 Solara is a cute car?
Dec 23, 2003 (8:39 am)
Cute is a word I rarely apply to motor vehicles, but I'm making an exception in the case of the 2004 Toyota Camry Solara.
This second generation of the Solara coupe is cuter than the first ... and the first was pretty cute. ''Ruggedly handsome'' just does not work with this car, especially when the tested model is coated in paint called ''Absolutely Red.''
''Redder-Than-Red'' or ''Blindingly Red'' would have worked, too. The tester all but screamed for attention, accentuated by a saucy new design with a V-shaped grille and an aerodynamic, bumper-to-bumper arc.
Style is important for Solara. Since 1999, the car has been entrenched among Top 10 lists of passenger models preferred by female buyers. The sleeker look for 2004 should do nothing to drop Solara off those lists.
The arc shape raised Solara's roofline by nearly 2 inches compared with the first generation, and Toyota's engineers stretched the new Solara's wheelbase by nearly the same amount. The realignment translates to improved room, which was much needed in the rear seats. Adult legs no longer press up against the front seats.
The power plant also has been upgraded. The tested SLE, the top Solara model among three trim levels offered, came with a 3.3-liter V-6 with variable valve timing technology and 225 horsepower. That's a big step up from the 3-liter, 198-horsepower V-6 in the previous SLE.
The Solara's new engine provided brisk acceleration, with the electronically controlled, five-speed automatic transmission working the shifts smoothly. The gearbox also allows for clutchless manual shifting.
Four-cylinder Solaras can be had with either a five-speed manual gearbox or a four-speed automatic, and the base Solara SE with a manual is a genuine bargain with a starting price of $19,120.
In truth, the Solara SLE's performance was most impressive once the engine revs were up. The SLE whipped around traffic on surface streets and area freeways like a champ. It sawed off sharp surface-street corners with sports car-like crispness; kudos to Toyota engineers who designed the car's sport-tuned suspension (independent front and rear).
The Solara's redesigned interior likewise radiated sportiness. A center-mounted gauge display is sharp-looking and easy to read -- especially with illuminated pointers on the gauges. Chrome and woodgrain accents were attractively sprinkled and not overdone.
The impressive list of standard features included a power moonroof and a sweet-sounding JBL premium audio system with a six-disc CD changer and eight speakers.
With a new generation come new challenges. Primary among them was an automatic climate-control system on the tested SLE that was consistently about five degrees off in both warming and cooling modes. And recurring warnings from the tire-pressure monitoring system were exceedingly annoying because that jarring exclamation point in the message center always makes the heart skip a couple of beats.
Trips to nearby gas stations showed that the tires were up to Toyota specifications. Cold weather start-ups were the likely cause of the tire-pressure warnings -- one reason that I have serious reservations about good-intentioned, but sometimes-deceiving, tire-pressure monitoring systems.
One other gripe: A large adult needs to do some serious bending and grunting to semi-gracefully slip into or out of the back seat area. In fairness, that's a universal problem native to most midsize coupes. And making the car bigger only makes it more expensive.
Overall, the latest Solara is a positive step in the evolutionary process. Probably the most important thing Toyota could do with the car was make it distinct ... that is something more than a two-door version of a Camry sedan.
Along that line, the automaker did a good job, producing a stylish, agile, two-door passenger model that makes Solara resemble more of a high-spirited, chance-taking cousin than a bland Camry knockoff.
Dec 23, 2003 (3:08 pm)
i personally do not use the "auto" mode any way so i really don't care...
#660 of 672 Gas mileage anyone?
Dec 24, 2003 (11:57 am)
I have been getting somewhere between 16 and 18 mpg in combined city / highway driving. I have not been on any long trips to be able to check highway only mileage, but this seems a bit low to me. I shrugged it off at first, thinking that I had been a little too happy with the gas pedal when I first got the car, but even when I am careful, the mileage is still in the big SUV territory. Anyone else getting this kind of mileage? I am wondering if the pull left /alignment issue is hurting mileage.
Dec 24, 2003 (12:11 pm)
I have a 2002 SE 4 cyl and get 32-34 on the highway at 75 mph. Have not checked city, stop and go mileage
Dec 26, 2003 (7:26 am)
My car is an 04 V6 SLE. I would expect the 4 cyl to get better mileage, but all the reviews have been pretty glowing about what the V6 has been rated for. Am trying to figure out if I have a problem or if reviews / EPA is so much fantasy.