NEW FOR 2008:

– Trim lines dropped to a single SLE line; SE and Sport models discontinued
– Four-cylinder engine discontinued
– Exterior colours: Classic Silver Metallic replaces Titanium Metallic; Oceanus Pearl deleted

For 2008, the Solara coupe and convertible line-up pares down considerably; there is now only a single trim line, the SLE, for both.

The 2.4-litre inline four-cylinder used in 2007 has been discontinued, and both models now use only the 3.3-litre V6, mated to a five-speed automatic transmission.

Features on the SLE Coupe include 17-inch alloy wheels, six-CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary jack and eight speakers, Bluetooth hands-free system, automatic climate control, heated leather seats, power driver’s seat, 60/40 split folding rear seat, power locks with keyless entry, auto-dimming rearview mirror, power windows, cargo net, tilt and telescopic leather-wrapped wheel, floor mats, cruise control, garage door opener, heated mirrors with driver’s side auto-dimming, variable intermittent wipers, LED taillights, automatic headlamps and fog lamps. The coupe also includes a power sunroof and curtain airbags.

The SLE Convertible has the SLE Coupe’s features, but with six speakers, non-folding rear seat, and power retractable soft roof.

Beautifully styled, the Solara handles well, but transmits a lot of vibration, and tends to feel more like a modified sedan than a uniquely-engineered coupe or convertible. The engine is efficient and the car does everything right, although it’s sometimes a little too smooth for its sporty looks, and could engage the driver more. The convertible top is a single-button, ten-second operation, and comes with a headliner and glass rear window.

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