1997 Ford Thunderbird Coupe Review | Edmunds.com

1997 Ford Thunderbird Coupe

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Ford Thunderbird Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.8 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 145 hp @ 4000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 16/24 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 1997 Ford Thunderbird

  • Info is not yet available.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Lincoln Mark VIII style and performance on a Ford Contour budget. This is the perfect car for closet enthusiasts who need a car that is more mature than the Mustang.

  • Cons

    The Thunderbird seriously needs a complete redesign. After eight years, the body is looking a little long-in-tooth.

  • What's New for 1997

    The Thunderbird receives few updates this year. A revised center console, a few new colors, and standard four-wheel disc brakes are the big news for 1997.

Full 1997 Ford Thunderbird Review

What's New for 1997

The Thunderbird receives few updates this year. A revised center console, a few new colors, and standard four-wheel disc brakes are the big news for 1997.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Bird is the word

by on
Vehicle: 1996 Ford Thunderbird

I own the V8 T-Bird, and of all the cars I've owned through the years, it has proven repeatedly to be the most reliable, stylish and overall best value vehicle money can buy. I bought mine used a little over a year ago with 124000 miles on it, and aside from replacing the brake pads and ball joints (which were wore out from age and the previous owner's abuse) this car has been an exceptional ride, silky smooth with plenty of power. Though the V8 only gets moderate gas mileage, the comfort, style and reliability more than make up for it. If you're looking for an older, stylish and reliable ride, I highly recommend the T-bird...

Best ford car going

by on
Vehicle: 1996 Ford Thunderbird

I have owned this car for 7 years and over 100,000 miles. There are some issues with the 3.8 that will cost some money to fix, but it is well worth the effort. Head gaskets go like clock work about 140,000 miles. I had mine replaced with better quality ones along with a valve job. Runs great so far at 188,000. Transmissions tend to be glitchy, but regular maintenance keeps that in check. If your looking for a lot of miles from yours here's a trick. Keep it maintained. Use Royal Purple motor oil and micro filter. Use Lucas Top Cylinder Lube in the gas every tank full. I am looking to keep mine for a long time. Still gets 29 mpg Highway. See you on the road.

216,000 miles and still doing

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Vehicle: 1996 Ford Thunderbird

Wow - what an awesome car. I picked it up as a used fleet car with 12,000 miles on it for $16k in 1996 - as of June of 2010 still has a lot of life left. Just this week needed to finally replace the catalytic converter - mechanic said with this car, it's worth it. He's so impressed - he checked her out from stem to stern and thinks she'll get at least another 50,000. This beauty doesn't owe me a dime - $500 to do the cat, so what, how much am I saving in car payments and insurance? Yeah, it's fabulous. Love this car.


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Vehicle: 1996 Ford Thunderbird

I received this car for my graduation from high school. And it needed alot of work done. The inside lights don't work, turn signals don't work, the sunroof fell off the car while I was driving, the car has no backend suspension, it can't even handle snow on the ground hardly ice, the alternator and engine cooling fan had to be replaced as well as a major belt, the starter went out and replaced. I think old ford cars are not made for use in the midwest.

Ford does it again

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Vehicle: 1996 Ford Thunderbird

This is a real nice car but everyone should be aware of the 4.6L V8 issue that is not only common, but will likely cost you a lot of money. There was a recall with an extended warranty, after a lawsuit, which expired 7 years after original sale of vehicle. So, if you are not the original owner it is likely you never heard of it. Some genius designed the intake manifold out of plastic, including the coolant crossover. It will crack! You will then have a coolant leak requiring replacement of the manifold. Today that cost is around $800 to $1000 depending on where you go. I will be doing it myself for the cost of parts, which will be between $250 and $300. Do plugs while everything is open.


by on
Vehicle: 1996 Ford Thunderbird

4 years ago I needed a second car to keep from putting too many miles on my Expedition. I bought my 96 ford thunderbird used with only 30,000 miles on it. It has been very reliable and is very comfortable to drive.Best used car I have ever owned. The 4.6 V8 gets great gas mileage, it rides smooth and still looks great. I am totally sold on Ford products now and look forward to owning many more in the future.

Talk About The 1997 Thunderbird

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a 1986 Ford Escort, 1988 Old Cutlass, 1994 Ford Thunderbird, 1997 Ford Expedition, 2003 Ford Expedition. Until the 2003 Expedition Ford products were fine, but the 2003 Expedition was a lemon. I had ...

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Gas Mileage


  • 16
  • cty
  • 24
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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