Used 1997 Buick Riviera Coupe

1997 Buick Riviera

1997 Highlights

Upgraded transmissions, several new colors inside and out, additional standard equipment and new options summarize minimal changes to the Riviera.


  • Distinctive styling, excellent powertrains, one of few large coupes on market, good value


  • Distinctive styling, odd dash layout, front-wheel drive layout

Used 1997 Buick Riviera Coupe for Sale

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

After decades of mediocre personal luxury coupes from Buick, 1995 brought a stunning Riviera that returned the car to its performance roots, when equipped with the optional supercharged V6. Photos do not convey the elegance and beauty of this design. It looks best in dark shades, and from just about every angle, the new Riviera's sheetmetal is intriguing. The dashboard is thankfully devoid of digital wizardry, sporting simple round gauges and a slightly retro look. Real wood inserts on the instrument panel and console soften the otherwise stark ambience of the interior.

Motivating the base front-wheel drive Riviera is GM's tried-and-true Series II 3.8-liter V6, which puts 205 horsepower to the ground through the front axle. A supercharged version of that motor, which comes standard with bigger wheels and tires, stretches the Riviera's performance envelope a bit, getting the big Riv to 60 mph in about eight seconds. Antilock brakes and dual airbags are standard, and traction control is one of the few options available.

For 1997, Buick ups the ante with added standard equipment like PASS-Key II theft deterrent system, retained accessory power, Twilight Sentinel, memory door locks, and flash-to-pass headlamps. Daytime running lights are also new this year, along with a larger coinholder. New options include an electrochromic rear view mirror with integrated compass, and an automatic parallel park feature that tilts the passenger-side exterior mirror down so that the driver can see the curb. The rear defogger now operates continuously until manually shut off when vehicle speed is above 30 mph. Below 30 mph, the defogger times out after ten minutes. Three new exterior colors and one new interior color freshen the Riviera this year.

Prices start right around $30,000. While this big Buick won't woo buyers who favor smaller, more sporting cars like the BMW 3-Series, the Riviera is a fine American luxury coupe with more than a hint of Euro flavor.

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Vehicle Photo

Features & Specs

2dr CoupeSupercharged 2dr Coupe
Transmission4-speed automatic4-speed automatic
Horsepower205 hp @ 5200 rpm240 hp @ 5200 rpm


IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

Top Consumer Reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1997 Buick Riviera


Consumer Rating

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409,000 miles and still going!!!
I bought my 1997 Supercharged Riviera from the original owner with 37,000 miles on it. I commuted 100 miles round trip to work each day for 13 years. I now have 409,000 miles on it. Parts replaced included 3 water pumps, 2 alternators, a starter, entire brake system (minus master cylinder...thats still original). The CD player went to I had a cheap one installed. One set of tires (Cooper) I got 105,000 miles out of. Had the front wheel bearing assemblies replaced at 250,000 and just had the drivers front wheel bearing replaced. Still the original exhaust system. It has some annoying oil leaks that I really don't care about. Original paint job is my only complaint. Wore off in a few places.
1997 Buick Riviera 2 Dr STD Sprchgd Coup
I bought this car, brand new, right off the show room floor. We added a Wood View, dash and council kit. This car, with all the options, and additions, equaled the same model Cadillac, for $7000 dollars less. Those years of Cadillac had nothing but problems, this car had almost none. Had to replace water pump.
Love/Hate Relationship 97 Buick Riviera
I purchased the vehicle with 147,000 miles on it for $3,500 and thought it was the best car ever. I loved the leather interior with the single heated seat(only available on the drivers side.) It was such a smooth ride at first but once I hit 165,000 it wen't downhill. The Transmission blew and had to drop $2,500 unexpectedly to fix it. The door handle broke 3 times on the drivers side, keep in mind that the factory one is around $250. Issues with the crankshaft sensor and suspension happened around 190k miles. I managed to get it up to 220k miles....I'm honestly going to miss the ride and comfort but I am not going to miss the headache.
Used 1997 Buick Riviera Coupe Overview

The Used 1997 Buick Riviera Coupe is offered in the following styles: 2dr Coupe, and Supercharged 2dr Coupe.

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