Used 1997 Chevrolet Lumina

1997 Chevrolet Lumina
List price range
1997 Chevrolet Lumina

Pros

  • Good value, room for six, optional dual-zone climate controls

Cons

  • ABS is optional, Plain-Jane wrapper

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

While in college, one of our staffers attended the 1989 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Mich. The 1990 Chevrolet Lumina was displayed at the show in coupe and sedan form, and this young man thought the vehicle was some kind of funky, ill-conceived concept car, like those oddly shaped safetymobiles created during the 1970s. Few showgoers even seemed to notice the silly silver Lumina as he inspected the angular styling, all the while wondering if GM had missed the boat on Ford's success with the Taurus. When the Lumina hit the streets for the 1990 model year, he couldn't help but laugh every time one passed him on the street. Amazingly, the Lumina went on to become a bestseller, due in part to strong fleet sales.

These days, a different Lumina prowls Chevy showrooms. In 1995, Chevrolet revamped the car. It was a vast improvement over the first-generation model, offering dual airbags housed in an ergonomically-correct, straight-forward dashboard. The exterior shape is modern and, dare we say, attractive. Even more amazing, the Lumina performs well, although the feel of the car really doesn't transmit any inkling of performance capability thanks to poor brake pedal feel and vague, disconnected steering.

Still, the numbers are there, and when equipped with the optional 3.4-liter V6 the Lumina is just as nimble as upscale rivals from Chrysler and Ford. Braking and cornering abilities are not extraordinary for the class, but the Lumina nonetheless keeps itself planted to terra firma with little fanfare. This year, Chevy rolls out the Lumina LTZ, which is a sporty interpretation featuring wheels from the Monte Carlo Z34, a spoiler, and unique front and rear styling treatments. Evidently, this is supposed to help sport sedan shoppers get over the loss of the Impala SS. Fat chance.

Chevy engineers claim the current-generation Lumina is the result of intensive consumer clinics, and the car was designed in accordance with the research findings. Styling was not a strong issue among sedan buyers, a point well proven by the popularity of the previous-generation Lumina. Fortunately, Chevy saw fit to give the Lumina a tidy, attractive look that is marred only by a somewhat characterless and protruding proboscis. Inside, seats could use more support and firmer padding. Controls, however, are easy to see and use, and fabrics are treated with Scotchgard to repel the occasional Dairy Queen spill.

The optional 3.4-liter V6 from last year was scheduled to join the options list for the new LTZ this year, but warm start problems delayed production of the engine, and all 3.4 motors are slated for the Monte Carlo during 1997. This means the LTZ gets the same powertrain found in the base Lumina, but an early-release 1998 LTZ model is expected this summer with GM's excellent 3800 Series II V6 under the hood.

For 1997, Chevrolet again took the advice of its customers to refine the Lumina. In a bid to snare safety-conscious buyers, daytime running lamps are standard across the board. Two new colors debut: Dark Jade Green Metallic (thumbs up) and Deep Purple Metallic (thumbs down). A power sunroof finally makes it to production after delays during 1996. An oil life monitor tells you when to change your oil, and the tethered fuel cap is easier to twist on and off.

With a competent car and a pricing structure that undercuts Ford and Chrysler, Chevy's Lumina offers a fine blend of function, value and performance. This is one GM product that was done right the first time.

1997 Highlights

Performance-oriented Lumina LTZ debuts, with a spoiler, special front and rear styling, graphics and alloy wheels. Daytime running lamps are standard on all Luminas, and the power sunroof expected last year finally arrives. New colors and an oil life monitor round out changes to Lumina for 1997.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1997 Chevrolet Lumina.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Love this car
lrodriguez2,09/12/2012
I still drive my 1997 Lumina and it has 260,000 miles on it. It has been the best car I have ever driven. I have never had any major issues with the car. Car maintenance is key. It is a comfortable ride, still has great pickup and handles nicely on curves. It's roomy without being an overbearingly large car. Wish they still made them.
Mine is actually a 3.8 V6
tracym1974,01/02/2012
I bought my Lumina in 2004 and just sold it. I never had a problem with this car. All I had to do to it was regular maintenance, oil change, brakes, plugs, other fluids. Well, I did have to replace the compressor after 6 yrs and a new battery. It drove smooth as silk. I always felt very safe in this car. Initially, I thought the car was nothing to look at but after driving it all these years..the looks didn't matter. I had two wrecks in this car and it bounced back everytime. I wish I didn't sell it. Bought it with 76,000miles on it and sold it with 206,000. It never left me stranded not once. I am looking for another one.
Leaky lumina
Preston Alexander,09/21/2015
When I received the car a few months ago, it had great millage, it has great get up and go and it is great on gas. It used to be a security car at UNT. since I got it, I had to replace the starter and seal a leak in the transmission line. Now it is leaking power steering fluid and its going run from $200-$500 to fix. That's a whole lot of money when your a broke college kid.
my restoration project
racingnut,06/24/2011
ive owned my 97 lumina just over a year now it has 194,000 miles on it and still runs great.i drove it 3,000 miles first week round trip from temple texas through tucson arizona to colorado springs then back to temple texas.cost fuel less then 360$.not one issue along the way.i have never owned a car more consumer friendly then chevrolet when it comes to replacing parts.i was able to disassemble my 92 celebrity 4cylinder replace the head gaskets and reassemble in about 4 hours thats pretty good.i give chevrolet a five star reveiw.
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Features & Specs

MPG
18 city / 26 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
160 hp @ 5200 rpm
MPG
18 city / 26 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
160 hp @ 5200 rpm
MPG
18 city / 26 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
160 hp @ 5200 rpm
See all Used 1997 Chevrolet Lumina features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
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
    Good

More about the 1997 Chevrolet Lumina
Used 1997 Chevrolet Lumina Overview

The Used 1997 Chevrolet Lumina is offered in the following submodels: Lumina Sedan. Available styles include 4dr Sedan, LTZ 4dr Sedan, and LS 4dr Sedan.

What's a good price on a Used 1997 Chevrolet Lumina?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1997 Chevrolet Luminas are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1997 Chevrolet Lumina for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1997 Chevrolet Lumina.

Can't find a used 1997 Chevrolet Luminas you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Chevrolet Lumina for sale - 9 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $9,705.

Find a used Chevrolet for sale - 9 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $11,580.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet Lumina for sale - 5 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $23,692.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet for sale - 3 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $19,156.

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Should I lease or buy a 1997 Chevrolet Lumina?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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