Used 1997 Toyota Avalon Consumer Reviews
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Bought this car when it had 85,409 miles on it. Have replaced struts, brakes, tires, keep the oil and all fluids changed according to Toyota specs/timings. This has been a great car, so much so I just gave it to my youngest daughter for college and I went out and found another great 97 Avalon XL with leather and sunroof. These cars will go the miracle mile if you do everything on a regular schedule, this is especially true of the timing belt--don't push past the 90K mile interval.
I bought my '97 avalon 7 years ago for a whopping $800 with 150k mi. on it. The previous owner had used synthetic oil since he purchased it new and I followed his his advice. It currently has 255k on the odometer. It has zero leaks, zero throttle delay and pulls as hard as it did as the day I bought it. Now the Avalon may not look like much. And it's not that fast off the line. But from 50 to 80 it will surprise you. Since I live near the beach in florida the paint has taken a beating. However, In 7 years, aside from the regular tires, oil and belts, I've replaced the radiator, water pump and alternator. All together I've spent maybe $1000 on non preventative maintenance. The engine and transmission could be classified as military grade they're so solid.
I bought this car with 30K miles and now have 220K on it. I also had a steering column leak on this car and my '98 Sienna... dealers wanted to replace column I used a steering fluid with a sealer and never had a problem since. Interior noise is a problem and plastic interior trim pieces coming loose... but those are mostly cosmetic. I will give this car to my son for college and keep for a few more years.
If I needed a new car today, I'd buy another Avalon...sight unseen.
This model is known to have power steering and front end rattle problems, but if you can get past that, it's a great car to own. Rear seat is quite roomy for adults. This car gets you full-sized car features with the quality of a Japanese made car. The 200 HP 3.3l engine has plenty of power. The rear suspension is a bit flat with a full load, though.