Used 1997 Toyota Avalon Consumer Reviews
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.
This car ain't half bad. I mean if you squint at it, it could look like a couple other cars, it's cousin, Lexus LS 400, or an older benz E class. It's got heart when you need to pass up folks on the highway. I've had the seats pulled all the way to the back and I was still able to sit in the back seat with no problems and had room to spare. The trunk is roomy also. Now for the bad stuff.....struts. I sound like an old bus going over heavy bumps. Now the car isn't bouncing, but I'm sure it will be soon. The alternator gave out and the calipers in the back click. Yeah, the car is a little boring to look at, but it's nice on insurance, cause no one really wants to steal it.
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.