1997 Toyota Corolla Review

Used Corolla for sale
List Price Estimate:$723 - $1,707
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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Excellent build quality, reputation for bulletproof reliability
  • Poor value

Vehicle overview

Toyota has a winner with the Corolla; after 30 years of production it has become the second best-selling car in automotive history. We feel that this is due to its solid engineering, available safety features, and fun-to-drive attributes when equipped with a five-speed manual transmisson.

The Corolla is a fine car with good handling characteristics, a well-designed interior, and attractive, if not earth-shattering, looks. Additionally, the optional antilock brakes, better than average crash test scores and integrated child seat on DX models go a long way toward making the Corolla a reasonably affordable, safe, compact family-sedan.

The wagon variant disappears for 1997, and Toyota introduces a new CE trim level that stands for Classic Edition. The CE is essentially a Standard model with a package of upgrades not normally found on the lower level Corolla. Corollas get revised door trim this year, and side impact beams that meet 1997 federal standards. Nothing else new here, as Toyota prepares to retire the current edition and introduce a new, improved Corolla for 1998.

Unfortunately for Toyota, there is a good reason to skip the Corolla when shopping for a new car; the Geo Prizm. Built on the same assembly line as the Corolla, out of the same parts and by the same workers, the Prizm is everything that the Corolla is and more. Most importantly the Prizm is significantly cheaper than the Corolla and comes with a roadside assistance warranty that the Corolla lacks. We like the Corolla, but we would buy the Prizm.

1997 Highlights

For the 1997 Toyota Corolla, the Classic Edition (CE) debuts and the slow-selling DX Wagon gets the ax.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1997 Toyota Corolla.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

5 out of 5 stars
My car has high mileage
DX 4dr Sedan
Happy that my Corolla has 446000 miles and runs well. I absolutely love my Corolla!
5 out of 5 stars
An Old Reliable Friend
DX 4dr Sedan
I bought my 1997 Corolla back in 2005 with under 60,000 miles. Today it has over 266,000 miles. The car has been a stalwart companion over the last 10+ years. Up until 2 years ago the only maintenance items were changing the brakes, battery and tires. I will say the A/C broke a few years into the purchase, and I never got it fixed, but you get used to that. Over the last few years had to put an alternator, serpentine belt, spark plug wires and starter; but considering the first 180,000 miles of ownership went so smooth, I guess it is to be expected. I would recommend this car to anyone who is looking for something simple, no nonsense and needs a reliable ride.
5 out of 5 stars
Best car ever.
kelli B.,08/22/2010
4dr Sedan
I bought this car 3 years ago with 193,000 for 500 dollars. I know crazy. It has never left me walking. I have done minor repairs, new distributor cap and new plugs and wires, new tires and battery. I drive this car 120 miles a day 4 days a week sometimes more. It now has 239,500 miles and I hope it keeps on going. It truly is a gem and I got a steal. It made my 500$ back long ago! I want another one! I drive a 4 door Dodge 3/4 ton diesel so tjis car saves me so much money running back and forth to work! Sometimes I'd really Rather be in my Toyota than that Dodge!
5 out of 5 stars
Love this car
kathy Shaver,04/26/2008
DX 4dr Sedan
I have had this Corolla for two years now. It was going to be a temporary car until I found something fancier. Well, I'm still driving it and loving it. I have had expensive cars for 38 years, Mercedes, BMW Jags, and they have all been expensive to maintain. This is the most basic one I have ever owned but it's one of the most reliable and least expensive one to run especially with the new gas prices. It has enough get up and go for heavy traffic and I never feel like I will be stranded like I did when I was driving a Jag. There is nothing I don't like about this car.


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 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

More about the 1997 Toyota Corolla

Used 1997 Toyota Corolla Overview

The Used 1997 Toyota Corolla is offered in the following submodels: Corolla Sedan. Available styles include 4dr Sedan, CE 4dr Sedan, and DX 4dr Sedan. Pre-owned Toyota Corolla models are available with a 1.6 L-liter gas engine or a 1.8 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 105 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 1997 Toyota Corolla comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual.

What's a good price on a Used 1997 Toyota Corolla?

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 Toyota Corollas 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 Toyota Corolla 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 AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1997 Toyota Corolla.

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

Find a used Toyota Corolla for sale - 3 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $19,139.

Find a used Toyota for sale - 6 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $19,426.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota Corolla for sale - 1 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $22,541.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota for sale - 2 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $10,382.

Should I lease or buy a 1997 Toyota Corolla?

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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