Used 1997 Toyota Previa

1997 Toyota Previa
List Price Estimate
$1,939 - $3,373

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful engine and unique shape.
  • High price. All-new replacement is being introduced later this year. (Of course, that one doesn't have a supercharged engine.)
Toyota Previa years
Toyota Previa for Sale

Edmunds' Expert Review

Vehicle overview

What runs on supercharged power, has available all-wheel drive, met 1997 passenger car side-impact standards six years early, is as reliable as a Retriever, and boasts one of the most uniquely attractive shapes on the road? A high-profile sports car? A concept vehicle from the early '90s? Give up? It's the Toyota Previa minivan. That's right. A minivan. And in addition to all of these fine attributes, the Previa adds dual airbags, comfortable seating for seven, optional antilock brakes, and up to 152.3 cubic feet of cargo capacity.

Toyota minivans come only with a supercharged engine this year; a wise move by product planners since the old base four-cylinder engine was a wheezemeister when it came to traversing anything with an incline. Previas are sold in DX or step-up LE trim, either rear-drive or with permanent All-Trac four-wheel drive.

Acceleration with the 161-horsepower, 2.4-liter supercharged engine is strong. However, it tends to be noisy, and gas mileage isn't the greatest. Worse yet, premium fuel is recommended. A four-speed automatic is the only transmission choice. The engine is mounted amidships, below the floor, but major service points are accessible from under the front hood. Although this is the Previa's last year, Toyota has tried to quiet down some of the engine racket with the addition of more sound deadening material.

Seven people sit in reasonable comfort, with a fair amount of cargo space out back. Either or both sides of the split rear seat folds outward against the bodysides for extra cargo-hauling capacity, while the two-passenger center seat can be removed completely. Swivel-recline captain's chairs can be installed instead, and two-wheel-drive LE Previas can have dual power moonroofs--that's right, a pair of openings to the sky. Standard LE fittings include power door locks and windows, as well as dual air conditioners.

Unlike some competitors, Previas exhibit a distinctively rounded profile--one of the first minivans to go with curvaceous lines rather than a boxy shape. Previas aren't exactly cheap, and lack a V6 engine option, but like other Toyotas, they provoke relatively few complaints from owners. Unfortunately, people haven't been buying the Previa fast enough to suit Toyota, so this will be its last year.

1997 Highlights

The 2.4-liter supercharged engine received numerous improvements to reduce noise, vibration and harshness. Non-ABS models get larger brakes while all models received revised wheel covers. Two new colors added: Glacier Green Metallic and Deep Violet Pearl.


Overallundefined / 5

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1997 Toyota Previa.

5 star reviews: 100%
4 star reviews: 0%
3 star reviews: 0%
2 star reviews: 0%
1 star reviews: 0%
Average user rating: 5.0 stars based on 8 total reviews

Trending topics in reviews

  • reliability & manufacturing quality
  • seats
  • comfort
  • handling & steering
  • engine
  • interior
  • fuel efficiency
  • towing
  • acceleration
  • value
  • spaciousness
  • maintenance & parts
  • lights
  • oil

Most helpful consumer reviews

4.875 out of 5 stars, My Favorite Van Ever

I have owned lots of vans, and the Previa is far and away the best van I have ever owned. Build quality is unbelievable (it's a Toyota, stupid), handling is exemplary with the mid- engine and AWD. Fuel mileage is 19 mpg around town, with up to 24 on the highway. I'm a Toyota salesman, and I sold this van new to an engineer and bought it from the family after he passed away. I constantly am amazed with the number of people who ask me if I want to sell it. Never is a hundred years.

5 out of 5 stars, Mom's Taxi Babies Ride
Joel G,

Sold 86 Toyota Van 285K miles to be replaced with 97 Previa with 1st baby coming in Jun. Perfect to carry 2nd kid in 99. Also carried Mom, Dad, Father-in-law to doctor's appt. Use mostly for reserve weekend duty. Did not change remote bat 6 yrs later. Did reg maint oil/filter chg every 3K. Used in business for 6 yrs as modified pick up truck by removing middle seat & folding 3rd row. Kids love this because they can lie down and sleep and watch tv. Our kids and parents in their 80s enjoyed trips to NY, VA, FL, LA, GA, TN, SC, NC, AL, TX, MA, CO. With this economy we are glad to have Toyotas in our family. Camry 02 replaced 88 Celica. Convinced five younger brothers to get Toyotas. They did.

4.625 out of 5 stars, The Best Van Ever Made Period.

Excellent, reliable car. Great handling on street, snow, rain, etc. Good acceleration for a car its size. Reliable...I have over 140.000 miles on mine, and never gave me any trouble or has broken down. Not even a radiator hose! Quality Japanese engineering. Too bad they discontinued it.

5 out of 5 stars, Best Minivan ever
Alf Skrastins,

My 1997 AWD Previa is the third one that I have owned. I previously had a 1991 and a 1994. All three have been completely trouble free, for a total of over 620K mi. The supercharger gives the 2.4 litre engine the punch of a V6, while delivering great gas mileage. I've been searching for a replacement for 5 years, but nothing made these days even comes close. The Sienna is too long, fat, low and is just not as much fun. If Toyota ever made a reasonable replacement for the Previa, I would buy it in an instance.

Write a review

See all 8 reviews

Features & Specs

DX All-Trac 3dr Minivan AWD features & specs
DX All-Trac 3dr Minivan AWD
MPG 15 city / 19 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
161 hp @ 5000 rpm

LE All-Trac 3dr Minivan AWD features & specs
LE All-Trac 3dr Minivan AWD
MPG 15 city / 19 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
161 hp @ 5000 rpm

LE 3dr Minivan features & specs
LE 3dr Minivan
MPG 16 city / 20 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
161 hp @ 5000 rpm

DX 3dr Minivan features & specs
DX 3dr Minivan
MPG 16 city / 20 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
161 hp @ 5000 rpm

See all Used 1997 Toyota Previa features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.

Frontal Barrier Crash RatingRating
OverallNot Rated
Driver4 / 5
Passenger3 / 5
Side Crash RatingRating
OverallNot Rated
Side Barrier RatingRating
OverallNot Rated
DriverNot Rated
PassengerNot Rated
Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsRating
Front SeatNot Rated
Back SeatNot Rated
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 TestNot Tested
Roof Strength TestNot Tested
Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintNot Tested
IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
Moderate Overlap Front Test


Is the Toyota Previa a good car?
The Edmunds experts tested the 1997 Previa both on the road and at the track. You probably care about Toyota Previa fuel economy, so it's important to know that the Previa gets an EPA-estimated 17 mpg to 18 mpg, depending on the configuration. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the Previa has 32.5 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Toyota Previa. Learn more
Is the Toyota Previa reliable?
To determine whether the Toyota Previa is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the Previa. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the Previa's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more
Is the 1997 Toyota Previa a good car?
There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 1997 Toyota Previa is a good car. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 1997 Previa is a good car for you. Check back soon for the official Edmunds Rating from our expert testing team Learn more
How much should I pay for a 1997 Toyota Previa?

The least-expensive 1997 Toyota Previa is the 1997 Toyota Previa DX 3dr Minivan. Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $0.

Other versions include:

    Learn more
    What are the different models of Toyota Previa?
    If you're interested in the Toyota Previa, the next question is, which Previa model is right for you? Previa variants include DX All-Trac 3dr Minivan AWD, LE All-Trac 3dr Minivan AWD, LE 3dr Minivan, and DX 3dr Minivan. For a full list of Previa models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

    More about the 1997 Toyota Previa

    Used 1997 Toyota Previa Overview

    The Used 1997 Toyota Previa is offered in the following submodels: Previa Minivan. Available styles include DX All-Trac 3dr Minivan AWD, LE All-Trac 3dr Minivan AWD, LE 3dr Minivan, and DX 3dr Minivan.

    What do people think of the 1997 Toyota Previa?

    Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 1997 Toyota Previa and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 1997 Previa 5.0 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 1997 Previa.

    Edmunds Expert Reviews

    Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 1997 Toyota Previa and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 1997 Previa featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

    Our Review Process

    This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

    We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

    What's a good price for a New 1997 Toyota Previa?

    Which 1997 Toyota Previas 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 Previa for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap 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 1997 Toyota Previa.

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

    Find a new Toyota Previa for sale - 7 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $18,389.

    Find a new Toyota for sale - 11 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $16,786.

    Why trust Edmunds?

    Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

    Should I lease or buy a 1997 Toyota Previa?

    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.

    Check out Toyota lease specials