1997 Toyota Camry GLS Wagon 2.2 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


Solid and reliable


Front tyres only last 30,000km, but we live rurally on sealed but rough roads, and NZ chipseal is coarse.

Foam backing of the head lining failed at 15 years, causing the fabric to sag - seems to be a common fault. Managed to remove the head lining intact and got it re-covered.

Clutch failed 2008 on a road trip. Repairer managed to scratch the crankshaft at the rear bearing, so it has leaked some oil ever since - more severe in recent years, but keeps on chugging along.

Series of exhaust failures (holes) in past 3-4 years. Catalytic converter failed, but was allowed to be replaced by a resonator.

Prone to odd squeaks from the windows and rear end.

In the last couple of years, the central locking has been acting up (one door won't auto-lock when it is too hot, and sets off alarm).

General Comments:

We have worked and worked and worked and abused this car, and it has kept going for 250,000 km for us. Heavy towing, etc.

The 2.2L engine is probably a tad undersized for the wagon, but is a fair bit more economical than the 3.0, which only seems to come in auto.

Weight distribution gives it some grip problems in slippery situations, e.g. starting uphill on grass or gravel. Once needed a couple of hefty guys on the bonnet to get us up a gravel track at a festival site.

Have never had to fix problems which commonly affected most of my previous cars (suspension, cooling system).

Aircon would have been nice, but was a rare extra in wagons - I'm told because so many were bought as fleet cars for commercial travelers, so had standard spec.

Built-in security (engine immobiliser) was ahead of its time for this class of car, and miscreants seem to steer clear of them.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th October, 2015

1997 Toyota Camry 3.0 V6 from Australia and New Zealand


Great vehicle; robust and well built


Rear sway bushes.

Front shock absorbers.

General Comments:

This car is the most reliable car I have owned. If serviced correctly, it is faultless.

Very little road noise.

Great economy for a V6. Effortless automatic 4 speed shift.

The front seats could be more form fitting and comfortable.

Climate air heater controls are difficult to reach while driving.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th June, 2012

1997 Toyota Camry LE V6 from North America


This car is ultra-reliable if well maintained


Mechanically very sound car, has never broken down.

Only regular maintenance has been needed.

The paint is faded in spots, as it has always been parked outside.

The paint is also chipping in from a repair. I was told Toyota has a problem with their white paint.

General Comments:

This has been my mom-mobile for thirteen years.

Things (knobs and handles...) have just started breaking, since my eldest son has been driving it when his is in the shop.

Keeping it for my younger son, and driving it myself the whole time.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th April, 2012

1997 Toyota Camry Standard 2.2 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


Terrible; keep away from this shocking vehicle, extremly unreliable, stay away!


Gear stick snapped while I was driving the car.

Head gasket blew at 70,000 Km.

Air conditioning died in the middle of summer.

All electric windows died.

Starter motor had continuous problems all the time I owned the vehicle.

Head lining fell down.

General Comments:

Terrible vehicle, shockingly unreliably, and poor quality. I will never buy a Toyota again.

The BMW I had previously was fantastic, and had no problems at all.

The Volvo I have now is fantastic; I have had no problems with it whatsoever.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 11th June, 2011

14th Jun 2011, 10:07

Never try to compare a Toyota with BMW/Volvo/Audi.

Toyota is a mediocre car to take you from point A to B without that much fun/comfort. However, in average it's reliable in doing that job.

Even a look at interior material will tell you the story. Also Toyota is designed to work for a couple of years, not for decades (like Volvo).

1997 Toyota Camry LE 2.2 from North America


My favorite car ever



General Comments:

My favorite car ever, and tied for the best car I've ever owned (our 1985 Tercel went 115,000 with no issues, and ran as good when we sold it as the day we bought it).

The only serious money I put into it was the timing belt / water pump at 100k, which was expected. It's never broken down, made funny noises or smells, or used any fluids.

Bought it with 65k, and put 106k more on it in 4 years. Drives smooth, is unbelievably quiet, accelerates nicely, is fairly comfortable, and gets great gas mileage. I've never gotten less than 26 mpg (winter/city) and easily get 33 mpg on the highway in the summer driving 80 mph. One time got 36 mpg driving across Michigan's U.P. at 65 mph with a good tailwind the whole time.

It fits 4 very comfortably with a good size trunk for luggage and golf clubs. Full size spare (never used). What can I say - I love this car!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd September, 2010