1997 Toyota Camry XLE from North America


This car will treat you well if you take care of it.


-Nov 2007: $440 for 2 new front struts to try to fix the infamous rattling noise in the front right passenger side. FYI: rattling still there!

-2006: $800 to replace front right caliper at Toyota dealership after failing state inspection.

-Many alignments.

-Replaced battery twice.

-Replaced timing belt.

-3 disk CD player jams every once in a while.

-Rear view mirror is gradually turning odd tinted colors.

General Comments:

I've had it for 10 years now and only within these past couple of years have I had to be concerned with treating it like a 10 year old car.

I do feel like it has many more years left, but dread having to bring it to a shop to fix. Minors problems are costly, but major problems are killer...

Be sure to get lots of quotes and opinions on your car problem. The Toyota dealership is not always right and are often the most expensive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd November, 2007

1997 Toyota Camry CSi 3.0L V6 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


Most comfortable car I have ever driven


* Window tinting in poor condition upon purchase - 145K.

* Dog Bone Engine Mount - 170K

* Fabric starting to come away from door inserts - 170K.

* Power steering pump seals - 180K

* Tappet cover gasket - 180K.

* Rear suspension required replacement at 195K. Should have been done earlier as it was original, but not a bad effort!

* Paint on spoiler fading - 200K.

* CV Boots starting to look in poor condition - 205K

* Remote battery (keyless entry) died and cannot replace battery. Bought new remote and reprogrammed myself - 205K.

As you can see, nothing that isn't really routine maintenance. The spoiler is a fibreglass add-on (obviously installed after the car was purchased), and the rest of the body (external and internal) is immaculate. Cannot fault the engine and drivetrain.

General Comments:

I purchased this Camry on impulse, after the driveshaft on another car of ours suddenly snapped during a long highway roadtrip. It was a private sale, and I got quite a good deal as the owner had already purchased a new car and simply wanted to get rid of the old one. Has quite honestly been the best car I have ever bought; the only reason I am looking at upgrading it soon it simply due to age and km (206K, 10yrs).

The car has more than enough power for overtaking, but being the smaller V6 (ie smaller than Falcodores), it uses quite a bit less fuel. Furthermore, it is extremely comfortable, with very good seats and ride quality. The interior is still in good order, with the only problem being the door insert fabric starting to come away from the inserts themselves - have fixed a few times with spray glue, but starting to look tired.

Would average 9.3L/100km on the highway, up to around 11.5L/100km in town, usually sits around the 10.5L/100km for what we normally do (a bit of both). Has had regular long trips, and we do a 220+km round trip into the next city at least once per fortnight. Never had a days trouble to be quite honest - everything has been picked up during services etc, and fixed before it becomes an issue.

With Toyota servicing, you need to pick and choose what gets done sometimes, as there are some things that need to be done, and you need to buy Toyota parts, and others that you can get away with much more cheaply. For example, the Toyota platinum spark plugs are around $45 each (so $270 including fitting for all 6), but they last 100000km. However, a Toyota suspension bush can be around $85 - whereas a $25 Repco equivalent will do the same job! The dealer I have been dealing with isn't too bad - depends on who you get to deal with.

My only real complaint is that this Camry is the CSi - ie the ultimate base model. No airbags, no ABS, no cruise control, no electric windows etc etc; the safety features especially I would like to see more of. Next car will be a compact "fun" 4WD (most likely a 4 cylinder), however I believe that when the "family" comes along, it will be back to a Camry.

If anyone wants any more info / questions etc - don't hesitate to email me justfordantheman@gmail.com

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th October, 2007