We bought our Maxima when it was 3 years old. It has been near flawless ever since. Just had to replace a starter at 95k miles. The exterior is holding up very well. Good original paint still shines. The interior is also in excellent condition. No cracking or breaking on any of the plastic pieces. The engine is quite and smooth, even more so than many 4 cylinder engines. The only complaint is a very light steering feel and too much body roll in the corners. The rear suspension should be independent. Nissan tried to compromise comfort and sport.
Smooth engine, good build quality (has some rattling and squeaks but not more than normal), reliable car
Tighter steering response and feel, better handling, especially for the se model