Used 1997 Nissan Maxima

1997 Nissan Maxima
List price range
1997 Nissan Maxima


  • High levels of luxury and performance for thousands less than comparable sedans


  • Nissan has made the Maxima's styling too conservative over the last few years. If they keep it up, the Maxima will become invisible.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

Nissan designers underwent a complete switch in design philosophy during the late eighties, and began producing cars whose styling was as fresh five years after introduction day as it was on introduction day. These cars were a far cry from the carved-from-a-cinderblock styling of previous Nissans. The 1989 Maxima was one of the new generation of cars to roll out of Nissan plants, and it continued to look better year after year, aging more gracefully than Dick Clark. For 1995, Nissan replaced it with an all-new car, one with a stellar drivetrain and first-class cabin, but with a somewhat dowdy exterior and funky-ugly taillights.

First, the good stuff. Under the hood is a twin-cam, aluminum 3.0-liter V6. It puts 190 horsepower to the ground through the front axle. A five-speed is standard on GXE and SE trim levels, but an automatic is optional. This engine is a jewel, providing swift acceleration without penalizing fuel economy.

Inside, the Maxima sports an interior befitting an Infiniti. No coincidence here; the Maxima serves as the basis for the luxo-oriented Infiniti I30. Roomier than the old Maxima, the new one finds nobody complaining about the accommodations.

For 1997, the Maxima receives some minor exterior changes that clean up the front and rear end a bit. New tail lights improve the car's derriere, but we still wish that the trunk weren't so angular. We do, however, really like the new wheels/wheel covers that were introduced for this model year. They make the Maxima more distinctive than last year's model.

Overall, the Maxima lost some of its sex appeal in 1995's redesign, but the new engine, interior, and price structure of the car more than make up for the slight styling shortcomings.

1997 Highlights

The Nissan Maxima gets a new grille, headlights, bumpers and taillights. New alloy wheels and foglights on the SE, new wheel covers on the GXE and new aluminum wheels on the GLE round out the changes.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1997 Nissan Maxima.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

1997 Maxima SE - Great Car!
An amazingly reliable car after 210,000 miles and 17 years of service. It is dependable and has never let me down or left me stranded. I bought my 1997 Maxima SE about 17 years ago and it has been the most reliable car I've ever owned. It is super easy to service, replacement parts are inexpensive and the engine/transmission still run flawless. With 209,000 miles it still cruises quietly down the highway and gets about 25-26mpg on highway trips. The motor is smooth and the transmission shifts perfectly. I frequently see many of the 4th Generation Maximas still on the road. If you can find a rust-free one that has been well maintained I think it's a good bet as a used car.
...bought my 97 Maxima GLE in Sep of '97, 14.3 years ago, and it has been the best car ever! There have been no major expenses/repairs outside of basic maintenance and minor wear & tear part replacement. The engine light didn't even go on until my 13th year of owning it and, even then, the repair cost was minimal. about to hit 232,000 miles and had the goal to see if it could make 400,000 (had heard of an owner that did hit 400K). However, the 0% financing Nissan is currently offering drew me in so I am now selling my Maxima. Tears will be shed when "she" is driven away.
Just wanted to update the review I wrote back in March 2008 about my 1997 Maxima GLE. At that time I had 154k on the odometer. Last week the car turned 200k for another 46,000 miles worth of trouble-free driving. This car amazes me. I've driven it up and down the East Coast from Maine to North Carolina in all kinds of weather, it is NEVER garaged, yet it still looks like new. It has not had a tune-up in 82,000 miles [had platinum plugs put in] but it always starts and still moves like a rocket when I tap the accelerator. I'm really planning on getting another 200,000 miles out this car and will be happy to drive it the rest of my life if at all possible. I love my Maxima!
beyond excellent
I had all kind of cars this car is the best car I ever had. The only things I have done is put gas and change the oil. If you want a great car get a Nissan maximum must be your choice.
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Features & Specs

19 city / 24 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
190 hp @ 5600 rpm
19 city / 24 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
190 hp @ 5600 rpm
18 city / 26 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
190 hp @ 5600 rpm
See all Used 1997 Nissan Maxima features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 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 Nissan Maxima
Used 1997 Nissan Maxima Overview

The Used 1997 Nissan Maxima is offered in the following submodels: Maxima Sedan. Available styles include GXE 4dr Sedan, SE 4dr Sedan, and GLE 4dr Sedan.

What's a good price on a Used 1997 Nissan Maxima?

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 Nissan Maximas 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 Nissan Maxima 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 Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1997 Nissan Maxima.

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

Find a used Nissan Maxima for sale - 7 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $19,068.

Find a used Nissan for sale - 9 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $23,089.

Find a used certified pre-owned Nissan Maxima for sale - 11 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $17,433.

Find a used certified pre-owned Nissan for sale - 10 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $13,866.

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Should I lease or buy a 1997 Nissan Maxima?

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 Nissan lease specials
Check out Nissan Maxima lease specials