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. ...am 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.
I bought my 97 SE with a 5 speed manual trans in 2006 with approximately 90K miles. The car appealed to me for a variety of reasons: silky 3.0 liter V6, plush creature comforts, impressive factory Bose unit and the relative ease of finding a reasonably priced variant with a proper 3rd pedal. I certainly indulged in a bit of wrench time - Koni struts, Eibach springs, Centerforce clutch, front/rear Brembo cross drilled rotors and a few Stillen add-ons - that greatly increased the pleasure of being behind the wheel, but the car was a solid, quick-ish workhorse even with the OEM equipment. Be mindful of rust and leaks (oil, coolant, etc.), but I'll miss the old girl when I trade her in this week
I bought my Max with 42k miles in 2001 off a lease from a single previous owner. Almost 10 yr later it is still going strong with 234k miles on it! Yes it has issues with the sunroof leaking, and things that just go wrong with a car with its age but overall I am in awe at how good the engine still is. I bought this after a short stint with a 1989 maxima (my first car) which I loved and have no regrets. Every time I go looking at a newer ride I just cant justify the payments and contently crank up my trusty maxima and go about my business. This thing moved with me from Atl to TX (2 trips back to ATL and back) been to FL, DC, AL, MS, NC, SC and the states in between with no issues!