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.
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!
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