We bought this mini-van brand new. Normal maintenance is all we really performed on this vehicle. The rear cooling feature is a must as it cools the people in the back seat quickly. I am very happy with this purchase. The engine runs smoothly and quietly even though it has over 100k miles.
This is a decent vehicle with so-so amenities, but has a reliable engine. If you can find one with low mileage with a low price, here are a few things to look for that I have found at over 200,000 to date: have windows up and listen for engine when at idle and then at driving. Engine mounts tend to break easily. Check transmission oil pan for leaks. Check CV boots for tears, and listen for any clicking noises when you turn wheels while driving at parking lot speeds. Make sure A/C and fan(s) blow properly with no strange noises.
The van is actually built by Ford, and although I have never associated true quality to Nissan, the product is more of a black eye to them, which probably explains their choice to cancel the joint project (Mercury Villager/Nissan Quest) with Ford Motor Co. The Quest was a great product in its first incarnation, but the second generation (this model) that started in '99 was ill prepared and obviously not given much attention, especially in the engine and transmission department. It has decent power, fairly good handling (at least the SE does), and offers decent room. The engine has held up quite well with nearly 190,000 miles on it, and the only major problem was a broken tranny oil pan.
I bought this car new as I thought it would last a long time. The engine and transmission are mechanically sound, but I have replaced the drive shafts twice. The side window latches do stick. I have had work done on the power windows. I do plan on keeping this car for another few years. The VCR screen did break after 4 years.
This vehicle is smooth to drive, has decent pickup speed, handles well, and has every bell and whistle you can imagine - the sunroof is a nice touch! But the interior is very small, with very little leg and head room. The cargo area is equally lacking - and for a family of five, it's a tight fit for a long drive. Overall, an excellent choice for a small family or adults who just want a few extra seats available - but not for larger families who do a lot of traveling.