"As a victim of the .com bust I was devastated when I had to sell the Benz and the BMW. I was humbled when I bought this 1997 Maxima for $5,500.00 from a family member who took pitty on me. It had 98,000 miles on it when I bought it. I have put almost 90,000 more on it in the last 5 years (187,000 mi). In my life I have owned more cars than I can count. This isn't the fastest, the nicest, the prettiest or the most impressive but it is by far the best overall car I have ever owned. For what I paid, it does everything it is supposed to do and does it very well. It looks pretty decent. It's not going to break any speed records but it is by no means slow, fast enough when you need it. Certainly faster than most cars in its class. The car carries four full sized adults fairly comfortably. It is extremely reliable, only 1 serious repair (I replaced the clutch at 125k). I average 26 miles per gallon. The car runs as good as it did when I bought it. I have never been worried about breaking down, these cars just don't do that. If you find one in good condition buy it!"
"Bought this car last year fully loaded with leather power seats, heated aswell with moon roof and Bose sound system which is LOUD at 139,000 and still running good. Excellent power at 190 hp for the year it is and cars last forever if u take care of them...."
"This is my wife's daily driver and has been nothing but awesome since we bought it in 1999. Other than a recent EGR valve repair (less than $400) all we have done is routine maintenance and fill it up with gas!"
Cons: "not sure the new maxima v6's are same quality"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This car has been nearly bullet proof. This particular v6 is the best motor I have ever driven. It now has 330,000 miles on it and drives better than any comparable new car I test drive.
overall, the best value and quality of any car I have owned"
"got some serious milage on this car and the suspension is staring to finally get hard after 13 years!! had some minor mechanical repairs but it was only due to 13 years of driving!! everything still works!!"
"I have had this car since new and it now has 192000 miles on it. The only problem I have ever had with it is the alternator failed and had to be replaced for a grand total of $248 including parts and labor. It gets 26-29 miles per gallon depending on what kind of driving you are doing and it rides quite nicely. I purchased a newer Lexus GS430, but have kept the Maxima for a backup and for longer trips that I don't want to rack up the miles on the Lexus for. This was the second Maxima that I will have seen go over 200K miles. My mom had an 88 nissan maxima and put 220K miles on it before she got rid of it, and it was still going strong. These are really great cars."
Pros: "Reliable, comfortable, great on gas, great pickup"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Bought new. Never once had any issues, other than routine maintenance. Very dependable, rides like a dream and the features and options still work perfectly and has been the best car I have ever purchased new."
"the only major thing i had to change on this beauty it was the air flow sensor. but after that it runs just like it had a perfect surgery done on it. it has over two hundred thousand of miles on it and let me be fair to the newer cars , i can still put up with you no prob. its absolutely worth its money no question about it. if i have to do it again i will still buy the same car. thanks @ good luck to you..., please change your oils /on time / always"
"I bought the 1996 SE new in April 1996 with the 5 speed manual transmission, and it currenlty has a little less than 63,000 miles. In many ways it is still like a new car. I recently made a 2200 mile round trip, mostly interstate, of a couple of weeks and the average gas mileage was 34.5 mpg -- some 400-500 mile stretches of pure interstate were over 39 mpg. Normal maintenance costs have been surprisingly low except for the 30,000 and 60,000 mile packages which are about what I expected, several hundred $ each. Only problem is that the CD player died at about four years into its life -- the cassette player and AM/FM Stereo still work fine. Runs great with plenty of power for entrance ramps and is roomy for my needs. Best all-around car of my life, and this is my fifth. Customer service guy at my local Nissan Service Dept. wants to buy it -- it would be a steal at the KBB value."
"I bought this car new in Sept '95. It has 180,000 miles and is unbelieveable. At 13+ years its finally showing a little age, but the reliability of this car is beyond compare. If you service this car regularly it will run forever. The only defect this vehicle ever had was a front wheel bearing, which was a known issue in nissans of this period. If you can find a '96 max someone is willing to part with, you may potentially have a great car."
"Just bought a 95 GLE nissan maxima yesterday with only 125,000 miles on it, it blows dodge out of the water considering the dodges i had gave out at this point but this car has serious power and extreme luxury with wood grain dashboard and leather upholstery i would consider this to any one with a family of two kids or just for a teenage boy getting his first car. Only problem i have with it is the antenna because it retracts when you turn the car off and makes a clicking sound, but i plan to tune the car up and change the transmission fluid tomorrow because if you keep this vehicle maintained it will last you, my friend has a 95 nissan maxima like myself and hes put 525,000 miles or more on it so far and still out runs the newer cars today, he just likes to drive alot but seriosuly this car is my dream car!!!"
"I've had this car since 2000 and have 230,000 miles on it now. Pretty easy to work on to be a Japanese car. Extremely reliable to have so many miles. I've done all regular maintenance accept a clutch and water pump at 200K, main pulley at 150K, and CV Joints at 120K. It always wears the tires very even. It's only left me stranded one time with a broken idler pulley. Had to replace the starter twice, but that's a very easy bolt on.
Very impressive straight line acceleration but shows it's family side during turns. The Nissan VQ engine is very tough to beat. It's a joy to drive even at 12 years old with the 5 speed still catching 2nd gear! Would've liked a limited slip because I've been stuck a few times trying to climb hills in the snow.
This would definitely be a great used car. I would recommend it to anyone that needs the extra space but doesn't want to sacrifice the driving fun. I'd like a truck right now, but can't find a reason to sell it because it won't break."
"I have owned two of this particular vehicle, and they are fantastic cars. Very reliable, good combination of power and fuel efficiency (gets 27 MPG in city driving, 30 highway, yet has plenty of power and acceleration). I would highly recommend them to anyone."
Pros: "Fun to drive, dependable, easy to maintain."
Cons: "Clock and radio light faded away. Oh darn..."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"When I bought this car six years ago, it only had 75,000 miles on it. Now, I got it up to 129,000 and it is as dependable as ever. With routine maintenance there is no reason she couldn't last at least ten more years. It's a smooth ride with good power and maneuverability. I recently inherited a car from '03 with less mileage, and I'm going to stick with my Maxima."
"I've been driving this Maxima since 2004 when it had about 128,000 miles on it. Now it has 198,500. The past eight years I've replaced three fuel injectors, some of the gaskets, water pump, radiator, transmission solenoids and even a mass airflow sensor. I think the radiator was vandalized by the mechanics deliberately. I think the transmission repair shop lied about the trans needing new solenoids. The mass airflow sensor was very costly and the car kept dying out and ran poorly unitl it was replaced. The car runs much better now. For a Maxima this car has had a lot of repairs. Overall, it has been dependable."
Cons: "Not easy to repair common issues ie water pump"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"My father in-law gave this car to us because it had been stolen and returned in poor condition. Tires and parts were swapped out rather than stolen which was weird. Despite those issues it always kept running. Proved to be very reliable. Not easy to work on for a "do it yourself" beginner and a moderate do it yourself mechanic would have some trouble. Basic tune up and oil changes are a piece of cake anything more than that I would recommend an auto shop. It's very easy to handle on the road with a sport car sedan feel to it. With 224k miles it still has plenty of power and smooth idol. You can never get tired of driving this car because of the way it handles the road in all conditions. A great second car or for a student with limited cash for repairs."
"I bought this one at 160,000 mi, and have put another 60,000 on it. I spent a total of about $4500 in repairs in those 60,000 - but the car drives so well I definitely recommed it: $1200 due to lack of proper maintenance by the previous owner, $800 due to an extreme winter for Seattle, and about $2500 of my own doing/normal issues.
The ONLY draw backs are a few design issues that require longer labor times in repair:
Tune up and new coils are expensive:
"Bought this '98 in 2003 with 67k. It now has over 176k and has been the most reliable car I have ever owned. I keep up with maintenance and repair before broken. I have put the equivalent of 2 car payments per year into this car and it has never left me stranded. Today it still drives straight and true and the engine growls when you get on the pedal. The VQ engine never burns oil or loses any power over time as long as you keep it up. I have replaced a partial exhaust, and front and rear struts. Nothing else major. My mechanic says its good for 300k. The paint is still beautiful and there is no rust. An amazing feat for a MN car. As much as I want to drive a newer car there are few features I am wanting for because this was loaded with power everything, heated seats, power sunroof, spoiler, Bose, etc. We also have a 1996 in similar condition and a 2000. The 2000 is more comfortable but has not been as reliable as the '95-'99 model."
"I bought my Maxima in 1998 brand new and it was a great 1st purchase for me as a 23yr old. I have been driving it for 12 years straight now and never had any mechanical problems with it until after the 10th year. Truly a great value when you consider most people replace their cars after 5-6 years. I got 2 cars worth out of it, in my opinion.
I'm not sure if Nissan makes them this well anymore but if you find a Maxima with low mileage from this era (late 1990s) then I would jump on it.
Notes: Drove through hurricane winds, sleet, and all kinds of conditions in this vehicle with no problems."
"I have owned this Max for 10 years. The styling is beautiful and the attention to detail is exceptional. It is a bit under powered with the 3.0 when fully loaded and using A.C. I notice that the newer models have more H.P. This year had weak ignition coils that fail about 90k. I replaced all six and it runs like a dream. Nothing else had to be done other that normal maint. I hope to drive this car for years to come."
"Fantastic vehicle, used as a field service car on a daily basis; purchased in fall of 2002 with approx. 31,000 miles, now have over 240,000 (virtually trouble free) miles and averaging 19 MPG city, 24-25 MPG highway. Everything still works as it should and still runs long, hard and strong. Hate to think about the inevitable...."
"I've been sole owner my 5 speed 1998 Maxima and have no intention of selling it anytime soon. It has required only a new muffler and new tires in the last 10 years. When inflating the tires to the max recommendation, I get 33 miles hwy at an ave speed of 55mph - and 26 in town. I highly recommend this car, Car annoyances: The cup holders are lacking and the sunvisor can hit your head during its manipulation."
"My 1995 Maxima has just rolled 260,000 miles on it. No, that's NOT a "typo," it's really got that many miles on it. I took it in just today for new brake pads, etc. and every mechanic there came over to "see to believe" how amazing this car still looks, runs and performs for its' age. I bought this car used last year from its' original owner. They kept perfect maintenance records for it and gave it the respect it deserves. My 19 year old daughter doesn't truly understand what a "prize" she drives every day. I do offer to trade her for my 2005 Tucson, but she says gas is too expensive.... imagine that!"
"Bought my 99 SE Ltd used at 40k miles and one year old...today it is has 180k+ and is still running strong.
All switches, guages, etc work fine after 9 years. Have only had to replace a heater fan circuit.
Overall car runs fine, but I have had a persistent recurring problem for years with intermittent rough running/check engine light on high humidity/high temp days in the summer. Dealer can not identify problem.
Initial problem with a spark coil almost cost me an entire ignition wiring harness as the problem was repeatedly misdiagnosed.
Car looks good for 90's Japanese styling Handles quite nicely in dry weather...but light rear end causes problems in rain and this car is terrible in the snow."