"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...."