"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."