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Discussion Starter #1
The wife and I are searching for a new used car that I can just drive back and forth to work everyday. We've narrowed our options down to 2-a '97 Maxima GXE(I think its GXE), 117,000 miles, all the goodies for the year, or a '99 Explorer, 2dr, 2wd, manual, 72,000 miles, both for around the same price. I know the Max has higher miles, but being a Nissan, wont it probably last longer anyways? But then repairs will also cost more for it. I dont really want the Explorer, but if it makes more sense, thats what I'll do. All opinions are appreciated.
 

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The Maxima. 117k miles on the 3.0L VQ is nothing.

I have 105k on my 97 GXE and she runs like new.
 

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I'd take the Maxima over the Explorer in a heartbeat.

What you save on repairs and gas, you can put towards the next vehicle.

When I got my Maxima in 2000, I asked around about reliability and got nothing but good replys. Two of my friends had 10 year old Maximas with over 200,000 Kms. One of them was still happy with it having spent money on the usual consumables of tires, brakes, fluids, filters, etc. The other decided to get a 2000 Maxima and used the failure of his air conditioner compressor at 250,000 as an excuse to update.

Both loved the vehicles and were delighted with them. Both vehicles still looked in great condition. The first guy, still has his, and now it's 15 years old. Still no repairs, just maintenance.

Of course, this is a combination of luck and good design, but I think you'd need more luck, with the Ford and it wouldn't drive as nice.
 

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Go with the Nissan over Ford any day. I had a 10 y.o. Stanza (remember those?) with just shy of 100K on her that I sold before I got a brand new Ford car. The only thing I ever did to the Stanza was change the CV boots and regular maintenance. It still had tons of get-up and go. The Ford started giving me major problems at 3 years of age, even though I regularly maintained it and it only had under 33K miles on it.

Nissan rocks.
 

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I trade my Maxima in when I have 121K miles on and still feel a little sorry. It was fast, relaible, trouble free car. When we need a car for the long trip we (my family) always use mine, even when my father has 17K old Chevy Lumina. Go with Maxima.....OR....well let me think.....get the MURANO (you can skip one step, usually the person who owned Maxima gets Mo):2:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Go with Maxima.....OR....well let me think.....get the MURANO (you can skip one step, usually the person who owned Maxima gets Mo)


Well, we already own the MO, and trust me, if the budget allowed it, I'd buy a second in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, we have considerably less to play with this time around!
 

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Here's another vote for the maxima. I had a 95 GLE that my son totaled at 192,xxx miles and it was still a tough decision to get rid of it after the insurance company said it was a total.

I still have a 2000 SE that's approaching 145,k now with my wife driving it very little now.

Here's a web site that has an excellent history of TSB issues for all Maxima's to give you an idea of their legendary reliablilty. The 95-99 are one distinct generation, (and the best in my opinion), the 00-01's had the same 3.0 liter VQ engine as the 95-99's but different body. The 02-03's had the new 3.5 liter VQ, and were the last generation to be built in Japan.

The 04's forward are now assembled in the US.

http://maxima.theowensfamily.com/tsb/index.asp?year=1997&tsb=none

As some what of a Maxima enthusiast, still, would you care to give us some details oif the one your purchasing, (price, miles, options, condition, etc)?
 

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'97 Maxima

We have a '97 Maxima SE with 125K miles, she runs like the day we bought her...

It was NOT our intent to sell the Maxima, but my sister wanted a 'used' car so we found and bought our New Mo!

The Maxima will be with my sister in Ga. this summer, it will remain in the family ..... :)
 

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I'd go for the Maxima any day. If you don't need the Explorer for the 4WD - it doesn't have much more to offer.
 

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Nevermind - I just saw it was a 2wd.

Gas mileage is also going to be far better in the Maxima. I don't know if I've ever talked to a Maxima owner that didn't like the car or it's reliability.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
"As some what of a Maxima enthusiast, still, would you care to give us some details oif the one your purchasing, (price, miles, options, condition, etc)?"


The Max is a 97 with 117xxx miles, it's either the GLE or GXL, whichever was top dawg at the time, totally decked out. They're asking $6995.00(which I think is a little high). I've pretty much ruled out the Explorer, I just dont like it. But now we've found a 98 Max with 84xxx miles for $7000. However, its only an SE, but it has all options except leather, so my new question is- is there a big enough difference between the two Max's to justify getting the 97, and what are the differences? I figure a forum full of Nissan freaks can help, right?
 

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dalsox said:
"As some what of a Maxima enthusiast, still, would you care to give us some details oif the one your purchasing, (price, miles, options, condition, etc)?"


The Max is a 97 with 117xxx miles, it's either the GLE or GXL, whichever was top dawg at the time, totally decked out. They're asking $6995.00(which I think is a little high). I've pretty much ruled out the Explorer, I just dont like it. But now we've found a 98 Max with 84xxx miles for $7000. However, its only an SE, but it has all options except leather, so my new question is- is there a big enough difference between the two Max's to justify getting the 97, and what are the differences? I figure a forum full of Nissan freaks can help, right?
I would get the SE. It has fewer miles, and you are probably not giving up much, except for maybe leather seats. The SE has a slightly stiffer suspension, 16" wheels, fog lights, and a nicer steering wheel.

In the end, it comes down to service history. A 117k vehicle can be a better buy if it has better maintenance than a used and abused 84k model.
 

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Eric L. said:


I would get the SE. It has fewer miles, and you are probably not giving up much, except for maybe leather seats. The SE has a slightly stiffer suspension, 16" wheels, fog lights, and a nicer steering wheel.

In the end, it comes down to service history. A 117k vehicle can be a better buy if it has better maintenance than a used and abused 84k model.
Agreed, assuming the service history is equivalent.

An SE can easily be loaded (optioned out) to exceed the GLE model. I know, I have one, a 00 SE, with everything on it.

The reason I went with the SE in 00 was that my 95 was a GLE and while I dearly loved that car, I always kicked myself for not getting the SE for the additional handling capability. (Now I can takle freeway on/off ramps at 10-15 mph higher speeds!)

Now if your just going to use it just for a commuting vehicle, that may not be as important to you.

I'd go with the best service history and if you can, drive them back to back as close as possible to compare for your self.

Other than a starter motor and a few oxygen/exhaust/crank/camshaft sensors, my 95 required nothing repair wise.
 

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MAXIMA !!!
Don't even think.
Maxima will never ... give you BIG problems, eat a lot of gas, make you feel old etc etc :)
Used ford is just a huge empty wallet where You will HAVE to put a lot of $ in :)

Just my 3c :)
 

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dalsox, i vote for the maxima..

In addition to all the reasonings mentioned above, having 2 suvs in the family ( a ford and a mo) in these days' high gasoline price are quite a burden. I love my murano, but more and more i drive my miata to work because of what i get from its mpg.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well I finally made up my mind. I didnt get the Max or the Explorer. I ended up getting a 98 Mercury Mountaineer (I know, I know, its still basically an Explorer). Its got the 5.0 V8, full time awd, around 96,000 miles. I really liked the Max, but I just cant see myself going back to a car again, & my wife would have to be dead to get the MO from her! Plus I need something with some towing capacity (I still dont trust MO in that category) and something that can handle the dirty grunt work that I wont make MO do. Plus it only ran me $5500.00 dollars, blue booked retail at $9,400.00, dealer was asking $7,000.00, so it wasnt a real bad buy. We'll see in time!
 

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dalsox said:
Well I finally made up my mind. I didnt get the Max or the Explorer. I ended up getting a 98 Mercury Mountaineer (I know, I know, its still basically an Explorer). Its got the 5.0 V8, full time awd, around 96,000 miles. I really liked the Max, but I just cant see myself going back to a car again, & my wife would have to be dead to get the MO from her! Plus I need something with some towing capacity (I still dont trust MO in that category) and something that can handle the dirty grunt work that I wont make MO do. Plus it only ran me $5500.00 dollars, blue booked retail at $9,400.00, dealer was asking $7,000.00, so it wasnt a real bad buy. We'll see in time!
Good luck with the Mountaineer. I just hope you don't end up spending thousands in repair to keep it on the road!
 

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Good Luck!
 

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Sounds like a good deal to me.
The Explorer/Mountaineer is far better suited to be a work vehicle than the Murano.
The immediate side effect is the Murano should stay sharper and last longer.

I would put some money in the Mountaineer right away.
I would definitly have it tuned up and I would put new shocks on it.
Then have the Tranny, cooling system , transfer case and brake system flushed and you should be good to go.

Of course as you go along with this and see something that should be done (new brake pads for instance) then you need to go ahead and get this done.

OTHERWISE....... you will have to fix these things as you go along and you will soon feel like the car is very unreliable when in point of fact it is just a 7 years old truck with 100,000 miles on it.




Homer
 
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