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Nissan Maxima

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  • pernaperna Posts: 533
    The thing that kills me about the Altima's interior is that it screams "Pontiac". I sat in one while shopping for my Maxima and I couldn't stand it. It reminded me of a friend's Grand Prix, which has one of the nastiest interiors I've ever seen. The center stack is ok, but everything else from the instrument pod to the door materials to upholstry is unbearable. The center console is just junk.

    Nissan's problem is that they have the opposite problem GM has; too few cars for their two divisions. The 04 Maxima *should* have been the G35, no question. For everything else, considering they only have two divisions they do an *awful lot* of badge engineering (FX/Murano, I35, Infiniti's as-yet-unnamed Armada clone).

    They should have killed Infiniti in the 90s. Now, all they're doing is hurting Nissan-branded cars by cheapening them so the Infinitis look better.

    That's my spectatin' half a cent, my-humble-opinion, so don't flame me too hard. :)
  • bowke28bowke28 Posts: 2,185
    a couple of things kenny and i have been over already...

    if your 2000 SE stickered for a little over $30k, then a comparably equipped one would be closer to $32k. the difference is about $2100. this gets you more HP, torque, room, more features (driver preferred pkg.), and 4 years newer. not that bad a deal to me. people are assuming the elite pkg. with the rear buckets and navi were available before, and they werent. not for free, anyway. you also arent paying extra for the xenons. you just have the option to drop the price by $180 and get regular halogens.

    also, previous maximas continuously had a $2k rebate attached, which is why the difference SEEMS so much more.

    lichtronimo...

    yes its true. the helical limited slip diff. is only available with the 6-speed manual, and the driver preferred pkg.
  • kenm8kenm8 Posts: 71
    Anyone considering an 04 Max SE for approx $33K MSRP should test drive an 04 Acura TL for the same MSRP. You won’t get as much off of MSRP on the TL as on the Max, but you might want to stretch your budget for Acura ownership. This is especially true for owners of previous generations of Max SEs that feel betrayed by the design of the 04 Max SE. The 04 TL just may satisfy your yearning for the fine fwd sports sedan that the Max SE once was.

    Besides the Acura being a superior car to the Max, I think that Acura dealers’ level of customer service and customer respect is better than at Nissan. This is based on our experience (wife and I) of Nissan dealer service on 7 years of ownership of a 97 Max SE (154K Mi) versus 3+ years Acura dealer service on an 01 TL (71K) and 04 TL (2 months). All service work at Acura has been excellent and the staff has always been courteous and respectful. The Nissan dealer generally does a very good job, but still does not "strive" for nor achieve the level of excellence provided by the Acura dealer.
  • bowke28bowke28 Posts: 2,185
    get back on the point, man...acura customers dont like to wait long for their salesperson.
  • With the exception of the Armada/Q56, the days of Nissane badge engineering are over. This is the last year of the I35. It got a one year extension since the G35 AWD is just arriving now. The new M35/45 is much better than the current vehicle and IMO will sell much better too. Finally, the FX and Murano are *not* built off the same platform. The FX is RWD/AWD built off an extended FM platform (G35, Z350) and the FWD/AWD Murano is built off the FF-L platform (Altmia, Maxima, Quest).
  • I am glad you cleared that up...I just shake my head when I hear people say that the FX and the Murano are the same...similar to how people believed the G20 and the Sentra were the same.
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    While not many of us would cross-shop a Maxima with an Avalon (because they cater to different drivers), there are eerie similarities between these two cars for the following reasons:

    First, Nissan has treated the Max as its "flagship" car for many years (20 plus years?). Toyota has deemed its Avalon (since 1995?) as its "top of line" sedan, saying it is a roomy ES 300 for less money.

    Second, Nissan wants the Altima to compete with the Camry as "the bread and butter" car, leaving the 04 Max (which will sell much less in volume) to compete with the slow-selling Avalon. (I don't want to compare the new Max with the new TL because enough has been said.) Is this a "race to the bottom"? I hope not.

    Third, the 04 Max has been called by some (on this Board and elsewhere) as a "Japanese Buick." This title truly belongs to the Avalon because that is its middle name. LOL!!

    Fourth, the 04 Max is based on the same platform as the Altima. The Avalon is based on the same platform as the Camry. Both are stretched versions of their respective base cars and both are U.S. made Japanese cars.

    May be you can think of more. Don't be shy, speak up.

    Having said that, however, the Max has gone through significant changes since 1995 while the Avalon remains substantially unchanged since its debut in 1995. So, it is understandable why the Avalon is a slow seller because little or no R&D has gone into it (I heard Toyota dealers are now selling the car at $4k below MSRP - see Edmunds Avalon Board). But why is the 04 Max also a slow seller even though it is a newly redesigned car? Will Nissan, like Toyota, give $4k incentive or rebate in order to move the new Max if sales remain stagnant? Time will tell.

    But Nissan calls the 04 Max sales figure in the past six months as "meeting expectations" (I read it here on this Board in the last few days). If that is true, it is quite pathetic because Nissan does not expect much from its "flagship" car, particularly if you see the amount of advertising money that has been poured into the new Max.

    I have been thinking about various ways that Nissan can boost the sale of the new Max. I will post my thoughts in the very near future. Stay tuned :-)
  • I don't think so.

    The Altima came out in MY 1995, was redesigned by 2000. The Avalon has changed a lot style wise both for the exterior and the interior.

    I am not sure about the chassis changes for the Avalon, but it has been redesigned at least once and will be up for another redesign for 2005 I believe
  • Nissan's positioning of the Maxima and Altima has everything to do with matching up better with Honda and Toyota and is primarily focused on the Altima.

    Nissan tried to match Camry and Accord with a smaller 4 cylinder Alima and a bigger V-6 Maxima. Problem is Toyota and Honda sell more 4 cylinder Camry and Accords and the Altima couldn't compete because of size. Nissan's solution has been to increase the size of the Altima to match Accord/Camry and offer the same potential engine combinations in its basic family sedan.

    This change to the Altima's position basically encroached into Maxima territory. Nissan's response is to push the Maxima more upmarket to compete more in the entry-lux category against its own G35, Lexus ES, Acura TL, et al. My guess is that Nissan will drop the Infiniti I35 when the new "M" debuts with both V-6 and V-8 power. This move focuses Infiniti more towards an international all rear wheel drive/all wheel drive range and leaves Maxima to provide a front drive option.

    Its interesting that the TL is held up as the gold standard for the Maxima to beat. Read other boards and you will see arguements that Acura is not a legitimate luxury/performance brand because of a lack of rear wheel drive platforms. Nissan is trying to provide focus to Infiniti that separate it from Acura.

    I'd love a TL, but it comes with so much extra stuff, that its out of my financial reach. Further, the Maxima offers more interior and trunk room making it a better choice for me.

    http://www.freshalloy.com/site/cars/nissan/2004/maxima/understand- ing/home.shtml
  • berbelberbel Posts: 167
    Re yur response to my earlier post.

    The quote I received from that dealer DID NOT include the Elite Package. The quote was way off
    base for the car I configured for them. I wanted
    to retain a three passenger back seat and made
    mention of that during our negotiations.

    What I believe drove the quote through the roof
    was Nissan's posture concerning having to buy
    option pkg. #1 and #2 in order to get the options
    in package #3. That's a lot of b.s. which I had
    no intention of tolerating.

    I am VERY FOND of the Max and frankly wish I was
    in one now but the company has made that out of
    the question. If things change in the future, per-
    haps they will regain me as a customer but for the
    time being they have lost my loyalty.

    berbel
  • sgrd0qsgrd0q Posts: 398
    kennyg5 said: But Nissan calls the 04 Max sales figure in the past six months as "meeting expectations" (I read it here on this Board in the last few days). If that is true, it is quite pathetic because Nissan does not expect much from its "flagship" car, particularly if you see the amount of advertising money that has been poured into the new Max.

    First of all you never expect to sell your "flagship" car in great numbers. Flagship translates to best, which translates to expensive. How many "flagship" Mercedes S600 are sold vs. the popular C-class for instance? How about BMW's 745?

    Secondly, have you actually seen the "amount of advertising money that has been poured into the new Max."? If so - let us know.
  • I just got the '00 SE and have a question. I have the base stereo and would like to upgrade it. Are there any kits that I could mount an aftermarket stereo into and make it look good? Or, is the stock stereo good enough to just get a couple of amps, add a sub, replace all speakers, and have a nice system?
  • re: stereo

    if you're starting from scratch, i would look into getting one of those systems with the motorized 7inch screens that come out.. i saw a maxima recently with that setup, and it looks great...

    i would do it myself, but i already have the bose system in mine and replacing the headunit requires replacing everything else too..
  • Altima has 'less penache'? I laughed at that one. Who really cares? The cheap stripped 1999 era Base Maximas with plastic hubcaps are hardly anything to brag about.

    TL is the 'gold standard'? Car and Driver tested one and said it should have RWD. "FWD sports car" is an oxymoron, luxury makes are moving away from FWD. So, Acura is hardly a "standard bearer" anymore, just a "nicer Honda". I can't wait to see the 'Acura Element' soon.
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    You may be right that "flagship" cars are not usually sold in great numbers. However, I was comparing the sales of the 03 Max vs. the 04 Max, and according to earlier posts on this Board, the 03 Max outsold the 04 Max. In any event, Accord is Honda's flagship, and huge numbers of Accords have been and are being sold. So, your statement is either out of context or irrelevant, at best.

    As to the amount of advertising, I was comparing the 04 Max with the Avalon, and my statement is based on my observation of the frequencies of ads that have been run on TV, newspapers and magazines in the past 6 to 9 months. How often have you seen Toyota promoting the Avalon during such period? On the other hand, unless you are oblivious to ads or pay no attention to car commercials, it is difficult not to notice how Nissan has been trying to push the 04 Max.

    So, it does not take a statistician or a financial analyst to conclude that Nissan has spent much more money on the 04 Max than Toytota has spent on the Avalon. Do you have facts or figures that will prove the contrary? If yes, kindly post ASAP.
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    If you think that the Altima has more panache than the Maxima, who am I (or anyone else for that matter)to argue with you? I am speechless ... and with all due respect, you are entitled to your own opinion.
  • Honda's bread and butter, but keep in mind it price ranges from $16K to $26K with a majority sold right around $20K.

    Comparing the '03 Max to the '04 Max is also apples to oranges as Nissan changed the market position of the product and has said that they don't expect to sell as many Maximas as they used to.

    Besides, those '03 Maxima sales were with heavy incentives that the '04 doesn't have.
  • monte4monte4 Posts: 101
    The Max has always been a "tweaner car" a car that can compete in 2 categories of cars and despite the new "upmarket" compaign situation it will continue to. It has historically offered more than the Cam and Accord and equal to or slight less than TL,ES300, so its a great compromise. I work for Nissan and many people think the Alti took the place of previous Maxima not totally, if you could get a loaded Altima like you could (lots of features on the 03 Max werent offered on a loaded 3.5 Altima) it would really hurt 04 sales thats why we did that starting in 02. We also knew that the Altima would take some sales that is why we cut production for 02 to about 90k units a years vs 115k a year and to about 75k a year for the 04. Even the base 3.5 Altima SE doesnt offer alot of features a base 03 Maxima SE did.
  • To most people, a Nissan Maxima is another Nissan, not a Rolls Royce or Mercedes. The current Altima is a fine car and is selling well, and has been a success. It has enough "panache" as the base level Maximas of the 90's.

    In fact, a lot of pre 2004 Maximas were in rental fleets, a local Hertx lot has three 2003 Max's for sale. Also, I rented one on a business trip in 97.
  • bowke28bowke28 Posts: 2,185
    nissan will sell close to 300,000 altimas this year, which MORE than makes up for a 15k drop in the maxima sales. heck...the altima might just squeak onto the top 10 list in volume this year. it'll be close.
  • .. no doubt. If only they can get better quality materials inside it will be even better. Even the rear of the car can use some design changes to make it a little more attractive.

    I hope the 2005 Altima will be a more attractive car. I don't know if a comment about Altima belongs in the Maxima discussion, hey what the heck!
  • HELLO. MY NAME IS SEAN. I'VE HAD A 95 MITSU GALANT FOR ABOUT 2 YEARS AND I JUST RECENTLY SENT IT OFF TO THAT BIG SCRAPYARD IN THE SKY. ENGINE AND TRANNY WENT ON ME WHILE GOING UP A STEEP, ICY HILL TO GET TO MY HOUSE. I'VE ALWAYS HEARD GOOD THINGS ABOUT THE MAXIMA AND NOW I'M LOOKING INTO GETTING EITHER A 2000 OR 2001 SE. I'M LOOKING FOR A CAR THAT IS FUN, FAST, HANDLES LIKE A CHAMP, YET WILL HANDLE THE DAILY ROUTINE AND LONG TRIPS ALIKE. I'VE SPENT MANY HOURS STARING AT ALL THE CARS LISTED FOR THESE 2 YEARS, BOTH COUPES AND SEDANS ALIKE. MY PRICE RANGE IS SOMEWHERE AROUND 12 OR 13 GRAND. FOR THE MONEY, I CAN'T SEEM TO FIND ANOTHER CAR THAT HAS THE STATS OF A MAXIMA OR THE PERFORMANCE.
    I'D LIKE TO HEAR WHAT ANYONE IS WILLING TO TELL ME ABOUT THEIR MAXIMA SE'S THAT FALL WITHIN THESE 2 YEARS OR WHAT THEY'VE HEARD ABOUT THEM. THIS IS A CAR THAT HAS TO LAST ME FOR YEARS TO COME AND I'M TRYING TO FIND OUT ALL THAT I CAN ABOUT THESE CARS. ANY INPUT WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED. THANKS AND NICE TO MEET ALL OF YOU.
    --SEAN--
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Try unlocking caps next time - it's tough on readers.

    Regarding yur question, I have a 1995 SE that has been supurb for 9+ years and 148k miles. However, I have 3 friends/associates who bought 2000/2001 Maximas (2 SE's, 1 GLE) and none are as pleased with their ownership experience. They have all had more brake/rotor repairs & replacements in under 60k miles than I have in nearly 150k miles. And, in spite of the 2000/2001 being "rated" at 222 hp, it is essentially the same 3.0 liter 190 hp engine in the 1995-1999 (in fact, the torque to weight ratio of my 1995 is better than the 2000/2001). Combined with the higher weight of the 2000/2001, I find that particular model to be neither as quick or as nimble handling as the 1995 5-speed; but that is only my subjective opinion.

    If I were you, I'd save even more money and find a very good condition 1998-1999; or if you can afford it, go for a 2002/2003 with the 3.5 liter engine and 6-speed transmission. The 2000/2001 would not be on my shopping or recommended list.
  • like habitat said... i would go look for a 99 maxima. i have a 2000 max gle and it looks like i have to change out my rotors at 41k miles..if i get them resurfaced again, im sure i'll have to change them out at 60k miles.. either way, it sucks....
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 1,034
    I have a 2001 Maxima and so far no problems at all (knock wood) after 31000 miles. According to Tom and Ray (Car Talk), ALL cars, no matter what the make, have to have brakes and rotors replaced more often than they did in the 90's because the replacement material for asbestos is not as long-lasting and is thinner, causing rotors to warp sooner. So some of your complaints may not be Maxima-specific but general as to the automotive world.
         And while we're on the subject, it must puzzle some people who have just bought 04's and are ecstatic about them to see all the previous Maxima owners complaining so much! I think the Maxima has always gone for being "different" and has changed its looks quite often. If you want the same or slightly modified look, year after year, get an Accord (a great car, BTW). I think cars in general keep getting bigger, perhaps as we boomers do . . .! Look at the size of an 80's era Accord -- it looks smaller than today's Civic. So for those who don't want the extra room, the solution is to downsize, as some people were recommending with the Acura TL.
         But it might be nice for some folks with 04s to talk about what they like about their car without fearing the wrath of the earlier gen owners! I'd be interested to hear what they have to say.
  • Nissan could ahve called the current Altima the Maxima, complete with a base 4 cyl car. That was one possibility when they had to replace the smaller old Altima. But, they didn't want to dilute the brand, so they moved it up.
  • ramped1ramped1 Posts: 159
    No wrath will befall any '04 owner who would like to post about his/her Maxima here. There just doesn't seem to be that many '04 owners frequenting this board.
  • pernaperna Posts: 533
    Maybe you can guess why 04 Maxima owners don't seem to be hanging around Edmunds?

    My real question is, do you see a difference in 03 and earlier Maxima buyers vs. 04 buyers? Age, sex, etc.? It would be a shame if the 04 truly alienated the "enthusiast" crowd, which most of us are.

    Maybe I should go take a look at the Altima board - I wonder if they mirror us in general makeup.
  • rjk3rjk3 Posts: 5
    I've been following this board for some time and used the comments to help me in my decision making for a new car. I just purchased my second max after trading in my '99 Max GXE. The '04 SE/6 spd is my 6th Nissan. I drove the Honda, oops, I mean TL and found it uninspiring in both looks and performance. And yes, it too had torque steer. Although all my Nissans have not been trouble free, in comparison to most US brands and even Audi (friend has a 2003 TT loaded with electrical problems !) you can consider then "Rolex" quality. My '04 has 3k miles with no wheel shake or component rattling and I receive compliments on its looks all the time. Only complaint: you need a second mortgage to put dedicated snow tires on those 18" rims.
  • kenm8kenm8 Posts: 71
    Will 17 inch rims fit on 04 Max that comes with 18 inch rims/tires? Rims and tires for 17 inches should be somewhat cheaper. Perhaps check with Tire Rack and maybe 17 inch will clear brake calipers. My 97 Max SE came standard with 16 inch alloy rims but found out through Tire Rack that 15 inch rims with proper circumference/load rating snow tires work just fine. (The 97 Max GXE came with 15 inch standard.) Have been using 15 inch rims and snow tires since winter of 97/98. Know it looks a little dorky, but saved money and more importantly, put a narrower tread path on pavement/snow for better grip.
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