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Nissan Maxima



  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    You are not defecting, are you? :-) Few people on this Board has actually praised the Grand Am over the Max, but I think your personal preference about driver ergonomics (in certain areas)is legitimate. I have not driven the 2k Max (I think that is the one you have) or the Grand Am, but my 03 Max steering wheel is thicker than my 97 Max. I believe the thicker steering wheel gives the car or driver a more substantial feel, but the optimal thickness may also be an individual preference. JMHO.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Why 18 inch wheels? Because there appears to be a crazy trend out there to increase the diameter of wheels and to decrease the tire profile and one manufacturer is trying to beat another by introducing disproportionately large wheels on vehicles. Have you seen the 20 inch wheels on the new Dodge pickups? These people will be in for a nasty surprise when time comes for new tires. I believe that 16 inch rims are plenty for any Maxima, and 17 is pushing it. 18 is just plain ridiculous. I own an 83 Mercedes 300 SD and it has 14 inch rims. And it is a big and heavy car, bigger than any Maxima. I can get a set of Michelins for $ 70 a piece for it. Try that with a car with 18 inch rims! Be more like $ 175 a piece.

    I can't wait to see some SUV with 24 inch rims next. Some people really think that the bigger must be better.
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    bigger rims makes sense because it can improve ride and handling. The idea is the tires are relied on less for 'ride compliance' so the sidewalls can be reduced, which improves handling and response. The suspension design has to be improved, through stiffer chassis and better designed struts/ shocks/ linkage. Overall, this is a better approach than trying to obtain ride compliance through smaller wheels and more flexible sidewalls. Because then with the higher flexible sidewalls you can't get any handling. With bigger wheels you can have both.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Like everything else, there are advantages and disadvantages. Low profile large tires usually mean a stiffer jarring ride and not everybody cares for that. Secondly, my old Mercedes, due to its superior chassis design, has better handling characteristics than many newer cars with low profile tires. So, as you mentioned, it takes good chassis engineering to give you both good ride and good handling with low profile tires.

    Low profile large tires require very careful balancing and that is not easy to get from a regular tire store in the USA. Even balancing my 98 SE 16 inch tires is not easy. 1/4 ounce (7 gram) weight increments commonly used in most tire shops just don't do it. I have to go to places that have weights in 5 gram increments and a well calibrated balancer. And, even then, it takes them several tries to get it right.
  • My sister-in-law owns a 2000 (I think) Malibu she bought used with about 50k miles on it. I actually had the chance to drive it on one occassion and I can only say that this is not a well built car. The A/C would cut out for no reason at all, the position of the drivers seat is horrible, interior is very very cheap looking, the car had rattles galore and a the thing felt like it was going to fall apart.

    I would spend a little more and get the much better more refined Maxima.

    BTW-I saw a silver '04 Maxima the other day and it didn't look to bad to me. Maybe the new style is growing on me.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Your description of Malibu is just like Pontiac Grand Am that one of my coworkers owns. Incessant A/C problems, brake rotor problems, pitted aluminum wheels, gearshift problems, electrical problems, alignment problems, you name it. Malibu is not the only GM car that is built cheap.
  • monte4monte4 Posts: 101
    I agree with you P100!
  • f1julesf1jules Posts: 288
    Go over to one of the Pontiac Grand Prix or Grand Am forums and look at all the problems those people are having with their cars. It amazes me that people still buy that junk and that there is any brand loyalty there.
  • bobfeldbobfeld Posts: 33
    the "here" is st louis
  • bobfeldbobfeld Posts: 33
    anyone contemplating buying an 03 max better hurry....the supply here is dwindling really said once the 04 max came out sales of the 03 took off...guess people wanted to get a "good" Max while they still can
  • dgraves1dgraves1 Posts: 414
    Or maybe it was just being able to get a new Maxima for about $20K.
  • monte4monte4 Posts: 101
    I am seeing and hearing the same thing here, my dealr only has 3 left. I havent seen one for 20K, but with the deals you are getting you are getting a helluva a car for the price, people know a good deal/bang for the buck these days!
  • lmp180psulmp180psu Posts: 393
    I just went to a dealers website here in the Philly Area, and they still have 19 SE autos and 8 GLE's left( only 1 SE manual). They had about 40-45 total 2003's about 2 weeks ago.
  • mac4mikemac4mike Posts: 1
    I intend to buy a 2004 Maxima this month, after having a four wheel drive SUV with Traction Control for the past three years. I am working with an Internet Sales Manager from a big dealership who is a straight shooter. I thought I should buy what Nissan calls VDC or Vehicle Dynamic Control; which, as I understand it, is a subtle form of computer override, adjusting brakes and throttle to help prevent skidding and accidents. VDC also includes Traction Control.

    The Sales Manager calls VDC an "expensive toy" and actually advised against the $900 (list price) option. I cannot find any more information on the subject. I will appreciate any opinions as to whether this is a toy or a valuable safety system for a family car. Thank you for your help.
  • carguy71carguy71 Posts: 10
    I certainly wouldn't call it a toy, since it's a safety device. I'm not going to profess that I know the complete workings of the system either, but I prefer to take just about every safety option available on my vehicles and would find value in VDC. The value you see in it may differ, depending on where you live in the country, but my understanding of it is that VDC is another device to help in a skid/slide situation. In a rainy, snowy, or slick environment, in a panic situation, it could mean the difference between getting into an accident or avoiding one.
  • dklaneckydklanecky Posts: 559
    Sales managers by nature, well sell. My guess is that the particular model configuration your looking at doesn't frequently come with the VDC option. So he's trying to steer you away from it.

    If you ever have to drive in snow, you'll want it. The $900 cost is nothing compared to what one small fender bender (let alone something bigger) would cost you in repairs and insurance rate increases.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I agree with carguy71 that a safety device is not a "toy". I can say from personnal experience that the $1,000 I paid for ABS on my 1995 Maxima SE was invaluable on at least 2-3 occassions. A lot more so than the sunroof I didn't get.

    That said, I also don't know what the Maxima VDC entails and how well it actually works. BMW's and Mercedes systems are supposedly very sophisticated and work well in panic or unexpected situations. You may want to research this a bit more before taking your salepersons advice.
  • ctl1ctl1 Posts: 18
    dklanecky is right about sales managers steering customers away from what they don't have and towards what they do have. And what Nissan dealers don't have are a lot of cars with the VDC option. The 2004 Maxima is one of the cars I'm considering in my new car search. If I get a Max, I would want the VDC. I checked out Nissan's web site which allows you to search dealer inventory. Searching the inventories of dealers in the DFW, Phoenix and Los Angeles areas, I found 1 car in DFW, none in Phoenix, and several in the Los Angeles area though most of those came with the Elite package. I suspect anybody who really wants this option will have a very small selection of vehicles from which to choose.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I would say that this option is definitely worth having if you drive on snow or ice covered roads. On a FWD car it is less of a necessity than on a RWD car, especially ones with high horsepower output. Most such systems will also have a manual override button. As with anything else, these types of systems increase the vehicle's complexity and invite problems down the road. So getting one requires a cost vs benefit analysis.
  • carz10carz10 Posts: 4
    I live in the US and would of liked to get Traction Control, on my 02 SE, but would have to add a few thousand $$'s in options to get it. In Canada there is a Auto Transmission package with includes the TC, and you do not have to buy any other options before you can get it!! I think that would of been a great package for all of us in the USA.
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