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Nissan Maxima vs. Honda Accord



  • I think the quality of a particular companies' products is not so much based on where the car is built, but is based more on a companies' quality control philosophy with respect to the assembly line and materials used. I think many "japanese" cars like Honda, and Toyota have been made in the U.S. for a few years, and most industry experts complaints about Toyota is the quality of materials and not reliability of product. Also if you look at Honda interiors, they seem to be getting better, despite being built in the U.S. People think that japanese makes have been getting worse, but it is more that other companies are getting better ( best example is Hyundai), IMO.
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    While I agree with you that quality control is germane to reliability, quality of materials is also intricably tied to reliability. How can a product be reliabile if it is built of inferior materials? In addition, while reliability of U.S. built cars is improving, consumer reports and sentiments consistently rate Japanese made cars superior, and I tend to agree. This is true particularly as to the "high end/flagship" cars, such as Lexus, Acura, Infiniti and the 03 Maxima (last car bearing Nissan nameplate made in Japan). That said, however, does not mean Americans are not patriotic. It simply means we choose our products smartly. I certainly hope that the 04 Max will be as (if not more) reliable than the 03 Max.
  • Lets face it people, cars nowadays are generally very reliable. The Yugos of the world do not stay around long. I hate to say it but Hyundai has come a long way (though i'll never own one !). Most things nowadays, i.e. technology, is virtually shared worldwide- i just read in the Jan. issue of Automobile that Ford and GM are going to jointly develop a FWD 6 speed automatic gearbox!). So pick a make& model you like and you probably will be very happy. IMO the automobile is one of man's greatest inventions, and todays modern cars in regards to safety, power, and reliability, make it that much more fun to be a car enthusiast!
  • I was at the Nissan dealer on Saturday for a car wash and to look at the new Murano (very interesting vehicle).

    I noticed the "country of content" stickers on Murano, Maxima, Altima and Z cars in the showroom.

    Iwonder if the "American built cars" are assembled in the states but that the various versions of the 3.5 engine and transmissions are completely built in Japan and shipped over here for final assembly into the vehicles.

    Maybe this is how Nissan reliability has been reasonably well maintained? I wonder if most of the issues with the American assembled vehicles (Altima) are now drive train related?
  • gotribegotribe Posts: 101
    Before I bought my 03 EX V-6 Accord Sedan, I cross shopped the Maxima and G35. I have previously owned 5 Maximas and 3 Hondas so consider myself brand agnostic. To me, the 03 Maxima had several problems. First of all the torque steer with 255hp. and the 6 speed was unaceeptable. I had a Saab Turbo, so I know what torque steer is all about, but this was too much. Also, I found the drive by wire throttle to be quite non-linear, compared to my 00 Maxima. The combination of torque steer and jerky throttle made for a less than pleasant driving experience for me. The Accord is much more refined than the current Maxima, although I am looking for great things from the 04. I wont get into the comparison with the G35 since that has been explored ad nauseam on other forums!!
  • Buy with auto xmission, throw in 2 or 3 good sized adults and some luggage, and turn the A/C on. Will the I4 be adequate, or is the V6 a serious necessity? Thank you.
  • With the situation you described, I'd say if you take trips with any sort of regularity involving some hill-climbing, go with the V6. We have an '02 V6. Our family of 4 includes no heavyweight. We take regular trips to the ski resort (Whistler, B.C), and while we never really found the V6 lacking in power, I think I could use a bit more (ie. for those situations where I'm trying to slip in front of a trailer as the passing lane comes to a close), and I KNOW I wouldn't want to have any LESS. And aside from power, the 6 just makes for a quieter, more relaxed highway ride.
  • sgrd0qsgrd0q Posts: 398
    Aha! Whistler, B.C.! Personally, I won't mind driving a Yugo as long as I am within driving distance from Whistler :) As it is, I have to settle for coach class and a 5 hour flight from the East coast - but it is worth it!
  • Afterall, you have to be able to make it up the hill to get there. :) But when the weather is right, and you're standing on top of the mountain trying to choose between the 280+ runs, it is heaven on earth!
  • I liked the Maxima -- I drove 02 and 03 standards and automatics before buying the Accord.

    I thought it felt and drove like a larger car than the Accord. Maybe its because, unlike the Accord, you can see the front-end of the Max. when you're sitting in the driver's seat. My wife did not like the interior as much as the Accord. Ultimately, I wanted better gas mileage and the ability to use regular vs. premium fuel. The Accord V6EX with leather also gave me more for the money. The Max's I was driving had no leather but were priced at least 1,000 higher.

    I do think the Maxima is a better looking car on the outside, and it has more snob appeal. Although there are a lot of Maximas on the road, I think it's viewed as a status symbol vs the Accord's "everyone owns one" reputation.
  • I thought the Maixma was a good car, but I think the Accord is great. Maxmia handling is a lot sloppier than accord. Ride is much better in the Accord.

    A Maxima GXE is a good value, but I think a Maxima GLE can't compare to a Accord EX-L V6

    Also, I had some issues with the Maxima:

    - Horrible paint...chips if you look at it funny.
    - Ignition coils defective, causing engine knock, hurting mileage. Replaced under warranty, but a hassle
    - Radio/CD buttons failed...out of warranty (38K miles, 2 years old), $1500 to replace - unacceptable.
    - Replacing in-cabin air filter is very difficult compared to Accord

    Anyway, that's my mileage may vary.
  • pbvdqpbvdq Posts: 14
    My sister currently owns a 2002 Accord V6 and it does not compare in anyway to my 2003 SE Maxima. She loves my SE Max and wishes she didn't just buy the Accord 6 months ago.

    Before I got the Maxima, my sister would ask me to drive her Accord (when we were out together) so I have a basis for comparison. Maxima and Accord don't compare. The Maxima is much more sportier and fun looking inside and out. The Maxima's (SE) ride is a little rough due to the larger tires but the tight handling beats the Accord's hands down. Maxima barely leans (almost doesn't) when making turns, now that's sporty! Sloppy...Maxima is NOT (especially on the SE).

    I've driven both cars and I feel the difference. The SE handles great and pick up is unbeatable. Maxima out performs the Accord. Hey, don't kill me, this is just my opinion.

    Do Accords come standard with Xenon's ?
  • I'm sorry, but I've owned both, and the Maxima handling is way sloppier than the Accord body, and the ride is worse.(I'm comparing the '03 Accord to 5th Gen Maxima)

    Interior is much better in the Accord.

    Anyone with a doubt can test drive both and see for themselves.

    That said, they are both nice cars, and I would choose them over a Camry or Passat anyday.
  • However, I love my '03 Max SE, the Accord is one that I didn't test drive before my purchase, but wish I had, they just looked too little for my taste. And the front resembled the Altima. I liked the look of the Maxima better.

    Just my 2 cents worth.
  • dklaneckydklanecky Posts: 559
    Your comparing a brand new design ('03 Accord) with a 4 year old Maxima (basic design done in early '99 for '00 model year, freshened in '02).

    Not exactly apples to apples!

    How do you think the directly comparable '02 Accord would compare with the '02 Maxima? IMO, no comparison, the Maxima wins on every count(except of course the hated rear beam axel)!

    Lets get back together and compare the '04 Maxima and the '03 Accord in a few months and see how things look then?

    (This board probably will go away then since the cars will be in completely different classes.)
  • mikek37mikek37 Posts: 411
    You are correct, considering the fact the new TOP of the line Maxima will cost, as projected by Nissan , around 33,000K plus, you are correct in your assumption that the car will be in a different class. It will be in a the near luxury class, and will compete with the entry level cars from BMW and VOLVO. If I was spending nearly 30K plus, I wouldnt even consider the MAX. Thats a pretty heavy price tag for a car that wears a NISSAN tag. A fully loaded, with comparable qualities to the maxima, accord can be had for 4000K less. Not too shabby.

    So lets be honest, you cant compare the two cars, especailly considering max owners will be paying a great deal more for their cars.One more point, buy a 2004 maxima for around 33,000 or buy a nicely equipped 328ii for around 35,000, hmm, good luck comparing those two cars.
  • If the pricing wasn't a big enough hurdle, the styling would be the other for me. Being a 5th generation Maxima owner, I am having a hard time with the new Maxima's styling elements. Another dissapointment, Maxima enthusiasts expected the new Maxima to be AWD or far we got neither. I think Nissan dropped the ball with their flagship.
  • pbvdqpbvdq Posts: 14
    The '04 Max is a kind of goofy looking. I admit I haven't really gotten a good looksy, I've only seen the pictures on the internet. I think it looks like the Altima's momma (teehee).

    By the way, I don't think anyone can go wrong with the Max or the Accord, both are really great cars. I prefer the Max.

    reincarnation: What do you mean the rear beam on the Maxima is a liablity? I didn't know about that. Please educate me (tell me what you know). Am I looking at future, expensive problems with the rear beam (OOHH NOOOO!!!!)?
  • dklaneckydklanecky Posts: 559
    Here's what Motor Trend said about the new multi-link beam suspension when they awarded the 1995 Maxima the Motor Trend Import Car of the year:

    "The new Maxima benefits from a generous helping of suspension wizardry. MacPherson struts carry over up front, but the rear struts with parallel links have given way to a new Multi-Link Beam configuration with trailing arms. Lighter, more compact,, more space-efficient, and less expensive to produce, the new system also delivers tangible dynamic improvements over the one it replaces. Nissan will use this patented rear-axle design on many of its upcoming front-drive vehicles, including the new Sentra.

    The challenge facing Nissan engineers was to devise rear suspension that would deliver a properly compliant ride while preventing unwanted camber change and suspension jacking under cornering and eliminating scuff change (transverse movement of the body relative to the axle) over uneven road surfaces. Both are common problems in a conventional beam-axle design located by a simple Panhard rod. Nissan's variation on the basic theme involves two key modifications. The first substitutes a special oversize lower bushing in the Panhard rod that's stiff vertically but pliant laterally. The second piece in the puzzle is a control link (formally known as a Scott-Russell link) that connects the Panhard rod with the axle to provide additional stability. This combination ensures that the axle will only move up and down, thereby maintaining proper camber in the rear tires at all times. This unique hardware also maintains a more consistent relationship between the vehicle's roll center and its center of gravity, which contributes to a better cornering feel and less body roll, regardless of loading. Since the springs and shock absorbers no longer have to contend with as much lateral force, they can be made smaller and lighter. The result: Both ride and handling are improve. And, as an extra bonus, fewer suspension mounting points result in less noise being transmitted back into the body structure."
  • monte4monte4 Posts: 101
    Most people that buy the Max donot even cross shop the Accord ( Mainly TL,Diamante and Milenna according to what I saw). The Accord is more a person who wants a reliable nice car and the max owners are people who want a nice sporty car truly in a class of its own. Demographics: income etc Max owners tend to make al ot more money than Accord buyers and are primarily male whereas aAccords are female.
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