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Nissan Maxima v. Mazda Millenia

fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
I started this thread as an outlet for the people who come to the Millenia board wanting to compare the virtues, or lack thereof, of the Nissan Maxima as compared to the Mazda Millenia.

Please feel free to exercise your opinions on this comparison here as opposed to the MM discussion.

Thanks
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Comments

  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    here are some Millenia advantages...

    1. Millenia has an independant suspension. the max does not....they did in the past but they de-contented the max to a semi independant suspension which is sub par compared to the mazda multlink.

    2. traction control is std on the 'S' and avail with the four seasons pkg. on the 'P' millenia. The max does not offer this feature on the GXE model and it is an extra cost option on all other models

    3. Moonroof is standard on all Mil...optional on all models of the Max.

    4. Leather is standard on the Mil...not even offered on the GXE max and optional on SE max.

    5. both Millenia offer an 8 way power seat for both driver and passenger, standard. Max only offers a less versital 4 way pwr pass. seat. on GLE model...again not avail on GXE model and optional on SE.

    6. both model Millenia's come with a power tilt steering wheel with memory. Max has a manual tilt, like an sentra.

    7. both model millenia's have automatic climate control...not avail on Max unless you buy top of line GLE...optional on SE...GXE is out of luck again.

    8. side air bags are standard on both millenia's...only offered on GLE max std....if your in the SE its an option and GXE drivers are killed in a side crash. no side bags.

    9. Millenia has a longer bumper to bumper warranty.

    10. Millenia offers free roadside assitance

    11. all mazda buyers are entitled to a loaner car for warranty work...you buy a maxima you walk when your car is in for service.

    give me a few minutes and I will come up with some more.

    12.
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    These are observations of mine, having driven all models of both Millenia and Maxima before deciding on the Millenia. I own a 2001 Millenia "P".

    An X indicates what I consider an advantage. If both have an X, I feel they are about equal in that catagory.

    Catagory -------------- Maxima ------- Millenia
    Horsepower -------------- X
    Styling ---------------------------------- XXXXXXXX
    Quality of materials ----------------------- X
    Quality of assembly ----------------------- X
    Quality of paint ----------------------------- X
    Paint Application -------------------------- X
    Ride Quality -------------------------------- X
    Noise Intrusion ---------------------------- X
    Rear Suspension -------------------------- X
    Repair History ----------- X ---------------- X
    Standard Features ------------------------- X
    Handling ------------------ X ---------------- X
    Real World Price --------------------------- X
    Depreciation ------------ 1/2x

    =========================================

    I copied this over from the Millenia thread to help get this one going. Part of it duplicates the above post by audia8q.
  • speedracer3speedracer3 Posts: 650
    Again, as some of you know I own both. They are two cars with totally different personalities. If you want a sport sedan go Maxima, if you want a luxury cruiser go Millenia. I love my Maxima because it is fast and has the best V6 I've EVER driven. My wife loves her Millenia cuz, she gets luxury and style at a fraction of the price.
  • nvedraninvedrani Posts: 58
    How many Maxima's do you see driving around daily?....now, how many Millenia's do you see driving around daily......hmmm, follow the crowd in a Maxima; or stand out from it (and above IMO) with a Millenia (S).....

    For me this was a no-brainer, I wanted something attractive and or appealing to the eye, which as we ALL know, the Maxima is NOT - leaving me with a 2000 ME S...... still no regrets when I see all the Max's driving around day in and day out!!
  • tonyg35tonyg35 Posts: 52
    You gotta be kidding me with this comparision. Anyway I 'll humor you and start off with a little news.


    http://auto.consumerguide.com/auto/new/reviews/full/index.cfm/id/20886.htm#highlights


    "Though little changed since introduction and never that popular, Mazda's U.S. flagship sedan some managed higher sales in 2001, up a healthy 35.3 percent year-over-year through the third quarter. Even so, industry informants say Millenia is doomed. Why? One reason is a design based partly on Mazda's last-generation 626, leaving Millenia an uneconomic manufacturing "orphan" within Mazda and parent Ford Motor Company. More urgently, Ford needs to slash expenses to pull out of a big sales and earnings slump, and that makes the misfit Millenia an obvious candidate for the axe. Does this mean Mazda will get out of the near-luxury market altogether? Sure looks that way to us."


    Stay tune for the 6 o'clock news.

    Tony,

  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    We are all fully aware that 2002 is the last year for the Millenia. It is being replaced partly by the Mazda6, and partly by the RX8.

    That does not change the ability to compare the Millenia to the Maxima, which is also a several year old design. The Millenia is equal to or superior to the Maxima in every way except engine power.

    Thanks for your input.
  • speedracer3speedracer3 Posts: 650
    "That does not change the ability to compare the Millenia to the Maxima, which is also a several year old design. "

    FYI...The current 5th Generation Maxima was born in 2000, so it's not that old and it is totally different than the 4th Gen Maxima. A 6th Generation Maxima will be here in 2004 and will share the Altima platform.
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    I am not a Maxima specialist. But my understanding from what I have read, is that the 5th generation uses the same platform as the 4th, but revamped to add about 30% more rigidity. The interior was also redone.

    For the 2001 model, Mazda also added about 30% more rigidity to the Millenia chassis, and the interior was completely redone.

    The Maxima also has used the same drivetrain for years, except for dropping the independent rear suspension for a beam axle in 1999, and tweaking the engine to add HP.

    Millenia still has a fully independent rear suspension, but Mazda has not entered the HP war with the 2.5L V-6. That is being done with the new Mazda6, and RX8.

    Automakers frequently say "all new" when it is not quite true.
  • tonyg35tonyg35 Posts: 52
    My intention is not to disrespect current or potential buyer of the Milenia. However, I want potential buyers to be informed.

    Knowing that this would be the last year model for this car, why would you still want to buy it?

    Don't even think about resale value, because it would even be worse because there is no newer Milenia model to spark interest or passion in the car for future buyer in the Used car market.

    Ok, so you may say that well, "I plan to keep my car for many years, so resale value means nothing to me" Well, I say think about availability of the parts when the Milenia gets old and you need new parts, water pump, alternator, etc... How easy would it be for you to obtain that part?

    Traditionally, Nissan is more reliable than Mazda products, so if you plan to keep it for a long time, Nissan should be your obvious choice.

    I will not go into details about performance/handling stats because we all know the outcome will favor the Maxima.

    Tony,
  • kw1964kw1964 Posts: 7
    The Maxima beats the Millenia in only two areas. Horsepower and Sales. The Maxima handles worse, has an ungodly harsh "sport" suspension, way fewer standard features,way too much interior noise, a cheap looking interior with sub quality leather and an exterior that nobody's Mother would love. The Millenia is light years classier inside and out. The Maxima couldnt win a beauty contest with a Subaru. Wouldn't this Nissan be better compared with the Pontiac Grand Am?
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    1 - Many of the very best cars have been last production year models. This is far preferable to a first year model. Mazda is merely doing as all carmakers do, and discontinuing a model. They ARE NOT going out of business.


    2 - To the ones of us planning to keep our cars in excess of 4 years, the difference in depreciation is more than offset by the huge price advantage of buying a Millenia instead of a Maxima. Also, if all I were interested in was the resale value, I would not buy a Maxima. There are other cars on the market that hold value better.


    3 - Parts, including performance parts will be no more of a problem to obtain than any other out of production model. The exact same engine was used in the Ford Probe (it is a Mazda engine, not Ford), and parts are readily available. It is also the V-6 used in the Mazda 626. It will not be an orphan.


    4 - ("Traditionally, Nissan is more reliable than Mazda products") There is that fairy tale again.


    Here are two links to disprove that: Be fair and click on the red and white x marks for the Maxima (Millenia has none of these bad marks) to find the truth. Overall, they are both excellent mechanically, but by Carpoint, Millenia holds the advantage.


      http://carpoint.msn.com/vip/UsedRelOver/Nissan/Maxima/Used.asp


    Click on the yellow and black exclamation points for the Millenia, and you will find the only repetitive problem was a easily and inexpensively repaired spark plug wire problem, only on the '95 and '96 2.5L.


    http://carpoint.msn.com/vip/UsedRelOver/Mazda/Millenia/Used.asp


    Also read Consumer Reports April issue of any year. Check their charts. The 2002 April issue on page 55 points out that the Millenias repair history has been "OUTSTANDING".

    5 - Quote: "I will not go into details about performance/handling stats because we all know the outcome will favor the Maxima."

    Maxima excells only in "straight line" acelleration, if you don't count the torque steer of an overpowered front wheel drive car.

    Millenia accomplishes it's handling without riding harshly, and with far less road noise. It also has a far more expensive and sophisticated all independent multilink suspension.

  • speedracer3speedracer3 Posts: 650
    kw,

    The Maxima handles worse?...you gotta be kidding!. The Millenia is a luxury cruiser, the steering is overboosted and the suspension is too soft to be a sport sedan. Beam axle and all, the Maxima will outhandle a Millenia without a flinch.
    Let's face it folks, we own Millenias because it is a car that failed and Mazda is literally giving it away. At $28+ it was getting its butt whipped by other luxury brands. I have a Millenia because it was a great deal at $22K, but I would not have given it a second look if it was selling anywhere near MSRP.

    Fwatson,

    The 5th generation Maxima is longer and wider thant he 4th gen.
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    Quote speedracer3: "Let's face it folks, we own Millenias because it is a car that failed and Mazda is literally giving it away."
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    The slow sales of Millenia had nothing to do with the desirablilty or quality of the car. It was a complete failure on the part of Mazda to properly advertise and promote this car.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    "it was a great deal at $22K, but I would not have given it a second look if it was selling anywhere near MSRP"

    This statement-----"I would not have given it a second look if it was selling anywhere near MSRP"----holds true not only for Millenia, but expecially for the Max on my part. It is simply way overpriced. $28000 to $30000 for a nice engine, and no other advantage is simply out of line.

    That said, The same is true for virtually every car sold in this general class of Japanese branded cars. I walked away from Max GXE offered at below dealer invoice, in favor of the Millenia that I feel is a superior car. The bargain prices on the MM also make Camry, Accord etc very poor buys in comparison.
  • nvedraninvedrani Posts: 58
    Not to stir you up any further, but: don't you have the "P" model?? I think it is fair to say that you cannot make a comparison like that unless you drive the "S", especially an '01 or '02 daily....there is a handling difference between the "P" and the "S" (more power,sway bars, larger wheels, better grip).....this is just IMHO.....
  • speedracer3speedracer3 Posts: 650
    I drove an S and to be honest the only thing I noticed was more power. After driving them P and the S back to back I found the differences in handling negliglble. Anyway...I still think the Maxima SE handles better than the Millenia S.
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    I have driven all three versions of the Max, and both versions of the MM. I feel the difference in handling among any of them is negligible. What I did notice though, is that even the GXE/GLE Maxima's have such stiff suspensions that they pitch back and forth on normal city streets as if they were crossing a railroad track. And the SE was even stiffer. The Millenias IMO ride far nicer, and still corner beautifully. I am sure a BMW 540 would outhandle my P handily. But that did not seem to be true of the Max's. I don't have a skid pad to test that, but on public streets under legal driving conditions, I could see no handling advantage for any model of the Max over either Millenia.
  • kw1964kw1964 Posts: 7
    Fwatson,
    As you stated, the Millenia is a luxury cruiser and the Maxima is not. I agree totally.

    "The Millenia is a luxury cruiser, the steering is over boosted and the suspension is too soft to be a sport sedan."

    That said, and agreed, the Millenia concedes nothing to the Maxima in terms of sporty styling and handling. Millenia wins hands down. Nissan knows that only way to market a car with a primitive suspension and dangerous torque understeer is to over compensate it's shortcomings with a big engine and label the whole sub par package as being "sporty".
  • speedracer3speedracer3 Posts: 650
    KW,

    Primitive suspension?...the Maxima uses a twist beam suspension which is NOT primitive. The beam keeps the rear wheels straight while taking turns so body roll while turning is neglible. The Millenia rolls a LOT more under a heavy turn. The only time the twist beam is noticeble is when you hit a bump, instead of each wheel bouncing indepedently the rear wheels bounce together. So unless you are taking your Maxima offroad or have really bad streets you will never know you had a twist beam for a rear suspension.

    Dangerous Torque steer?...please, you are reaching here.

    Probably a better comparison here would be the MM vs. the Infiniti I35, since they are both considered luxury sedans.
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    Oops, You quoted speedracer3 and attributed it to me.

    Quote speedracer3, from post #13: "The Millenia is a luxury cruiser, the steering is over boosted and the suspension is too soft to be a sport sedan."
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    Quote speedracer3: "Primitive suspension?...the Maxima uses a twist beam suspension which is NOT primitive."

    You will notice though that Nissan is bragging up the all independent multilink suspension on the new G35. Guess which car in this discussion is equipped with that type suspension.
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