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Nissan Maxima vs. Toyota Camry



  • bobbassbobbass Posts: 34
    I currently have an '04 Max SE. Other than the "busy" ride which has driven me NUTS, the only other thing I find unacceptable is the turning circle. After reading ALL the posts in this thread, many others seem to agree.

    One poster said that he has an '07 and the turning circle is improved, but the actual spec is conspicuously absent from the '07 brochure and website. According to Edmunds, it is 40 ft. which is the same or worse than my '04.

    Can somebody with an '07 comment on this? I had written a new Maxima off in my search for a new vehicle, but if Nissan has improved the ride and turning circle, with that beautiful new interior it might be up for my consideration.

    I'm very leery at this point about the Toyota 3.5 powertrain and NAV systems, otherwise they would be at the top of my list.
  • pernaperna Posts: 533
    My 2003 Maxima SE has made me a Nissan customer for life. The car is just shy of its 4th birthday in my house, and I STILL look forward to getting into it every day.

    At its 30k mile service (it now has 40k miles), I had 75% of my front pads remaining, and even more on the back. My rotors are perfect. Maybe the key to buying a perfect car is waiting until the model is about to be replaced? Mine was built in October of '02, and I believe they ceased production about 2-3 months afterwards.

    The sole problem I've had on the car is the Bose stereo. I blame Clarion for this more than Bose. I'm on my third head unit, and since my warranty is up it will be my last. I'll replace it with a nice Eclipse with Sirius/iPod integration and call it a day.

    In the past, I've turned cars over with as little as 7 months of ownership. Not this one. Some cars are born with halos on their roofs, and I'm driving it until the wheels come off it. It just amazes me that a 4 year old car, driven over crappy pothole-infested Michigan roads still has zero squeaks or rattles. The thing is as tight as the day I drove it off the lot.

    I did test drive a Camry, and I know EXACTLY what you guys are talking about with the hesitation. However, what really killed the car for me was actually the handling - I'm too young for a Buick, even if it's made by Toyota. :P

    That said, I didn't really care for the '04-'06 Maxima. Didn't really like the bucktooth or the interior. They fixed all this with the '07, but I'm not ready to part with my '03 yet. The Grey Max and I have many, many more Grand Prixs to torch in the future. :shades:
  • pernaperna Posts: 533
    I'm trying to find a way to say "you guys are nuts", but I just can't.

    You guys are nuts.

    The TR on my '03 is abysmal, but after the first month of driving it I just got used to it. Maybe it helps my wife drives an Explorer, so I'm used to driving something with the TR of a school bus. :P

    It's such a minor problem with the car, though. That engine is the sweetest thing on 4 wheels. You goose it, doesn't matter which speed you're going, you will take off like the car is getting ready to take to the skies. As a semi-frequent flier, when I start the Max up an entrance ramp onto the freeway, that's exactly what it reminds me of. When the plane is turning onto the runway, you're going slow, but then stomp on the gas and WATCH OUT.

    The most unbelieveable thing about my car is that I haven't gotten a ticket yet. I did get pulled over once for doing 50 in a 35, but that was purely by accident (I don't normally speed in residential areas). On a wide-open highway, though.. let's just say the speed limiter comes up in this car way too fast. The sucker just never runs out of breath. :shades:
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 924
    Do I ever agree with you! I feel exactly the same way about my '01 GLE. Oddly enough, it too was at the end of a production run, just before the retooled '02 came out. My Max didn't need new front pads until 60,000 miles. My only other expense has been a battery (after 5 years, and the battery was still working but getting a little weak). I keep thinking I will want another car someday, but I smile whenever I'm driving it.
  • I currently own a 2001 Maxima AND a 1999 Camry 4 cyl. (originally purchased for mom-in-law). Bought the Max 1 year old, Cam was 5 years old. Max has 75K miles and NO ISSUES at all - still like new. Cam has 62K miles, front end rattles (see strut TSB) and developed blue smoke on start-up (bad valve stem seals). Got a notice in the mail regarding a class action lawsuit about this and other Toyota vehicles that are predisposed to develop oil gel.

    More details are available at Camrys included are 1997-2001 4 cyl. and 1997-2002 6 cyl. See website for MANY other vehicles included. I have lost trust in Toyota, and would recommend you do not buy one based on my experience. An entire generation of defective engines is unacceptable.

    I am not biased toward Nissan at all, and have owned most brands of cars in my 30 years of driving. VERY disappointed in Toyota!
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 924
    Let's be fair to Toyota! While I wouldn't trade my Max for a Camry for myself, I bought a used '99 Camry (also 4 cyl) for my college daughter. After two years, with nearly 115000 miles on it, nary a problem with it either. And it gets better gas mileage than the Maxima. I've been very pleased with it. If there really was a "whole generation of defective engines" the Camry would not be the best selling car in America.
  • A friend of mine who bought my 2002 Nissan Maxima SE said at high speeds (65 mph +) the hood of the car would shake. Has anyone experienced this problem and if so what causes it?
  • virusvirus Posts: 21
    I had a 2002 Maxima GLE with tons of modifications. It was the first car I truly fell in love with. Unfortunately, someone hit me and it was totalled. I tried to do what I thought was responsible and purchased a 2k6 Civic EX. Great car and fantastic mpg. Unfortunately it wasn't a Maxima and I missed the power and the size. I couldn't justify the price of the Maxima when the G35 is so close in price. I then compared the Altima and the Camry. I liked both of them appearance wise and liked the Altimas interior better strictly based on visuals and layout. The Altima requires premium fuel, so I decided to go for the Camry SE loaded. Extremely quite car with good pickup. Pickup when it doesn't flare that is. Even though I have the latest build date, I too am experiencing what tons of others are and the dealership has no answers although the tech did verify the problem with a test drive with me today. This is my first Toyota and it's a love hate relationship. The mag times for this car seem inflated. My old max seemed to have more torque and much better throttle response. When I explained to the tech and service advisor that my 2k2 maxima had the same problem that was resolved by ECU upgrade, the service advisor quickly went into why Toyota is much better than Nissan, blah, blah, blah. While Nissan service is horrific in the Washington, DC area, I would definately consider another Nissan.
  • pernaperna Posts: 533
    This is a reaaaaaaally simple fix. Pretty much all '02/'03 Maximas do this.

    Open the hood, and on each side of the engine compartment towards the front you will see one large rubber stopper. Take and screw it in a bit tighter, which will allow the hood to close tighter. Problem solved.
  • Hi Bob,
    In July I traded my 04SE for 07SE. Both are totally loaded with the Elite PKG. My 1st Maxima was an 87,plus 89,91,93,03,04 &07.Between 93 & 03 I had various other cars. My point is I am back to Maxima and as far as I'm concerned it's the best car for the money. I have never had a problem with any of the Maximas', except they changed my brake pads @5K n/c never had another problem.
    I do agree with you and others regarding the turning radius & torque steering in 04 was awful. Other than those two items I loved driving it and constantly received compliments on its looks.
    Now the 07 I bought because of the improvements. The t/r is much much tighter than the 04 & the T/S is barely noticeable. Naturally the T/R is not going to be as tight as front wheel drive. The styling,form & fit are very good.
    I have never personally heard of any complaints with the engines other than this forum. I am surprised to hear that,but as far as I am concerned Toyota is living on it's laurels.
    My wife has a 99 Q45t Infinity we bought new, it has 60K and we have never had a problem just normal maint. I keep trying to get her interested in the M Infinity, but she will not part w/ her 99.
    I hope my babbling has been helpful to some.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    Your experience with Nissan only indicates your personal dissatisfaction and if you wanted to make it a more pleseant experience then you could have. Your issues do not indicate Nissan to be a bad or worse vehicle. The only thing they indicate is bad service at dealerships. That is part of a buying experience of course...

    Sorry for the late response. I judge a car by the way the factory builds it. Me having to install non-OEM parts to make it an acceptable car, is not acceptable, especially when the car is still on warranty. Of course my experience with the 350Z uncorrectable alignment issues and eating tires in 6000 miles has indeed hampered my open-mindedness about Nissan quality.
  • Since I bought my 04 Maxima when it first came out I have loved it. Yes, I have had the front struts replaced, recalls and new rotors etc. But, I love my car. I have tweeked the engine also. Put on graffic's and a bigger spoiler. Well, I guess someone else loved my Maxima also. They tried to steal it! My door lock on my drivers door stop working. Took it into my dealership and found out someone tried to break into it using a slim Jim. It messed up the locking mechanism but I guess they couldn't get in. I still have my car! Now I have been racking my brains out where all I have been where someone could do this. It is garaged parked at home. I have to wait now four days for service to get my new locking mechanism in!
  • Hi,

    I have a 1996 Nissan Maxima that has 107,000 miles and was running great! Love this car. I was hit in January on the left front fender and both air bags went off and the insurance company totalled it. I had just put $3900. to keep it running great. I purchased the car back from the insurance company and would like your recommendations on how I should sell it. NJ does not require a salvage title for this car. It needs left front fender, grill and 2 air bags. Started right up from the accident.

    Any expertise you can contribute will be appreciated.
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