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Nissan Maxima



  • jg28jg28 Posts: 257
    I've been driving around thinking I was getting abnormally great gas mileage for this 3.5 L Engine because the trip computer was telling me I was getting 24mpg (and yes I reset it after fillup). But I also set the trip odometer and figured it out myself when I filled up on Tuesday. I got just over 20mpg when the trip computer was saying I got 24mpg. Very disappointing.
  • bglebgle Posts: 5
    I have had my '02 GLE for over a year and like you, I first thought I was getting outstanding mileage. My calculated mileage is in line with the EPA figures but my computer ALWAYS indicates about 3.5 MPG better. I have corresponded with Nissan twice with no positive results.

    The 3 to 4 MPG over actual seems to be the norm as reported on this site. I have never seen a post of the computer being even close or under actual MPG. Does anyone have a Maxima with an accurate (within 1 MPH) trip computer??? My wife has a Mercury that is always within 1 MPG of actual.

    Since most people don't physically compute their mileage, I am beginning to believe Nissan is doing this on purpose to make people think they are getting better MPG than they actually are.

    It is a shame because this is the only fault I can find with my car. As far as I am concerned they they could have left the MPH computer off.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I too would like to hear from current Maxima owners, especially "SE" on what else they shopped against and how they would evaluate the handling of the 2002/3 Maxima against others.

    I have a 1995 Maxima SE that I cross shopped against almost every sub-$25k vehicle at the time (it cost $20.5k back in late 1994). I found that, lack of IRS notwithstanding, the Maxima SE outhandled the Accord, Camry, Volvo 850 and Saab 900 by a noticable margin and the Passat by a small margin). It was no BMW 3 or 5 series, but it was the best/flattest handling car around corners of any of the FWD alternatives. I also previously owned an Acura Legend prior to the Maxima, and would rate it as better handling than the Legend. I even recall reading a Car and Driver or Road and Track review that, at the time, diagramed the "sophisticated" multi link beam suspension that the Maxima began using in 1995 and gave it the "thumbs up" for producing less body roll and tighter handling without significant ride quality expense.

    Now that 8 years have passed, I'm remotely considering upgrading to a 2003 Maxima SE 6-speed. The more likely scenario is a 530i or 540i in the spring, but the price of the Maxima is very attractive. I was offered $750 under invoice by my dealer (includes the current $1,000 rebate).

    By the way, even BMW gets caught up in technology hype. The 540i (and M5) use recirculating ball steering, rather than the rack and pinion of the 530i and virtually all other performance sedans. Try telling me that an Acura TL is a better steering car than the 540i. Ha!
  • I just helped an associate buy (locate) a 03 Maxima GLE with all options including the Nav (which is almost impossible to find) for a price of 28,400 + TTL.

    We didn't have to work very hard for that price. Our dealer (in SE Wisconsin) said he'd do 26,800 for the Loaded Max GLE without Nav but she's insisting on the Nav. They are projecting delivery in mid February.

    Check out the Maxima pricing on Three years ago I priced out the Max I wanted on CarsDirect and printed out the price sheet from the web site and just went in to my local dealer and asked if he could beat their price. He did and I bought my 00 SE from him on the spot.
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    I also considered the nav but found the buttons and controls fuzzy. It is cd (rather than dvd) based and the unit displaces the cd changer so that the latter has to be placed in the trunk. I prefer the nav in the Acura RL, which has a bigger screen and more user friendly. I heard the new Accord's nav is even better in that it has voice recognition so that you can activate the features thru voice rather than touch. Unless the Max improves the current nav's configuration and features, I don't think there is a big demand for this rather expensive option.

    Habitat, as I have noted in earlier posts, I still find the Max suspension inferior. I heard the SE's suspension is way to firm ("jaw breaking and teeth rattling"). My GLE's suspension isn't that bad, except over rough roads where you will feel the bounces and hops, but the car is still able to maintain decent control. If you want a 100% Japanese made car with good performance and reliability and a very tempting price, you should act soon. IMHO, the BMWs are nice, but they can't beat the Max for value and reliability.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    kennyg5: I have to take a comment "jaw breaking and teeth rattling" regarding the SE suspension with a truckload of salt. This obviously comes from somebody who would do better in a wallowing Buick than a sports sedan. I wonder what would happen to them in my Honda S2000 - their head would pop completely off??

    I acknowledge that in the past 8 years, the multi-link rear beam vs. IRS on the Maxima seems to have gone from being touted as a handling positive (based upon the June 1994 Car and Driver review of the then new 1995 Maxima SE) to a marketing detriment. However, in 132k+ miles, I've never had a problem maintaining more than "decent control" with my Maxima. Rather, I have greatly appreciated its more sporting characteristics compared to its competitors at that time. As I stated previously, my interest is in how the 2003 Maxima SE stacks up against its current crop of competitors, handling wise. IRS or not, I would like a car that drives tight and flat. I'd rather feel the road than endure body roll. There are a lot of FWD IRS alternatives out there, but do any really give the 2003 Maxima SE 6-speed a run for it's money on the sporting factor?

    nissangirl: Did you shop any alternatives to your 2003 Maxima SE? How does the 2003 compare to your former 2000? Do you wear a neck brace or have you lost any teeth yet?

    I have no false impressions that a 2003 Maxima SE 6-speed at $26k loaded will be as tight or offer the driving dynamics of a 530i 5-speed sport at $44k. But I could probably justify keeping my Honda S2000 based upon the price savings.
  • From my experience with the Maxima you will not feel a huge difference between the IRS and the Maxima's beam suspension on flat surfaces. The difference will be if you are taking a corner and you hit a bump. If you are in a car with IRS only the tire that actually hits the bump will be affected whereas in the Maxima your whole rear suspension will be impacted.

    While the rear axle probably woudln't make a difference to the majority of people I think that not having a independent rear suspension is a glaring ommission in a car that is supposed to be a "premium sports sedan".
  • I only compared my '03 SE to my previous Max's and I will admit I test drove a '03 Camry that absolutely SUCKED. First of all, they didn't even have any V6's in stock and didn't know when they would even arrive, if ever. So all I had to compare was the V4 Camry, and it appeared to have no horses, only turtles, past 50 mph.

    I live in a town that does not have BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Volvo dealerships, so I could not compare those - only wish I could have. I prefer to buy my vehicle locally.

    I have NEVER had a wreck...KNOCK ON WOOD! So, No, I have never worn a neck brace, nor have I lost any teeth. And I have been a Maxima (all SE's) owner since 1988.
  • exbyexby Posts: 11
    It doesn't matter where the car will be built nissangirl. Location has no baring whether the car will be builit well or not. What does matter is WHO is building the car. Go ahead and buy the next Max. It's being made in a brand new factory. I'd buy it for sure.
  • berbelberbel Posts: 167
    I don't get all this criticism of how poorly the SE
    rides....teeth rattling...bone jarring, etc. etc.
    It's simple......if that tighter, flatter riding
    suspension is not your cup of tea then no one is
    forcing you to buy one! Try an RL or an Avalon or
    a GLE if you want that softer, cushy ride. Anyone
    of those are really great cars that will give you
    the type of ride you're looking for. Quit whining.

    Anonymousposts: Ditto.....I agree with your assessment of the beam suspension. Nissan touted
    it because they built it. Let's get real. Common
    sense dictates that they were not going to build
    a car and then say "Hey motoring enthusiasts, we've
    got this really great car called the Maxima but
    the beam suspension we put in the rear end really
    stinks!!" If they go to an IRS with the '04 model
    it will be one of the most dynamic structural im-
    provements they could make. Just my 2 cents adjusted to a dime for inflation.

  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    The rental SE I drove (it was an 02) rode a little softer than my 02 Jetta with 17" tires and sport suspension. Any time you firm up the suspension and put larger tires on a car, it's going to increase the firmness of the ride. Anyone knows that, I thought. If you don't like the way the SE rides, get the GLE.
  • aggiedogaggiedog Posts: 238
    02 SE: After six weeks I finally got the stereo replaced today because of the left side speakers. When I tried to load the CD's in to check out the speakers, the CD didn't work at all. They then put my old radio back in and ordered a new one. When I loaded the CD's in the old radio, the left side speakers now work fine and sound as good as the right side. Strange. Maybe the problem is not with the radio but with the installation from the factory. Why else would the speakers work now? I will probably take the replacement anyway when it comes in, but I just wanted to put it out there to anyone who has not had their radio replaced yet.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I think build location is more important than you think. None of the foreign manufacturers I'm aware of haven't had initial quality problems with models that they have tried to build in the US.

    Back in 1994, when I bought a Japanese made 1995 Maxima SE, Honda and Toyota were still having fit and finish and some mechanical problems with their US built Accords and Camrys. It wasn't devastating to either company, but it hurt their otherwise exceptional reputations for awhile.

    In the case of the ML320 and Z3, ask any (honest) senior executive from MB or BMW and they will tell you horror stories. One of my neighbors is the senior government affairs exec with Daimler Chrysler and even his own ML320 had fit and finish unbefitting to Mercedes. I have heard rumors that the Motorsports Division of BMW didn't want to send their "M" engines to Spartansburg for insertion into the former Z3 based M Roadster because they were not being built to the same quality standards as the rest of thier German made counterparts (i.e. M3 & M5). The fact that the Honda S2000 is mostly hand built in limited numbers in Tochigi (rated one of the highest quality plants in the world) factored into my purchase decision, especially after hearing the less than glowing reviews of the Z3 quality control.

    Nissan has had some time to work out the production bugs with their US built Altimas for a couple of years, so perhaps the 2004 Maxima quality won't suffer. I hope not.
  • Honda has been building Accords since the at least the mid 80's (they actually started exporting Accord LX-i's to Japan in 88) and Camrys have been built in the US since 1988. If either brand had quality control issues in 94 (I can't recall any) it was not the result of being produced in the US. In fact, 90-93 Accords are one of the most sought after models in the used car market along with the 92-96 Camrys. I have not seen any substantial information that shows any quality decline in Honda or Toyota as a result of being built in the US. They have both been building cars here for almost 20 years, and have all along been regarded as the best built sedans in their class.
  • My 99 Acura 3.0 CL that was built in the States was a rattle fest! Also, none of the body panels lined up very good either. I had to take it to the dealership many times for rattles and shakes. I had 29K on it when I got rid of it.

    My 02 Maxima SE has 23K and has not been to the dealer for any fit, finish or rattle issues. The thing is a tank. I won't be getting rid of this car for awhile!

  • rrrevrrrev Posts: 2
    When I bought my 2001 Maxima SE 20th AE, I was also looking at the WRX, Passat and the Acura TL. I chose the Maxima, in large part, because it gave me the best sporty-to-practicality ratio, aside from the WRX, which was in short supply at the time, and felt a little 'cheap'. As it turns out, it appears that my Maxima (15K miles, loaded) has kept its value the worst of the group, in some cases by far. In fact, it cost more than the WRX new, and now is worth less. Am I missing something, or are Maximas a depreciation nightmare?
  • They are a depreciation nightmare. Here a $28,000 SE is advertised for $21,000. Heavy discounts and special interest rates will wreck havoc on any car, the Maxima is one of them.
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    I think Maxima's depreciation is about average. However, if a brand new 02 $28k Max can actually be bought for $21k, it sounds quite pathetic. Likewise, you can now buy a brand new 02 Acura RL, which has an MSRP of $43k, for only $34k. Although I have not done a survey, my guess is that many American-made cars depreciate at a even steeper rate than the Max or the RL.

    On the other hand, if you keep the car for 8 to 10 years (the Max can easily be kept for such time due to its reliability), the depreciation factor is of little or no significance. As I said, and I believe many of the board members agree, the Max is plenty of car for its value.

    As a testimonial (I don't get paid by Nissan for doing this but I do not mind if I get paid), my current GLE is my third Max, and I recall Nissangirl having said that her current Max is her 4th, and there must be quite a few members out there on this Board who are repeat buyers and owners of multiple Maxs. Depreciation notwithstanding, the Max retains its faithful followers despite its minor shortcomings and the fact that we are still awaiting for that purrrrfect 4-door sports dream machine.
  • Kennyg5 - good point on depreciation being a moot point if you keep the car for 8 -10 years.

    Of course the Max is not in a unique situation since many other manufacturers are offering incentives/discounts on their new models which leads to the lower resale value.

    For those who place a premium on resale value, the Max may not be for you, but it does have alot of other qualities that are worth a look.
  • My wife has a 2000 Maxima SE and she was quoted a price of $72 by our local Nissan dealer for installing the microfilter. Her car has 15,000 miles on it, and I understand that it's time to change it. Does it need to be changed at 15,000 miles? Does this price sound about right? Is it that hard to change yourself? If it's not hard, are there any on-line instructions available that walk you through it? Many thanks in advance.
  • On they have the filter for $44.95 and instructions on how to install it.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Another factor that hurts the Max is that some rental fleets are now stocking them. That hurts the resale of any car.
  • nabinabi Posts: 15
    Hi, all. I got a 03 Max SE auto for my wife today. It looks sharp, and she likes it. We tried Altima 2.5, but interior was not impressive. GXE base was our first choice, but empty space for fog lamps was killer. Dealer was asking $300 for the lamps. After all, we settled with SE by paying $650 over GXE base. This is what I got.
    SE auto, trunk mat, floor mats, splash guards
    MSRP: $26,456
    Paid: $22,500 +tax($1,125), tag&title($136), processing fee($25)
    I had gap insurance($299). $0 down, $0 payment for 90days, 2.9%APR for 60 months...
    Did I do OK with the purchase?

    The dealer also recommended Nissan's extened warranty, but I did not make decision on it. Is it any better than ones from 3rd party warranty companies?
    How do you think?

    Any way, I hope it would not cause any problem.
  • With all the super financing deals (0 down, 0 for 60 months) consumers are trading in their autos and purchasing new. This effects the resale value on all cars. Let's face it. There is a GLUT of preowned cars of all types on the market right now. Take your pick and get a super deal - whether its brand new and totally interest free, or slightly owned with thousands to be had in savings. But don't make your choice based on resale value! Find the car you love and you won't worry about parting with it.
  • Thanks for your reply and the links. I looked at the installation instructions. Considering the part itself sells discounted at $45, $27 for professional installation isn't unreasonable. Looks like you have to fiddle with the airbag wires, which I sure wouldn't want to mess up, so I'll probably have the dealer do it. Thanks again.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Sounds like you got a great deal - that works out to about $1,200 under invoice, if my math is correct. I'm assuming your price included the $1,000 rebate??

    Interesting that you got 0 options. That's how I justified getting my 1995 SE 5-speed over an Altima when I was on a tight budget. Only option I got was anti-lock brakes (since became standard) at a whopping $1,000. But they've paid for themselves by avoiding a few encounters with idiot drivers. I don't think I've seen more than one or two other SE's without a sunroof since I bought mine.

    As for the extended warranty, I personally advise against it. Finally, at 8 years and 130k+ miles, I've had two repair items - water pump ($550) and starter ($420). But, prior to that I had absolutely nothing go that would have been covered by an extended warranty. It seems from others I've talked to that the Maxima is about as reliable as they come and if some occasional fluke doesn't pop up in the first 3 years or 36k miles, your'e probably good for another 100k after that.
  • I got the same price on my '03 SE (Dark Gray) w/Frost Leather. However, my interest rate is 3.9%, so you got a better deal on your financing than me.

    What color did you get?

    Enjoy the ride.
  • nabinabi Posts: 15
    It includes $1000 rebate. It had 90 miles on odo. That made me a little bit uncomfortable, but I took the car with free 3 oil changes.
    I wanted 6-speed, but it's for my wife. I got SE over GXE, but AUTO.
    Regarding the extended warranty, I'll see how my max runs for next a year or two. Thanks for your input.

    It seems that you got a better deal. I got 03 SE auto w/o leather for the money. The color is sterling mist exterior/black interior (basically gray with black interior). We like soft feel of interior fabric.
    I have not had any purchase with loan before. I guess using my credit card on everything might have helped my credit score. Well, I don't even know what my score is. I just took the APR since I was told I was quaified.

    When I testdrove SE, I did not have bumpy road. My wife may not like harder ride. Do our OEM tires play positve or negative role on a bit noisy ride? How do you guys like your Bridgestone RE92 tires?

  • jimxojimxo Posts: 423
    The new Maxima is not for me. I'm glad I just purchased my new Lexus GS430.

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