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Nissan Maxima



  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    Dklanecky, thanks for your suggestion. It appears that the Bridgestone Blizzard WS-50 are great snow tires for their price. I was surprised that the rims sold at Tirerack are more expensive than the tires themselves. For a set of Blizzard tires plus the "cheapest" rims, the price is over $1000, excluding shipping charges.

    Aristotle, the 03 Max is a much faster car than any Camry, but the ride get can gittery if you go over bumpy roads. Overall, the Max is more fun to drive, but if you live in NY or NJ, be aware that the beautifully bright HIDs are magnets for low life thieves. So far, the only "recall" I am aware of are the HIDs (Nissan is adding a steel bracket to the HID housing and data-doting it with VIN), but the recall applies only to NY and NJ Max owners (at this time).
  • nasknask Posts: 2
    Hello All,

    I might be asking a question that's been asked before , but couldn't find any answer that satisfied me.

    I have a 2001 Maxima SE with about 26k miles on it, while I am totally satisfied with the car, the milage is bad - I get about 17 miles a gallon in city and may be 20-22 miles for highway driving - some said it might be due to the way I drive which might be some what true on a high way as I tend to drive fast(blame it on the fast car ;))but on city roads I am driving only as fast as any other guy

    Any suggestions to improve the milage (not at the cost of the performance) are welcome and appreciate your time
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I also have a 4th generation Maxima (1995 SE) and have seen a lot of posts complaining about the 2002/2003 brakes/rotors. In general, I've also heard it said by many that the 4th generation was the best and that the 2000/2001 and 2002/2003 versions backslid in terms of build quality and reliability.

    The Camry V6 is a Japanese Buick. I'd consider an Acura TL as a more attractive alternative to the Maxima than any Toyota.
  • Thanks to both of you for your responses. Now, your comments make me wonder if the 2003 Maxima is worth buying. Is 2003 V6 Altima a better vehicle than the 2003 Maxima? How about 2004 Camry SEV6?

    Ideally I would like to buy the 2004 Acura TL but it is far more expensive, isn't it?
  • monte4monte4 Posts: 101
    The 03 Maxima SE is great car and most condsidering it want cross the Camry(different strokes for different folks Max more enthusiast, Cam more cruiser type)and actually on the quality side the Max isnt bad. The ride isnt bad and the rear beam is much improved over the 4th gens rear beam and it is not nearly as jittery as the 4th gen over rough roads and on smooth roads its great. As far as Maximas go the 3rd gen 89-94 was the best quality Maxima not the 4th gen, back then they used high quality materials and great paint. By the time the 4th gen cam around Nissan was in Trouble and initiated several cost cutting measures and it is noticeable if you compare a 3rd gen interior to a 4th gen interior 5th gen quality on par with 4th gen. With the 6th gen 04 Max for a car in this price range the materials are a bit subpar.
  • bowke28bowke28 Posts: 2,185
    very few people actually cross-shop a maxima...maxima buyers want a maxima. period. in the old days (90's) the maxima was a competitor to the camry, but i think you are out of date. the altima is now the camry competitor.
  • I have an 02 SE. Previously I had a 01 4 cyl Accord. I never considered a camry. In comparison to the Accord......There is more windnoise in the max but the max corners much better, ride is noticeably more "stiff", and the power is just..........too much fun. BUT these are things I like about it (other than the windnoise). In my area, a used 03 SE Max is running about $3,000 less than a used 03 V6 Altima. Did I consider an Altima - no, I had ALWAYS wanted a Max. To each his own,
  • Its interesting, but I've noticed lots of comments like "I really never thought about a Maxima until I drove it..." on message boards such a this from current owners. Put me in the same group for if it hadn't been for a rental '04 Maxima SE, I'd be buying another Accord next year. My plan now is for a Max!
  • bowke28bowke28 Posts: 2,185
    im just commenting based on my sales experience. one of the first questions i ask is "what other models are you considering?" to which most people reply "nothing else...just the best price on a maxima"

    i didnt mean most people already have a maxima...just that they are not considering anything else.
  • a bit off-topic, but have you Nissan dealers been given a preview of the '05 Pathfinder? There is a teaser pic over at and it looks very much like the Dunehawk concept.
  • bowke28bowke28 Posts: 2,185
    we know that it will come out this spring...we know it will be bigger, with an optional 3rd row, and likely will have the 4 liter from the QX4...but we have no other information whatsoever.
  • concept appears to have three rows of seats too. I guess we'll have to wait and see it at the NAIAS in January.
  • monte4monte4 Posts: 101
    I dont know what you are talking about as far as my comment "out of date", I make no mention of the Max being a competitor to the Cam or even mention the Alti(I did say that most want/wont/dont cross shop them read my comment). I work for Nissan Motor corp as Business Analyst for your info the Max has never been a direct competitor to the Camry throughout the 90's it was the Cressida/Avalon. The Stanza/Altima was Nissans answer to the Camry although a tad smaller that was it.
  • kenm8kenm8 Posts: 71
    My wife and I have purchased 4 sedans since 1995 (most recently Oct 2003) and have generally cross-shopped the Accord, Camry and Maxima. We have never considered the Altima in the same category as the Accord and Camry. I know other people of the same opinion. I submit that the marketplace and potential customers determine cross-shopping patterns.
  • i agree before the new altima came out in 2002, you wouldnt cross shop the altima with camry and accord..but i think that has changed.

    before 2002, i viewed the altima as a cheaper nissan, not in the class as the maxima..but since the maxima is now, in the range of $30G's, and altima offer a v6 with 240hp, and if i'm looking for a sedan in the $25G range, it would be the accord (i would never buy the 4 door accord though) vs the altima, and probably throw in the Mazda6s in the mix..not passat since they're almost 30's
  • bowke28bowke28 Posts: 2,185
    the issue now is that the altima (post-2002) is the same size, price, and similarly equipped as the camry/accord. also, if you look at the 2004 maxima, its in a whole other league than the camry/accord.
  • The older Altimas were more of a match for the pre-1992 compact size Camry. The Cressida and Maxima were rivals until the Cressida was dropped.

    Then there was overlap with Camry V6, Avalon, and Maxima pricing. The current Altima was almost going to be called the Maxima, but Nissan reconsidered, phew!
  • I just bought a 2004 SE and had wheel locks put on at the dealership the next day. When I drove home I noticed on turns and speed bumps I would hear a thump or something loose in the rear left side. Any idea what this might be? What could the dealer have done by just putting on wheel lock lug nuts? I am taking the car back in the morning.
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    I agree with Kyle that with the 04 Max selling at $30k, the "traditional" Max owners may now want to cross shop the Accord and Camry because the latter two can be had at around $25k.

    I think Nissan has put itself in a difficult position because the 04 Max is not really in the same league as the 04 Acura TL or Lexus ES 330, and the Max is not usually cross shopped against the Avalon, which caters to a different audience, even though the prices of the two cars are quite close. Rather the Max is more of an in-betweener that is not quite entry luxury, but is slightly more upscale than the Camcords.

    Talking about value, I think the Camcords beat the 04 Max even if it sells at invoice. Albeit the Max is a more powerful car, an average driver does not really need that much power in everyday driving. Further, the Camry provides a more comfortable (though a bit sedated) ride, which fits well with many woman and senior drivers. Also, the Accord provides a good compromise between the Max and the Camry in terms of ride comfort, handling and performance, and as such, is a crowd pleaser, as is evidenced by its popularity as the top selling family sedan.

    Nissan has to rethink its strategy carefully as far as how the Max should be placed in the Nissan/Infinity line up. As we all know, the Max used to be Nissan's flagship and best selling sedan. Now, with the G35 and Altima taking away a chunk of the would be Max buyers, the Max may just linger in obscurity. The 04 Max is only six months old, but it is already selling at or close to invoice. This does not bold well for the Max, especially when compared with the hot selling TL, which is supposedly Max's close competitor.
  • i would look long and hard at the accord (i only like the 2door, hate the 4 door) if my budget was $25G, the v6 accord with leather is one nice car, it might not be "luxo", but it's sure near the level my 2k maxima gle is..

    if i HAD to get a 4 door at that price, i would get the Mazda6s... maybe an Altima v6

    at $30G, i would go for a 04 I35 (i know it's old, but there's nothing else out there for $30),or maybe a Passat i know the saab 9-3 is around this range, but not my cup of tea..

    in the $35, i would go for a TL, G35, ES330 ..

    the point being, nowhere did i mention maxima, because afterall, it's a Nissan.. why would i pay a premium price for a non premium car? and this is from a huge maxima fan prior to the 2004 model year....lets' face it, acura, lexus, infiniti is a notch above nissan, if i had to pay a price that could get me one of those mentioned, is it wise to spend it on a nissan?

    maxima = sad turn for vehicle with a solid history (nissan's bad marketing and poor product positioning)
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    Looking at your last post, I understand why you want the 03 Max :-) For its price (I got mine last year at $26.5k before TTL), performance and content, it is a pretty desirable car.
  • I have always liked the a matter of fact, my step grandparents are avid Maxima owners. They will buy no other car. Period!

    Don't even bring up the new Accord I am getting. They wouldn't have it.

    To me the Maxima has always been one of those niche family sedans. It just doesn't fit into one particular category.

    I can see people comparing the Maxima to the Accord, Camry (V6 models), TL and even the G35. Some people do not pay attention about RWD and horsepower. I do, but I can't afford to :)

    To me the Maxima has always been more luxurious than the Accord and Camry, but it became most apparent to me in 2002 when they facelifted the 5th gen model. They added Xenons and memory seats to the GLE and an optional navi system. At that time, no other midsize family sedan offer those options. That has changed now though. Camry and Accord offer this system today.

    The new Maxima to me seems less luxurious than the 5th gen and the quality to me is not as good, but I still like the car simply because it is a Maxima. The quality of the Maxima has been going down lately.

    As someone previously stated, the 3rd gen was by far the best quality-wise, and to me the 4th gen was worse than the 5th, and the 6th is worse than any of them. Not as bad as pictures make it, but definately not up to near-luxury sedan standards. The 5th gen was close though.

    Would I consider the new Maxima...yes...but not fully equipped. I would love to find a fully loaded 02 or 03 SE 6spd w/o Navi.

    The older Maximas were better values than the new one because they offered so much as standard equipment. Xenon headlights were standard on the lowly GXE model in 2002, now they are optional on the SE. Memory seats used to be standard on the GLE, now they are optional on the SL, which is just crazy IMO. If a car cost this much, these options should be standard.
    I am aware that new things have been added, but for the price of this car, many of the optional features should be standard.

    Although I never thought I would say this, I actually like the skyview.

    And as wierd as it may sound, the new Maxima would be nice looking if not for that front end, which should be fixed ASAP.

    Have a good one
  • believe it or not, I've seen on the net.. i believe on, someone had changed their brand new 04 max grill... it's one of those that have bars running hortizonally, aftermarket grills you see sometimes on Ford Expedition's.

    it's actually very tolerable..
  • bowke28bowke28 Posts: 2,185

    i have to disagree...the maxima with the driver preferred package rivals the build quality and equipment of a top-of-the-line TL, and is priced accordingly. you can get an SL with elite package (navigation, rear buckets w/heated seats, rear windowshade, etc...) for under $34k. none of the 'near-luxury' competitors you mentioned offer anything that even resembles this.


    the problem nissan has is that they havent made many people aware that the altima actually offers MORE size and features than the previous generation maxima.

    having said that, most of the people that cross-shop the altima and maxima end up buying the altima.
  • you know, you're right... i didn't know there were more room in the altima than my current maxima.. intersting...
  • monte4monte4 Posts: 101
    Well bowke the 02-04 Altima doesnot offer more features than the 02/03, but may be on par with the 00/01 Max but its quality is not no where near 5th gen Max standards. 02/03 Maxima offered; Memory seats(not avail on Alti),Nav(not avail on Alti),Hids,trip computer standard(optional on 3.5 Altima) and some other itmes not offered on the Altima SL or 3.5 and once again a much higher quality interior. The 02/03 Max was as well a clear step above the 02-04 Altima in quality and features and the 04 just seperated them a bit further.
  • bowke28bowke28 Posts: 2,185
    you are right...those features were "offered". but the car that was discussed at $26k had cloth interior, base engine, and none of the things you mentioned. the altima SE with leather can be had at that price with a good negotiator. that includes auto climate (not on the base max), bose cd changer (also not on the base max), leather and heated seats (not on the base max), more head room, leg room, trunk space, horsepower, etc...

    if you loaded up a maxima in '02-'03, you still take yourself well over the $30k plateau.
  • There is a company called Grille Tech that makes a really great mesh grille for older Maximas. They don't have one yet for the 6th Generation, but its only a matter of time. It looks very much like the mesh grille on the Cadillac CTS-V or Jaguar XJR. Plus, its only $50 or $60 bucks. Very hot.
  • kenm8kenm8 Posts: 71
    My wife wanted a new car to replace her 2001 Acura TL. Having owned Accords in the past and having a 97 Max SE in our current stable, she decided to test drive an 04 Accord EX V6 and an 04 Max SE. The drives included city and highway roads as well as twisty backroads. We skipped the Camry cross-shopping test drive this time. She liked the Accord in all regards. She found the Max less desirous because of the downgrade in design and quality of interior/dashboard/controls and handling. The engine power was substantial, maybe too much, but not in overall harmony with the car. The 04 Max did not have the balance and maneuverability that we have come to appreciate on the 97 Max. The 04 almost seemed ponderous in comparison.

    She then test drove the 04 Acura TL and easily concluded that its qualities were better than the Max and Accord. We understood that the TL was marketed and sold in a different category/class than the Max and Accord and felt that the additional cost of the TL was acceptable to us. She bought the TL and is very pleased.

    Our 97 Max is a very fine car and is so far almost bulletproof at 153K Mi. After driving the 04 Max and looking at/sitting in the 04 Altima, I wonder if Nissan has lost its way with these designs.
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