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Nissan Maxima



  • cojonekacojoneka Posts: 10
    Probably getting an '02 max soon. Anyone have a ballpark price from experience of how much an extended warranty to get to roughly 7yrs/100K miles costs? I have a feeling they have a lot of wiggle room on these things and no two people pay the same price. I put so many miles that 4/50K turns out to be only a two year propostition.
    Thanks in advance for your help!
  • cojenka - Extended Warranties for most Honda's, Toyota's and Nissan's are pretty cheap because parts are cheap. Take it from me because I work at an Auto Broker. I sold a 5/60,000 warranty for an Accord Coupe V6 for $676 and that had $300 profit in it! I would figure on a price of about $1000 for a 7/100,000 but I can check on it if you would like.

    Also, cojeneka, don't listen to that salesman! He is trying to "tee you up"! A good price on that SE would probably be about $700 to $800 over invoice or just wait until there are more on the lot.

    Rich96 - If you pay that much for adding Homelink, I will ring your neck! :)

    2002 Maxima SE
  • bdlfebdlfe Posts: 21
    I would stick with premium, especially for the V6 and the output of the car.

    I'm getting 20-22 mpg mixed driving. The trip computer gives a little higher, like 23-25 mpg, but I think that's based on the average mileage when you check it. Other people previously stated on this forum that they got 20 mpg and another 27 mpg. I have yet to take my Max on complete highway for an extended trip, but i guess should be able to reach 25-27. And of course I drive my Max the way it was intended!
  • ksatbjhksatbjh Posts: 14
    I bought an 02 GXE about 3 weeks ago for about $1000 over invoice. I'm sure I could have got one of the many 01's on the lot at or below,but the 02 in the show room was worth it and in the area in which I live, it's really hard to get a dealer down near invoice. I personally think the 02's styling both inside and out is a big improvement over the 01, and there are other bonuses such as the xenon head lights, nice wheels, trip computer, and improved tranny/engine that made it a no brainer.

    My previous car was a 00 Honda Accord EX 4 cyl. It got stolen, so we decided we didn't want another Honda even though it was a good car. I like the Maxima a lot more than the Honda. The engine/tranny are in a whole different league, the interior noise on rough freeway is way better, the stereo is far better, and there are numerous other small refinements. The only real negative for the Maxima is the suspension. It's nowhere near as good as the Honda's. When you're going over rough surfaces with the windows down, it sound like there's a couple sheets of plywood slapping together under the trunk, and the steering has a clunky feel to it on rough road. Put Honda's suspension on an 02 Max with a decent paint job, and you would have a SUPER Car! or not...?
  • sgrpwppsgrpwpp Posts: 3
    Picked up my black on black 02 max SE on monday afternoon. I had a 2k GXE on lease and we rolled it over into the 02. I might add that with 28,000 miles on the 2k, I did not have a single problem the entire two years. The new SE is better, better interior features - radio controls on the wheel, auto dimming mirror, gated shifter, trip computer, leather wheel etc. Really nice fit and finish also. Since I only have 150 miles on it now, I haven't even come close to opening it up...but just around town I can feel the added torque pulling off from a light. Highway is smooth and quiet. This marks the beginning of my 6th year in Maximas and they are great.
  • eflclleflcll Posts: 13
    I appreciate the feedback on this topic. My '01 GLE feels like such crap I thought I was going crazy. Appearantly, Nissan dropped the ball when it came to the suspension on this car. Can anyone tell me if the suspension on the 5th Gen SE is also bouncy.... If not, maybe I can get Nissan to put on the SE struts. I found out there are no aftermarket suspension units for this car yet
  • 92drexel92drexel Posts: 153
    That depends on what you mean by 'bouncy'. I experience severe wheel hop when hitting bumps at highway speeds. It almost like the wheels are airborne briefly. Otherwise my SE rides well. It's firm, doesn't bounce up and down when hitting dips, etc. I have very good almost great control when stopping and during high speed cornering (I've upgraded my tires to 45 series low-profiles so that helps).

    I would look at the suspension parts on They should be able to help. I think the '01s share the same suspension parts as the '00s (type 2000 if 2001 doesn't produce a list of parts).

    Don't get "SE" struts through Nissan...that'll cost you a fortune. One pair of struts through Nissan costs around $400-$500 and you'd still have to buy the other set plus the firmer springs. You'll be looking at $1500 or more. If you're gonna spend that kind of money, then you'll be better off trading your 01 on an 02.

  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    Try KYB ones, or Tokico adjustable shocks. I would only do the front and see what the difference is.
  • sysadmin1sysadmin1 Posts: 122
    I have a 00 GLE and the only problem with it is the tranny. It is the WORST!! It never holds a gear through slow acc., it always is too eager to downshift to get the power that it needs. I also have a Grand Prix GTP 3.8 S/C and that tranny just pulls hard in whatever gear you are in unless you stomp on the gas.

    The question is, is the 02 Max tranny a different one, or just the same thing with a new engine?

    Love the car, hate the tranny...thinking about 02 Max, but might wait for the 6spd just cause the auto sucks...
  • ksatbjhksatbjh Posts: 14
    It's a new one, or at least an improved one from what I understand. I've always had sticks, but this is the first automatic I've actually enjoyed driving.
  • eflclleflcll Posts: 13
    Thanks 92drexel... When I say bouncy, its what you were saying about going up & down when you hit a dip in the road, etc. With people in the rear, the car bottoms out just pulling out of my driveway and rides like crap most of the time. With one or two people its not too bad unless you're on the hiway going around a bumpy bend, another case where the handling goes to sh--. Anyway, I've looked for aftermarket suspensions and no one wants to install them 'cause they don't specifically state that they're for an '01. When I point out that the '00 is the same car, they tell me that I don't know that for sure. I imagine in time though, there will be something (Koni?) for my car specifically.
    In the meantime, I caution anyone shopping for a Maxima to really pay attention to the suspension. Its really inferior to most cars in its class and detracts alot from the driving experience! I'm very disappointed since I've finally gotten a Maxima after wanting one for a long time. Oh, and of course the Dealers don't even want to discuss what to do about this.
  • sysadmin1sysadmin1 Posts: 122
    Do you have an 02 model with the revised tranny or a 00/01 model?
  • 92drexel92drexel Posts: 153
    ef: definately has suspension parts specifically for the '01 (I just looked). They sell struts & springs at about half the price of the dealer so you'll save some $$$. They can deliver to your home or to a shop you choose. It's a really good website (I bought my wheels and tires from them earlier this year). My 00 SE doesn't bottom out like yours (you sure you don't have a bad/leaky strut? - I remember seeing a TSB for a strut problem with the max). I would take your car to a local muffler/strut shop (or a different dealership) to have them check it out before buying new struts.

    I read that the '02s tranny is 'beefed'-up to handle the extra torque produced by the 3.5l engine. No complaints about the auto tranny in my '00 (other than the TSB issue which I had corrected). I think the auto was designed to give fast and frequent downshifts because the engine's sweet spot is high in the rev range (so the engine/tranny is constantly fighting between performance and fuel economy). Your GP has around 280 lb-ft of torque (I think) so the engine is usually at or near its sweet spot in any gear. The max, by comparison, is a high revving car that needs to be revved at >4k rpm to get the most of the engine (hence the tranny tries to get there quickly).

    I think some companies sell chips that can change the shifting of the tranny (Stillen?). In either case, I would definately get the 6-speed (or wait for the rumored 5-speed auto in the next gen maxima).

    Good luck.
  • ksatbjhksatbjh Posts: 14
    I have an 02 (though technically, it's primarily my wife's vehicle).

    The two reasons I like this transmission are:
    1. I doesn't do a bunch of shifting around on hills. The only time it shifts down is when you want it to.
    2. The stair-step deal where you can work your way from D-3-2-1 is very smooth and feels almost like you're down-shifting on a manual. I hate using the brakes for everything.

    The Maxima isn't the perfect car, but it's better than my 00 Accord was and that's saying something.
  • gremitgremit Posts: 4
    Picked up my 02 Max SE two days ago-black/black, Bose, Leather, Meridian, sunroof, front side airbags, traction control, Nav system.

    I have owned 2 maximas in the past, a '94 and a '96, and those were great cars. In my opinion Nissan has made significant improvements to the car since then. We actually bought the car for my wife and she wanted the automatic, but if it were up to me I would get the 6-speed. But even with the auto the car has lots of power.
    I would like a little stiffer suspension and I think the brakes are a little soft, but I am used to my 2K 328i. Overall the car handles and drives great. The only other thing I would change is the CD changer, which you have to get with the NAV system since you can't have an in-dash CD. The changer is in the trunk, I wish it could be in the car, like in the glove compartment.
  • al57al57 Posts: 67
    need help on replacing lite in spoiler..continue to ask for help in this forum no-one seems to respond..have gone to dealer, body shop etc, no-one knows for sure they THINK the spoiler must be removed..makes no sense..can we move away from more horsepower,crappy rear suspension and how much we should pay for these cars..some people have already made the purchase and need some legitimate help! Sorry i'm a bit frustrated but cant seem to get an intelligent response
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    At you'll find multitudes of Nissan enthusiast who can help ya out.
  • mgh_1mgh_1 Posts: 22
    You can also try There are plenty of people there who do plenty of changes, modifications, etc. to their Maximas. I'm sure someone can help you there too.
  • Interesting comments on your new 02 Max, for 02 the 6 disc CD changer IS in the dash IF you don't get the Nav. system, which is how I ordered mine. The suspension isn't stiff enough...You are kidding right...The SE rides very stiff, the BMW rides much better probably because it has an independent rear suspension and the SE has a beam rear suspension. How do you like the new motor in the 02?? Sounds to me like you made a good deal...

  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    since the Camry is now a 30k car, I guess that makes the Diamante and Millenia as well as the Maxima look like good alternatives!!!!that might be much cheaper.
  • gremitgremit Posts: 4
    This is just my opinion, it doesn't mean that everyone will agree. My 328i w/ sport package handles much better than the Max SE and the suspension is stiffer. I'm not saying that the Max handles bad, I know that they are different cars. The BMW is also RWD.

    As far as the CD changer goes, with the NAV its in the trunk, I just wish they could have placed it somewhere in the car. It would make it more convenient. Its not really a big deal. I would say that the Bose system sounds better then the Harmon Kardon system in my BMW.

    The motor seems strong and so far I am impressed with it. Of course I really haven't opened it up yet.

    I think that I got a pretty good deal on the car, especially since the dealer still has a half dozen '01s still on the lot.
  • Nissan should seriously consider switching the Maxima back to RWD layout. They already have the Altima as their bread-n-butter model.
  • hi everyone... here's a question that might seem pretty dumb... but as far as i know, everytime you put your car in Drive, it's actually in Overdrive. when i press the button to turn Overdrive off... the rpms go up quite a bit. i understand that overdrive saves you gas, but my tranny sure is responsing much much quicker when i step on the gas. can someone give me some insights on the pros and cons of using and not using overdrive? i have a 2K max gle which probably needs a new TCM, but i just haven't had time and the AT doesn't slip like others have. please advise! thanks, kyle
  • very interesting!
  • kyleknicks: I've heard that turning overdrive off has something to do with the torque converter and you'll have better acceleration/passing power? Can anyone verify?
  • I heard rumors that the next all-new maxima (either '03 or '04) will be all-wheel drive (like the Audi). Think I read this at A buddy of mine who works for Nissan is hearing that the new max may also offer an optional V-8.

    I looked at the '02s today. Looks really good (better in person). I love the headlights. I think the tails look a little goofy without the spoiler (GXE and GLE models). Nissan calls them 'clears'. They are not clear...more like grey. The tails looks the best on the Sterling Mist max because they blend in with the silver paint.

    The wheels per the GLE model looks great. The wheels on the 00 and 01 SE model (17") look better than the wheels on the 02 SE (because of the center cap). The interior is a wash. I like the fact that the gauges on the 00 and 01 SE models are all white (titanium), however the 02 just the speedo and tach are white (looks kind of goofy - like Nissan couldn't make up its mind whether to keep the white or black they chose both). I'm not impressed with the gated shifter either (I thought the shifter on the 00 and 01 looks better - esp the AE). If the gated shifter was functional (i.e. a manumatic) then that would be a different story. I do like the radio and climate control changes though (although they are minor changes).

    I didn't test drive one (I was afraid to...since I only have a few years left on mine!).

    All in all...I would definately buy an 02 over an 01 (if I needed a car now). If you have an 00 or 01, I would wait for the 03 or 04 model.

    Anyway...that's my take. The max is really a nice package! I would get a Sterling Mist SE and put some nice aftermarket wheels on it...if I were looking for a new ride.
  • danny25danny25 Posts: 119
    I'm pretty sure that overdrive is just your final gear. In my 5 spd. truck on the shifter it has 1, 2, 3, 4, and OD marked, but we all know that's just 5th gear. When you turn your overdrive off, that just keeps your car from getting any higher than 3rd. It shouldn't have any effect at slower speeds, because you should be in lower gears like 2nd, and 3rd.
  • Can anyone tell me where to get invoice info on 2002 maxima. I test drove GLE and they offered me 28,100 for GLE seems a bit high. Same dealer said 25,100 for GXE
  • invoice at
  • Turning the overdrive off in your Max will make it stay in 3rd gear and not shift to 4th. Thus, your quicker response when you push on the throttle. It burns more gas because the RPMs will be running higher. I would just be careful that you don't push the RPMs too high with the overdrive off. I'm tempted to turn the overdrive off myself and test the speed of my new max, but am waiting to get to 1000 miles before I push it.
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