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Nissan Maxima vs. Honda Accord



  • beanctrbeanctr Posts: 99
    The Maxima's engine is designed to run on Unleaded Premium (91 octane). The instruction manual (for 02 Maxima) states if unleaded premium is not available, unleaded regular can be used. Granted, the instruction manual also states that unleaded premium should be used for maximum performance. Weighing these two comments and taking into account some of you have stated that you are currently using unleaded regular, I see no problem with this for the short term. However, I question whether doing this over the long term is good for the engine. Using lower octane gas will cause the engine to retard the timing to avoid knocking. I have heard (from a mechanic) that this is not good for the engine if it is having to do this on a frequent basis. Any thoughts?
  • speedracer3speedracer3 Posts: 650
    "History showed that governments and companies don't change their policies for decades. From my point of view the 1997 Maxima I owned was not a different car from what the Maxima is today"

    You are wrong, the 1997 was a totally different car than the current Maxima, and the company has gone through a total overhaul in the ealry 2000's.

    Let's talk about tranmissions, Honda can't seem to build a good automatic transmission. My old '89 Civic jerked you abruptly when the car shifted between first and second. I test drove a 2000 Accord auto when I was shopping for my next car and Honda still has not fixed the problem. Honda makes a good stick shift, but what's the use, since you can't get it on a V6 sedan. Your only choice is Nissan here. BTW...the 2004 Maxima uses a close ratio 6 speed tranny (taken from the 350Z), that you can't even get on an Accord sedan.

    Let's talk suspensions. Sure, the Accord suspension is more sophisticated, more expensive. But it is tuned for "boredom", the ride totally aliantes the driver from an enjoyable driving experience. I don't care how much the suspension costs, the suspension tunning on the Maxima is just head over heels more enjoyable to drive than a Camry or Accord. Anyway...all of suspension talk is moot since the 2004 Maxima comes with a fully independent suspension.
  • mjw24mjw24 Posts: 8
    Hello everyone,

    I've been reading the boards on this fantastic website for a few months now in an attempt to come to a decision between the 2003 Accord EX V-6 and the Maxima GXE or SE (can't afford the GLE). And the more I read the more confused I become.

    Postiives for the Accord include an excellent reputation for reliability and safety. Fuel economy is pretty good for a V-6. The interior is nicely laid out and the seats are comfortable. And resale values are very good (although I plan on keeping my new car for 5-8 years). Negatives include the styling (awful back end), it rides like my wife's Odyssey (I'd like something a little more "fun" to drive), and it's pretty expensive relative to my budget ($22-24K).

    Positives for the Maxima include the the styling (I love this car), the award winning engine, and the currently low prices for the '03s. The negatives for this car are poorer than expected gas mileage, premium gas requirement, lack of side and curtain air bags, paint problems, and the overall cost to maintain the car including insurance and the famous headlight theft problems.

    Maybe I should try and hold out and find an '03 GLE at a rock bottom clearance price so I could get the side airbags and traction control (very concerned about safety).

    Bottom line is I'm looking for a sporty sedan that I can haul my young family around in that is still fun to drive and is safe.

    My head says Accord, my heart says Maxima.
  • speedracer3speedracer3 Posts: 650
    Go with the car you enjoy more, after all you will have to drive that car for at least 5 years. If you go with a 03 Maxima keep in mind that you should be able to get invoice or below on the outgoing model.

    Good luck
  • jcw915jcw915 Posts: 31

    If safety is your number one concern, go to
    Also, if safety is very important to you, I do not recommend a maxima. Try volvos, volkswagen, lexus, mercedes, toyota, 04 accord. If your budget is around 25k, I would recommend you buying a used 2000+ mercedes E class or C class with low milage. Those cars are built like a tank.

    If you're going to drive a car to the bottom, then there's no point in worrying about resale value.

    The SE comes with SIDE AIRBAGS as an option. IT is the titanium edition option. I don't recommend the GLE. The transmission isn't as responsive as the SE. Also, for the price of GLE, you can probably haggle 8 hours at an Infiniti dealer for a I35 for the same price as the GLE, AND they'll have better service then the nissan dealers.
  • jcw915jcw915 Posts: 31
    Come on guys stop aruging about the freakin accord vs maxima. It's pretty hard to compare the 2003 accord with the 04 maxima. The price difference is ALMOST 10,000 after the options. Might as well wait for the 2004 acura tl and then compare it to the maxima.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421

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  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    When you said "current" Maxima, were you referring to the '03 or '04? If you meant the '03, then I'd say there's not a whole lot of difference between that the '97. Just more power, a few of luxury items -- and more torque steer. Nissan more or less just tweaked the styling from 1999 - 2000.
  • speedracer3speedracer3 Posts: 650
    "Nissan more or less just tweaked the styling from 1999 - 2000"

    Not so, Nissan totally re-designed the Maxima in 2000. The engine was the same but was totally tweeked, and the suspension was modified for the larger car. Go drive a '97 and then a 2000, two different animals.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I did. I stand by my opinion that there is not a whole lot of difference. They may have done more than just some styling changes, but overall it was more tweaking than redesigning. Now, from '03 to '04 -- that's a redesign.
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    Didn't Nissan up the horespower from 190 to 222 from the 99 to 00 model year for the Max? Also between the 01 and 02 Maxima model years they upped the horsepower again from 222 to 260. I guess the 260 was to match the Acura TL Type S horsepower.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Actually the final increase was to 255. Funny thing though was that performance did not improve by the same degree that you would expect with that much stated HP increase.
  • tedescm1tedescm1 Posts: 309
    I recently test drove a new 04 Maxima and I think the exterior of the car is really well done (except the grill). The interior of the car is quite a different story…it’s down right cheep.

    If one compares the interiors of the new Accord and the new Maxima, the Accord wins by a long shot. By the way the Honda is about 6 or 7 k less!
  • speedracer3speedracer3 Posts: 650
    Personally, I'd rather have the G35.


    We agree to disagree.
  • tedescm1tedescm1 Posts: 309
    I would also rather have the G-35.

    However, it's about 35K!
  • monte4monte4 Posts: 101
    The 00/01 or the 02/03 share no body parts with the 95-99 and is a totally different looking vehicle from the front to the rear and look as different as the 95 does to 00 and 00 to 04. As far as the power increase for 02 their is a noticeable diffrence in performance vs the 95-01's especially with the automatic. Guys are running 0-60 in the mid 6's whereas the older ons are mid to high 7's which is a considerable difference and the lowend torque/pull is so much better. Hell auto 350Z are running low 6's to 60 and manuals mid 5's and manual 02/03's to 60 in High 5's to about 6 expect the the 04 Maxima to be on par with the 02/03's I dunno what some expect out of the Max but it delivers well for what it is. go to if you have doubt plenty of things to show/prove the differences!
  • maxamillion1maxamillion1 Posts: 1,467
    Well, that's like saying that the Accord wasn't redesigned. Is it not? The Maxima received a new Interior, new exterior, more power, and it was roomier than the model before it. A facelift is only when you update the front and rear end, and mayber add some new features. The 2000 Maxima WAS a redesign.

    Again, if the 2000 Maxima wasn't a redesign, the new Accord surely isn't because in some ways it still looks similar to the previous Accord, plus don't they share the SAME suspension?
  • speedracer3speedracer3 Posts: 650

    You can pick up a G35 without leather, for around $27K.


    We both know that the 2000 Maxima was a re-design. It seems that Honda owners are "all knowning" about Honda and about Nissan as well...let's not burst their bubble...ignorance is bliss.
  • mikek37mikek37 Posts: 411
    A G35 for 27k, I dont think so!
  • A reliable way of knowing a complete redesign from a facelift is noting the door and window appearance, especially the C pillar. It's because the door & window assembly is one of the more expensive body parts due to the parts associated with it like the glass and various mechanisms.

    Carmakers are either masters or amateurs of carbuff psychology in the way they treat car windows. Ford, for example, changed all body panels except the doors & windows on one Taurus generation and to the car enthusiast, the car was just a rehash. Ditto for Explorers. Audi, on the other hand, gets the windows right (particularly the A6) and their cars are forever regarded as beautiful - if not problematic.

    On the 2000 & 1999 Maxima, Edmunds' photos indicate a complete redesign based on this reasoning.
  • lmp180psulmp180psu Posts: 393
    mikek37 is correct about probably not being able to get a G35 coupe or sedan for 27K unless you are a really great negotiator, or have friends at Infiniti. According to Edmunds, the TMV for a base auto sedan and manual/leather coupe is about 28K for the sedan and 29.5K for the coupe. Still a great deal for a person that doesn't want to drive what everyone else drives (BMW), and the G35 may make it tough for Nissan to sell 04 Maximas for 30-35K.
  • mikek37mikek37 Posts: 411
    Good point.I would also choose the G35 over the 328i and the max.
  • speedracer3speedracer3 Posts: 650
    Infiniti typically marks up their cars about 9% from invoice. MSRP of a G35 sedan is $28,345 (with destination). Invoice on the car should be $25,843 (with destination). I don't think it takes a genious to offer $1,000 or $1,500 over invoice and drive off the dealership with a $27K or $27.3K G35.
  • mikek37mikek37 Posts: 411
    You are not driving the car off the lot for 27.3, youll be lucky to hit 30-31K after taxes. Doesnt make sense to say you are taking the car off the lot without including taxes and what not. Hell, if the G35 was 27K, I wouldn't have bought my accord.
  • speedracer3speedracer3 Posts: 650
    You pay tax, tag, tittle on any car you buy. I was talking about the negotiated price of the car. Unlike what others said, you CAN negotiate and get a G35 for a ~27K selling price. So if it makes you feel better, it's $27K + TTL.
  • mikek37mikek37 Posts: 411
    Much better.. lol..
  • anonymouspostsanonymousposts Posts: 4,202
    Saw a 2004 Max at the auto show and did not like the sunroof going front to back on the roof. It also had hard plastic and the exterior is love it or hate it.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Maxima has had love it or hate it styling since the '95 redesign. Oh, there's that "redesign" word Nissan fans love to see! I guess my bubble's been burst, whatever that means.

    BTW, in retrospect, I suppose the 2000 did qualify as a redesign (that word again!). My mistake on that count. I guess my memory was clouded since the broomstick rear suspension was carried over.
  • speedracer3speedracer3 Posts: 650
    Hey, nobody's perfect, Nissan used beam suspensions. Honda built self destructing auto trannies. Toyota's engines gunked up. Thankfully, these are the top 3 Japanese manufacturers and have all corrected their issues.
  • Why does it have to be a broomstick? It's not that flimsy. It's not that bad of a ride. :)
This discussion has been closed.