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Nissan Maxima vs. Honda Accord



  • I thought the Maixma was a good car, but I think the Accord is great. Maxmia handling is a lot sloppier than accord. Ride is much better in the Accord.

    A Maxima GXE is a good value, but I think a Maxima GLE can't compare to a Accord EX-L V6

    Also, I had some issues with the Maxima:

    - Horrible paint...chips if you look at it funny.
    - Ignition coils defective, causing engine knock, hurting mileage. Replaced under warranty, but a hassle
    - Radio/CD buttons failed...out of warranty (38K miles, 2 years old), $1500 to replace - unacceptable.
    - Replacing in-cabin air filter is very difficult compared to Accord

    Anyway, that's my mileage may vary.
  • pbvdqpbvdq Posts: 14
    My sister currently owns a 2002 Accord V6 and it does not compare in anyway to my 2003 SE Maxima. She loves my SE Max and wishes she didn't just buy the Accord 6 months ago.

    Before I got the Maxima, my sister would ask me to drive her Accord (when we were out together) so I have a basis for comparison. Maxima and Accord don't compare. The Maxima is much more sportier and fun looking inside and out. The Maxima's (SE) ride is a little rough due to the larger tires but the tight handling beats the Accord's hands down. Maxima barely leans (almost doesn't) when making turns, now that's sporty! Sloppy...Maxima is NOT (especially on the SE).

    I've driven both cars and I feel the difference. The SE handles great and pick up is unbeatable. Maxima out performs the Accord. Hey, don't kill me, this is just my opinion.

    Do Accords come standard with Xenon's ?
  • I'm sorry, but I've owned both, and the Maxima handling is way sloppier than the Accord body, and the ride is worse.(I'm comparing the '03 Accord to 5th Gen Maxima)

    Interior is much better in the Accord.

    Anyone with a doubt can test drive both and see for themselves.

    That said, they are both nice cars, and I would choose them over a Camry or Passat anyday.
  • However, I love my '03 Max SE, the Accord is one that I didn't test drive before my purchase, but wish I had, they just looked too little for my taste. And the front resembled the Altima. I liked the look of the Maxima better.

    Just my 2 cents worth.
  • dklaneckydklanecky Posts: 559
    Your comparing a brand new design ('03 Accord) with a 4 year old Maxima (basic design done in early '99 for '00 model year, freshened in '02).

    Not exactly apples to apples!

    How do you think the directly comparable '02 Accord would compare with the '02 Maxima? IMO, no comparison, the Maxima wins on every count(except of course the hated rear beam axel)!

    Lets get back together and compare the '04 Maxima and the '03 Accord in a few months and see how things look then?

    (This board probably will go away then since the cars will be in completely different classes.)
  • mikek37mikek37 Posts: 411
    You are correct, considering the fact the new TOP of the line Maxima will cost, as projected by Nissan , around 33,000K plus, you are correct in your assumption that the car will be in a different class. It will be in a the near luxury class, and will compete with the entry level cars from BMW and VOLVO. If I was spending nearly 30K plus, I wouldnt even consider the MAX. Thats a pretty heavy price tag for a car that wears a NISSAN tag. A fully loaded, with comparable qualities to the maxima, accord can be had for 4000K less. Not too shabby.

    So lets be honest, you cant compare the two cars, especailly considering max owners will be paying a great deal more for their cars.One more point, buy a 2004 maxima for around 33,000 or buy a nicely equipped 328ii for around 35,000, hmm, good luck comparing those two cars.
  • If the pricing wasn't a big enough hurdle, the styling would be the other for me. Being a 5th generation Maxima owner, I am having a hard time with the new Maxima's styling elements. Another dissapointment, Maxima enthusiasts expected the new Maxima to be AWD or far we got neither. I think Nissan dropped the ball with their flagship.
  • pbvdqpbvdq Posts: 14
    The '04 Max is a kind of goofy looking. I admit I haven't really gotten a good looksy, I've only seen the pictures on the internet. I think it looks like the Altima's momma (teehee).

    By the way, I don't think anyone can go wrong with the Max or the Accord, both are really great cars. I prefer the Max.

    reincarnation: What do you mean the rear beam on the Maxima is a liablity? I didn't know about that. Please educate me (tell me what you know). Am I looking at future, expensive problems with the rear beam (OOHH NOOOO!!!!)?
  • dklaneckydklanecky Posts: 559
    Here's what Motor Trend said about the new multi-link beam suspension when they awarded the 1995 Maxima the Motor Trend Import Car of the year:

    "The new Maxima benefits from a generous helping of suspension wizardry. MacPherson struts carry over up front, but the rear struts with parallel links have given way to a new Multi-Link Beam configuration with trailing arms. Lighter, more compact,, more space-efficient, and less expensive to produce, the new system also delivers tangible dynamic improvements over the one it replaces. Nissan will use this patented rear-axle design on many of its upcoming front-drive vehicles, including the new Sentra.

    The challenge facing Nissan engineers was to devise rear suspension that would deliver a properly compliant ride while preventing unwanted camber change and suspension jacking under cornering and eliminating scuff change (transverse movement of the body relative to the axle) over uneven road surfaces. Both are common problems in a conventional beam-axle design located by a simple Panhard rod. Nissan's variation on the basic theme involves two key modifications. The first substitutes a special oversize lower bushing in the Panhard rod that's stiff vertically but pliant laterally. The second piece in the puzzle is a control link (formally known as a Scott-Russell link) that connects the Panhard rod with the axle to provide additional stability. This combination ensures that the axle will only move up and down, thereby maintaining proper camber in the rear tires at all times. This unique hardware also maintains a more consistent relationship between the vehicle's roll center and its center of gravity, which contributes to a better cornering feel and less body roll, regardless of loading. Since the springs and shock absorbers no longer have to contend with as much lateral force, they can be made smaller and lighter. The result: Both ride and handling are improve. And, as an extra bonus, fewer suspension mounting points result in less noise being transmitted back into the body structure."
  • monte4monte4 Posts: 101
    Most people that buy the Max donot even cross shop the Accord ( Mainly TL,Diamante and Milenna according to what I saw). The Accord is more a person who wants a reliable nice car and the max owners are people who want a nice sporty car truly in a class of its own. Demographics: income etc Max owners tend to make al ot more money than Accord buyers and are primarily male whereas aAccords are female.
  • "Max owners tend to make al ot more money than Accord buyers and are primarily male whereas aAccords are female."

    Just curious if above statement is hard data-based or comes from personal observations in a specific locality. Thanks.
  • achadhaachadha Posts: 106
    I have owned a 92 Camry Le, 94 Accord EX and a 99 Max SE. I enjoyed the Maxima much more then the other two. The 92 Camry had the smoothest ride but was just too boring to drive. The Accord was too small and the transmission was terrible. The car would jerk hard every time it would change gears. I had AC and suspension problems with the Camry. With the Honda I had AC and transmission problems. I did not encounter any problems with my 99 Maxima. I enjoyed driving the Maxima because of the handling and engine strength. My other two cars were 4 cylinders.
  • pbvdqpbvdq Posts: 14
    dklanecky: Thanks for the info on the rear beam. I'll have to read up on that some more, that article you posted confused the hell out of me, but gave me enough info to do more checking. Thanks again.

    Monte4: I'm a female and I only make the medium bucks (as opposed to the big bucks, to me big bucks =$90K+) and I own a Maxima. I did want a sporty car. I didn't cross check the Accord either when making my most recent vehicle purchase. A4 and TL were the runners up. A4 almost made it to my "vehicles I've owned" list but options started to put the vehicle close to $40k. I think Maxima has muscle without looking like it has muscle (if that makes any sense).

    Accords are typical here in South Florida. I think its safe to say that 1 out of 5 cars here in South Florida is an Accord.
  • dklaneckydklanecky Posts: 559
    Your welcome.

    I don't pretend to understand all of the information either but since I wasn't sure about the level of your "technical knowledge" I thought more information may be better than less.

    In summary, most car "fans" seem to think the Maxima's rear beam axel is inferior to a 4 wheel independent suspension (like the Accord has).

    However, it's been my experience (>190,000 miles on 95 Maxima GLE and >115,000 miles on 00 Maxima SE) that unless you really intend to push the car hard around corners (like with the tires squealing all the way) you'll never know the difference between the two.

    What you will have in the Maxima is an incredible value right now with the ability to easily buy '03 at invoice (+$1,000 rebate)vs MSRP for the Accord, and the overall driving experience and reliability of the well proven Maxima drivetrain.

    That said, it is a sportier ride (again IMO)than the Accord but they really are two completely different vehicles.

    Drive both back to back and go with your "gut" feeling about which you like better.
  • I have owned three Nissan Vehicles in the last five years and I have not had one single problem with them. I know I would not pay $33,000 for a BMW only because I know people who have had so many problems with BMW's and I'm not into status imaging.

     If I could afford it I would get an '04 because I trust the quality of the Maxima I have now and I believe the '04 will be no different in this respect. Also I checked out the 3 series horsepower on the BMW site; the '04 has it beat. I know a lot of people didn't care for the 5th gen when it first came out also, so this is just another go around of the same thing.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Since you are a current Maxima owner, just curious as to what you think of the '04's styling?
  • The more I look at it the more it grows on me. It didn't make my jaw drop like the Altima did at first. The rear of the '04 has the look of the Z with the stance of a Lexus GS---.

    I love the side profile( it's on my desktop!). the front is what concerns me because, the logo in the grill is so overbearing in the pics, I have to see it in person first. Also how do the fog lights function? Is there any other car with fog lights on the side and not the front?

    Over all I do like the styling. To me it fits in with the direction Nissan is taking their vehicles. They look similar, but are distinct in their own way.
  • lmp180psulmp180psu Posts: 393
    those lights that are pointing toward the side are NOT fog lights, but are cornering lights used to better illuminate the area to which you are turning. They are supposed to pivot/adjust a certain amount of degrees to light the road ahead. Go to the nissan website to read up on all the new features of the Max.( it is very interesting). The fog lights are probably integrated into the headlight cluster.
  • monte4monte4 Posts: 101
    I work for Nissan Corporate Office in Irving,Tx, the stats come from info compiled from the Market Research Dept in Gardena, Calif.
  • Thanks for the info. Sometimes my browser gives me problems with sites that may use Flash or something like it. I can get to it but then I can't see anything on the site. Anyway I think that the car looks cool for what they have done with it. Maybe I'll start playing the lottery. :)
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    It's kind of interesting the Nissan had cornering lights on the '95 - '99 Maxima but did away with them from 2000 - 03. I've always found them immencely helpful, especially turning into a dark driveway late at night.

    And regarding the '04 Max, drak, I have to say my jaw did drop when I saw the first photos, but in a negative way. At this point, I don't like it at all, from any of the angles that I've seen. But I'll reserve final judgement until I see one in the flesh.
  • dklaneckydklanecky Posts: 559
    Actually I believe the cornering lights were dropped after the 1995 model year. Anybody with a 96-99 Maxima that can confirm?
  • maxamillion1maxamillion1 Posts: 1,467
    back in 1997 for the fourth generation model. So if the cornering lights were taken away from the Maxima, it probably happened in MY1997. The 4th. gen. debuted in 1994 as a MY1995...
  • just compared a 03 max to 03 accord ex-v6...theres just "something" the max has that the accord doesnt...hard to explain.....btw the 03 acords are piling up on the lots here in st.louis...gonna get an 03max when the 04 comes out--the deals on the 03 will be irresistible
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    torque-steer?! :)
  • mikek37mikek37 Posts: 411
    Why would you ever buy a car that is outdated. The new 04 max is completely redesigned. The old mazima will end up becoming the prevous altima..

    Oh yeah. .the new accord doenst exhibit that annoying torque steer that the max does.
  • For those of us who like all the features on the Maxima, and who drive cars until they die (ie don't care about depreciation), buying the last of the 5th generation (2003's) is a great deal financially. (The car doesn't have to be a fashion statement.)

    I can pick up a completely loaded SE or GLE for less than $26,500 +TTL. That's a sticker of about $30k (without Nav).

    I think the torque steer you refer to is probably because the Maxima has pushed to the limit the amount of HP you can run through a FWD sedan. I drive mine like a relativly normal person so I've never (OK maybe once or twice) experienced the infamous torque steer.

    What I do have is a very smooth and powerfull sedan that has never left me stranded or failed to go when I wanted, where I wanted to go.

    I've been driving two Maxima's (95 GLE and 00 SE) for a combined approx 320,000 miles and I'm seriously thinking about picking up another one just because it's such a great deal and they last so long.

    Problem is what do I do with the 95 with 200k on it and still in great condition?

    By the way, the 2004 Maxima is still a FWD car so what makes you think the torque steer is gone?
  • spleckspleck Posts: 114
    Personally, I think if you like the 03 Max, then getting one when the 04s come out is a good idea. I would go bargain them down now and see what they can do. Use that for comparison when the 04s come out and do even better. It's my impression that they're not selling well anyways this year (people are waiting for 04), so you may be happy with the price you can get now. As far as the 95, I would think you'd be able to sell it fairly easily. The 95 probably isn't too wild/trendy on styling so it might be a good first car/college car for someone.
  • robertrrobertr Posts: 125
    I have a 2000 SE and had a 1997 SE before that and did not find torque steer to be an issue.

    However, when I test drove a 2003 SE the torque steer was much more prominent. I expect the 2004 will be the same.
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