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Nissan Maxima v. Mazda Millenia



  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639


    Quote: "Engine efficiency is the amount of power developed as compared to the energy input"


    Energy input = amount of fuel, ie amount of gasoline used..

  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 857
    Edmunds has a new feature called "True Cost To Own". It is listed when one researches out the various vehicles on the new car heading. It is one of the 13 subjects when you click on a particular vehicle. It is very useful when comparing one vehicle to another. "True Cost To Own" takes the purchase price and adds things like depreciation, insurance, license fees, etc. and gives you a figure for 5-yr ownership. They even tailor it to your particular zip code. I tried it on a few vehicles and it is very useful.
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639

    As you have apparently read that thread, you should know I have posted there. I also TRIED to compare about 5 cars, but due to the fact that they make so many unwarranted assumptions, they show my Millenia has a TCO of nearly $40000. But because their figures are so far off, including the fact they do not allow for the $8000 reduction I got on my car, plus incorrect insurance, tax etc, They missed my TRUE COST TO OWN for 5 years by nearly $12000.

    Contrary to your experience, I find that tool utterly useless in my case. It will only work for people who are unable to bargain for a better deal than Edmunds shows as the purchase price.
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 857
    You are right about the purchase price drastically changing the TCO for the Millenia. I think in general the TCO can be used to compare vehicles to other vehicles. As with many other statistics, the variables determine the outcome. I believe it is just another tool, of which there are many, that we can use to better make our decision on which vehicle to purchase.
  • fwatson, please tell everyone about how you got your $8,000 reduction. I highly doubt it. Maybe off of MSRP, but not TMV and TCO benchmarks depreciation off of TMV. Facts are facts. Insurance costs do vary by driving record, etc. TCO uses averages, but once again, there is no way that your actual TCO varies by $12,000 over 5 years. Lay out the facts so we might see the actual variances.

    And you have misinterpreted that TCO only works for people who can't bargain for a better deal. I read everything on the site and it's clear that it bases the numbers on the median values for each category.
  • 2k2wannabe2k2wannabe Posts: 23
    I guess it's good some people are gullible, so they can pay 'median' and MSRP so the rest of us can get good deals. That TCO app is worthless. It missed my '02 Nissan Maxima by at least $4,600. It might be good for comparing vehicles side-by-side, but it's almost comical to use for a "look ahead" on a car.

    By the way... it missed on a rebate, a 'negotiaged' discount, financing, and fuel. If they allowed editing of the initial values it would be more beneficial, but to arbitrarily throw $815, $839, $864, $889, and $915 for gas for the next 5 years is dumb (why does it go up?). What if I work from home? What if I do district sales calls? What if I'm a mom who does 20 miles of hard city "car pool" miles per day and gets crappy mileage? And those are just the simple arguments for one topic... TCO app is useless.
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    Quote rshablotnicks: "Maybe off of MSRP"


    That is precisely what I said, as well as "off Purchase Price". And this is the second thread I have found you calling me a liar based on your own inability to comprehend what you read. Get your own act straight before attacking other's credibility!


    Quote rshablotnicks: "there is no way that your actual TCO varies by $12,000 over 5 year."


    Once again you prove your inability to comprehend what you read and respond to it intelligently.

    Now quit wild eyed attacking others, and I will talk to you in a civil maner.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I'm sure the editors would be very interested in this feedback. Please use the Help link at the top of the page to provide your thoughts on TCO and TMV.

  • Median means that half pay less and half pay more. Median means middle. TMV is the median transaction price. Can people do better than median? The answer is clearly yes as 1/2 already do by definition.

    The same goes for insurance cost, fuel (based on miles driven, etc.), etc.

    Regarding TCO, the TCO fuel costs that 2k2wannabe refers to make sense to me. Looks like Edmunds adjusted for inflation at 3% which I believe has been the national average over the past couple of years. The fuel costs look like they are calculated based on the EPA average fuel costs multiplied times the "median" average 15,000 miles per year multiplied times the price of fuel. What's wrong with that?

    I agree that TCO would be better if it allowed us to place in our individual data (miles driven per year, purchase price, insurance price, etc.), but as a first edition, I think that TCO is pretty cool.
  • fwatson, I certainly wasn't calling you a liar. I thought that this was a friendly debate, and I apologize if I offended you.

    All I was trying to point out is that your assessment of TCO being wildly off based on your discounted $8,000 purchase price was, I believe, unfounded as the TCO depreciation was based on TMV and not some arbitrary MSRP or sticker number.

    You noted in your #94 post that, "It will only work for people who are unable to bargain for a better deal than Edmunds shows as the purchase price." Well keep in mind that what Edmunds says is the purchase price in none other than the True Market Value (TMV) price. And TCO depreciation is calculated from TMV. Trust me, I am the one who has his facts straight. I am trying to avoid unnecessary confusion.
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    Quote : " I believe, unfounded as the TCO depreciation was based on TMV and not some arbitrary MSRP or sticker number."


    That is precisely why it does not work. To properly work it must allow the ACTUAL price you will pay for the car. As I have laid out very plainly. It is off by approximately 25% in my case. If you consider that accurate, fine. I consider it useless.

    It works only for that one "median" person. For everyone else, depending on the degree above or below that hypothetical median TMV value, it gets further and further inaccurate. That also distorts taxes and etc.

    I am sorry, I can also do math, and it has served me well for many decades.

    TCO simply does not accurately reflect the TCO it is named for.


    Some simple math. Two identical cars with the same MSRP and invoice.

    The best deal I can get on car A at dealer number one is $200 under MSRP.

    At another dealer I can get car B for $4000 below invoice.

    TCO would not take those figures into account, and would give identical TCO's for the two. In reality, there is about $7000 difference to start with, with further distortion due to the difference in sales tax.

    With no other discrepincies thrown in, TCO is already incorrect by $7000.

    You can say that scenario is impossible. WRONG. It happened to me at two Mazda dealerships less than 20 miles apart.
  • You sound like a nice guy.

    I would propose that you you would never have done the deal at dealer A above. Most people transact around the the TMV value. I agree that the more they stray above or below, the TCO will be off. No doubt. The key is that this new TCO gives the consumer a pretty good guide to navigate through anticipated expenses. Knowing Edmunds, they will allow the consumer to further tailor the numbers in future versions. Frankly, I like it a lot. It is much, much better than Intellichoice Total Cost Of Ownership on numerous fronts.

    I can't wait to see what they come up with next.

    fwatson, enjoy the rest of the weekend.
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    "fwatson, enjoy the rest of the weekend"

    Thanks, you do the same.
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    I stole this link from another poster in another thread. The purpose is not to show the Max or Millenia to be more reliable than the other. Rather to demonstrate again to those who keep saying the MM is not as reliable as the Max, that CR does not seem to agree. They are both included in the "Good Bets" catagory. The catagories are described below. And I know as a CR subscriber they are both rated in the very most reliable group as "much better than average", or "few trouble spots".


    "Good Bets and Reliability Risks are compiled from overall-reliability data covering 1994 through 2001 models with better-than or much-worse-than-average reliability. We included only the models for which we have sufficient data for at least three model years. Models that were brand new in 2000 or 2001 do not appear on these lists. Problems with the engine, engine cooling, transmission, and drive system were weighted more heavily than other problems."

  • maxamillion1maxamillion1 Posts: 1,467
    Here is what I think....

    I believe that both cars are great, but they are somewhat different.

    Exterior styling goes to the Millenia IMO, it has always been a beautiful design, although it's getting long in the tooth. The Maxima is not ugly IMO, but the rear end design is just keep getting uglier. I don't know why Nissan opted for the clear tail treatment on the Maxima. The "full moon" red and black taillights looked much better than the all clear tails. On light colors (Sunlit sand, Glacier Pearl, Tungsten Blue, Sterling Mist) it doesn't look so bad, but on the Black Maxima, it's downright odd looking IMO.

    Interior design goes to the Maxima IMO, especially the SE with leather and the GLE. The Millenia's interior doesn't look bad or anything, but the Maxima's interior is more refined with slightly better interior materials, plus with leather equipped Maximas, you get a driver's memory seat.

    Both are about even on features, but the Maxima might have the slight edge here also. I like both cars in this respect.

    Definately goes to the Maxima. The Millenia just doesn't as much power(really doesn't matter much to me.)

    My pick?!?!?!?!?:
    Probably the Maxima SE: Why? Well because I like manual transmission, which aren't available for the Millenia. Resale want matter much to me on either car because really the Maximas value really isn't all that good compared to the Accord or Passat. I keep hearing people say "This is the last year of the Millenia" Well, the Maxima gets complete redesigned next year, and is said to be nothing like the previous model.

    If I were looking for cars with an automatic transmission, I'd be looking at the Millenia S. I can get one here in Greenville for $8,000 off MSRP! You cannot get the Maxima that cheap. Although I have been offered $5000 off MSRP.

    Bottom line, both cars are nice cars, and can hold their own aganist each other.

    Also, I heard people complaining about the Millenia's age,isn't the Maxima still using the same platform from 1995? I know that it had been updated, but still isn't it basically about 7 years old now? Also,the new Maxima doesn't look much different from the 1995 model, which I think was uglier than the current models.
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    I find your comparison reasonable and fair. While there are a couple of other points I don't completely agree with, there is one I totally disagree on. That is the interior. I haven't lived with a Max, although I have driven them, and I have now lived with my MM for 8 months. The overall fit and finish, as well as the materials used in the MM are impeccable. In addition, the instrument panel is the best I have seen in a sedan, and is beautifully lit, both day and night. Even the needles seem to have internal lighting, although I doubt they do.

    The Max interior suits me fine with two exceptions. The clock, which is styled to echo the side marker exterior lights just doesn't seem to belong. And the driver seat in the SE was much too firm for my taste.

    These are obviously subjective views, and I agree they are both fine, desirable cars, although quite different in their execution.
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    Actually, the Maxima platform changed with the '99 model, so the current platform is only 4 years old.
  • acabral1acabral1 Posts: 122
    I own a '01 Millenia bottom line - it's an excellent, well-(standardly)equipped vehicle that can be had at give-away prices. I also like the fact that, Millenia's aren't seen to often (especially the '01-'02) The 2.3 liter model can smoke just about any 3.2 or 3.5 liter engine at highway speeds with ease too! It's a Lysholm thing; but the Max's 255/260 is a monster from a standstill, it's fuel cutoff could be better though.

    Don't take my comments about the Max wrong! I like the new Max, the engine is smooth and robust its exterior is bland yet "clean" and not busy. I opted for the Millenia because of Nissan's pricing/option structure it's downright rediculous! I couldn't justify paying such a rip off price for the Top-of-line loaded Maxima. I do acknowledge that the Max can be loaded with some real high-end equipment though that adds a lot of class to it.

    To briefly address the interior quality comments, neither of the two cars interior qualities/parts are more refined than the other! That issue is simply a matter of personal taste.

    My bottom line statement: "They're both great cars!"
  • 2k2wannabe2k2wannabe Posts: 23
    "2.3 liter model can smoke just about any 3.2 or 3.5 liter engine at highway speeds with ease too" ... you are deluding yourself if you think your MM cna keep up with a 3.5 liter Maxima at any speed. There is *no way*...

    What state do you live in? If you're close, I'd love to prove it.
  • speedracer3speedracer3 Posts: 650
    Since I do own both a Maxima and a Millenia I give you my low down on the strengh of each engine. The MM P's engine is somewhat of a dog at low end of the RPM range, but once you get the RPMs up it has very good grunt. My Maxima with the VQ30DE has exellent low end and high end grunt, the car not only launches very quickly but it never seems to run out of steam at higher speeds. In terms of the larger VQ35DE and the Millenia's 2.5L, I don't think there is a contest there.
  • nvedraninvedrani Posts: 58
    story all together...once that supercharger gets going it really does have some excellent power and pull at highway speeds....and 2k2, what do you think you drive a Ferrari??? sound silly and immature - your'e driving a MAXIMA for God's sake....and btw, how fast have you taken it???....LOL
  • 2k2wannabe2k2wannabe Posts: 23
    it has power at highway speeds? COME ON! It's 2.3L v 3.5L. There is NO speed at which the MM will out accelerate a 2k2 6-speed Max.

    And no, I know it's not a Ferrari, but why is it I sound silly and immature when defending against acabral1's ... umm... mis-statement?

    Try a comparison... I picked my 6-speed v your S/C and it's showing 1.9 second difference in 0-60. You think 60 to 120 would be any different? I'll give you a clue...NO.

    Call me what you want, compare 'style' and 'fit/finish' to death. There is no comparing engines in these cars so stop.

  • speedracer3speedracer3 Posts: 650
    I am not going to put it as bluntly as 2k2wannabe...but neither engines found in the Mazda Millenia hold a candle to the VQ series of engines.
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    Mazda has never made any claims that the engines in MM are hot rod engines. No 2.3L or 2.5L is going to compete for power king against a 3.5L, unless they are set up for racing. Even then a 3.5 set up for racing will overwhelm them. At the same time, your Max will look pretty sick if you go up against a "Vette, Viper or similar superpowered car.

    Why not judge a car for what it was designed for, not for what you want. If you want more power than MM has, buy something else. It simply was not designed to be a race car.

    The 2.5L class of engines are used extensively in Europe and Japan as well as most of the world outside the USA, Canada and Australia.

    If people want to make power comparisons, they need to compare similar size engines. By the way, what people are interpreting as low HP is mostly low rpm torque.

    The MM is very European in concept and execution. I believe the target for Mazda was BMW, Audi etc with the smaller displacement engines. Other than stoplight grand prix, and back highway drag racing, there is no reason for the larger engines, other than to satisfy a mental image or ego trip for the owners of the overpowered cars. Being old enough to have been driving for over 48 years, I can remember the late '50s, '60s and ealy '70's American muscle car craze. It went away with the big oil crisis of the '70s. Japan, especially Nissan are just emulating that fad. It too will pass.

    When I was a teenager through maybe my thirties I also thought more power = better car. I have since learned better, and the 170 HP of my P is more than sufficient for everything a street car is designed to do. And it does it very smoothly and satisfyingly for those of us who do not feel that need to drag race on public streets.
  • speedracer3speedracer3 Posts: 650
    It's not a horsepower issue. The VQ series are just very well made engines. They are quiet, smooth running, and very reliable. Actually, American manufacturers among others are able to pump out a lot more HP out of engines of similar displacement than the VQ. I say that the VQ engines are simply more refined than the engines found in the Millenia. Ward's Auto World keeps selecting the VQ every year among the 10 best in the world...they love the engine, and so I.
  • 2k2wannabe2k2wannabe Posts: 23
    Mazda never made the claims, but acabral1 and nved did. There is no comparison for engines in these cars.... "2.3 liter model can smoke just about any 3.2 or 3.5 liter engine at highway speeds with ease" ... but I'm "immature" for what I said... yeah, right.

    I was just responding to acabral1's (109) and nved's (112) posts.
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    Quote speedracer3 :"The VQ series are just very well made engines. They are quiet, smooth running, and very reliable."


    That is true. However it insinuates that the Mazda engines are not. I have several times posted links to proof that the Max engine is not more reliable than the Mazda engines. That is a myth. I have also posted a link showing the Mazda engine to be adaptable to racing. And from personal experience, I can tell you the 2.5 is so smooth it is hard to tell if it is running at idle.

    It seems you must have missed those links, so here they are again.


    Carpoint Reliability Ratings




    Mazda V-6 Engines

    You will also find that there are some very fine engines missing from Wards Best 10 List. I consider that list similar to Mortor Trend and Car & Driver top 10 lists. A reasonable guide, but hardly comprehensive.

  • speedracer3speedracer3 Posts: 650
    Remember, I own both a Millenia P and a Maxima SE. The Maxima engine is just more polished, and again it has NOTHING to do with horsepower. Maybe if you drove both cars on a daily basis like I do you would know what I am talking about.

    In regards to reliability, I never implied that the VQ is more reliable than the Madza engine. All I know is that the VQ is reliable, and I hope the Madza engine is reliable as well, cuz I have a good 4 years left on my MM lease.

    BTW Nissan does make a 2.5L V6 VQ (VQ25DD) but it is not available in any U.S. cars so we can't really compare.

  • wuxwux Posts: 18
    Since an Infiniti I35 is similar to a fully loaded Maxima, I would like to ask the following question here: Millenia P for $21,000 or I35 with S/S package for $27,000 (both new), which one would you buy and why?
  • speedracer3speedracer3 Posts: 650
    I would say go for the Millenia..simply because the I35 (while a very nice car) is just a luxurious Maxima. If you REALLY like the power of the I, just get a Maxima and save your money. In terms of bang for the buck, the Millenia is the better deal.

    my 2 dimes

This discussion has been closed.