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Nissan Maxima v. Mazda Millenia



  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    I'm a new Maxima owner I would agree that the Millenia is better looking than the Max (although I still like the Max looks) and a better deal if all you're looking for is leather and climate control. I ended up with the Max because of the greater power and larger cargo capacity. Pros and cons.
  • tomekktomekk Posts: 310
    When passing you I'll make sure I have extra clearance while you're trying to keep your Maxima going straight (I know, it is difficult) :-) take it easy,
    P.S. That 330i ... maybe in 2 years. We'll see. After test driving the 325i, Saab Aero and Subaru WRX (all stickshift) I got back into the Millenia and appreciated it even more (for the money, too).
  • tomekktomekk Posts: 310
    Go and test drive 2002 Millenia S - if your Millenia experience is with pre-2001, then we're talking different car here. Maybe this is why our opinions differ so much. For 2001 Millenia got reworked suspension, body stiffness was increased 35%, and it got those wonderful Optitronic gauges (electroluminescent, like in Lexus ES300). Especially the 01/02 S model has very much different character that 2000 and earlier. Take it for a spin and run around some bends - corners completely flat, and run it up to 100mph on the highway (just don't get a ticket and don't crash!). Then tell me what you think.
  • You know why I get bent up over the silly comments some of you TROLLS make on the Millenia, because I am 100% sure that none of you have ever owned the car.
    I can proudly say that I owned a 1999 MAZDA MILLENIA for three years and I know that this is a car that was put together exceptionally well.

    So don't come on to this board talking about Bimmers and Maximas, check out the numerous complaints that owners find with those cars, you hardly ever hear MILLLENIA OWNERS complaining about faulty this and faulty that with their cars.

    Try owning one before you start complaining about the car.
  • Tomek,

    I have a 2000 Maxima SE and a 2001 Millenia P and the Maxima drives just as straight as the Millenia, so please let's cut out this ridiculous nonsense that the Maxima doesn't drive straight.
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    If Millenia came with 260HP and a 5 speed you would be singing it's praises. The only drawback to the Millenia is that it is not a hotrod, and that is what draws some people to the otherwise inferior Maxima.

    The sophistication of the Millenia's suspension outshines the Max, as does styling and interior appointments. It is imaculately assembled and finished. Reliability wise CR says it is "OUTSTANDING". Carpoint backs that up. One uses owners as the source, the other uses professional mechanics.

    I wanted a luxury (near) car, not a hotrod. I believe I got the superior car, hands down, and ignoring price.
  • According to the EPA, the Millenia is considered a compact sedan, while the EPA rates the Maxima as a mid-size sedan. This is somewhat deceiving considering that the Millenia is a lot longer, but as you know the EPA rates cars based on interior volume not external size.
  • Let's not start with superior/inferior stuff. If the Millenia was SO superior the dealers wouldn't be trying to give the car away and it wouldn't be scrapped in favor of the Mazda 6. The Maxima on the other hand is one of Nissan's top selling vehicles for 20 years now, and it is going into it's 6th generation.
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    In all fairness, every write-up I have read in auto mags about the Millenia has said that it's largest deficiency is it's marketing. On the other side of that, Nissan never had a problem with Maxima commercials.
  • Marketing?. All the marketing in the world couldn't make me buy a Millenia anywhere near it's MSRP of $28K. For that kind of money there are a lot of choices out there much better than a Millenia.
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    Either two things are of equal quality, or one is superior and the other inferior. I said what I meant. Overall the Millenia is superior to the Max except for engine size and lack of a 5 speed manual transmission.

    With those two items the MM would outperform and have higher quality materials and assembly. IE overall superior.

    EDIT: If you are interested in a larger interior, try the Mazda MPV or Honda Odyssee Minivans. They totally eclipse any sedan in interior. And a MM is closer to the size of a BMW 5 series than 3 series. It is also closer to the European cars in concept than the other Japanese offerings including Max. Performance car does not only mean 0 to 60 times.
  • gerapaugerapau Posts: 211
    Not quite sure why speed68 can't come on this board and talk about the Maxima (take a look at the title of the topic).

    Not quite sure where you get your info that the Millenia is closer in size to the 5 series then to the 3 series. Maybe in exterior size but in interior size (where it counts) it is definately closer to the 3 series. The millenia has an interior volumn of 91.4 cu.ft. while the BMWs come in at 90.8 cu.ft and 94.9 cu.ft for the 3 series and 5 series sedans.
  • Oh how you over simplify. I can point out to a number of things that make the Maxima superior.

    1)Engine- not size but quality...VQ35/VQ30 all the way.
    2)Automatic Tranny- The auto on the MM is in one word terrible.
    3)Ergonomics- Maxima's ergonomics are superior to the MM.
    4)Performance/Handling- Maxima is superior here.
    5)Stereo- The stereo on the MM is mediocre..the Maxima has an awesome standard unit.
    6)Interior Size/Comfort- A lot more room to stretch out and be comfortable, the MM is crammed.

    Plus things you cannot even get on a Millenia:
    Nav system
    6 speed.
    Xenon lights
  • getz1getz1 Posts: 63
    I'm amazed at all the millenia handles better than the max posts lacking statistical evidence. Show me a skid pad for the millenia, or braking from 70, etc. I have a hard time believing that the millenia can out handle the max without a limited slip diff, and smaller wheels/less agressive tires. If you can find evidence, then we can debate the issue. Same goes for the quality control issue. Maxima is still built in japan, and has exceptional consumer report ratings. I have no clue how anyone can state so definetively that the millenia is a superior vehicle, based on what? How does it surpass the max in luxury, I have a heated steering wheel for pete's sake. I guess brand loyalty runs deep. However, I have always been of the mindset of buying the highest quality vehicle that fits within my price range, and considering bang for the buck the max is vastly superior to the mazda. Compare the 2 cars side by side on edmunds and judge yourself.
    And Tomekk, are you sure you didn't have the 3-series stuck in D4, because I drove an automatic 1999 E46 323i for 2 years and on the highway the tach was below 3000 at 80-85 mph. BMWs 5 speed auto has very tall gearing (autobahn car) so it sounds dubious to have one pushing 3600 rpm at 70 mph.
  • I thought we were going to stop this bickering!

    Why are we still arguing this? The Max is bigger, better engine, as reliable (if not more), as 'praised' by the car industry (if not more), and liked as much by its owners (if not more).

    I won't talk styling, it's too personal. I like the look of my car and think Mazda hasn't had a good looking car since the original RX7... it's all about taste, which doesn't factor in a discussion about 'performance' and 'superior car.'

    The MM is a nice car... smaller, slower, more complex engine requiring more $$ when it's time to fix. I'm not knocking it like you're knocking the Maxima (but now I will).

    My points...
    poing 3... I think my car handles well now, but for $150 for an RSB and FSTB I can make my car handle *significantly* better than yours. How much would it take for you to make your car as fast as mine?

    point 2... Here is what Edmunds has to say about the MM (notice the highway ride comment under 'cons'):

    Attractive exterior styling and interior design, supercharged Millenia S engine, competitive price.

    Cramped interior, weak base engine, lack of brand cache, floaty highway ride, aging platform.

    What Says
    Not really a luxury car and not really a sport sedan, Millenia is past its expiration date.

    and lastly, point #1... if the MM is such a superior car, why has the market let it die? All I have to say is my car is nice enough that the people bought lots of them, and the manufacturer decided to make it again next year.

    peace out.
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    Aha, I understand now. Pro Maxima=good Pro MM=bad.

    That certainly seems reasonable, at least from your point of view. Don't worry, I have more important things to do than hang around here reading your Pro Max, Boo MM sentiments. Enjoy spreading your personal opinions.

  • not about which car is better, of course :-)

    A-member me? We had a good argue in April and came to the mutual conclusion both cars are pretty nice.

    (I just prefer my Max...)
  • tomekktomekk Posts: 310
    As to BMW 3 series RPM at 70mph - I test drove 325i with manual transmission. I was in 5th gear. Engine drone was just awful. Take one for a test drive yourself.
  • tomekktomekk Posts: 310
    Do you know your Maxima has torsion beam rear suspension? Like Dodge Spirit or Plymouth Acclaim, circa 1989...
    All I'm saying is 2001 Millenia S handled better - in my opinion - that a 2001 Maxima. I test drove both and picked the Millenia (with 17 inch low profile tires, and front and rear stabilizer bars on fully independent suspension, I might add).
    If you have time to go and dig for skipad and slalom numbers, go ahead. In the meantime, I'll watch "The Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy" on DVD...
    But here's what Edmunds shows for slalom and braking:
    Millenia S (yes, made in Japan, not in South Africa like BMW 3-series)
    - slalom speed 61.4
    - braking 60-0 123 feet
    Nissan Maxima SE with 222HP engine
    - slalom speed 58.6
    - braking 126 feet
    Of course Maxima is faster 0-60...
    Good night
  • where did you get the slalom numbers? I looked around edmunds and couldn't find it. I was looking for stuff like that when I wanted to buy a new car and didn't find it here.

    also, the numbers you used for the Maxima were for a 2k1. What are the 2k2 numbers?
  • getz1getz1 Posts: 63
    2002 Maxima (C/D)
    Roadholding 0.82g
    Braking 70-0 182 ft
    0-60 6.0 sec
    1/4 mile 14.7 sec at 97 mph

    Sorry, couldn't find anything other than edmunds numbers on the millenia. Don't bother pulling yourself away form the misadventures of Ford Prefect and the gang. Looks like the glaring difference between the two is 0-60, but like someone said earlier, not everyone wants to go fast. Thanks for informing me about the rear beam suspension, I had no clue. I will put the car up for sale in the morning. By the way did you know your car takes 8.2 seconds to hit 60 mph, be careful trying to pass that circa 1989 Dodge Spirit or Plymouth Acclaim on that 2 lane country highway. Hmmm, do I trade a hardly noticeable if at all existent cornering difference between the max and the millenia for 45 horsepower, naw. Oh, and termination of millenia production can't be good for resale value either.
    As far as test driving the 5 speed BMW 3-series, I have extensively, as I was originally planning on replacing my 99 323i with an 02 325i. Still find it extremely hard to believe you were pushing 3600+ rpm at 70-75 mph in 5th gear. As far as the 3-series being buzzy, you are perhaps the first to note so. It is a sports sedan so you aren't completely isolated from the road, but the inline six in the BMW is more or less sewing machine quiet.
  • tomekktomekk Posts: 310
    Guys, if facts don't convince you... there is nothing I can do. You just stick your fingers in your ears and go la-la-la.
    If you have hard time believing etc., go test 325i, you'll see.
    I have nothing to add, I really don't have that much time to waste on folks with such strong dogma. You're really ultra-orthodox ... ah, Maxima, the best car in the world. Haha.
  • getz1getz1 Posts: 63
    Dogma?? Best car in the world?? Man, I doubt anyone who owns a max is espousing that mantra. Are you assuming that since I like the max more than the mazda, that I also find it to be superior to all other vehicles. Strong extrapolation dont ya think? And what facts are you talking about, and regarding which issue? Kudos, however, on using Dogma and ultra-orthodox in the same post...drop your address and I'll mail you a gold star. I believe at soome point over the last few days we had pretty decent dialogue regarding salient points of both vehicles. My whole point has been that for 26 grand the maxima is quite possibly the best new car deal of the year if you want a roomy, fast sedan with a host of amenities. Now if you care to refute this statement feel free, but please employ a tad more logic than was required of your last post. I do believe if you read through my previous posts, you won't find many disparaging comments about the millenia, however you have stated over and over how terrible the maxima is, how hard it is to keep in a straight line, how cheap the interior is, etc. Now who is spewing dogma? And I am still calling BS on the 325i reving too high at 75 mph, and since I have owned one, and driven others at this same speed, I think you may have been embelishing slightly. Now if you excuse me I am going to retire to my study where upon which I will engage in my favorite past time... putting my fingers in my ears, and repeating "la-la-la". So long and thanks for all the fish.
    P.S. If you haven't read Adams, I think the DVD is most likely doing you a huge injustice. Also you might want to give Kurt Vonnegut a read, or Terry Pratchet who writes in a very similar vein as Douglas Adams. In any case I'll stick to those monty python boys for pixelated dark humor, thank you.
  • tomekktomekk Posts: 310
    1. You are extrapolating. I'm VERY far from any stars, gold, white on blue or whatever. You couldn't be more wrong.
    2. Let's get this straight: you like your Maxima. I like my Millenia. I test drove both in 2001 - and liked the Millenia better, based on handling (slaloms well!), more than enough power, interior ambience and exterior looks. So, I bought it. I felt better in it than in the Maxima for a number of reasons - I'm sure you feel better in your Maxima. That's fine, my wife like her Chevy Venture much more than the Millenia. For different reasons.
    And you brought up the slalom thing - so I found Edmunds numbers that show 2001 Millenia better that 2000 Maxima with 222HP. That's a fact.

    3. 325. C'mon, just test drive one with stickshift and look at RPM at 75mph. Tell me what they are. I'm waiting.



    P.S. Good reading recemmendation. I've been reading Kurt Vonnegut since early high school (although I've re-read most of it in college just to understand it better - starting with Breakfast of Champions) and I never could get into Terry Pratchet... but I've tried.
    I've read Adams. Never seen the show, so I'm catching up.
    Recommendation for you: Stanislaw Lem. Start with Invincible, Solaris, and Pilot Pirx.
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    I will only quote Motor Trend on this, and do not intend to engage in an argument. This is simply THEIR conclusion, not the entire one page article:

    Page 148: BEGIN ARTICLE

    Nissan Maxima SE - More power, more gears, more speed, less distinction. By Tony Swan

    (Skip to conclusion of article)

    Moreover, although more muscle certainly lends haste to the Maxima's dynamic traits, it also adds torque steer, particularly in editions equipped with manual transmissions. It's not as unruly as in the old Saab 9-3 Viggen, but it's there. Although this is one of the quickest sedans for the money, it once again illustrates the limitations of front-wheel drive.

    That's the Maxima's dilemma. Surrounded by increasing numbers of rear- and all wheel drive competitors, it has reached its development zenith. And in fact, this is the last ride for the current platform. The next generation will share the latest Altima's foundations, a change that should produce improvement but will leave Nissan's top sedan committed to the performance drawbacks of front-wheel drive.

    As a footnote, we reflect on our reaction to the original Maxima (C/D April 1981), which debuted as an upscale version of the 810 sedan: "What we have here seems to be a clear case of over-Americanization." The more things change...


    My only point is that we keep hearing how the MM is on it's last year and outdated. The name Maxima may go on, but it will not be the same vehicle described in this article, nor the one we have been discussing here.
  • Let's get the facts straight:

    The Maxima is evolving, just like the Altima did. The Millenia on the other hand has reached the end of the road.
  • getz1getz1 Posts: 63
    Actually you are quoting car&driver. Here's what motor trend had to say:
    "The Maxima SE six-speed we drove clearly falls on the sporty side of the sport/luxury continuum. Its 255-hp engine isn't as peaky as the Acura TL Type-S', one of its main competitors, although it doesn't quite have the Acura's long legs. The Maxima gives up some ride comfort in the name of better handling, but Nissan engineers found as good a balance as possible with that beam axle. You feel highway expansion strips, but not jarringly so, and there's some payoff in the form of cornering prowess.

    Bottom line: For those who don't flock to the latest automotive fashion, and are willing to trade off a bit of comfort for better-than-average performance, the Maxima may be the bargain of '02."

    Also, autoweek commented:
    (08:30 Aug. 21, 2002)
    "Nissan Maxima: Maximal Buzz"
    Nissan's flagship is a fun-to-drive family sedan
    THE 2002 NISSAN MAXIMA IS CAUGHT IN AN automotive Catch-22. While it wears the label of flagship for Nissan, the car is no longer the company's biggest, as the 2003 Altima released earlier this year is slightly larger. And while the Maxima was last significantly redesigned for 2000, we know the next-generation Maxima now on the drawing board will be built on the Altima platform. So while Maxima is not necessarily the Nissan family's redheaded stepchild, it clearly is no longer the favorite son.
    But that doesn't mean the car isn't fun to drive. It is gobs of fun, due mostly to an outstanding engine. The 3.5-liter V6 pumps out 255 hp (15 more than Altima, so there is at least a little consideration to the "flagship" moniker) and 246 lb-ft of torque. In fact, the smooth, torquey six-cylinder that boasts 15 hp more than last year's model (due in part to a new continuously variable valve timing and adaptive intake manifold geometry) was noted as one of the best features by nearly every person responding to our survey. One reader said, "The way the car accelerates from a dead stop brings a smile to my face every time." The 255 ponies mated with a fine six-speed manual transmission propelled the 3224-pound car from 0 to 60 mph in 6.21 seconds and completed the quarter-mile in 14.77 seconds at 95.5 mph. Both times and speeds are very good considering Maxima is a five-passenger family sedan.
    We also heard comments about torque steer, but found nothing of the sort with our test vehicle. What we did find was the standard 17-inch rubber was no match for the engine's torque. Rev the engine up to about 2500 rpm (redline is 6500), drop the clutch and you can lay two even black stripes of rubber for more than 40 feet; grab second under full throttle you'll spin the tires again. If you're hard on the throttle, you can chirp the tires in third. And speaking of third gear, the engine has enough torque to start off in third, if you happen to be unable to find first."
    "The Maxima is more than just an engine. The cabin is spacious and relatively quiet even at freeway speeds, and the seats are wide, firm and comfortable with plenty of lateral support. There is ample leg- and headroom for both front- and rear-seat passengers, and the trunk, with 15.1 cubic feet, is spacious. If there's a weak point with Maxima it is with the brakes. The four-wheel power-assisted discs needed 130 feet to stop from 60 mph, which would classify it as no better than average for midsize sedans. (For comparison, in our recent test of the Toyota Camry we completed the same maneuver in 118 feet, which is in sports car territory.) There is very little brake dive, which speaks to the car's firm suspension, but we noticed plenty of body roll tossing the car through our slalom course. Stiffer antiroll bars would be a help. But these are relatively minor complaints about what is really a strong performer. With a base price of $25,989, there's really no other player in the four-door, five-passenger sedan category that offers a six-speed transmission. Maxima may not be the favorite son, but it has qualities we can love and appreciate just the same."

    As you can see the torque steer that C&D commented on, should not be a factor with the LSD. Also, it is odd to me how C&D bemoans the maxima yet it out performs the majority of its contenders at a price that is thousands less. As far as the redesign, hopefully in five years people will still recognize the maxima name, where as the millenia may not fare so well.
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    I read that article, which was Car & Driver, not Motor Trend. The author was basically complaining that the Maxima is not a G35 or a BMW 3-series. Yeah, it's also like $4000 to $12000 less expensive. IMHO, it's the best mid-size sedan you can get in the $25K area. WRX is too small, the Grand Prix is uglier with less amenities.

    The Millenia is more of a Honda Accord EX competitor. If I didn't care too much about get-up-and-go, I'd seriously consider it. But if that were the case I'd probably end up with a Camry. Yawn.
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    I changed the title to show Car and Driver, but missed the one referrence to Motor Trend until time to edit had expired. I saw no reason to delete the post and completely redo it to correct that mistake.

    As I said at the bottom of that post, the point is to show that we are dealing with two outdated cars here, not one. And carrying a name over to a totally new car does not change the fact that the 2003 Maxima is a last year design as is the 2002 Millenia. As to comparing to the CamCords, that is as appropriate for the Max as the MM. The 240HP Accord will be a very worthy drag-racing opponent for the Max. And owning a 2001 MM, I can assure you it has none of the "yawn" factor you try to insinuate by the Camry comment.
  • getz1getz1 Posts: 63
    Unfortunately the 240 hp 4 door Accord will be only offered with an automatic. zero to sixty times that I have seen are around the 6.7-7.0 second range, still much slower than the maxima. as far as the max being totally new in '04, it will keep the 3.5L V6, most likely with very similar hp, yet most likely gain some luxury flab. I don't know if outdated describes the max or the millenia, but I do feel the MM will suffer more on the resale end simply because people will grow unaccustomed to the name plate. Hopefully I'll still have a few more years before I feel like the performance has become status quo for the market range. You've got to admit that 14's in the quarter mile is pretty impressive for a 26 thousand dollar grocery getter. My favorite story is non-chalantly dusting an over-zealous highschool kid in his 5.0 L mustang at a stop-light, while I had a car load of friends. The look on his face was hilarious... no flames, I let off the throttle once I touched 50 mph in a 45.
    P.S. I posted on the 3-series board regarding rpms at 75 mph. We'll see what the owners think.
This discussion has been closed.