Nissan Maxima 2004 Redesign

SylviaSylvia Member Posts: 1,636
edited March 2014 in Nissan


  • mtkaplanmtkaplan Member Posts: 15
    No one is sure but it seems it will be built on the Altima platform, fresher looks, larger, more HP, maybe the engine from the Q45. There has been talk of rear wheel drive but no one is sure. It seems the Altima will take the place of the current Max and the new Max will be a little more upscale. Al least that is what most people think. They have done a good job of keeping the info under wraps. Here is a link to a "supposed" picture of the new Max. It has been confirmed that it both is the car and that it is not the car.
  • monte4monte4 Member Posts: 101
    Heck the current GLE offers most things one could want in a near luxury car.
  • machiavellimachiavelli Member Posts: 260
    I kinda doubt it will be RWD, V8 powered. I can picture it being a larger, more powerful version of the Altima, that seems more likely to me. Although, if they go much beyond the current Maxima 260HP they are getting toward the upper limits of how much a FWD car should have.

    I also wonder if Infiniti will continue to have a thinly disguised version of the Maxima now that the G35 is on the market?
  • bkswardbksward Member Posts: 93
    I agree 260 HP is about the limit. One option would be what one manufacturer does (I forget who), and that is to limit engine power somewhat in 1st and 2nd gears.

    As for Infinity, I think the I35/G35 will stay just like Toyota has the ES300/IS300. The former is the luxury cruiser, the latter the sports sedan. It reduces the need for one car to try and satisfy both markets...
  • machiavellimachiavelli Member Posts: 260
    bksward - I think it was the Saab Viggen that limited power in first gear to help tame the notoriously bad torque steer it had.

    Good point about Infiniti probably wanting to keep a "soft" car like the I35 along side the G35. That's one more reason I doubt the Maxima will be RWD.
  • petra02petra02 Member Posts: 33
    Hello, Maxima fans. Here's what I know, or think:

    The Maxima's redesign will mostly affect the inner workings of the car, since it's being moved to the Altima platform. However, don't expect a very different exterior styling. The Maxima was last redesigned only a few years ago, for the 2000 MY, not to mention the facelift and power boost it got for 2002. Nissan likely won't stray far from the current styling. Also, don't look for a boost in horsepower, if any. 260 is about the limit. However, a 6-speed manual wouldn't surprise me.

    As for "mtkaplan"'s picture, I've seen it before. More pictures of this "mule" can be found at I belive that this picture is a fake. Look at the headlights and tailights, and the way the roof slopes down, and compare these, and the car's profile, to an Altima. It's far to close to an Altima to be anything BUT an Altima. I don't think Nissan will risk getting that close to the Altima in styling, as I said.

    Now, the next Maxima is supposed to take on the role of being Nissan's "Upscale car". The interior is where this will likely come into play. This is where it will the most differentiated from the Altima. It will likely sport numerous luxury car features, and the whole design will probably not have the so-called cheap, "Plasticy" look of the Altima.

    Of course, with the Maxima moving upscale, where does this leave the I35 to go? The simple answer: Don't be surprised if the I35 just dissapears, completely. Now that the Maxima is on it's level, and the G35 is blocking the next step up, the I35 has nowhere to go. The I20 will probably be cancelled at this time, as well.
  • bkswardbksward Member Posts: 93
    Wow! You can see a 6 speed?!? Wow! What a revelation! What is that gear I seem to be getting on my 02 SE when I go down to the right of 4th gear? Oh, They already have a 6-speed...

    The I35 will probably stay... It is infinity's counter to the ES300... It will just be an upscale Maxima like it is now.

    The ES300 is just a fancy Camry. That doesn't stop it from selling. Especially with the G20 being replaced by the G35, there isn't an enrty-level draw for the Infinity dealers. Now the cars start at about $27k... That's around the range Lexus starts. Acura starts at around $20K with the RSX...
  • prayerforprayerfor Member Posts: 161
    That picture is almost certainly a new Maxima. With the Maxima moving to the Altima platform, we should expect exterior styling that tends more toward the Altima than the 5th gen Maxima it replaces. That picture is right on with this theory.

    Maxima will stay FWD (not RWD as rumored).
    Maxima will keep 3.5 VQ engine (not V8 as rumored).
    Maxima will offer CVT transmission.
    Maxima will move up in price/luxury. Also up in weight so down in sportiness.

    Got this from a guy who works as a contractor at the Smyrna TN plant.

    Infiniti is committed to an all-RWD lineup so a Maxima-derived I35 is out.
  • stillers2stillers2 Member Posts: 7
    prayerfor, you are correct with everything you listed.

    p.s. The picture IS the '04 max
  • prayerforprayerfor Member Posts: 161
    I spoke again with the guy I know in TN and he said that he's been hearing that Nissan will "hold the line" on Maxima pricing...
  • whothemanwhotheman Member Posts: 169
    Why wouldn't they use the Nissan Skyline/Infiniti G35 platform? How much more power are you going to route thru the front tires? Why continue to compete with your own top seller (Altima)?
  • bigiqbigiq Member Posts: 3
    If we take a look here;

    j30=Older Altimas
    g35=New Altimas(there is some debate to this though i.e. RWD,more HP ect.)
    g35 coupe=350Z
    FX45=Murano (?)
    Q45=No Nissan Doppleganger

    There's another theory being thrown around. It is almost certain that the I35 series will be axed after 2003, but for the 2004 model year, Infiniti plans to introdude the M45. The M45 is RWD and has the Q45 V-8 engine and is said to be a replacement for the I35. At the SAME TIME (model-year-wise) Nissan intends to launch the redesigned Maxima which is rumoured to be also RWD and an available V-8.
    Could it be possible that the M45 will be the new Maxima's equivalent just like how the I30/35 has been all these years?
    This is all just theory still though and also raises many questions to the "spy pics" too.

    M45=New Maxima?
  • implicitimplicit Member Posts: 41
    I've never read so much wrong information in my life!

    Let me set you straight.

    G20 does not equal Sentra! The only thing they shared was the engine and that is not even true any more. G20 has a 145hp SR20DE wihile Sentras top of the line engine is the New QR25 wihich is shared with the base Altima.

    J30 was on a modified Z platform how do you figure it was RWD plus it died years ago.

    G35 is on the new FM (front midship) platform which is RWD not FWD drive like Altimas FF-L platform. Two totally different platforms only sharing a little bit of the rear suspension design.

    G35, Z, G35 Coupe and FX45 share the RWD FM platform. Got it?

    Q45 shares the same platform as M45 which has been arond since like 97. Q45's platform is a little longer though.

    M45 comes out this fall as 2003 model.

    M45 does not equal New Maxima. New Maxima will be on a stretched Altima platform with the possibility of AWD I doubt a V8 though.

    Is everything clear now?
  • erichnererichner Member Posts: 14
    As part if a focus group saw their concept and what I remember was a new black front grill woth a special 3d square pattern. The Q45 front lights. The back side looked like a Mercedes 500.

    The interior was magnificent (it was a full scale mockup) with DVD navigation and beautiful gauges and dials similar to the Chrysler 300M look.

    What distinguished the car was the vertical sunroof that went from the middle of the back seats all the way to the front. A narrow stripe of a sunroof (could not be opened).

    They said that price will remain around $28000
    and I remember 280 HP for the engine.

    I'm ready to buy one next year!!!
  • bigiqbigiq Member Posts: 3
    Well, I didn't mean to state they were COMPLETE duplicates, but I understand what you are saying. I guess my message was very unclear, my bad :) but they do share some similarities.

    Thnx for clearing this up :)
  • implicitimplicit Member Posts: 41
    Can we switch brains! If you really saw the Maxima did it look similar to the Altima and did it look like that test car spy photo? I really believe that is the next Maxima. I guess I was right about HP too? Did you see many chrome accents in the interior and how big was it roughly in comparison to a certain car? I know the Maxima will be a sign of Nissan quality on the comeback. Also was their a word of AWD?
  • nissancarnissancar Member Posts: 9
    What do you guys think of the new looks for Maxima? To me I am not impressed, I think I like the existing one better than the new. I never thought they would replace it for 4/5 years but than Altima cane too close.

    After seeing new Max, I think I am even comfertable going for the current 2003 but than how good it maybe, it will be one generation old next year. How much that counts? What do you guys think Max 2003 will stand after new max arrives.
  • verozahlverozahl Member Posts: 574
    G20 was the previous-generation Nissan Primera. As for the Maxima, either the Maxima or the I35 have to go because they're just too similar, and Nissan is making the right decision: they're keeping the Maxima.
  • monte4monte4 Member Posts: 101
    Heck the Maxima style will stand up just take a look at the 89-94 Models look how good they look to this day. Alot of cars donot age like they use to including the Maxima since 89. I think the 97-99 still looks great and they have faired quite well even after the introduction of the 00, lots of peole still think they are the "new" one. You want go wrong with an 03 or 02 and I think that they will be snapped up once the new larger actually appears as it will most likely cater to an older crowd unlike now.
  • implicitimplicit Member Posts: 41
    So far, so good.
  • verozahlverozahl Member Posts: 574
    Should have dumped the Altima and kept the Maxima smaller (made the current Altima a 'Maxima').
  • bkswardbksward Member Posts: 93
    Nope. They made the right move. It is easy for them to take the Altima upmarket, make it bigger and give it a V6.

    With the midsize offering Nissan needed to be able to sell a 4 cylinder. The problem with the old Altima/Maxima combo is that a lot of people want the larger car with the smaller engine. Maxima has always had a 6. (V6 since 85, first generation had a 2.4L I-6 that was the same basic engine as in the 240-280Zs.)

    So which is easier to advertise: "The Altima and Maxima both bigger and more powerful than ever!" or "The new Maxima, now available with a four-banger!"

    Besides, with the last redesign the Sentra got to be almost as big as the Altima was.

  • implicitimplicit Member Posts: 41
    Nissan is on the right trak. You also have to consider that Maxima is their flagship and it shouldn't be played with carelessly.

    Also all this stuff about Nissans cars hurting each other is complete crap. Nissan is in a transition, they can redesign every car at once. just wait a year and everything will fall into place.
  • mirthmirth Member Posts: 1,212
    My only worry is that they are going to move the Max into the near-luxury $30K category. Then you won't be able to get a Max for under $25K. That would be fine if the Altima was up to filling that gap, but with its cheap interior I don't think it really matches what the current Max offers for that price.
  • nissangirlnissangirl Member Posts: 186
    If the pic at is correct for the 2004 redesign, I think I will go back to bed and hang on to my 2000 SE. Although, I would love more POWER!!
  • petra02petra02 Member Posts: 33
    There's some Maxima information on PM's "Spy Shots" section. Here is what it says, in part:

    "...the large wheel openings to be filled with standard 17-in. tires, with 18-inchers standard on the sportier SE models."

    Here's where it get's interesting: "Motivation will come from the current VQ series DOHC 3.5-litre V6 paired to either a 6-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic. Expect at least 260 horsepower in the new car and more on SE models possibly coupled with AWD to handle that power. The new Maxima arrives at you local Nissan dealer in February."

    Sweet, eh?
  • 92drexel92drexel Member Posts: 153
    Sounds good...except I would like to see a 5-speed auto instead of the 4-speed box. That extra gear seems to shave an extra 0.5 secs off of the 0-60 times for most cars. Heck, even the new accord gets a 5 speed auto.
  • abrodyabrody Member Posts: 1
    Does anyone have the inside track on whether Nissan will offer AWD. This would only improve their sales on a already quality car. I know for myself that I would buy the Maxima but only if this option was offered.
  • petra02petra02 Member Posts: 33
  • agc1976agc1976 Member Posts: 2
    I desperately want a Maxima but I have the same concerns Mirth has...

    Should I get the current (2003) model or should I wait for the 2004? I fear the 2004 will be too expensive and I won't be able to afford it. I don't like the Altima's interiors so if I wait another year I'll be forced to look into Accords (not sure if I'll like Accords redesign either).

    IMO 2003 Maxima is the perfect car... if they only kept this design for at least two more years so that I don't get a car that looks obsolete as soon as a take it out of the dealer : (
  • ccermakccermak Member Posts: 260
    The 03 Max will not look obsolete even if they change for 04. Why not wait til 04 comes out and then scoop up an 03 for a good deal? What does one need AWD for? Snow? Get a set of Blizzaks and you'll be fine. AWD may help torque steer though. I live in MN and my Max gets around just fine. Tires are the key.
  • wgrwgr Member Posts: 127
    While the 2004 is probably upgraded with some great stuff, I am sure the price increase will push me out. Maybe a good plan is to wait until the 04s are ready to come out and then get a good close-out price on an 03. The 03 is still a very good car. And if they offer discounts on the 03 the way Accord offered them on the 02 Accord, it could be a great buy.
  • erichnererichner Member Posts: 14
    In response to your questions, the 2004 Maxima that is shown at it's similar to what I saw. The difference is the front grill which was closer to a single blackened out pontiac grill. It was said a the time that the grill was not been finalized yet. It does look much better in the spy picture. Notice that the headlights are the Q45 ones and that there is some type of sunroof on the roof. The one I saw was a lot narrower - perhaps 8-10" inches running from the front center of the roof almost all the way to the rear glass.

    I don't recall a lot of chrome. The speedometer and all other gauges were beautiful clock faces. Crisp and clear with a iridiscent pearl background.

    Everybody thought the car belonged to the Infinity line and not Nissan.

  • wgrwgr Member Posts: 127
    Did you see the rear-end on the 04 ? Does it look like the picture on the internet site ?
  • erichnererichner Member Posts: 14
    I recall the rear end to be very clean cut and the rear taillights and the rear glass didn't look like the picture... but a few things could have changed since I saw the prototype.
  • galvanggalvang Member Posts: 156
    I hope they do in fact add as an option of AWD. Unlike where you live in flatland, USA Blizzaks maybe good enough for you but for other states AWD is necessary. It would be nice to have it especially here in the sierra Nevada where chains are mandatory in cars w/o AWD including SUVs during storms (its the law). If Nissan adds AWD it will steal market share from its Audi rival especially here in the mountinous terrain. I know somebody that would consider one if that is to happen.

    If Nissan decides to add the same trannie as the Murano it will be a boon. 7 speed tiptronic, wow!!! Also some of the internal stainless steel accents would also look nice as the Murano. If the Murano adds some of its flavorings to the Maxima it should be a really spectacular car.
  • petra02petra02 Member Posts: 33
    No camoflage, either! start=1&fid=4959&taid=1&topid=19&nut=1032464510#7

    NOTE: I split the link between "?" and "start" to avoid the 150 word limit. I don't really see the point for that, Edmunds.

  • pda97pda97 Member Posts: 91
    AWD is an advantage in snowy areas. However, a majority of buyers don't need AWD since it's an added cost. If Nissan bumps up the power significantly on the 04 Max (assuming it retains FWD), then AWD is a good idea since it can elimiate torque steer. Otherwise, go to a RWD format !
  • muscarelmuscarel Member Posts: 22
    This is a disturbing trend I am seeing in a lot of cars. Why are all my favorite cars getting bigger and bigger. The maxima is just fine at the 3200-3300 lb mark (actually it can lose a couple of hundred pounds). The current car is big enough to carry around a family and still small enough to actually make the car fun to drive. Everyone has this obsession with making cars bigger. The old Altima was a good size and should have stayed as is, as should the maxima. Honda did the right thing in keeping the new accord the same size. AWD will just add another 300 lbs. to what already looks like a 3500 lb car. As far as I can see the new Max looks like an old man car (I hope I didn't offend anyone).
  • pda97pda97 Member Posts: 91
    I wouldn't mind if Nissan were to kill the Max. Or kill the I35. But not keep both. What's wrong with the Altima being Nissan's flag ship ? Add a High Output version of the Altima SE. Call it SE-R or something. Nissan already has WAY too many models in the high $20K range.
  • ccermakccermak Member Posts: 260
    Get rid of the Altima and revamp the Max before dropping the Max! The interior in the Altima looks like a Grand Am compared to the Maxima. Give the Max the independant suspension and cosmetic overture and call it a day. Get rid of those freakin ugly clear tail lights too!

  • muscarelmuscarel Member Posts: 22
    I agree, the Maxima's interior is very nice in terms of design as well as quality of materials. I wouldn't change a thing on the inside. If they can add the independent suspension and maybe clean up the rear end design a bit, the car would be perfect. But if they make the car any bigger, it'll be a turn-off.
  • borisgudonovborisgudonov Member Posts: 36
    ccermak, dude, are you crazy??!! I've not liked the shape of the rear end of the Maxima since the 2000 redesign, but for the 02/03 changes, the clear tail lights are the best change on the max besides the engine!
  • ccermakccermak Member Posts: 260
    Those clear tailights look like something a young punk fast and furious dork stuck on there aftermarket. Why don't you put on one of those great big stainless steal spoilers too, and a big can muffler, bzzzzzzzzzzzz.

    No way, give me the smoked out tails anyday.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H EdmundsAdministrator Posts: 11,126
    The tail lights really seem to be a love-it-or-hate-it feature. Personally, they're not for me. But I've witnessed others raving about them. I think that in 2 years time they'll go the way of the Dodo.

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  • bobby1361bobby1361 Member Posts: 9
    I am about to by another Maxima my 4th. However after seeing the pictures of the future 2004 SHOULD I wait until the spring of 2003??? I need some help because I am buying in November 2002. I really love the Max but man the picture makes me go WOW!! Will the 04 price remain the same?? HELP! HELP! HELP!
  • a_l_hubcapsa_l_hubcaps Member Posts: 518

    Well, the Maxima already got hit with a pretty good price hike for 2002, when the new Altima came out. I expect that the 2004 will go up a bit more, but probably not drastically.

    Personally, I question Nissan's decision to build V6 Altimas in the $23-27K price range. That's forcing Maxima base prices up into Infiniti range, and there's just no good reason for it.

    If I ran Nissan, I would have made the 2002 Altima 4-cyl only, and said, "If you want a V6, buy a Maxima". That arrangement, IMHO, would make a lot more sense in terms of making a clear differentiation between the models.

    -Andrew L
  • maybach62maybach62 Member Posts: 1
    Good points, Andrew! I totally agree with you.

    A clear differentiation between Maxima and Altima is not only important but necessary. In fact, I believe it will benefit both consumers and Nissan.
  • nissangirlnissangirl Member Posts: 186
    My Nissan salesman told me recently that most all Altima shoppers want the 4 cyl. He was saying that if someone wants a V6 they "step up" to the Maxima. I mean, you might as well, there is hardly any price difference in the V6 Altima vs the Maxima.
  • vinceburlappvinceburlapp Member Posts: 64
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