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Nissan Maxima 2004 Redesign



  • talon95talon95 Posts: 1,110
    and the official picture to which I'm referring is the side view slightly from the rear. All of the recent photos that I've seen besides the Nissan photo carry EXACTLY THE SAME styling cues, completely undisguised, and can be matched up to the official Nissan photo. The only part that can't be confirmed is the front.

    As for the other designs (of which the Altima, Murano and G35 sedan are highly overrated, IMO), nobody hits a home run every time. I doubt that any design team goes out with the intention of designing an ugly car, but sometimes it just happens. And it just has.

    And you can keep the personal comments out of this discussion. Those of us who dislike what we've seen of the new Max aren't stupid because we don't agree with you.
  • and there are a bunch of pictures of the new Maxima and other auto show cars.
  • talon95talon95 Posts: 1,110
    The disguises are off, and guess what? The recent spy shots from WERE INDEED the REAL thing, despite someone's insistence to the contrary. Guess we weren't so stupid after all...

    See, I had the common sense to be able to compare those photos to the one early official Nissan photo and determine that they were real. Not exactly rocket science.

    Now I can say without reservation and with complete confidence... that is one sorry looking automobile.
  • When I saw the final official pictures of the 2004 Maxima from, I'm more convinced that the car is overstyled to the point of ugliness.

    From some angles, the car looks like a Saturn ION "writ large." And the ION wasn't a beautiful car, either.
  • talon95talon95 Posts: 1,110
    "-- An international group of automotive
    journalists has selected the Mini Cooper, the Infiniti G35 and the Nissan 350Z
    as finalists for the 2003 North American Car of the Year while the Honda
    Element, HUMMER H2, Nissan Murano and Volvo XC90 are finalists for the 2003
    North American Truck of the Year.

    3 out of 7 are Nissan. Only one domesticated, the Hummer. No Toyota, no Accord. Next year belongs to the Max and FX, looks like Toyota & Honda will have to breathe Nissan fumes for a while. Yeah!"

    Hmmm... despite the bright signs early on, the North American International Auto Show has not been kind to Nissan. First they previewed the breathtakingly nasty looking 2004 Maxima. Then they previewed the 2004 Quest, the only vehicle that I've ever seen which has what looks like an oval wastepaper basket integrated into its dashboard. Not a pretty sight. I wonder if they'll have a special version with the interior done by OfficeMax...

    Finally, as the quote above indicates, there was a preponderence of heavily promoted, highly anticipated Nissan/Infiniti vehicles among the finalists for Car and Truck of the Year. Nissan/Infiniti had 3 of the 7 finalists for these awards (350Z, G35 and Murano), but they were unable to score with any of them. The COTY went to the Mini Cooper and the TOTY went to the Volvo XC90. Guess Toyota and Honda will find the air to be free of Nissan fumes for the upcoming year. Yeah!

    Sorry to be so smug... but due to the tone of the quoted post, I just couldn't resist.
  • pda97pda97 Posts: 91
    Like I suggested earlier, kill the Max ! Give the Altima a more upscale interior and make IT Nissan's flag ship. The last thing Nissan needs righ now is ANOTHER vehicle with the 3.5L engine ! Sheesh.....Hmmm, while they're at it, they might as well put that engine into the Sentra, too. Now, we're talking !!
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    You forgot to mention Z won Automobile of the year from Automobile magazine and G won Motor Trend COTY.

    The new Max will do just fine, but I dont like the new grille design.
  • I've just been checking out the official Nissan/Infiniti Manufacturer's site and they have finally published the official '04 Maxima photo's and, oh boy, is the new car ugly!!! Go to to check it out. I don't know why they decided to produce this monstrosity, unless they've secretly hired Ford and GM's design staffs. The rear-end I can live with - it sort of looks a bit too stout, kind of like the fat butt on the new Accord, but not too plump to not look fast. However, swing around to the side and the front and you're looking at a real ugly bloated stumpy lump! What's with the fat C-pillar, and that horrible "nose" plate??? The car definitely has North American design written all over it. I am sooo glad that I didn't wait for the '04's to come out and bought my '03 instead. Not only is this new brute going to be built by the overpaid, underworked Auto Workers Union of America, which is a guarantee of poor quality, but I am willing to bet that it was designed by some suit who never drove anything meaner than a Ford Taurus which, by the way, is a much better looking car than this abhorration from Nissan. I guess when my '03 SE wears out, I'll have to try another manufacturer for my next ride. Sorry, Nissan, but you blew this one BIG TIME! (does anyone remember the AMC Matador? Well, it has company now!)
  • talon95talon95 Posts: 1,110
    The topic was North American Car and Truck of the Year and your post gloating over Nissan's apparent domination of them early on. If they won other awards, so what? That's not the point. The point is that your prediction of Nissan domination of these awards was wrong.

    As was your statement regarding how stupid we were to think that the spy photos were the real thing vs. disguised test mules. In the case of the photos, they were the real thing, so I guess we're not as stupid as you suggested. And the new Max is every bit the styling aberration that those photos suggested it would be.

    As for Motor Trend's COTY, by winning it, the G joins the ranks of such hallowed predecessors as the Chevrolet Vega and the Renault Alliance. So savor the moment...
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    3 cars out of 7 finalists, where no other maker has even 2 finalists. Get real, Nissan did great in 2002. If any maker can repeat that performance in 2003, it will take it and have a heck of a year.

    Motor Trend used to have domestic and import COTY awards, and now combined the two. The domestic variety had many winners that turned out to be duds, like the X car. The import variety had many real winners. The combined award has more import than Detroit flavor, don't you think?
  • talon95talon95 Posts: 1,110
    Spin it any way you want... I still think it's hilarious that Nissan went home empty handed after all of your chest beating about the nominations.
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    It's almost as bad as India Arie going home empty handed after all those Grammy nominations.

    But I'm actually starting to like the look of the new Maxima from the front. Still don't like the rear, though.

    As for it looking like an Ion - the Maxima's shape resembles the Altima, which came out before the Ion. Basically, it's a bigger Altima.
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    I like everything about the car except the new grill. That flat, smooth piece with the Nissan symbol jars so badly with the grill and the hood that is ruins the entire front end. The grill was my favorite part of the old Max, so it really stinks that they screwed it up so bad.
  • I know I'm on the wrong side of this discussion... but... I think like the Murano, the new Max looks great inside and out...but then I think the new BMW 7 series is great design as well. I'm looking forward to getting back into a Nissan in a year or two and was concerned that the 04 Maxima was going to be built in TN. on the same line as the Altima. After seeing the fit and finish not just the quality of the materials on the Altima I'm concerned about what's going on at Smyrna and why one year later they're still putting out cars with such a questionable fit and finish.
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    I'm with you. I thought the current Max grille looks great, and they turn it into the weak link of the new design.

    Worrisome that your minivan outlooks your flagship sedan!
  • talon95talon95 Posts: 1,110
    The severe C-piller angle doesn't appear on the Altima and is what suggests the Ion to me.
  • IMHO, the ’04 Maxima has a nice looking butt, but an ugly face. The previous (existing) Nissan was the opposite, nice face but ugly butt. If only they kept the 03 face, but grafted the 04 butt onto it…

    The side kinda looks like a G35, but that is not a bad thing. However, I wish they could make the gap between the tires and the wheel arches smaller, like the BMW 540 with sports package. Low and aggressive but at the same times also classy.
  • rebel22rebel22 Posts: 11
    I think the look of the new Max will grow on me. At first look at the spy photos I thought that it was terrible. After seeing all the new shots the car isn't as ugly as I had first perceived. I will learn to love the new max, I still prefer the current version of the Max but the change will keep the Maxima up with it's ever changing competition. I think that once we're able to get behind the wheel of the new Max some of our feelings towards the car will change.
  • I think Hammer 19 had the best post, I am also
    afraid of the quality of the New Max being built in Tenn. The UAW are underpaid, overworked and some of its members are barely hanging on to their jobs by a thread! With all of the new computer operated machines taking the place of the workers we are bound to have major flaws in the car! Nissan has made a mistake and this may cost them in the long haul just give it a few years and they may be back to the finacial situation they were in the early '90s. I don't think this car will do as well as they think. Lets all pray that I am wrong!! I love my Nissan cars!
  • I just went to to see the real pictures of the 04 Max and boy oh boy this cars interior is ugly!!! When I was lookin for a car it was between the 03 Max, 03 I35 and the 03 G35. I thought about waiting for the 03 Max and I am so glad that I did not! Is it me or do the 3 gages in one along with the orange/amber color of the backlight look ugly? I didn't like those gages or the steering wheel in the G35(which is in the 04 Max)and the I35 was nothing more than a 3K-5K more expensive car! Get your 03 Max fast before they run out. Keep them running and take good care of them because they will be the last of it kind!!!!
  • I was looking forward to the new Max. The front
    grill looks likes a 20 year old oldsmobile.
    I guess after 3 Nissans I will have to go elsewhere.
  • jg28jg28 Posts: 257
    It was designed in Japan. So, before, we had a car that was designed here (in LaJolla, CA) and built in Japan. Now we'll have a car that was apparently designed in Japan and built here. Go figure.
  • I like the back of the 04 maxima. (it's better than the altima) The side profile looks just like the altima (I'm looking to find pictures of each taken at the same angle, I can harly tell them apart)
    I think the roof thing is silly...that's all I'll say about that.
    I'm not a huge fan of the steering wheel (It looks better in the G35) and the orange gauges can go too. The center stack looks kinda empty...
    I don't like the Nissian "hood ornament" but they did need to change up the grill a little (the current max looks similar to my buick regal from the front)
    Most importantly, the ride, fit/finish, and price will make or break the car.

    It looks like an altima, (If it walks like a duck...) so they'll need to improve the road noise/ride. It's got to be put together better. and needs to be priced right...

    just my $.02
  • galvanggalvang Posts: 156
    I thought the car looked pretty good from the exterior although the front was different. Probably needs getting used too. That's okay. Once you grow into liking the styling it sticks to you for a long time. The rear end and sides looked sexy.

    The interior looked fabilous with leather seating, guages, and steering wheel using the same accents as the Murano. The only thing I didn't like was the bottom half of the instument panel where it seems empty and out of place. The Murano does't do that.

    As for the drivetrain. The engine seemed good with its rated horsepower. The tranny looked excellent with its CVT/AT and six speed manual except NO AWD. Thats the biggest disappointment.
    This car could of been an Audi killer but it looks like it won't be. Although the 04 MAX offered dynamic wheel stability and tranction control it doesn't quite substitute with a vehicle with AWD. Besides the law in many states require chains if not equipped with 4-wheel drive. Even with the above features you still have to put the chains on. Big Bummer!!!

    So from that, this car will be off my radar until either the laws have been updated or the MAX gets an AWD.
  • alexxxalexxx Posts: 7
    As much as a love Max and respect Nissan there is no way I'll pay $28,000 to $34,000 for FWD - Japanese - US made car.
    If you are willing to spent that much money you can start looking in to some European cars or perhaps luxury brands like Infinity and Lexus.
    It is more fan and much better to have 220hp with RWD than 265hp with FWD

    p.s Maybe my problem is that I bought my Nissan Maxima 95 GXE for $18699 back in 1995
  • I think I'm on my last Max ('03 SE). I won't pay that much for an American made car either. I am thankful I had the courage to go trade my '00 SE in for my '03 SE - I just love it!!
  • achadhaachadha Posts: 106
    Nice Nissangirl you bought an 03 SE? did you get the 6speed? I traded in my 98 SE 5speed for the 03' SE 6speed Titanium polish color and black leather love it to death! Have u seen the titanium polish color I think it is the best color ever made by a car company!
  • andil1andil1 Posts: 97
    Go to

    and click on Nissan. There are pictures and a text article included. Interesting that Autoweek calls the new Nissan Maxima grille a "love it or leave it" feature.
  • My first thought when I saw the front end was 20 year old Olds Omega or Cutlass. It's certainly ugly. As for the rest of the styling I think it's just an iteration of the corporate look of the Altima and G35.

    I own a 2003 Altima and I'm impressed with its looks. The only thing I don't like are the clear tailights (most people feel differently).

    When a vehicle has a flaw somethimes it can be corrected or improved upon in the aftermarket. I significantly upgraded the Altima's cheap interior with an aftermarket leather package.

    I will also consider changing the tailight lenses (appears body colored or red lenses may be available in the aftermarket soon).

    On the other hand the Maxima grille is probably a love it or leave it situation.

    My suggestion would be upgrade an Altima interior or wait a year or so for Nissan to do it. Cheaper and more attractive choice than the Maxima. If you can live with the grille ( I think the rest of the car is ok) than it's just a question of how much a Maxima will set you back (Is it worth $30000 plus).

    As for styling critiques, I saw the 2004 Malibu today and it was pathetic. I thought Lutz had kicked some butt in the styling department. This thing makes a Dodge Aspen look state of the art. What makes it even more absurd is that GM does a pretty good job styling trucks but just doesn't have a clue with cars (Impala, Saturn LS, etc.)
  • jg28jg28 Posts: 257
    The Honda Accord beats the Maxima hands down in build quality (Edmunds calls the Accord quality "rock solid") and it's built in Ohio. Why are some of you so opposed to a US made vehicle? Foreign elitists?

    Agree about the Malibu. It looked promising at first (considering it's based on the Opel Vectra and on the same platform as Saab's 9-3) but the end result is, well, ugly. There are some promising things from Lutz and GM though, specifically the Pontiac G6 concept. Very handsome.
This discussion has been closed.