• Jun 28, 2005

It is sad to see this powerful sedan go. It was surprising just how capable this car is. The Nissan VQ35 V6 is a dream, and you can tell why they use this engine in so many of their cars. The suspension is well designed, and is definitely tuned for performance in the SE. The SL is supposed to give a softer ride. So if you're looking for a smooth riding Maxima, the SL is the better choice. There were some issues with interior quality and design that nagged me during the review period, but your mileage may vary. Overall, the Maxima is a fast, stylish, and comfortable car.



AG Maxima Doorhandle

So, would I buy one? In doing some research, there were some things that came up as concerns for me. As a potential-buyer, I always look for ways to get a better deal. So, I pulled a comparison between the Maxima and Altima. From a pure interior room perspective, the Maxima and Altima are neck and neck. The Maxima offers more high end features, however. If you?re looking for a Nissan sedan, check out both the Maxima and Altima before settling. Also, the IIHS side impact safety ratings for the Maxima are not that great for a large sedan, especially considering the standard side airbags. It is better than a lot of other cars, but not the greatest. If safety is a huge factor for you, you should factor the Maxima?s ratings into the comparison. Personally, I would cross shop this car with other makes before deciding. I would consider the 2004 models that are turning up on the used market, however.

AG Maxima Trunk

Thumbs up:
Fast, Wonderful V6, competent handling, spacious interior and trunk

Thumbs down:
SE suspension and tires do not translate to a smooth ride, but that is the compromise you make for having sporty suspension, some interior cheapness, annoying steering wheel controls, questionable side impact safety ratings.

AG Maxima Rear





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  • 14 Comments
      • 9 Years Ago
      huge, ugly, bulky, sluggish in all the wrong ways and fast in a straight line it's a wannabe muscle car how could you recommend this thing to anyone?! go g35 or go with another company
      • 9 Years Ago
      It is a surprise to me that the Japanese buick beat the maxima that is more driver oriented, and the comment on the extra tight springs makes me think how preconception can influence a review, cause in many reviews avalon touring is still said to be too soft side, but after comparing it to other cars back to back here, they say it is too tight the only thing the avalon did not beat is the bold modern styling of maxima
      • 9 Years Ago
      as a former american-only driver i like but don't love the sl after three months. the value and the power, i like. the torque steer really gets me down, and over time i have come to like the rear-end "hatchback"-looking styling less and less. i also can't stand the dash controls -- hit the a/c "mode" button every time i go for the fan speed button -- and the cabin lights unit all of a sudden hit me as very cheap looking. but it moves; it handles well; people are comfortable in it; good bose sound system. did i mention that it's fast? it's fast.
      • 9 Years Ago
      What does it mean when a car has "Excellent handling, competent handling"? Which is it?
      • 9 Years Ago
      Exactly what is the difference between, "Excellent handling, competent handling"? Come on, start editing, even if someone only re-reads the text, before publishing.
      • 9 Years Ago
      #2 it's quicker...
      • 9 Years Ago
      In response to " huge , ugly , bulky - Jake " Did you ever drive this car?? I own a 04 max 6 speed , drove the G35 , found it to be a nice car , but for the premium , not worth it. I live in an area with lots of snow , G35 is rear driver , sucks in snow as reported by my buddies who own them. G35x solves this but at a substantial premium , therfore added cost. Maxima is best bang for the buck , with a few tweaks , this baby rins with 300 HP sedans and coupes. BEST DAMN CAR I HAVE driven or owned at under $40 K . Only problem I ever had was strut problem in front which dealer fixed , melted tires ( my fault )
      • 9 Years Ago
      I bought a Maxima 3.5SE after driving a Infiniti G35 and M35, Ford 500 Acura TL, BMW 5 series and Lexus GS. Since it was to replace my third BMW 3-series, I had high standards. Here's my summary: Acura: wonderful engine/transmission, lousy seats, steering wheel. G35: cramped compared to Maxima (FWD benefit) and controls for seats under right leg was annoying M35/45: too many gadgets, M45 felt ponderous Ford 500: did not like driving position or quality Lexus overpriced BMW 530: way overpriced, underpowered, not comfortable. (3 was too small for current needs.) The Maxima was a bargain, most comfortable, good performance, except for torque steer under high accelleration. Best sounding engine except for BMW 6. I have 10,500 miles on it in 4 months with zero problems. Just drove San Diego to Boulder at average 68 MPH and 26.2 mpg. Now if Nissan would only get the iPod interface going.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I'd love to see a sedan from Mazda at this price-range. It would look something like the Mazda6, except beefier, with a V6 (maybe a little turbo?) and handle sporty in typical Mazda fashion etc. It would be fun.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Awesome car! Just purchased 2005 SL, 2000 miles and rocketing on. Most fun I've had in a car for some time. Love the engine, handling is tight (once past the torque steer) and loads of room for the fam. Would like to see better fit and finish on the dash however. (doesn't everyone though?) I looked into several options and found that the value on this car could not be beat. I wanted... and got, power, comfort and bold styling, and didn't break the bank.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Thanks for the review. The Maxima's on the list as a possible future car. You pretty much answered many of my questions on it with one exception: how the NAV system worked. But it's obviously why you couldn't answer it
      • 9 Years Ago
      It is a surprise to me that the Japanese buick beat the maxima that is more driver oriented, and the comment on the extra tight springs makes me think how preconception can influence a review, cause in many reviews avalon touring is still said to be too soft side, but after comparing it to other cars back to back here, they say it is too tight the only thing the avalon did not beat is the bold modern styling of maxima
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