By on June 8, 2021

Breathtaking, isn’t it? Just the right size, its lovely proportions carry off a premium look well. It was always a cut above the Camry and Accord with its superior drive and buttery smooth VG30 V6 as standard. Four-door Sports Car it was called, 4DSC stickers proudly on display. Nissan had a winner with that Maxima. But that Maxima was three decades ago, and after an experience with a 2020 Maxima, I’m here to tell you Nissan most definitely gives no more shits about its most expensive sedan.

The encounter was by happenstance: A friend of mine came over with a Maxima from Enterprise he had for a week while his car was in the body shop. Since it was a 2020 model year and a rental, it was a good opportunity to see how the Maxima held up over 40,000 tough miles. But what I found regarding the car’s general quality from the factory was more surprising than its condition.

Noticeable orange peel along the flame-surfaced flanks of the car didn’t lend to a look of quality. Trim both exterior and interior had a cheap, thin feel. From the plastic chrome of the trunk handle which wiggled under pressure to the “diamond” pattern interior door trim, everything seemed built to a low price. Rough edges on exterior trim were common everywhere, which my finger felt as it poked and prodded the silver sedan. The corner of the door trim was particularly poorly finished, with visible unevenness and sharp edges.

Around this time I decided to look up how much the Maxima cost since I really wasn’t sure. I’d guessed around $32,000, something like that for this mid-level SV. Turned out I was quite wrong, as the entry-level SV asks a full $37,000. The upscale SR and Platinum trims are both $42,000, and lower-level trims (S and SL) are no longer available. I let that number roll around in my head as I checked out the rest of Nissan’s Maxima efforts: $37,000. That figure seemed ever steeper when my finger disappeared into the very uneven gap at the trunk lid. Fortunately, because the left side was so bad the right side was quite tidy! About the time I was finished being shocked at the trunk, I noticed the gloss trim that brought the rear side window to meet the rear windscreen. It was rough enough to need sanding. Door handles are chromed plastic and have an unlock button instead of a touch sensor like on a Golf.

Inside didn’t fare much better. After 40,000 miles the Maxima’s black leather had picked up a cheap sheen, and not the “Just applied Armor All” kind of sheen. From the driver’s seat, all expected infotainment and power features are in place but work in a clunky and outdated way. There are about eight different display options for the center screen between the gauges, all full of too much-cluttered information. The screen resets with each restart, to a “POWER” gauge with a little horizontal bar that shows how much throttle pressure is being applied. Though it’s a pretty large car (193″ L x 73″ W x 57″ H) the inside felt relatively claustrophobic thanks to the enormous center console wall and thick pillars. The hood also protruded into view at the left, center, and right, giving a constant view of the trim at the lower edge of the windshield.

I won’t go too deep into driving impressions as I didn’t drive it for an extended period, but there wasn’t much Four-door Sports Car about its CVT and artificially weighted steering. Said steering didn’t get lighter at parking speeds for some reason, so it really had to be wrangled more than necessary while maneuvering. The Maxima lacks the fun and engagement of a sports sedan, and it’s not supremely comfortable or luxurious as a cruiser. It doesn’t do anything well considering its price.

So who’s the Maxima for? What’s its purpose? It costs much more than the Altima which is the exact same size. It’s older than the Altima, does not optional have all-wheel drive like the Altima, and does not have a choice of engines like Altima. The Altima looks better generally, and its interior is more organized and up to date as well. The most expensive 2.5-liter Platinum Altima is $3,000 less than the most basic Maxima SV. Altima no longer offers a V6, so with either 182 or 236 horsepower, it’s decently less powerful than the 300-horse Maxima. And that’s about it.

I can only conclude that Nissan no longer cares about its 4DSC. There’s no effort here in materials or build quality or any recollection of the end goal: an exciting sporty sedan. It’s slapdash and dated, and nobody should buy one. But perhaps that’s why they’re Enterprise fodder now.

[Images: Nissan, Corey Lewis / The Truth About Cars]

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70 Comments on “Opinion: Nissan Definitely No Longer Cares About the Maxima...”


  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I’m not sure why Nissan bothers with this car anymore. Before the pandemic hit, there were TONS of these on used car lots, all with 25-30,000 miles and going for low-20s. I suppose if you’re after a “lightly used ex-rental” bargain, it works. But why would anyone choose this over an Avalon?

    The irony is that Nissan’s cheaper, high-volume stuff is getting a lot better – the Versa, in particular, is pretty respectable-looking these days.

  • avatar
    FerrariLaFerrariFace

    Nobody cares about Nissan anymore. Evidently, this includes Nissan.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I disagree – these guys have a whole bunch of fresh product that isn’t bad-looking at all. This Maxima is part of their older product portfolio, so it’s little wonder that it sucks.

      I think they’re poised for a comeback – at a minimum, it can’t get a whole lot worse.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      Whether or not Carlos Ghosn was literally a criminal, it’s a crime what his short-term profiteering and cost-slashing did to Nissan and his products. They don’t have a decent transmission, there’s no powertrain route to the future, their reputation is in tatters, and they don’t make a product that matches the category leader in any category they’re in—yes, including those “lots better than they were” low-end models.

      Ghosn gutted Nissan. This Maxima is its fly-attracting entrails, hanging out in plain sight for those few who happen by to see it.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        Sounds like how Cerberus decimated Chrysler. As for Nissan, my Altima was a 2009. Dash/gauges/steering wheel and the like was decent for the price point, but the lower you went downward in the cabin, the cheaper and cheaper things got. The carpet, mats, door gaskets and various plastic panels were horribly cheap. Body assembly was marginal as well. It was reliable with the exception of the TPMS – every 20-25K like clockwork it failed. It also had the failure of the steering wheel lock which would result in a no-start. I bypassed it as shown online because the fleet guys refused to believe that the lock was the cause. Eventually Nissan issued a recall that bypassed the wheel lock.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Is Ghosn to blame? Good question. Clearly the cheaped-out garbage Nissan was pumping out until the last couple of years is “on him.”

        But the stuff they’re bringing out now is quite decent, and given that new product takes about five years to develop, and Ghosn was on the job until three and a half years ago, maybe he should some get credit for the better stuff that’s in their showrooms now.

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    Multiple Maximas in the family here. Parents had a new 1990 GXE, aunt had a new 1990 SE, and later on, a 1995 SE with manual joined the family. Peak Maxima. The 1990 generation was just stunning, especially given what it cost. The V6 sounded great and was butter smooth. The interior held up even after 150,000 plus miles, with the last few years parked outside. The 199t showed early signs of cost cutting with interior plastics and the rear suspension, but the engine and transmission made up for it. It also made it a long time, finally being retired not due to age but injuries making it hard to drive a stick in DC traffic.
    I don’t recognize this Maxima. There is nothing that makes it stand out. Who is the buyer? What is the mission? Why not buy a better Infiniti or Lexus instead? All I see now is an expensive Altima, not an entry level Infiniti.
    Real luxury sweats the details, like Nissan used to do with the Maxima. That interior was solid with no rattles and quality materials. It just had the robo-belts to drive you crazy. (Who the bloody hell thought those were a good idea???) This current Maxima is built to the lowest possible price point – no better, no less.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      Yeah, that was peak Maxima. A friend had a ’95 SE with the five-speed, and I got to drive it a few times. It was a blast – the smooth and torquey V6 coupled to the equally smooth five-speed.

    • 0 avatar
      thegamper

      I disagree with the author of this article. I think the Maxima is exactly what it is supposed to be, a slightly more powerful, slightly more upscale midsizer with some sporting intention. I do agree that the 4DSC moniker is fantasy on Nissan’s part.

      Lets take this into context a little bit, this car was originally introduced in 2015 or something wasnt it? This example has 40k miles on it…..as a rental mind you. I have driven this car for an extended time as a rental, the SV is one of the lower trims. Even with the CVT, this is a highway car, mildly enjoyable around town and gets it done. The power is nice, it handles competently but not particularly sporty. When it was introduced, the exterior design was truly different and definitely turned heads. 7 years later, not so much. It is now outdated.

      To be fair, nobody is paying close to sticker for this car. The real transaction prices of these cars is much closer to that of the Camcord and always was, I know because I shopped them several years ago. I actually owned a maroon 1990 Maxima as a used car. Great vehicle especially considering its contemporary competition. I also owned a 2011 Maxima which was a fantastic deal as I recall and I enjoyed that vehicle even though it was CVT by that time, it was still a step above the average midsizer.

      There are lots of vehicles you can nit-pick the quality of several years and 40k miles later and well past their prime. Even though I don’t own a Nissan anymore, can’t help but feel like this author is simply piling on everyone’s favorite whipping boy. Read some reviews! The Maxima was actually quite well reviewed across a broad spectrum of interweb auto pundits back in 2015-2016. Just sayin

      Exhibit A: TTAC review of 2016 Maxima (which was not all sunshine and rainbows but on balance tended toward positive)

      “Nissan has seemingly nailed the suspension tuning equation, solving for X where X equals the perfect blend of sport and luxury.”

      “The clear and concise instrument panel is framed by a thoroughly chunky, fully-adjustable steering wheel (trimmed in Alcantara in SR models, just like the seat inserts) while the rest of the interior materials are either top-notch or close as makes no difference to it. Seats are well, but not overly, bolstered and provide a level of comfort slightly exceeding the segment.”

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        I don’t agree – “we’ll give you a deal on this car” isn’t much of an excuse for pi*s-poor fit and finish on a $20,000 car, and even less of an excuse on one costing this much. I’m pretty sure the folks at Toyota don’t have to make similar excuses on the Avalon.

      • 0 avatar

        “the SV is one of the lower trims”

        It’s $37,000. Are you suggesting the $42,000 version would have better exterior fit and finish and drive differently?

        And yes it is an old design, but it’s still on sale. You don’t cut manufacturers slack because they haven’t bothered to improve/update a product. “Oh this car isn’t great but it’s old, so that’s understandable” is not how automotive sales work.

        “There are lots of vehicles you can nit-pick the quality of several years and 40k miles”

        It is a one-year-old car, and those panel gaps and poor trim finish were not caused by being a rental. They were caused at the factory and in the design process.

        “The Maxima was actually quite well reviewed across a broad spectrum of interweb auto pundits back in 2015-2016.”

        Hasn’t been updated since then, so do they care about the Maxima? My entire point. That was then and this is now. Live in the present.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          @Corey:

          ““Oh this car isn’t great but it’s old, so that’s understandable” is not how automotive sales work.”

          Well, in fairness, it does work for Toyota when it comes to the Tacoma. I’ve never heard anyone say anything good about anything about how it drives.

        • 0 avatar
          thegamper

          I have owned a lot of cars Corey. Bought and leased. Domestic, European, Japanese. Not one of them was perfect, especially with wear. I am not saying this is an exceptional vehicle, but its not the crap you are making it out to be. I have seen enough posts on TTAC with regard to Nissan to know how people love to pile on, especially of late, especially here. It’s a popular….safe…topic. I just call it like I see it. I am still chuckling at defect #1, you would have to try pretty hard to cut yourself on that.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        …There are lots of vehicles you can nit-pick the quality of several years and 40k miles later and well past their prime…

        40K miles is “well past its prime”? Even for a rental I can’t accept that. Even if you are referring to its design as being past its prime, these kind of issues are caused by poor design, poor assembly, or sub-par materials.

  • avatar
    namesakeone

    Nissan doesn’t want to sell Maximas. Nissan wants to sell Pathfinders. They sell for more, and they probably cost less to build.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Shame. Agreed on peak Maxima from the 90s.

    By comparison, my lowly Ioniq EV has excellent built quality, and has aged well over its brief 2.5-year, 30k miles in my hands. And there are many other examples of cheaper cars built well.

    Maybe the Maxima will disappear the moment the Ariya is available.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      It is a shame, but I think it also bears mentioning that the market the Maxima plays in has basically shrunk to irrelevance since the “4DSC” years. It’s now the Maxima, Toyota Avalon, and the Charger/300, and Toyota’s the only manufacturer that seems to be making a go of it. Nissan and FCA let their products get stale as hell.

      Shame, but I see why it happened.

  • avatar
    NigelShiftright

    I owned a 98 Maxima SE stick from ’98 until 2013. Best all-round car that’s ever been in my garage. Plenty of fun to drive after I tweaked the suspension a little, some torque steer but not enough to be a problem, never but never left me stuck at the roadside.

    Its only flaw was that fifth gear should have been a little taller for a quieter highway cruise and better mileage. (Although the latter didn’t bother me very much when the price delta from regular > premium was only 10-12 cents).

    Finally started seriously rusting at about age 12. If I’d been able to avert that I may have been driving her still.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    I haven’t cared about Nissan in awhile. The build quality and reliability and durability have fallen off a cliff. I see tons of new Nissans driving around, and I have to assume that either the buyers never read anything about the products, and/or the financing deals are driving sales.

    I notice in the interior photo that the Maxima uses the little Mike & Ike shaped indicators for BSM on the piece of trim that covers the mounting bolts for the outside mirrors, instead of putting the indicators in the mirror glass, like everyone else does. The Altima (I drove an Altima rental last year) uses the same setup. It must be cheaper than putting the indicators in the mirrors.

    Nissan (and before that, Datsun) used to build solid cars and trucks, with quality, reliability, and durability right up there with Toyota. Not anymore.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    The ’89 generation with a stick was the car I wished I could afford in high school, or at least the one that seemed slightly more attainable than the $35k second-generation Legend. They held their value well and even a high-mileage ’89 SE was twice my $6k car budget when I bought in 1992. (I ended up with an ’87 Ford Taurus with an appetite for alternators.)

    The next-best Maxima was the first couple years of the 2000 generation, when you could still get a VQ30 and a manual. Those didn’t feel as cheap or generic as the ’95 generation yet they still had that sweet powertrain. Once they went all-CVT, the Maxima was just another midsize sedan with an upgrade engine option.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “The next-best Maxima was the first couple years of the 2000 generation, when you could still get a VQ30 and a manual. ”

      I have a friend who had this exact model, he put over 200K on it before a deer sent it to the crusher. He really loved that car, also has an MY09 Camaro with manual and whatever big V8 was offered that year. Last time I saw him he was tooling around in a Model 3.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      dal, I had the good fortune (and paid a small one) to have the ’92 twin-cam 4DSC. I kept it for 17 years till its valvetrain started to cry Uncle. It was everything the legends said it was. I still miss it.

  • avatar
    ravenuer

    Bought a 96 Max GLE brand new. Best car I ever owned. Put 300k on it when the tin worm found it.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Datsun/Nissan had some excellent and/or ground breaking or well respected vehicles. The 510, the original Z-Cars, the ‘hardbody’, the 4DSC, and the GTR.

    Later the original Pathfinder, and even the original X-Trail and X-Terra were solid vehicles.

    Might even include the 300ZX turbo and the 210 ‘Sunny’ cars that sold well and were competitive in their markets.

    I believe that Nissan is again becoming competitive. The major bug-a-boo being the past concerns regarding their CVTs. With so many other manufacturers changing to CVTs those concerns may eventually fade.

  • avatar
    KOKing

    Recall that pre-Lexus/Infiniti, the Maxima competed with the Cressida, but when Toyota dropped it in the US post-Lexus, it looked for years as if Nissan did a better job covering all the midsize sedan niches between the Altima, Maxima and eventually the I30/35. Now with that segment ever shrinking, even Infiniti’s wised up and is down to just the Q50, but there must be some old fart stuck in the 90s over at Nissan’s market planning department.

    Not only is the Maxima completely irrelevant, now that the Versa is sedan-only in the US, why does both it and the Sentra need to exist? It makes absolutely no sense.

  • avatar
    tane94

    CVT was the deathknell for the Maxima. Nissan should have put the z’s automatic in the Maxima.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    FACT: Nissan No Longer Cares About the Maxima

    Fixed the headline for you.

    Fun fact on how far the Maxima has sunk. A 3.6L V6 equipped Buick LaCrosse with the 19″ or 20″ wheels is faster to 60 and 1/4 mile (the 18″ FWD version doesn’t have enough traction I’m guessing, or maybe the stock tires aren’t sticky enough).

    One thing on Maxima Infotainment – the screen is almost limitlessly configurable if you dive in.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Maxima:
    Starts at $37k
    300hp V6
    CVT
    0-60 5.8 seconds
    20/30/24 fuel economy
    EPA passenger volume of 98cuft
    EPA cargo volume of 14cuft

    Q50 Pure
    Starts at $36.5K
    300hp V6T
    7-speed automatic
    0-60 in 5.0
    20/29/23 fuel economy
    EPA passenger volume of 100cuft
    EPA cargo volume of 14cuft

    Both are “premium fuel recommended” cars although that’s probably a stronger recommendation on the Infiniti. Still, the Maxima seems like a hard sell here.

    • 0 avatar

      Just was coming to talk about this price overlap. The Infiniti is 3″ shorter overall, but as you point out has better passenger space because it resists a giant-ass console.

      There is no reason for the trunk of the Maxima to be that small, by the way. I think the Q50’s trunk is too small for even that class.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Ouch, those interior volume numbers are really damning for the Max. The Max’s advantage in this comparison *ought* to be interior space, especially rear legroom. Someone at Nissan needs to go sit in the back seat of an Avalon to see how it’s done.

    • 0 avatar
      DungBeetle62

      Only a couple of folks have addressed the overlap of the Nissan and Infiniti product lines and elsewhere how for a time the Max was “good enough” to be a candidate for a new grille and an Infiniti badge.

      After all, if Lexus can do it…

      Truthfully, the first time they installed a V6 in an Altima the Maxima really became all but pointless, and it’s been a downward slope ever since. Other than continuing to tread water, the only two options for Nissan here are to just admit defeat and cash in their chips (like all too many other are doing at the sedan game) and position the Pathfinder (or Armada) as their Top Dog, or style and badge what would essentially have been a Q40 (or G25) as the next-gen Maxima.

      Folks here was nostalgic about the 1989 Maxima because engine years of “Square as a block of cheese” styling AND improving the dynamics was a big, big deal. That, PLUS we got the new 240SX, PLUS the restyled 300ZX, PLUS the Sentra SE-R.

  • avatar
    EX35

    The only decent nissans/Infinitis are those built in Japanese factories. The difference between vehicles built in nissan’s US factories and Japanese ones are night and day. I’ve only owned those (Ex35 and then Armada/patrol/QX80) and they have been great.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    I also had a Maxima SV from Enterprise last year when my Dodge Challenger GT awd was in the body shop after someone plowed into it.
    It was a decent but hardly impressive ride especially for one just under $38k. The VQ engine was smooth and unobtrusive with the CVT. Quality wise, fit and finish it wasn’t much better than my Mopar. Obviously the old 4DSC was a lot more fun and a drivers car.
    There’s just a number of cars in this price range that pack in more value and livability such as a loaded Camry XSE V6, Infiniti Q40 or a Charger/Chrysler 300.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    VQ38
    Rear wheel drive

  • avatar
    mmreeses

    90’s were peak Maxima; the 90’S were also peak sedan profits.

    And by today’s standards people were relatively skinny in the 90’s, hence more people could “squeeze” into the driver seat of a (nearly) full-size sedan.

    Maxima died from 1000 cuts: shifting markets and maker’s neglect

  • avatar
    Crosley

    It’s sad to see, at one time Nissan/Infiniti really could play in the same league as Toyota/Lexus/Honda/Acura, but that ended in like the early 2000’s. Right about the same time Renault came into the picture.

    Nissan is now like Chrysler.

  • avatar

    The Maxima has higher quality ratings than comparable GM cars. Nissan is now nearly double the size of GM due to downsizing.

    GM – what a disgrace!

  • avatar
    Ol Shel

    YES! Like you guys say, Nissan should produce a modern version of the original Maxima, with plenty of power, high-quality everything, at a great price! It should definitely have a manual trans, 400+ HP, and be affordable for pizza delivery guys.

    They’ll sell DOZENS of them, and Nissan will be saved!

    (Uh, people no longer want sedans, much less sports sedans. Businesses have to produce what the market wants in order to survive and, sadly, most fun cars ain’t it.)

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “Uh, people no longer want sedans, much less sports sedans.”

      So don’t sell them. What’s the argument for continued production of this crum bucket?

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Nissan shouldn’t sell sedans…nobody wants them

      – The Best and Brightest

      What?! The domestics suck for killing of their sedans and it is clearly a sign they cant compete.

      – The Best and Brightest

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Nail meet hammer

        Hammer meet nail

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        And? “The Best and Brightest” is a collection of different people with different opinions about things.

        Put me on record for it: No nonpremium brand should be investing *any* money in the (ostensibly or otherwise) full-size sedan segment because it is completely dead. Nissan should kill the Maxima rather than improve it.

  • avatar

    Looking back to the glory days of Nissan/Datsun is always going to be sad…a company that can do things, but clearly chooses not to. Reminds me of Acura, another brand that once meant something, but now provides a place for folks whose prior job was the useless side of BMW marketing…..

    CVT ? Hard pass. Period.

  • avatar
    bunkie

    My experience bookends this. My 1989 Maxima SE was an exceptional car for its era: sharp looking, fun to drive, had great fit, finish and attention to detail and a was good deal at it’s then $18K sticker price. Each if the three subsequent Maximas I leased declined in quality. The ‘93 developed a valvetrain issue, the ‘95., while equipped with the excellent VQ, didn’t feel as solid or handle as well (cheapened rear suspension) and the last one, a ‘97 suffered cooling system problems.

    Last year, I rented a Maxima in San Francisco and found it to be just another meh Nissan with little to recommend it.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      My ’94 Maxima was the 2nd best car I ever owned beat out by a E39 BMW 530i at twice the price. My Maxima worked it’s way through the family before leaving with well over 200K problem free miles on it.

      That Maxima will always have a special place in my heart, it was a gift to myself after achieving a well deserved promotion and raise I had received

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    My wife really likes the looks of the current generation Maxima, and she’s going to get the next car in our household, but I really don’t see a rational case for the mighty Max. We rented an Altima (from Enterprise) for a tour of the Great Plains states, and it was fantastic for the purpose. It was roomy, quiet comfortable, had great tech features. It had plenty of power from it’s 2.5-liter standard engine to handle 80-MPH Western highway, and despite 70 and 80 mile per hour cruises, it actually beat its highway fuel economy rating of 37 MPG by 3 MPG.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    I have to laugh at the new Nissan commercials asking basically if your car is just an appliance and not invigorating. I laugh and tell the commercial we have a car like that and it is a Nissan.

    (Full disclosure, I like the looks of the new “400”. Don’t know if I could stand the seats.)

  • avatar
    orange260z

    I had a 1992 Maxima SE (white w/ black leather, just like the picture) when it was brand new – it was a beautiful design inside and out, and was one of the best driving sedans available at the time. I owned that car until 1998 when it was traded on a 1998 Pathfinder.

    In 2002 I bought another new Maxima SE. Although that car had a much more powerful engine and more “features”, it was crystal clear that the car was built to a price rather than a standard. And Nissan has only gone downhill since then.

  • avatar
    High Altitudes

    The Maxima is done, 2021 is the last year. It’s replacement will be the EV sedan code named iMS with 465 hp electric power and nearly 400 lbs of torque.

  • avatar
    Maxx

    It’s coming up on 20 years and my 2002 is still going strong. I was never big on doing any major services to it, but to be honest it hasn’t needed any major repairs. CV axle was probably the biggest. Other than that it’s just been a couple of sensors. I’d say I drove it from 2002 to 2009 and then gave it a semi-retirement after adding another car to the family. Got rid of that car after 5 years and went back to Maxima full time for another year or 2 before adding another car. Eventually gave the Maxima to the teenager to drive and it has served him well for the past 2 years. It’s a lowly GXE model, so nothing fancy, but the VQ35DE has been great.

  • avatar
    Onyxmandingo

    I have been driving Maximas since the 90’s with my first one which was a rare 95 SPECV version (don’t ask I bought it used in South Georgia and it was faster than a camaro ss), but I had 4 of the years 95, 02, 09, 11, I drive a genesis now. I feel the Maxima is in a bad position being Nissan top end sedan. It need a rear wheel and/or All wheel version, ie. Q50, but it’s not really allowed to outshine the Infiniti’s in its price point and with the Sentra and Altima looking almost identical and much cheaper a lot people feel like why buy it. That’s not saying it’s not better it is, but I feel the Max should be as close as a Q70 as possible. My 95 and 02 was the same as the I30 my 09 and 11 was the same M35/45 and now it’s and over priced Altima or Sentra. I will always have love for the Maxima and hope the upgrade brings it back to that entry level luxury sport sedan I loved to drive over the years.

  • avatar
    ThickBro

    They are comparing a ’20 Altima to a ’15 Maxima. Yes its going to look older inside its time for a redesign. I personally don’t think the interior or exterior of the Altima looks better after the ’19 Maxima refresh. I agree about the light steering and the horrible CVT. If they redesign the Maxima im sure they will consider AWD…BUT then it will compete with the Q50…I really hate half-assed reviews. Be fair!

  • avatar
    NN

    Before Covid, I was on a business trip–back when we used to do that. In the National Rent a Car Emerald Aisle I saw an Infiniti Q50 and took it for a few days. I discovered that the Nissan Maxima is alive and well, but it is called an Infiniti Q50.

  • avatar

    According to JD Powers and Consumer Reports Nissan still has better quality than GM. So most GM vehicles have lower quality than the Maxima.

    GM – what a disgrace!

  • avatar
    hifi

    I’ve rented Maximas, Altimas and Infiniti QX SUV’s. Nissan build quality is tragic for modern cars.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    I had to buy a new car because my Accord flunked an interview with a Chevy Impala, or at least that is what my insurance company said.

    I have some principles, including 1. i will not pay $40,000 for a four cylinder car, 2 CVTs are for kids, 3. German cars are for masochists.

    The only 6 cylinder cars in the regular price range are Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger, the Maxima, and the Toyota Camry and Avalon. The Maxima flunked principal 2. I had paid my Mopar dues many years ago, and 6 cylinder Camrys are not to be found. I am actually very happy with my Avalon. it is very comfortable, and if you step on it ti will jump.

  • avatar
    07NodnarB

    ooh burn!

  • avatar
    frank908

    Had the “pleasure” of driving around Florida in a brand new Sentra with 400-miles on the odo. It was very nostalgic for me because it felt exactly what entry-level Japanese cars felt in my youth back in the early 90s; noisy, under-powered and decent, but cheap looking interiors. Not sure that’s what the French, I mean Japanese company was going for, but they succeeded in this area nonetheless.

  • avatar
    wjtinfwb

    Frequent business traveler here (well, not the last 15 mos.) but lots of seat time in rental cars. National has a pretty big Nissan fleet so Altima’s and Maxima’s are common, along with Pathfinders, Rogues and Infiniti’s. No doubt the Maxima is way old along with the just replaced Pathfinder, and both drives and feels old. Altima is a much more appealing mid-size sedan, much less flashy but more functional roomy. Maxima back seat and trunk particularly are incredibly tight for the size of the car. The Maxima’s biggest issue is it just doesn’t feel like close to a 40k car. It reminds me a lot of the previous generation Impala, the cost-cutting was so readily apparent and the driving dynamics so incredibly dull that any positive attributes were quickly and easily forgotten. Like others, I’m seeing signs of life at Nissan again and hope the new 400Z is a huge success to prove to Nissan that investing in the product pays big dividends long term. C’mon Nissan, fix the Maxima, give us a new Xterra and bring back something like the 200/240SX (punchy 4, manual, RWD) and you’ll be back on your feet.

  • avatar
    Avid Fan

    Nissan: “Behold my field of fucks which is barren and untilled.” Nissan used to be a contender in the field of decent, reliable cars and trucks. Ha, not anymore. They fooled us and went straight to the Valley of Rental Lot rejects and Buy Here, Pay Here Hooligans.

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