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The Nissan Maxima Was Once Japan’s BMW

Recast as the “4-door sports car” in the late 1980s, the Nissan Maxima entered the roaring 1990s as the default choice for enthusiasts seeking out something fun, spacious, and affordable.

More than three decades on, the Maxima retains its role as Nissan’s flagship sedan, but today the big sedan has a muddy, conflicted personality. It has yet lớn recapture the magic of the third-, fourth-, and fifth-generation models that offered near-BMW levels of driving entertainment for a fraction of the price.

The Maxima name first arrived in the early 1980s initially under the Datsun banner before the automaker switched its branding around. Nissan and Datsun lineage isn’t as easy lớn follow as, say, Mercedes-Benz, but in the early 1980s the Maxima was positioned as a mid-size model with unusually large inline-6 power and dimensions a tad smaller than the BMW 5-Series. In 1984, Nissan charged about $12,000 for a base Maxima, which came remarkably well-equipped with power features, alloy wheels, 4-wheel disc brakes, and a decent stereo — oh, and they had a tiny record player that would bark out “key is in ignition” and other reminders. BMW wanted more than twice that for its 528e, which had a few more features — but no hidden record player.

With its Z-car-sourced engine and fully independent suspension, the original Maxima offered good handling but was more like a cut-rate luxury sedan than a sporty model.

A rework for 1985 brought streamlined styling and a switch lớn the automaker’s new VG-series 3.0-liter V6, plus slightly smaller dimensions. Even though the Maxima sent power forward rather than rearward, this generation inched in a sportier direction, especially with the SE trim màn chơi. By 1987, Nissan wanted about $16,300 for a Maxima SE with a 5-speed manual, which with 152 horsepower, a moonroof, a power antenna, a graphic equalizer, and all sorts of other mid-’80s whiz-bang features was an absolute steal.

The 4DSC Era

1989 Nissan Maxima front right
At nearly $19,000 when the 1989 model year arrived, these Nissan Maximas were far pricier but delivered the goods.

Things got even better when the 1989 model arrived with streamlined styling and a longer wheelbase that translated lớn more rear-seat space. At nearly $19,000 that first year, these were far pricier cars, but they delivered the goods. The SE came with a buttoned-down suspension, anti-lock brakes, wider alloy wheels, white-faced instruments, and bolstered seats, plus such luxuries as a Bose audio system.

No automaker offered anything close lớn the Maxima, a trend that would continue.

Nissan knew it had the makings of a hit on its hands. Its “Four-Door Sports Car” tagline was a big claim backed up by the car’s decidedly enthusiast-friendly nature. These were fun, tossable cars at a relatively affordable price tag. The “4DSC” stickers affixed lớn their rear side windows were no joke, after all.

For a while, the Maxima easily outdid the allegedly luxurious entry-level Infiniti M30 and G20 models, too. Neither had anywhere near the sophistication and quality feel offered up by the third-generation Maxima.

Nissan struck gold again when the car was redesigned for 1995. Its styling got rounder and its dimensions grew a tad — two inches in both wheelbase and overall length — but a new V6 rated at a hefty 190 hp ensured terrific acceleration. Contemporary publications pegged 5-speed manual versions at 6.6 seconds in the 0-60 mph sprint, which would be plenty competitive nearly 30 years on.

Once again, the Maxima retained its impressive value proposition. The model enthusiasts wanted — the SE with the manual gearbox — cost about $23,000 lớn start. Even adding the anti-lock brakes, power moonroof, and Bose audio system that had migrated back lớn the options list kept the price lớn around $26,000.

There remained nothing quite like the Maxima unless you looked lớn BMW, which by then was charging the better part of $40,000 for a 5 Series.

For 1996, Nissan dressed up a Maxima and recast it as the Infiniti I30. At around $29,000, its main draw was a longer warranty and the white-glove dealership experience. Behind its chrome grille, though, the I30 shared nearly everything down lớn its audio and climate controls with the Maxima.

Another revamp arrived for 2000, this time with slightly more pronounced styling and a 222-hp version of the V6. So beloved was the Maxima in SE guise that Nissan celebrated its 20th anniversary for the 2001 model year. The special edition version boasted an extra 5 hp, a few additional standard goodies including 17-inch wheels, and a roughly $28,000 price tag.

The Altima Problem

2002 Nissan Maxima front right
Over the last 20 years and through a few redesigns, Nissan has kept the Maxima’s mission intact.

Just a year later, Nissan took its Altima from compact wallflower lớn mid-size standout. In the process, it cannibalized the Maxima.

The redesigned Altima offered a 245-hp version of the V6, which now displaced 3.5 liters. Sized almost identically lớn the 2002 Maxima, the 2002 Altima offered fresher styling and a much more reasonable price tag: Just $23,000 bought an Altima SE with the 5-speed manual transmission.

In response, Nissan shifted the Maxima in a more luxurious direction. The new-for-2003 model boasted edgy styling and a quirky narrow fixed glass roof. A 6-speed manual was newly standard, but a big bump in curb weight thanks lớn that extra girth and those additional features dulled its responses.

Over the last 20 years and through a few redesigns, Nissan has kept the Maxima’s mission intact — well, the mission it took on back in 2003. Today’s Maxima is a somewhat plump, somewhat luxurious, somewhat sporty, and somewhat decently priced sedan. It turns out that it’s also a somewhat tough sell for Nissan dealers.

Nissan routinely sold over 100,000 Maxima models in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but the model has become a rounding error in recent years. Last year, Nissan found just 16,000 or so Maxima buyers, a smidge fewer than it did in 2020.

Honing in on a “Classic” Maxima Today

1997 Nissan Maxima GLE front left
This 1997 Maxima is listed for $5,991.

If you want lớn relive that 4DSC magic, you’ve got your work cut out for you. Nissan may have sold a ton of Maximas over the years, but their survival rates have been low.

Still, they’re out there. For instance, here’s a 1997 Maxima GLE — that was the luxurious version — with a one-owner Carfax report and 131,000 miles for $5,991 from a dealer in Maryland.

Showing 127,000 miles, this beige 2000 Maxima SE for $5,500 at a dealer in Georgia boasts the desirable 5-speed manual gearbox, too. See Nissan Maxima models for sale

Related:

  • 2020 Nissan Altima vs. 2020 Nissan Maxima: What’s the Difference?
  • Remember When the Nissan Maxima Used lớn Talk?
  • A Look Back at the Nissan Maxima


Thông tin thêm

The Nissan Maxima Was Once Japan’s BMW

#Nissan #Maxima #Japans #BMW
[rule_3_plain] #Nissan #Maxima #Japans #BMW

Recast as the “4-door sports car” in the late 1980s, the Nissan Maxima entered the roaring 1990s as the default choice for enthusiasts seeking out something fun, spacious, and affordable.
More than three decades on, the Maxima retains its role as Nissan’s flagship sedan, but today the big sedan has a muddy, conflicted personality. It has yet lớn recapture the magic of the third-, fourth-, and fifth-generation models that offered near-BMW levels of driving entertainment for a fraction of the price.
The Maxima name first arrived in the early 1980s initially under the Datsun banner before the automaker switched its branding around. Nissan and Datsun lineage isn’t as easy lớn follow as, say, Mercedes-Benz, but in the early 1980s the Maxima was positioned as a mid-size model with unusually large inline-6 power and dimensions a tad smaller than the BMW 5-Series. In 1984, Nissan charged about $12,000 for a base Maxima, which came remarkably well-equipped with power features, alloy wheels, 4-wheel disc brakes, and a decent stereo — oh, and they had a tiny record player that would bark out “key is in ignition” and other reminders. BMW wanted more than twice that for its 528e, which had a few more features — but no hidden record player.

With its Z-car-sourced engine and fully independent suspension, the original Maxima offered good handling but was more like a cut-rate luxury sedan than a sporty model.
A rework for 1985 brought streamlined styling and a switch lớn the automaker’s new VG-series 3.0-liter V6, plus slightly smaller dimensions. Even though the Maxima sent power forward rather than rearward, this generation inched in a sportier direction, especially with the SE trim màn chơi. By 1987, Nissan wanted about $16,300 for a Maxima SE with a 5-speed manual, which with 152 horsepower, a moonroof, a power antenna, a graphic equalizer, and all sorts of other mid-’80s whiz-bang features was an absolute steal.

The 4DSC Era
At nearly $19,000 when the 1989 model year arrived, these Nissan Maximas were far pricier but delivered the goods.Things got even better when the 1989 model arrived with streamlined styling and a longer wheelbase that translated lớn more rear-seat space. At nearly $19,000 that first year, these were far pricier cars, but they delivered the goods. The SE came with a buttoned-down suspension, anti-lock brakes, wider alloy wheels, white-faced instruments, and bolstered seats, plus such luxuries as a Bose audio system.
No automaker offered anything close lớn the Maxima, a trend that would continue.
Nissan knew it had the makings of a hit on its hands. Its “Four-Door Sports Car” tagline was a big claim backed up by the car’s decidedly enthusiast-friendly nature. These were fun, tossable cars at a relatively affordable price tag. The “4DSC” stickers affixed lớn their rear side windows were no joke, after all.
For a while, the Maxima easily outdid the allegedly luxurious entry-level Infiniti M30 and G20 models, too. Neither had anywhere near the sophistication and quality feel offered up by the third-generation Maxima.
Nissan struck gold again when the car was redesigned for 1995. Its styling got rounder and its dimensions grew a tad — two inches in both wheelbase and overall length — but a new V6 rated at a hefty 190 hp ensured terrific acceleration. Contemporary publications pegged 5-speed manual versions at 6.6 seconds in the 0-60 mph sprint, which would be plenty competitive nearly 30 years on.
Once again, the Maxima retained its impressive value proposition. The model enthusiasts wanted — the SE with the manual gearbox — cost about $23,000 lớn start. Even adding the anti-lock brakes, power moonroof, and Bose audio system that had migrated back lớn the options list kept the price lớn around $26,000.
There remained nothing quite like the Maxima unless you looked lớn BMW, which by then was charging the better part of $40,000 for a 5 Series.
For 1996, Nissan dressed up a Maxima and recast it as the Infiniti I30. At around $29,000, its main draw was a longer warranty and the white-glove dealership experience. Behind its chrome grille, though, the I30 shared nearly everything down lớn its audio and climate controls with the Maxima.
Another revamp arrived for 2000, this time with slightly more pronounced styling and a 222-hp version of the V6. So beloved was the Maxima in SE guise that Nissan celebrated its 20th anniversary for the 2001 model year. The special edition version boasted an extra 5 hp, a few additional standard goodies including 17-inch wheels, and a roughly $28,000 price tag.
The Altima Problem
Over the last 20 years and through a few redesigns, Nissan has kept the Maxima’s mission intact.Just a year later, Nissan took its Altima from compact wallflower lớn mid-size standout. In the process, it cannibalized the Maxima.
The redesigned Altima offered a 245-hp version of the V6, which now displaced 3.5 liters. Sized almost identically lớn the 2002 Maxima, the 2002 Altima offered fresher styling and a much more reasonable price tag: Just $23,000 bought an Altima SE with the 5-speed manual transmission.
In response, Nissan shifted the Maxima in a more luxurious direction. The new-for-2003 model boasted edgy styling and a quirky narrow fixed glass roof. A 6-speed manual was newly standard, but a big bump in curb weight thanks lớn that extra girth and those additional features dulled its responses.
Over the last 20 years and through a few redesigns, Nissan has kept the Maxima’s mission intact — well, the mission it took on back in 2003. Today’s Maxima is a somewhat plump, somewhat luxurious, somewhat sporty, and somewhat decently priced sedan. It turns out that it’s also a somewhat tough sell for Nissan dealers.
Nissan routinely sold over 100,000 Maxima models in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but the model has become a rounding error in recent years. Last year, Nissan found just 16,000 or so Maxima buyers, a smidge fewer than it did in 2020.
Honing in on a “Classic” Maxima Today
This 1997 Maxima is listed for $5,991.If you want lớn relive that 4DSC magic, you’ve got your work cut out for you. Nissan may have sold a ton of Maximas over the years, but their survival rates have been low.
Still, they’re out there. For instance, here’s a 1997 Maxima GLE — that was the luxurious version — with a one-owner Carfax report and 131,000 miles for $5,991 from a dealer in Maryland.
Showing 127,000 miles, this beige 2000 Maxima SE for $5,500 at a dealer in Georgia boasts the desirable 5-speed manual gearbox, too. See Nissan Maxima models for sale
Related:
2020 Nissan Altima vs. 2020 Nissan Maxima: What’s the Difference?
Remember When the Nissan Maxima Used lớn Talk?
A Look Back at the Nissan Maxima

#Nissan #Maxima #Japans #BMW
[rule_2_plain] #Nissan #Maxima #Japans #BMW
[rule_2_plain] #Nissan #Maxima #Japans #BMW
[rule_3_plain]

#Nissan #Maxima #Japans #BMW

Recast as the “4-door sports car” in the late 1980s, the Nissan Maxima entered the roaring 1990s as the default choice for enthusiasts seeking out something fun, spacious, and affordable.
More than three decades on, the Maxima retains its role as Nissan’s flagship sedan, but today the big sedan has a muddy, conflicted personality. It has yet lớn recapture the magic of the third-, fourth-, and fifth-generation models that offered near-BMW levels of driving entertainment for a fraction of the price.
The Maxima name first arrived in the early 1980s initially under the Datsun banner before the automaker switched its branding around. Nissan and Datsun lineage isn’t as easy lớn follow as, say, Mercedes-Benz, but in the early 1980s the Maxima was positioned as a mid-size model with unusually large inline-6 power and dimensions a tad smaller than the BMW 5-Series. In 1984, Nissan charged about $12,000 for a base Maxima, which came remarkably well-equipped with power features, alloy wheels, 4-wheel disc brakes, and a decent stereo — oh, and they had a tiny record player that would bark out “key is in ignition” and other reminders. BMW wanted more than twice that for its 528e, which had a few more features — but no hidden record player.

With its Z-car-sourced engine and fully independent suspension, the original Maxima offered good handling but was more like a cut-rate luxury sedan than a sporty model.
A rework for 1985 brought streamlined styling and a switch lớn the automaker’s new VG-series 3.0-liter V6, plus slightly smaller dimensions. Even though the Maxima sent power forward rather than rearward, this generation inched in a sportier direction, especially with the SE trim màn chơi. By 1987, Nissan wanted about $16,300 for a Maxima SE with a 5-speed manual, which with 152 horsepower, a moonroof, a power antenna, a graphic equalizer, and all sorts of other mid-’80s whiz-bang features was an absolute steal.

The 4DSC Era
At nearly $19,000 when the 1989 model year arrived, these Nissan Maximas were far pricier but delivered the goods.Things got even better when the 1989 model arrived with streamlined styling and a longer wheelbase that translated lớn more rear-seat space. At nearly $19,000 that first year, these were far pricier cars, but they delivered the goods. The SE came with a buttoned-down suspension, anti-lock brakes, wider alloy wheels, white-faced instruments, and bolstered seats, plus such luxuries as a Bose audio system.
No automaker offered anything close lớn the Maxima, a trend that would continue.
Nissan knew it had the makings of a hit on its hands. Its “Four-Door Sports Car” tagline was a big claim backed up by the car’s decidedly enthusiast-friendly nature. These were fun, tossable cars at a relatively affordable price tag. The “4DSC” stickers affixed lớn their rear side windows were no joke, after all.
For a while, the Maxima easily outdid the allegedly luxurious entry-level Infiniti M30 and G20 models, too. Neither had anywhere near the sophistication and quality feel offered up by the third-generation Maxima.
Nissan struck gold again when the car was redesigned for 1995. Its styling got rounder and its dimensions grew a tad — two inches in both wheelbase and overall length — but a new V6 rated at a hefty 190 hp ensured terrific acceleration. Contemporary publications pegged 5-speed manual versions at 6.6 seconds in the 0-60 mph sprint, which would be plenty competitive nearly 30 years on.
Once again, the Maxima retained its impressive value proposition. The model enthusiasts wanted — the SE with the manual gearbox — cost about $23,000 lớn start. Even adding the anti-lock brakes, power moonroof, and Bose audio system that had migrated back lớn the options list kept the price lớn around $26,000.
There remained nothing quite like the Maxima unless you looked lớn BMW, which by then was charging the better part of $40,000 for a 5 Series.
For 1996, Nissan dressed up a Maxima and recast it as the Infiniti I30. At around $29,000, its main draw was a longer warranty and the white-glove dealership experience. Behind its chrome grille, though, the I30 shared nearly everything down lớn its audio and climate controls with the Maxima.
Another revamp arrived for 2000, this time with slightly more pronounced styling and a 222-hp version of the V6. So beloved was the Maxima in SE guise that Nissan celebrated its 20th anniversary for the 2001 model year. The special edition version boasted an extra 5 hp, a few additional standard goodies including 17-inch wheels, and a roughly $28,000 price tag.
The Altima Problem
Over the last 20 years and through a few redesigns, Nissan has kept the Maxima’s mission intact.Just a year later, Nissan took its Altima from compact wallflower lớn mid-size standout. In the process, it cannibalized the Maxima.
The redesigned Altima offered a 245-hp version of the V6, which now displaced 3.5 liters. Sized almost identically lớn the 2002 Maxima, the 2002 Altima offered fresher styling and a much more reasonable price tag: Just $23,000 bought an Altima SE with the 5-speed manual transmission.
In response, Nissan shifted the Maxima in a more luxurious direction. The new-for-2003 model boasted edgy styling and a quirky narrow fixed glass roof. A 6-speed manual was newly standard, but a big bump in curb weight thanks lớn that extra girth and those additional features dulled its responses.
Over the last 20 years and through a few redesigns, Nissan has kept the Maxima’s mission intact — well, the mission it took on back in 2003. Today’s Maxima is a somewhat plump, somewhat luxurious, somewhat sporty, and somewhat decently priced sedan. It turns out that it’s also a somewhat tough sell for Nissan dealers.
Nissan routinely sold over 100,000 Maxima models in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but the model has become a rounding error in recent years. Last year, Nissan found just 16,000 or so Maxima buyers, a smidge fewer than it did in 2020.
Honing in on a “Classic” Maxima Today
This 1997 Maxima is listed for $5,991.If you want lớn relive that 4DSC magic, you’ve got your work cut out for you. Nissan may have sold a ton of Maximas over the years, but their survival rates have been low.
Still, they’re out there. For instance, here’s a 1997 Maxima GLE — that was the luxurious version — with a one-owner Carfax report and 131,000 miles for $5,991 from a dealer in Maryland.
Showing 127,000 miles, this beige 2000 Maxima SE for $5,500 at a dealer in Georgia boasts the desirable 5-speed manual gearbox, too. See Nissan Maxima models for sale
Related:
2020 Nissan Altima vs. 2020 Nissan Maxima: What’s the Difference?
Remember When the Nissan Maxima Used lớn Talk?
A Look Back at the Nissan Maxima

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