Nissan Maximas first rolled out in the late seventies as a family car with a powerful engine and some extra quality features thrown in. As such they proved a hit in the solid reliable market. Successive redesigns proved even more successful including the sporty Maxima SE and by 1997 the SE model was selling hundreds of thousands of cars every year.
Maximas comes in three editions: the base GXE, sport SE and luxury GLE. All of them have the same famous enginea 4-cam 24-valve 3.0-litre V6 which delivers 190 horsepower at 5600 rpm.
This engines success is said to be based on a broad torque curve. Power arrives at 1600 rpm and stays whirring until 5500. Fluid-filled engine mounts contribute to vibration-free driving and with the SE you also receive a sport-tuned suspension, rear spoiler, foglamps and extra stickier tires to add to the handling experience.
Most Review Centre reviewers found the SE a more than satisfactory purchase mentioning a balance of basics as the reason for its appeal: styling, price/value and all-around performance.
This is a spacious car with a powerful engine and above average attention to detail inside the cabin.
Another reason the Maxima has been such a hit is that it was one of the only midsized family cars available with a V6 engine and manual transmission.
Maximas performance credibility is now based on the award-winning VQ 3.5-litre engine. The VQ engine series was recognized as one of the Ten Best Engines by the USA industry bible Wards Auto World magazine for eight consecutive years.
Newer models have a reputation for developing their handling and gear change into a fine art while the stodgy look associated with the older models has also been replaced with subtler style improvements.
Cars.about.com had this to say: The interesting thing about the Maximas design is that it looks different from every angle. Unlike some cars which look like they were designed by compromise and committee, the Maximas look feels intentional. It can look sleek in profile, elegant from an angle, and downright aggressive from head on. Its always interesting to look at, and the quality of manufacturing supports close study. Quality paint, tasteful accents and trim, and great metal work contribute to the luxury feel of the Maxima.
Maxima 3.5 SEs feature a special performance-tuned suspension for maximum handling prowess.
Combined Fuel Economy: 23mpg
Engine: 3.5L V6
Gears: 5 Speed Automatic
Torque /RPM: 255/4400
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