Car reviews - Nissan - Maxima - ST-L sedan
All-new Maxima sheds its conservative clothes to deliver a refined, luxurious drive
18 Feb 2004
By BRUCE NEWTON
GENERATION after generation, the Nissan Maxima rolls around delivering value for money prestige motoring like few others. For this latest version, on sale since December 2003, the formula is as familiar as ever, but with a twist. Conservative exterior looks, a powerful front-wheel drive V6 drivetrain, a chassis with an emphasis on ride over handling and a standard equipment list that shames many a rival, even in the base model ST-L tested here. But the twist? Open the door and get an eyefull of that simple, uncluttered and elegant interior and you'll be initially surprised, then delighted. The Maxima rises out of the masses thanks to this original look, proof that global boss Carlos Ghosn's drive for originality and quality has reached even this most conservative of cars.
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Model release date: 1 December 2003 to 1 April 2009
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Nissan MaximaReleased: December 99
Ended: December 03
Family Tree: Maxima
The most direct predecessor to the current J31 Maxima tested here is the A33 version released Down Under in December 1999. The A33 employed a 157kW V6 across the range, replacing the asthmatic 142kW version found in its predecessor, the A32 Maxima. The J31 Maxima's new 3.5-litre 170kW engine makes both these 3.0-litre engine appear lame.
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