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The Best Cars that I have driven - Part 2: Nissan Maxima

  1. #1
    Guardian Angel just4kix's Avatar
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    Default The Best Cars that I have driven - Part 2: Nissan Maxima

    In the US auto market, GM, Ford and Chrysler are known as the big three. All of them have more or less similar competing models, brand loyalty, % market share, etc. It is a different matter that neither of the three are doing too good but that is another story. In the Japanese segment, the big three are Toyota, Honda and Nissan. But while Toyota and Honda dominate the market, Nissan is quite a distant third. But based on sheer performance, I would rate Nissan cars better - be it Altima vs. Camry vs. Accord or Sentra vs. Corolla vs. Civic. From the Nissan sedan stable, the Maxima is the top end car. Honda does not have an equivalent while Toyota's Avalon does not do well at all (please bear in mind that I am speaking of the US market only).

    My friend used to own (owns it still) a Nissan Maxima and when we went for a drive from San Francisco to Reno, Nevada, I had a good chance to drive it for extended periods. In fact, I must have driven it 3/4th of the journey to and fro. For the uninitiated, I would like to explain the US sedan segments. The sedans are classified as:

    • Full size: Real huge cars such as Mercury Grand Marquis, Buick Le Sabre, Dodge Intrepid, Chevrolet Impala, Ford Crown Victoria, Toyota Avalon, etc.
    • Mid size/Intermediate: Slightly smaller wheelbase and exemplified by cars such Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, etc.
    • Standard size: The Corollas, Civics, Dodge Neons, etc. fall in this group
    • Compact: Led by brigade from Hyundai Accent, Nissan Sunny, Ford Focus, etc.
    • Sub-compact: The rest of the lots such as Ford Fiesta, Chevrolet Spark, etc.


    The Nissan Maxima falls into the Full Size segment. The car that my friend had was a 3.0 litre V6 model delivering an astounding 225 hp. The engine was shared with the much more expensive model the Infinity I30. Features such as 6-speaker CD system, heated leather seats, remote key-less operation including starting, heated mirrors, etc. were standard. Driving on the I-80 from SF to Reno was a pleasure. Once we crossed Sacramento, there was hardly any traffic on the road. I remember two things distinctly and one thing that I would like to forget.

    • While driving east, after leaving Auburn we must have driven nearly 30 minutes before we saw any vehicle on the road - a typical 18-wheeler truck.
    • Typically highway exits were nearly 40 miles apart and we used to see warning signs to "gas up" as the next gas station was that much distance away, i.e., at the next exit.
    • On our return journey, I was doing 95 mph and got my only speeding ticket. Had to pay $145 (ouch!).


    But while on the car, the great features of the car were the quick acceleration, smooth ride, control, and the sheer pleasure of being in charge of a speeding beast. Unlike the competing models, the Maxima delivered good power at 2500 rpm itself. One of the distinct things that I remember was how quiet inside the cabin it really was.



    A few of the bad things of the Maxima was its very bland styling as can be seen above and below.



    To be blunt, it was boring. But once you got behind the wheel, everything was forgotten. The current Maxima has been quite well redesigned to get rid of that blemish and is a really an owner's pride. See pics of below of the latest Maxima:


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    Last edited by just4kix; 26th March 2012 at 11:58 PM.
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  2. #2
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    nice car, with cool features!!

  3. #3
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    Wow!!!!!! what a car.....

  4. #4
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    The quality of the interior design is really impressive!

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