Okay, Iíll admit. At the walk-around for this new Nissan we jokingly referred to it as ďThe Grand Altima.Ē That was before we got behind the wheel and headed through the mountains toward Palm Springs, Calif. We were driving the sport-tuned SE with an optional 6-speed and four-passenger seating. That may be why Kevin, the Nissan program guy hitched a ride. Like a kid, re" />

Issue: Feb 2003


Cars Worth Noting - 2004 Nissan Maxima



by John Peter

Okay, Iíll admit. At the walk-around for this new Nissan we jokingly referred to it as ďThe Grand Altima.Ē That was before we got behind the wheel and headed through the mountains toward Palm Springs, Calif. We were driving the sport-tuned SE with an optional 6-speed and four-passenger seating. That may be why Kevin, the Nissan program guy hitched a ride. Like a kid, reclined in the extra-comfortable back seat, he sat in the back and played with the console and the power rear window sun shade, but he never once asked if we were there yet.

The í04 Maxima shares underpinnings with the Altima, as well as the suspension, though Maxima is tuned for that sportssedan feel. For some reason, the suspension tuning didnít take well to a short stretch of Highway 15 along the ocean, where there was a noticeable vibration. But once off the freeway and on the roads up into the mountains, it performed flawlessly. The 265 hp V- gave us plenty of go on the straight parts and kept the car well-balanced through the twisty parts.

From behind the wheel, Maxima is all luxury car, from the power telescoping steering wheel to the comfortable seats. Our manual was a little on the stiff side though finding gears wasnít a problem.

Maxima owners will find the sixth generation much quieter and more capable than one they now own. Oh, and we think there may be a few Altima owners that might just think the Maxima is grand.

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