2004 Nissan Maxima

Nissan seems to have done it just about right with its new-for-’04 Maxima. The sedan is sporty, fast, handles great, looks good and has a top-notch interior, plus it’s priced right where it should be.

The company’s flagship is available in only two levels — the sport and performance oriented SE and the luxurious SL. Both come with Nissan’s outstanding 3.5L 265 hp. V-6 engine.

On the performance side, the biggest difference between the two versions is the suspension.

The SE has a performance-tuned stiffer suspension for what Nissan calls “maximum handling prowess” while the SL’s luxury- tuned softer suspension provides a “supple ride and smooth secure handling feeling.” I drove the SE and I was impressed with ride, handling and engine performance.

On the outside, Maxima’s new styling is slightly jolting at first glance. It looks more muscular and edgier than its predecessor. But designers have done a good job of tying the vehicle into the family with a front end that resembles the 350Z sports car.

On the inside, Nissan introduces its Skyview Roof, which has since been seen on the new Quest and will undoubtedly make its way onto other models in Nissan’s lineup. Skyview opens up the vehicle’s interior with a single rectangular-shaped glass panel stretching from the front of the roof to the back. Unlike a sunroof it does not open but does have several sliding sunshades to block out sunlight if necessary.

Nissan has priced the Maxima well starting at $26,950 for the SE and topping out at $28,900 for the SL.

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Sat. June 15th, 2024

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