I really like this car. It has plenty of power, a roomy, comfortable interior, handles reasonably well, and does well in the snow. I bought this car used in 2006 with ~60k miles. It now has 95k. In that time, besides routine maintenance, I've only had to replace the interior fan assembly which started making an annoying noise shortly after I bought it. It cost approximately $400 to replace. My friend has an Xterra which had a similar problem. The previous owner had taken out the stereo system so I got whatever the dealer put in. I'm not an audiophile, but would say it's got an adequate sound system. My wife's 2006 Toyota 4- runner has a better sounding system.
The big engine pulls when I need it and does great over mountain passes without having to work too hard. Comfortable heated leather seats AND steering wheel are a nice touch. Fold down rear seats are convenient. Trunk will hold a lot.
TURNING RADIUS IS TERRIBLE!!! This is the only thing keeping me from considering another one. I've always owned smaller cars (Civic, Mustang)so that could be part of it, but my wife's 4-runner has a smaller turning radius than the Maxima. U-turns require three lanes.
I'd recommend this car as shown by the ratings. A few minor things to pick on. I'm 6'1", and this car is too small for me. My head is buried in the roof (moonroof actually) unless the seat is really reclined. Bose radio, heated seats and window safety switch all broke. Leaky window seals. Handles poorly in the rain and snow, but can be compensated for by an appropriate tire. Still, a very good car.
Performance, 6-speed, gas mileage, reliability
Hopefully all new maximas are sold with traction control.
We purchased this car used, knowing that it was an ex-rental previously. If ever there was an invitation for disaster, this would be it. And yet… this was a 2003 Nissan Maxima SE, allegedly a Japanese BMW, available for pennies on the dollar compared to new. As the old saying goes; even a blind squirrel finds an acorn now and then. And boy did we ever! I’m 6’4” tall and still fit comfortably. Acceleration is impressive, as is fuel economy (even while using regular), the handling brings out the teen in me (I'm mid 50's now), and yet it is still a functional and dependable sedan and business mode of transportation with which to entertain clients in.
The drive train - no second thoughts here! Great power curve, minimal torque steer, quiet, and vibration free. Plus fuel economy exceeding estimates. I’m mid 50s now, but the suspension and overall handling bring back the young man in me on winding curves of the California Coast highway.
It's tough to improve in this package. However, if I had to be critical, I'd find fault with the rear end treatment. The tail light assemblies just don't work for me. Now, if Nissan could drop the 2003 power train into the '09 body and interior... I'd be working a deal on a new one as we speak!
I own a 2003 Nissan Maxima SE with the Titanium Package which I purchased new in April 2003. It currently has 65,000 miles and is still solid as a rock. The VQ35 3.5L V6 is amazing - great power and torque. I've added the following: custom grille, Viper remote start system and Injen cold air intake. I plan to add hi-flow exhaust and upgrade to 18" wheels. It has never been back to the dealership even once for any problems. I also own three American cars, including a Cadillac, but none of them can match the quality of the Maxima. I wouldn't part with it for anything!
I have been a Nissan fan for many years. My 03 Maxima is my fifth Nissan. I have a 92 max with 175,000 mi on it that I use as my daily driver. I have the titanium ed with gray leather.The car has 37,000 mi on it, and is garage kept. The car is not perfect but overall I like it very much. Although this car dates back to the 2000 model year, I still get compliments all the time. There are some things that do bother me and should be considered. The rear suspension is of the solid beam scissor link variety. This is old school tech and Nissan should be ashamed. To be fair the set up works reasonably well but can't compare with the multi link suspensions that most cars have today.
Well put together int, HD lights, award winning VQ engine 255 hp, 60/40 fold down rear seat, easy exit driver's seat, steering wheel radio controls, auto up down windows, auto dimming rear view mirror/compass, chrome looking kick plate inserts, confident handling, good overall build quality, reliability :)