If you are looking of a performance sedan I'd look elsewhere. Not bad, but the interior build quality steered me away after owning for 2.5 years. Also all that power isn't of any use if it can't get to the road. Despite my tire choices I still lost traction not only in the winter, but durning the summer with wet roads. Roads only have to be slightly wet to lose traction especaially on take-off. Car developed a harsh ride despite not handling all that well.
3.5L V6, roominess of interior, handeling compared to other american sedans in its class
Interior build quality severely lacking, weak paint, lack of handling for the harsh ride, swap the FWD for AWD or RWD, replace the 4 speed auto, better noise reduction
I bought the car in 8/05 because of all the good things I heard about it. It already had 60,000 miles on it from the date of purchased but I said so what it's a Nissan. A week after I bought it the oxygen sensors went bad. Whew the warranty saved me $500! Two months later the vent control went bad. I started not to fix it but I was loseing 8mpg due to the pressure failure. I still like Nissan. However, I will never buy another car with more than 30k miles on it. The paint on the front bumper had to be repainted due to cheap paint quality. Overall I'd say it's a pretty well designed car. I get a lot of compliments with it. I do a lot of driving so a car has to last me.
The engine. I wish the USA didn't have the computer chip inside because the engine has a lot of life left after it stops at 130mph :) Clear tailights are a plus!
Bumper paint quality. Get rid of some of the sensors! Have a longer warranty offered. White leather seats, a subwoofer would be nice. Bose is made for high pitch not bass. Improvements that would eliminate some of the road noise.
Mechanically, the Maxima is top notch. Unfortunately, the constant rattling and creaking of the interior literally destroys the ownership experience of an otherwise great car. I have had a number of new japanese autos and surprised by the lack of quality on the interior of this car. I have family members and friends with similar complaints about wearing fabric, rattling dashboard and leaking sunroofs.
Power. When you hit the gas pedal, you can't help but smile. Great performance for the money.
Nissan must take the next leap to higher quality. As much as I like the styling and performance of my Maxima and Nissans in general, I will not buy another due to inferior interior products.
I purchased my Maxima in 2002 as it was the last year before they changed the style. It has been very easy to drive and I have really enjoyed it. Plus it is several thousand dollars less than its cousin the Infiniti!!
I loved the car when I first had it, but 3 years later, the bloom is off. Still great, but not the same thrill. It's been fast, fun, reliable, but doesn't wear well both interior or exterior, and I am a fanatic about care. Paint quality is an issue; Sheer Silver looks great, but paint is poor, esp on front bumper and hood. The turning radius is HORRIBLE; 40.5 feet puts it in SUV territory. Car felt porky and didn't excite me even with all it's bells and whistles. I tire of cars easily, but thought I'd have it forever. Traded for an 05 Altima SL. Not that the Max is a bad car; far from it, it just doesn't grow on you. It felt clunky after 37,000 miles; I got bored.
Heated steering wheel and seats, power from smooth V6, mileage 30+ if you trust computer. Climate control perfect, HID headlights a joy. One touch open and close windows and roof, Bose 6 disc CD. People always commenting on car and how it looked. Wonderful highway cruiser with great range.
Fix turning radius. In the 3 years I had it, think I made a parking space in one swoop once. It's hard to tell where front of car ends. More solid trunk; sounds tinny when closing. Make trunk open rather than just unlock. Better paint, more ding/chip resistant bumpers. Lose beam rear axle.