2007 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SE 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT)
I have 8k miles on my SE and though it took some time to bond with it, I truly enjoy driving it. Once you accept this is a fwd car (and will never handle like a rwd car) it's probably one of the better handling large fwd cars out there, especially under $40k. Suspension is tight in the corners and smooth on the straights. 3.5L engine provides fantastic performance but could easily be higher if Nissan didn't have to worry about competing with their Infiniti line. CVT (continuously variable transmission) is quite remarkable. Feels like it always gears the vehicle down for better performance, especially at higher speeds. 50 to 100 mph feels more like 350hp with the CVT. A special ride indeed.
Plenty: CVT, 3.5L, 18" chrome wheels, the bluetooth is awesome, sloping rear roofline, dual exhaust look, back-up sensors, Bose with aux jack for iPod, homelink, sunglass holder, fold-in side mirrors that will pan down when car is shifted in reverse, rear spoiler is just right, smart key is nice.
RWD plus another 50 HP, but then I guess you would call it an Infiniti. Too much power and torque for a fwd as the vehicle vibrates off the line under brisk acceleration. Lg turning radius. Grille looks too much like an Altima. Gas mileage is down a few MPG with the CVT over the old tranny.