Used 1999 Nissan Maxima Review

Edmunds expert review

What's new for 1999

Traction control is now available on models with automatic transmissions and, in addition to minor interior enhancements, four new colors debut. The SE trim level has been renamed SE-Limited (SE-L) and offers new standard features.

Vehicle overview

Nissan designers underwent a complete switch in design philosophy during the late Eighties, and began producing cars with styling as fresh five years later as it was on introduction day. These cars were a far cry from the carved-from-a-cinderblock styling of previous Nissans. The 1989 Maxima was one of the new generation of cars to roll out of Nissan plants, and it continued to look better year after year, aging more gracefully than Dick Clark. For 1995, Nissan replaced it with an all-new car, one with a stellar drivetrain and first-class cabin, but with a somewhat dowdy exterior and funky taillights.

First, the good stuff. Under the hood is a twin-cam, aluminum 3.0-liter V6. It puts 190 horsepower to the ground through the front axle. A five-speed is standard on GXE and SE trim levels, but an automatic is optional. This engine is a jewel, providing swift acceleration without penalizing fuel economy.

Inside, the Maxima has an interior befitting an Infiniti. No coincidence herethe Maxima serves as the basis for the luxo-oriented Infiniti I30. Roomier than the old Maxima, this current model leaves customers and journalists praising the accommodations.

For 1999, the Maxima receives some minor interior and performance changes that make a good car even better. These enhancements include a security ignition immobilizer, three-point rear center seatbelt and an updated faceplate design for Premium and Bose audio systems. The SE model has been renamed SE-Limited and now comes with additional equipment and new color schemes. The SE-L model's audio system gets a power increase to 120 watts, the optional wood tone interior trim is now slightly darker than before and has a satin finish, and an optional gold package is available on all models. Also, four new exterior colors debut: Sunlit Sand, Icelandic Pearl, Lakeshore Blue and Mahogany Pearl. The big news, however, is the addition of optional traction control available on the SE-L and GLE models, making the Maxima a smart choice for safety-conscious buyers.

We're fans of the Maxima, even though its styling is still growing on us. This car is held up as the gold standard every time journalists mention sport sedans. The smooth and powerful engine works in concert with the supple chassis and suspension to give drivers the opportunity to take full advantage of challenging backcountry roads. If this sounds like your cup of tea, this car will make you happy.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.