I have always driven Honda's. Decided to turn in my Honda Civic for a 2008 Nissan Maxima. Totally FUN to drive! Blow by people while barely pushing in the accelerator! Overall a really nice car. Gas mileage not great but its a souped up V6 sports car, I expected that. The one MAJOR complaint I have is the turn ratio! I have to practically make a three-point turn to get into a parking space. Trading it in because of those two things. Can't stand it anymore. I can barely get through a coffee drive through! Put good tires on it and it's actually pretty good in the snow for a CAR. Traction control.
Only negative is the turning radius. 3 point turns and squeezing around tight spots (i.e. parking lots) can be tricky at times. Othewise, this is a great car at a great price. Holds up well, repairs are minimal. I went with a Nissan Maxima after years ago vowing never to buy chevy after seeing a fleet of salesman (company) cars (1/2 the sales force picked Chevy Mailbu 1/2 picked the Altima, 6 Malibus and 6 Altimas go head to head over a 3 year run). Basically the Malibu's ALL started shaking, rattling, needed "front end" work..ballbearings needed repaired, brakes/rotors...you name it...all went after about 24K to 26K..the Altimas didn't need any repairs until into thier 30K's.
I/we own a 1997 maxima, with 197900 mileage, never been in the shop.. replaced only the alternator and a heater sensor behind the glove box which was simple.. OK as of this one the 2008 just purchased 12/18/09 so far so good.
Nissan wanted to make the most profit possible, so they built this nice car with the lowest quality parts available. The car has nice transmission, powerful engine, comfortable seats. and low quality material. bad suspension, below average rims quality, precise steering that won't last long. noisy gas tank when it's full.The car also has a very large turning radius makes you feel you're turning with a semi truck. Nissan also has a very bad customer service with the slowest response in the industry.
Traded in '99 Altima for 2008 Maxima, loaded w/everything but nav system. I missed my Altima. Battery went out within a year. Not prepared for how low it sat (my fault, it's a sports sedan). I scraped the front bumper (visible damage) on the curb of a parking space within a month and had a hard time getting in and out of steep parking lots. The turning radius is horrible and the car is so long that I had a very hard time parking and backing out of tighter spaces. I live in a city where it floods; I kicked myself for two years because the car sits so low I could not really drive in the rain. I traded it in for an AWD Subaru Forrester that sits up high, has great clearance and turns on a dime.