Last post on Nov 22, 2013 at 8:34 AM
You are in the Nissan Maxima
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Nissan Maxima, Sedan
#6989 of 8984 2004 Maxima pricing/positioning
Jun 14, 2003 (6:40 am)
I have to agree with the many above who are questioning Nissan's move with the 2004 Maxima.
It appears to me that Nissan took a very competitive $25k+/- FWD sport sedan and turned it into a $30k+ FWD less sporty sedan. At the time I bought my 1995 SE, the Maxima blew away all competitively priced competition from Honda (Accord EX), Toyota (Camry XLE), VW (Passat), etc. It was priced well below the next level of RWD competition - i.e. the 328i/528i.
I think that market segment today is still ripe for the taking. The Honda Accord is pretty ugly and doesn't offer a 6-speed in the sedan, the Camry is as much of a grandmother's car as ever, etc. Unfortunately, it appears that Nissan is counting on the Altima to do that job - which is a big step down in interior quality and ergonomics even from my 1995 Maxima.
At $30k+, the Maxima is not enough of a bargain to keep me from pursuing a 3 or 5 series, both of which offer less "paper" horsepower, but a hell of a lot more in real performance and build quality. And frankly, I'm not sure why anyone would buy a $32k Maxima over a similarly priced RWD Infiniti G35 sedan.
It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out. The only decent selling new entries in the entire Infiniti and Nissan line-up seem to be the G35 and 350Z, niether of which would get my dollars today.
#6990 of 8984 03 vs. 04 Max
Jun 14, 2003 (7:02 am)
I purchased my 03 Max about eight months ago and I am happy with it. I paid about $3500 off MSRP and thought it was a decent deal. Since then the 03 has discounted even more (about $4800 off MSRP) to make room for the 04. I guess the leftover 03s that were sold within the last couple months probably did not have much choice as to color and option. Now, the dealers near me no longer have any 03s.
I am not thrilled about the exterior style of the O4. I think Nissan is trying to create a hybrid between the Altima and the Z, but the resulting style is not really for a sporty family sedan. Personally I like the 3rd and 5th generation styles (call me conservative). I also do not like the 04 interior. The aluminum-plastic may look futuristic and high tech, but does not give you a sense of luxury. I prefer the wood trim, even though it is not genuine wood. The dash is also busy looking with too many small buttons. The 03 dash is better designed and user friendly.
I agree that the 04 MSRP is overpriced in that many of the more traditional Max buyers may be priced out. The dealer nearest to me is offering 04s at $500 t0 $800 over invoice, not MSRP.
Theft of HIDs, as I understand, are not unique only to the 02 and 03 Max. I also heard horror stories about the Acura TLs. The TL HIDs fit easily on the less expensive Accords, and many of the TL board members are very unhappy about this.
Jun 14, 2003 (7:38 am)
kennyg5 - you made a good point!
I think Nissan should have designed the front headlights so that they don't fit on any previous model. The demand for the HID lights would have been minimal then, and so would have been the theft rate.
Honda did something similar with the new RSX (the replacement of the Integra). The engine of the RSX now turns in the opposite direction and no longer fits into the Civic. The Integra's theft rate is very high, because there is a demand for the engine from Civic owners.
#6992 of 8984 Is this a good price for an '03 Max SE
Jun 14, 2003 (6:04 pm)
I'm looking to purchase a '03 Maxima SE loaded (Titanium, Leather, meridian, subroof, traction control. etc.) It a demo model w/ 6k mile and I've been quotes $24,599. Is this a good price. I have it for 24hrs. to test drive and would value others input as to the price being offered. thanks you for the input
Jun 14, 2003 (6:19 pm)
I believe the MSRP of a loaded 03 SE is slightly over 30k. The price quoted for your test car would be great if it is a brand new car with less than 20 miles. (Mine had less than 10 miles on it when I took delivery.) However, since it is a demo (and knowing how demos are usually driven), the quoted price is only "so so" to me. If you can get a brand new 03 Max at $25k (although it may not come in your color), I think paying an extra $500 for a "virgin" would give you much better peace of mind. JMHO.
Jun 14, 2003 (7:47 pm)
I don't know how many 03's are left, but I bought a new 03 for 26K that had everything except nav, Sheer silver, Titanium edition. So it probably comes down to what the value of having a brand new car is to you. I got Nissan 3.9 financing also. I looked at used, but the prices seemed to high to justify it.
#6995 of 8984 Is this a good price for an '03 Max SE
Jun 15, 2003 (3:24 am)
One more thing... Nissan is also offering .9 % for 3 yrs or 1.9% for 5 yr financing.
Jun 15, 2003 (11:51 am)
I'll echo kennyg5 and yamadave - I think you should be getting a discount to what a new car goes (went) for. At least 8-10%. After all, nearly 20% of the new car warranty is gone. And, unfortunately, you have to assume "demo" cars were not broken in with gentleness, especially if it's an SE 6-speed.
So my "TMV" for this car would be about $3,500 under the new car invoice, since I believe $1,000 to $1,500 under invoice deals were pretty commonplace. Use Edmund's to price it up; I think they still have the 2003 invoice pricing on the "new car" tab above.
On the other hand, if you love the car and there are no more new 2003's to choose from, you may not have a lot of bargaining power other than to walk away. But still try to get a fair deal - and that is not a 6,000 mile demo for marginally less than a brand new car, in my book.
Good luck and report back.
Jun 15, 2003 (4:16 pm)
Thanks you all for the advice... I went ahead and bought it... Bascially I got it for about $3200 below invoice plus .9% financing... As Habitat eluded to, I really didn't have much to choose from..This was the only loaded SE avail. everything else was the basic stripped down version. I'm upgrading for a '95 SE. Now, I have to wait 'til Friday to get it (The dealer is having a person airbrush some of the scratched I found.
One additional question -- This car has black leather. I've always had tan leather and I've heard that black leather gets hotted quicker. Is this true?
thank you all
Jun 15, 2003 (5:16 pm)
I bought an 02 demo,1700 mile Majestic Blue, frost leather about a year ago for 26500
2.9%/60 mos.)- stickered for 29800. I thought that was a pretty good deal at the time. Likewise, also did not have much to choose from either.
Regarding your leather question-
Dark surfaces absorb more heat than lighter ones. In this case since it is leather- its going to get hot, regardless of color. I really think the sensible differences will be negligible.
Kinda like being able to differentiate between an air temperature of 99 and 102...
Just my .02 cents.
Enjoy your ride!