Last post on Jul 16, 2012 at 7:08 AM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
Buick Lucerne, Chevrolet Impala, Dodge Charger, Ford Taurus, Hyundai Azera, Toyota Avalon, Nissan Maxima, Pontiac G8, Car Comparisons, Sedan
#5761 of 6854 Re: Avalon vs. Azera Throwdown: Azera Test Drive [allmet33]
Mar 12, 2008 (6:25 am)
the Altima has also been around for many many years, almost as long as the original 3 liter V6 Maxs, but intially only in 4 cylinder form, but they both date back into the 80s. It wasn't until the 2002 MY that the Altima became so close in size (and performance) to the Maxima. That 2002 Altima is the car that really started the HP wars in that segment, and is also the one credited in helping Nissan turnaround from some rather serious financial difficulties in the 80s/90s. Alexstore may not be far off in his contention that the Altima has been used to develop things to be later used in the Max at least in more recent history.
It will be interesting to see if Nissan does change the Max enough to differentiate more from the Altima - I was kinda of hoping that Nissan would use their RWD platform on it along with a slightly more energetic version of the VQ but then again that would likely hurt Infiniti sales. Haven't see or heard too much - think Nissan is playing this one close to the vest.
#5763 of 6854 Re: Avalon vs. Azera Throwdown: Azera Test Drive [captain2]
Mar 12, 2008 (6:31 am)
"I was kinda of hoping that Nissan would use their RWD platform on it along with a slightly more energetic version of the VQ "
As long as they would do it without CVT I'd be interested. Would hurt Infiniti sales but would all go to the same pot at least.
#5764 of 6854 Re: Avalon vs. Azera Throwdown: Azera Test Drive [captain2]
Mar 12, 2008 (6:40 am)
The Altima has not been around since the 80's. The Altima came out in '93. What has the Altima ever had that the Maxima didn't have (up until the last few years). I mean...when the 2002 Altima first dropped, the Maxima was still considered the flagship in every way shape and form (except for maybe size). It wasn't unil they pumped the Altima up in 2005 in the HP department that folks really started looking at the two and wondering what the deal was.
#5765 of 6854 Maxima engine NVH question
Mar 12, 2008 (6:49 am)
for those who know the Max:
I test-drove an M35x the other day (don't have the money, just curiosity killing the cat). I was enraptured by every aspect of the car, with one giant exception: the engine noise. It was a deal-killer in several ways:
•It was coarse and raspy, not a really pleasing engine note.
•I felt it was too loud and not isolated enough for a luxury car.
•Worst of all, they geared the 5-speed auto so it was sawing away frantically at about 2500 rpm at 60 mph, so the damn thing never shut up even at steady speed. It ruined the whole highway experience for me.
I can't imagine the engine is better isolated in the Maxima than in the newer-design luxury model, but I know the Maxima has a CVT. Is it geared to lope along at lower RPM on the highway vs. the Infiniti?
#5766 of 6854 Re: Avalon vs. Azera Throwdown: Azera Test Drive [allmet33]
Mar 12, 2008 (7:02 am)
OK, stand corrected, but I did actually own a 98 and a 2000 model Altima 4 banger and they were not available with v6s until 2002, the Maxs do predate them by a few years - owned one of those as well - a '92 with a 190hp 3.0 - predecessor to the VQ3.5. The 2002 Altima had the same VQ 3.5 (rated at 240hp) that is in the car today. The Max, of course, also got that engine in versions that went to 255 (or 265 hp) . I'll guarantee you that my 2003 Altima 3.5SE 240hp will keep up with any of the cars on this board simply because it is not as large or heavy and because it will give my 280hp (?) Avalon a good run. I would even go so far as to tell you that I'm relatively sure it will keep up with the current 270hp CVT model - and that is with a 'mere' 4 speed conventional AT.
#5767 of 6854 Re: Avalon vs. Azera Throwdown: Azera Test Drive [captain2]
Mar 12, 2008 (7:15 am)
A few years??? LOL The Max hit the scene in '84. However, you're right...2002 is when Nissan dropped the bombshell of the 240 hp 3.5 V-6 Altima that seemed to be the start of the HP wars. Even at that point...the fact that the Maxima had 15 more ponies...it was a different animal. However, when the Altima got refreshed in '05...it surpassed the Maxima in terms of power and performance, and it probably equalled it in terms of technology. In terms of size...the two were pretty much the same..so how could one call the Maxima the flagship anymore? Yeah...they better do something good with it, that's for sure.
#5768 of 6854 Re: Maxima engine NVH question [tonycd]
Mar 12, 2008 (7:24 am)
As you observed Nissan has geared the Infiniti quite differently than they do the Max and FE suffers - but supposedly helps a big car with a bit more spunk. Maintaining a modicum of performance, I suppose, but at 300 hp I think the VQ is being strained a bit. I thought the same of the G35 MT, and that was 3 years ago - haven't tried the 3.7 liter variant.
One thing about CVTs though, if you are going to use one, you better also have an engine that is happy at higher rpms. Fords/Volvo's CVT in the original 500 was a dismal failure because that 3.0 liter engine that came with it besides being down on power was also something not real pleasing at 5000 rpm or so. The new Altima is geared to lower engine speeds and holds the same 2000 rpm or so at 70 that most of the other cars in this group do. Maybe also the reason why the Altima FE is competitive. I still don't understand Nissan's apparent dedication to the CVT - although it has been successful for them - it is interesting that they don't use it in the high end Ms, although I would bet it may be the only tranny available on the new Maxima.
#5769 of 6854 Re: Avalon vs. Azera Throwdown: Azera Test Drive [allmet33]
Mar 12, 2008 (7:36 am)
they better do something good with it, that's for sure
IMO, the Maxima has always been a competitive selection in this group, power wise, FE wise, and even size/option level wise. CR has it rated #2 in this group - and it deserves it. A helluva nice car and a different kind of ride for a vehicle in this group. The Altima is, of course, rated at the top of its particular segment and you can certainly contend that two vehicles are quite similar - but the Maxima in terms of perception and reality is definitely still the 'flagship'.
#5770 of 6854 Re: Avalon vs. Azera Throwdown: Azera Test Drive [captain2]
Mar 12, 2008 (7:48 am)
In terms of being the flagship, it is only that because the Max has always been. However, it's been harder and harder to look at it as such with the current Altima as it is. Perceptions, as they may be, have started to change on the Maxima when folks can get everything and more in the Altima. It's not like one would give up much in terms of interior space, right (they are pretty darn close in those terms)?
The Maxima, in it's current form, is still very competitive amongst the others in this segment (a point I'm not arguing at all). However, if it is upgraded to truly be the Nissan flagship...will it exceed the competition? Maybe, just maybe...the Altima would slide up and compete with the Avalon, Azera, etc. and the Maxima will compete with the Genesis, G8, etc. Maybe???