Last post on Dec 12, 2011 at 11:37 AM
You are in the Nissan Maxima
What is this discussion about?
Nissan Maxima, Sedan
#195 of 684 Re: The CVT experience [austinman7]
Aug 01, 2008 (4:43 am)
Car & Driver feels Nissan has the best CVT setup of anyone.
And, in my opinion, that's a bit like saying the Toytoa Avalon is the best cure for chronic insomnia by anyone.
I'm sorry to sound negative on Nissan, but the company really has big kahunas labeling the 2009 Maxima as a "4 Door Sports Car". I happen to still own a 1995 Maxima SE 5-speed manual transmission and, while not exactly in the same league as my 2005 Porsche 911S, it still remains a sporty, fun to drive sedan after 14 years and 156,000 miles. When I took it in for service a few weeks ago, the dealer insisted on giving me a 2009 Maxima to test drive. I was sorely dissapointed. Nice comfy interior with techno do-dads out the wazoo. But no more fun to drive than a Camry or Buick rental car. Back in 1995, the Maxima was as close to a competitor of the BMW 3 or 5 series as any Japanese FWD sedan could be. Today, it's not in the same solar system as BMW relative to driving dynamics.
I realize that the devolution of the Maxima may suit a lot of folks who think a "sporty" drive means listening to ESPN radio on their 12 speaker Bose surround sound system while they pluck their eyebrows in the rearview mirror knowing that the CVT transmission needs no driver input. Fine. But please, Nissan, call a spade a spade. The 2009 Maxima, with its obese curb weight, soft tuned suspension, and "best of breed" rubber band CVT transmission is no more of a "4 door sports car" than Grandma's Buick was 30 years ago.
And, just for the record, back in 1995 when the Maxima won several car of the year awards and was labeled a 4-door sports car by actual driving enthusiasts, it also sold at least 3 times as many units annually as the it has in the last several. So apparantly I am not the only one who is dissapointed with the direction that Nissan has taken with the Maxima. Someone in senior management needs to be taken behind the woodshed and spanked with one of those rubber band CVT's. You may have managed to beat out the Avalon in the quest for an over the counter cure for insomnia, but you've left the BMW 3/5 series without even the slightest competition.
#196 of 684 Re: The CVT experience [habitat1]
Aug 01, 2008 (5:01 am)
Interesting, since Nissan has NEVER stated that the MAX was to be compared to a BMW, even in the Hey Day of the 4DSC days... Nissan knows better then that, that is why we have Infiniti...
The new MAX goes against the Acrua TL, which is does very nicely. The 4DSC is a marketing gimick....
#197 of 684 Re: The CVT experience [flightnurse]
Aug 01, 2008 (5:35 am)
I distinctly remember that the 1995 Nissan Maxima went head on head and matched the 328i in various automotive magazine comparisons, which is partly why at least a couple gave it COTY award. I test drove it against the 328i myself and concluded that it was damn competitive in performance, with better back seat room and a $7k+ lower price tag. Nissan didn't have to toot its own horn with a BS marketing gimmick, it earned independent respect with substance.
As for Infiniti, back in that era, after the success of the 1995 Maxima, they simply rebadged the 1996 GLE version as an I30 (with no SE model or manual transmission option). Perhaps that was the start of image over substance that has plagued Nissan since.
As for Acura, when we relocated my Maxima to our second home a few years ago, I replaced it with a a new 2004 TL 6-speed manual. Again, it's no BMW 535/550 6-speed, but it was a boatload above the 2004 Maxima (and current 2009 model) in driving dynamics and sportiness.
Please understand, I am not trying to convince anyone that the current Maxima isn't a good competitor with a Camry, Avalon, ES350, Accord or the host of other comfy near luxury sedans. I am just pointing out that over the past decade, Nissan has done everything possible to make the label of "4 door sports car" a complete farce, epitomized by the ridiculous CVT only transmssion choice.
#198 of 684 Re: The CVT experience [habitat1]
Aug 01, 2008 (8:10 am)
LMAO! Sorry I had to get that out. It seems that from just one test drive you were able to make a very bold opinion of the new Maxima. I happen to actually own one and I think the '09 Maxima totally lives up to the statement "4 door sport car". I have driven Mercedes C class, Altima, Lexus IS, and even the M35 and G35 and I was most impressed by the Maxima by far. I find it quite hard to believe you are comparing the Maxima to a Buick! I have also owned a sports car and I feel the Maxima is extremely quick for a luxury sedan. Maybe you should BUY one and then after a true feel for the car you can post all of the negative remarks you want
#199 of 684 Re: The CVT experience [brirogan]
Aug 01, 2008 (9:29 am)
LMAO as well. I should "BUY" a car that I am unimpressed with on a test drive? And doing so would give me more credibility?
I was impressed with the Maxima relative to its competition in 1995, which is why I bought one back then. Since then, almost every time I have taken my Maxima in for service or annual inspections, I am given a new one as a loaner. My "test drive" of the "new and improved" 2009 a couple of weeks ago covered 50 miles and I had ample opportunity to put the car through the paces on a variety of driving conditions that didn't just include mashing the pedal to the metal between stop lights.
I would be a jerk if I suggested you shouldn't be happy with the car you bought. I sincerely hope you are. But it sounds like we have different priorities, preferences and tastes. My issue is with Nissan labeling the Maxima a 4-door sports car - and then offering it only with a CVT transmission, letting the curb weight bloat and, seemingly, de-emphasized driving dynamics (braking, steering, transitional handling, etc) in favor of do-dads. Come on. Even stodgy Mercedes offers a 6-speed manual and adjustable sport suspension in the C class.
For what it's worth, I am an equal opportunity critic. I was dissapointed with Acura spending a lot of dollars redesigning and marketing the RL as a "sport sedan" only to find it weighed 4,000 lbs, the "super handling" AWD system wasn't all that super, and an overloaded V6 with a slushbox only automatic transmission. Equally unimpressed when Nissan set out to "reincarnate the spirit of the 240Z" with the 350Z, and instead produced an unimpressive overweight wannabe from their spare parts bin. On the other hand I was impressed with and bought a Honda S2000 - which, even though I no longer own it, I am quick to give positive credit to as a exceptional ground up sports car that competes very well with the $20k more expensive base Boxster.
Nissan probably doesn't give a rat's rear about my opinion. But it would be nice if someone other than BMW took the term "sport sedan" a little more seriously. And no, I don't actually own one of those (BMW's), so forgive my expressiveness.
#200 of 684 Re: The CVT experience [habitat1]
Aug 02, 2008 (4:14 pm)
Wow - rarely have I read comments/a review that I more disagree with.
Certainly everybody is entitled to his/her opinion - so I'll give you that - but I think you really missed it here.
The '95 Maxima a better "sports sedan" than the '09? Please...
What did the '95 have - 190 horses? Compared to the '09's 290 horses?
Yes - it's true - the '09 Maxima is a luxurious sedan...but all cars in its class are luxurious. Being luxurious doesn't take away from the car's performance.
The '09 Maxima handles like a charm. Is it a true sports car? No - and it doesn't handle like one. But can it absolutely hold its own against any car marketed as a "sports sedan"? Absolutely.
The car is quick! It's not sub-6.0 in 0 to 60...but it's a darn quick car nonetheless.
It's wide agressive stance glues this car to the road. It can turn on a dime and keeps the driver firmly in control during aggressive cornering, accelerating, and braking.
I would have chalked up your critic to a valid opinion - albeit one I fully disagreed with. But you lost all credibility when you claim that the '09 Maxima is comparable to a Buick, as far as being a "sports sedan" goes. That comment is simply silly. Comparing the '09 Maxima to a land-yacht like a large Buick is simply off-base.
I can compare the '09 Maxima to a Lamborghini, but doing so no more puts the Maxima into the Lamborghini's super-car class than your comparison puts the Maxima in the same class as a Buick sedan.
That's just silly.
#201 of 684 Re: The CVT experience [cyberpunk]
Aug 03, 2008 (9:35 am)
Thank you Cyberpunk, this guy thinks he knows everything about all vehicles it seems!
#202 of 684 Re: The CVT experience [habitat1]
Aug 03, 2008 (10:28 am)
Being test by a Auto Mag for COTY isnt the same as Nissan saying that the MAX was built to go againt the BMW...
The Current MAX is light years ahead of the BMW as far as stlyin, safety and Tech. It might not be as fast but then again, the BMW is about 10K more then a MAX too.
#203 of 684 Re: The CVT experience [cyberpunk]
Aug 03, 2008 (1:53 pm)
The '95 Maxima a better "sports sedan" than the '09? Please... What did the '95 have - 190 horses? Compared to the '09's 290 horses?
Sorry to disagree, but yes, relatively speaking, the 2009 Maxima IS a land yacht Buick compared to the 1995.
In 1995 the Maxima SE 5-speed was named Car of the Year and competed well in performance against the BMW 328i. The were neck and neck in acceleration, slalom, braking and handling. In the 14 years since, what has Nissan done? The curb weight bloated up 600 lbs and the 5-speed manual has been replaced with what? A 6-speed? A SMG or DSG? Hell no, sports fans, a rubber band CVT that even a castrated driving enthusiast wouldn't own.
Would someone even DARE to pit the 2009 Maxima to a 2009 BMW 335i at the track? What a joke that would be. An Avalon or ES350 maybe, but the Maxima against the 335i in any performance or "sport" contest would be an embarassment.
I am not debating that the 2009 Maxima isn't a good mid/large size near luxury sedan. What I am saying is that in the 14 years since I cross shopped a Maxima against a 328i, BMW has remained focused on catering to the driving enthusiast and Nissan decided to go in a totally different direction. And a CVT transmssion - which is what started this thread - is about as obvious evidence as one will ever find.
P.S. As far as "darn quick" being the measure by which some are willing credit the 2009 Maxima, consider that the 1995 Maxima and 1995 328i both had 190 hp and both did 0-60 in 6.6 seconds with 5 speed manual transmssions. In 14 years, BMW has used 300 hp in the RWD 335i to generate 0-60 times of around 4.9 seconds. Now tell me what good has adding 100 hp to a FWD platform with an extra 600 lbs of curb weight done for the 2009 Maxima?
#204 of 684 wow. this 4DSC talk is pretty awful
Aug 03, 2008 (6:00 pm)
Nissan now this car isnt a Lotus. but a lot of manufacturers are trying to inject some life in their cars. there is still a market for the Buicks of the world , albeit a smaller one that 15-20 years ago, but many car makers are trying to put some spunk in their cars. there is still a demand for minivans and tucks all alike.
Nissan isnt trying to call this car something its not. its a FWD sporty family sedan. that is it. 290 HP on a car that handles quite well and has an aggressive look with nice wheel wells. obviously the infiniti line is not only more expensive, but more lux and sportier too.
is the Maxima a buick? no, not by any means. is it a Z06? nope.
its a family sedan that has a sportier edge. the new G8 is the same. but even more sporty, than the Maxima.
the new max is a really nice car and id love to have one (but i belive they priced it a tad too high...at least for my expectations). however, it mixes lux and sporty and size very well and that is what i want. a coupe does me no good as i have a family and in sales where i need 4 seats all the time, so the G8 has my closest eye, however, right after that the Max fall in to place.
i am just dumbfounded people are trying to take the 4DSC to a the ultimate listeral stance and on the other hand trying to compare it to the boats of Buick....