Last post on Dec 12, 2011 at 12:37 PM
You are in the Nissan Maxima
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Nissan Maxima, Sedan
#526 of 684 Re: 2009 Maxima acceleration spec comparo [habitat1]
Dec 20, 2008 (6:00 pm)
I think we've had this discussion before, but I think you have correctly summarized that 15 years ago, the Mazima was a much more legitimate competitor to the 3 series than it is today. I am a long time BMW owner/enthusiast, but I recall many of my employees (MBA's, Engineers) opting for the Maxima as a sporty Japanese alternative to the 328i back in the mid 1990's. The wouldn't have considered an automatic only, anemic ES/Camry/Avalon in a million years.
Today, the Maxima is not remotely competitive with the 3 series for the enthusaist oriented buyer. And, perhaps not surprisingly, in the intervening years, the Maxima has lost 75%+ of it's former sales volume. Even adding the Infiniti G leaves you with about 1/3-1/2 of the former Maxima buyers looking elsewhere.
I happen to know the owners of a DC area Nissan dealer that also have a BMW dealership. They used to have a healthy amount of cross shopping between the Maxima and 3-series, now it is next to none. They would admit that, notwithstanding the GTR, Nissan as a company now competes far more with the Koreans than the Germans.
What I find equally interesting is that during the same period Nissan managed to self destruct the Maxima as a 3 series competitor, Audi has resurected itself as a BMW competitor. They literally had to give away cars for several years after the Audi 5000 debacle, but are now charging upwards of $50,000 for an A6 and $80,000+ for an S6. If someone had told me that they would be able to do that 15 years ago, I would have lost my shorts on the bet.
#527 of 684 Re: 2009 Maxima acceleration spec comparo [habitat1]
Dec 22, 2008 (8:20 pm)
I agree with you, compared to cars such as the ES350 and Avalon, it looks pretty darn good. As for the TL, I have a 2004 6-speed, so again, I'm a bit biased and would never trade away my TL for a CVT Maxima.
The 04 TL is a handsome car - it has an almost Italian look to it. I brokered an 05 for one of my clients and she is still driving it - she loves the car.
As you are probably aware, those considering a new 2009 TL cannot get one with a manual transmission (at least right now - next year the more expensive SH-AWD version will have the option - and good for Honda for stepping up to the plate with that). Neither do they get a handsome design, IMHO.
Had they decided to offer a manual transmission with the front-wheel drive TL, it would have given it a leg up on the 2009 Maxima for some folks. As it is though, and this is a carefully considered, although subjective opinion, I believe Nissan did a better job with the redesign of the Maxima than Honda did with the new TL.
I wanted to like the new TL and approached it with a positive outlook, but after driving it found it wasn't at all compelling to me, particularly coming directly off a test drive of the Maxima about an hour before.
As my dad used to say, that's what makes horse races.
#528 of 684 Re: 2009 Maxima acceleration spec comparo [redbull]
Dec 23, 2008 (6:51 am)
And it sounds like you picked the right horse for you.
I've been reasonably happy with my 2004 TL 6-speed, but I would definitely not end up in a 2009 FWD TL automatic and probably not even a 2010 TL SHAWD 6-speed, thanks to a nearly 2-ton curb weight. If an automatic transmisison is the preference, I agree that the 2009 Maxima is a noticable improvement over the outgoing model and the TL is, for many folks, a styling step in the wrong direction. There is more chrome on the 2009 TL than on all the cars I've owned in the past 30 years combined.
#529 of 684 Re: 2009 Maxima acceleration spec comparo [habitat1]
Dec 23, 2008 (5:57 pm)
Is the wind direction changing your opinion of the TL styling? I eluded to its shortcomings in my message number 291, to which your responded with message 300 stating that beauty is in the eye of the beholder which is true but that grill kills the rest of the car.
I do agree that the 09 TL is a step in the wrong direction, Acura has decided to mimic/imitate the outgoing Maxima that got so much criticism for styling including its front grill too. Although a more edgy type of design, the TL and outgoing Maxima have many similarities. The one place where the TL leaves the old maxima in the dust is the interior, TL wins that hands down.
Saw an 09 Max today in Mystic Jade, very interesting color. Light enough to be easy to keep clean and yet dark enough to pick up a good shine with a nice coat of wax. It resembles Precision Grey but with a hint of green, certainly different and one I will consider.
To all a Merry Christmas..Be safe..
#530 of 684 Re: 2009 Maxima acceleration spec comparo [out4cat]
Dec 23, 2008 (9:51 pm)
You have a better memory than me - I had to go back and check what I wrote in "message 300".
Fortunately, I don't think the wind direction caused any inconsistency in my position. Which is, that for someone looking for a "sport" sedan, distaste for the styling of the TL would unlikely push them to buy a CVT Maxima. Unfortunately, I can now safely conclude that neither car offers the substance that a serious enthusiast would seek and even the addition of a 6-speed manual to the AWD TL may not overtake the obese curb weight negative.
I would bend a little under the breezes to say that the styling miscue of the TL might benefit the Maxima for those looking for less of a sports sedan and more of an entry level near luxury sedan. But that's not the type of buyer I was addressing in post 300.
And a Merry Christmas back to you...
Dec 24, 2008 (2:39 am)
Spirit, yes, I agree with your analysis that the Max doesn't compete with the 3 series. But you leave out the part about the G37, which many feel is the closest Japanes competitor to the 3 series as many people cross shop those 2. That's not necessarily a bad thing. The Max has its own strong points, such as space and value, that the 3 series cannot match. I feel there are more choices for the consumer now than 15 years ago; it's a great time to be a car enthusiast, whether one favors luxury over sport or vice versa...
Dec 24, 2008 (10:23 am)
Why are people comparing a BMW to the Max? Why are people stuck on a marketing gimick that Nissan has for the new Max? In many ways for 90% of the people who buy the new Max it is a sports sedan. But to sit here and beat a dead horse its getting old people. There is no way to compare a 09 to 95 Max, that is like comaring a 1995 911 to a 09 Porchse 911. Also for people to make a judgement on only a 20 minute trest drive, it took me a month to see the benefits of the CVT in my Altima Coupe, as it takes a while how to figure out how to drive one. But I can tell you, it will be VERY hard for me to go back to a "normal" automatic transmission car...
Dec 26, 2008 (12:00 pm)
Why are people stuck on a marketing gimick that Nissan has for the new Max?
Maybe you should be asking a different question - to Nissan. As in, why are they using a 13+ year old label that clearly no longer applies to the Maxima? It seems that Nissan is the one that is "stuck" here, not those that call the company to the carpet for not delivering the goods.
I am a very satisfied owner of a 2003 BMW M5 that runs like new, so I'm not likely to be trading to a Nissan Maxima or Infinity anything anytime soon. But that does not preclude me from giving credit where it was due to Nissan. The former (1995 vintage) Maxima might not have really been a 4-door sports car, but it was clearly superior to its Japanese competition at the time and set itself apart enough to develop a loyal following among enthusiasts. Notwithstanding FWD, it did better against the BMW 3 series back then than the G35 does today. In both sale volumes and road test comparisons.
In many ways for 90% of the people who buy the new Max it is a sports sedan.... it took me a month to see the benefits of the CVT in my Altima Coupe, as it takes a while how to figure out how to drive one.
I sure as hell hope you are wrong on both counts. I would suspect/hope 90% of current Maxima buyers DON"T consider it a sport sedan. And if it took you a month to "figure out" how to drive a CVT, maybe it's a good thing that Nissan didn't really challenge your physical and/or mental capacities with a three pedal manual transmission.
#534 of 684 Re: BMW [spiritinthesky]
Dec 26, 2008 (8:39 pm)
It simple why Nissan is using the same sloagn, it worked....
The CVT is a different bird, and it take a while to get used to it, I wouldn't expect someone who drives a M5 to understand what I'm getting at.
#535 of 684 Re: BMW [flightnurse]
Dec 27, 2008 (10:32 am)
It simple why Nissan is using the same sloagn, it worked....
Excuse me? What "worked" back in 1995 was Nissan delivering a superior product. That had real "substance" relative to its competition. Attempting to resurect that marketplace success with a marketing slogan instead of substance is why the current (or at least immediately prior) Maxima models sell a small percentage of the volume of the former one.
You might fool a couple of naive consumers with a catchy slogan, but sooner or later you have to deliver substance or you simply embarass yourself. If I was Nissan, I'd market the 2009 Maxima for what it is - a very nice entry level/near luxury family sedan - and avoid embarassing myself by having a sales person try to expalin why a "4DSC" doesn't have anything but a CVT transmission option.
As for a CVT taking a while to get used to - more so than an M5 6-speed manual? You lost me on that one as well. I'm successfully (mostly) teaching 4th-5th grade girls to do a crossover dribble between their legs. Please explain the challenge you had in putting the transmission into D and depressing the accelerator? Maybe I can make some beer money on the side.