2017 Nissan Maxima - Review and Road Test
Nissan Maxima - E-class sedan with a transverse engine and front wheel drive.
The first appearance of the model called Maxima took place in October 1984 and was a variant of the Bluebird model with a 2.0-liter V-shaped six-cylinder engine. The angular design of this modification hardly differed from the base Bluebird. However, a powerful 170-horsepower engine with injection and turbocharging added a hurried car (maximum speed reached 205 km / h), but the fuel consumption was high - up to 16 l / 100 km. The rest of the Maxima (U11 series) was no different from the Bluebird.
The first "real" Maxima concern Nissan launched into production in October 1988. The new J30 series had a low-key design, but due to its solid body size (4780x1760x1405 mm), it had a spacious interior and a spacious 450-liter trunk. The car was equipped with a more powerful 170-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 engine, as well as a full set of comfort-enhancing devices that other models put only for an additional fee. For the North American market, there was a 24-valve version of the engine with a power of 195 hp, which allowed it to accelerate to 220 km / h and reach hundreds in 8.8 s (10.7 with a gun). Transmission or 5-speed manual, or 4-band automatic. Independent all wheel suspension with anti-roll bars. The excellent combination of a spacious cabin, good dynamics and controllability brought to high parameters allowed the model to take a good place on the market.
The next generation Maxima QX (for the Japanese market under the name Cefiro) was first introduced in the fall of 1994. Maxima QX - the flagship executive class company Nissan - was the beginning of direct competition with such giants as the Mercedes-Benz E-kl and BMW 5-er.
The exterior of the model has received a faceless image of an “average” full-size sedan, but not without dynamism. Versions for different markets are noticeably different from each other (for example, on the European QX, the taillights are combined in a continuous strip). The combination of a very comfortable and elegant interior with a discreet and very functional equipment of the instrument panel, which has all the appropriate scales, indicators and buttons with levers, turned out to be optimal. The front seats are equipped with various electric adjustments, the range of which is sufficient for a normal fit for a person to grow even under two meters. The back seat is spacious, but its shape is adapted for two people to travel, besides a large hump protrudes from the floor. Unfortunately, there is no supply of warm air to the legs of the rear passengers.
In handling, Nissan designers have achieved great success. The presence of a multi-link rear beam Multi-link Beam, which does not allow the rear axle to “walk” relative to the body in the transverse direction, helps reduce noise and increase ride comfort, while its relative simplicity (Panara’s thrust is replaced by a double-lever Scott-Russell joint) improve handling options. The front suspension remained the McPherson type, but was also significantly revised. The variable power steering has excellent feedback, which makes it very accurate and easy to carry out maneuvers (including emergency ones) at any speeds, and also very quickly stabilizes the car when it goes straight. In combination with effective and accurate brakes and four-channel ABS, which gently and accurately intervenes, no earlier and no later than necessary. This raised the active safety of the car to a new height and was appreciated by consumers. However, the slippery grip is not entirely satisfactory. The suspension is quite comfortable, but at speeds of 40-70 km / h it reacts quite actively to minor irregularities, passing blows to the body, which, moreover, at speeds close to maximum, begins to resonate in combination with the whistle from the incident wind and tire noise.
Maxima QX was produced in versions with V-shaped 2.0-; 2.5- and 3.0-liter (140, 190 and 193 hp, respectively) six-cylinder 24-valve lightweight engines (not noisy). They were also equipped with special hydraulic supports suppressing all vibrations (on a model with a 3.0-liter engine, also with "active" control). Together, this provided excellent performance comfort, dynamics (in third gear, the car easily accelerates to 110 km / h) and safety (airbags for the driver and passenger come as standard). Automatic transmission works very well and with almost no delays. It is better to aggregate it with more powerful engines, as the 2.0-liter accelerates this 2-ton sedan very hard (14.1 s / 100 km).
SE models are equipped with heated seats with automatic adjustment of the position, leather seats and salon trim, automatic air conditioning, cruise control, super-reliable superlock locks, immobilizer, anti-lock brakes and power steering and adjustable steering code.
Three years after the debut of the sedan, in the fall of 1997, the Maxima QX with a station wagon entered the arena, but this model is relatively rare.
In March 2000, at the Geneva Motor Show, Nissan introduced a new version of the flagship of its model range - the second generation Maxima QX for the European market. The car has become much more solid, more comfortable and more expressive, has a higher level of safety, better dynamic performance and equipment offered, while maintaining its main advantage - a lower price compared to European competitors with guaranteed quality.
For the new model, the body has been re-designed, the dimensions of which have grown, and the style has become closer to two other new products - Primera and Almera cars. In the new car, the wheelbase has been increased from 2,700 to 2,750 mm, the overall length of the body is from 4,770 to 4,920 mm, the height has increased by 20 mm, and the width by 10 mm. Due to this, the space of the passenger compartment has increased. Structural rigidity of the new body is increased by 30%, which provided greater rigidity of the attachment points of the suspension elements. The well-proven MacPherson front suspension has been preserved, and changes have been made to the design of the rear multi-link independent suspension, thanks to which the car’s stability and driving comfort have increased, and the noise level has decreased. The system tends to ensure that the wheels of the car are constantly at right angles to the road for better grip and a smaller tilt of the body when cornering.
The new appearance of the car Nissan Maxima QХ with smooth and restrained contour lines is designed to increase the attractiveness of this model for European buyers of prestigious middle class E. The streamlined shape of the Maxima QX has excellent aerodynamic characteristics, provides a better view of the road, as well as the front and rear of the car. Because of this, the driver feels more confident and safer when maneuvering. When driving at night, new xenon headlights provide a wider beam of light. Their bluish light is 100% more intense than the light of halogen lamps. A new front grille with wings and a bumper with fog lights increase the visibility of the Nissan Maxima QX. Bumpers not only follow the lines of the car, but also form part of the body area that absorbs impact energy and is designed to protect people in it in the event of a serious accident. At low speeds or when parking (up to 8 km / h), the impact energy of an obstacle is absorbed in such a way that after an impact repair is not required. Retractable washers contribute to increased safety, as well as improve the aerodynamics of the car. When viewed from the side, the new Maxima QX seems longer and lower due to the increased wheelbase and reduction of the gap between the wheel and the wheel arch from 100 mm to 70 mm. New 15 or 16 inch alloy wheels are installed depending on the level of configuration.
When creating the interior of the Nissan Maxima QХ II, Nissan engineers and stylists paid special attention to comfort and ease of use. Changes affecting the interior, include elegance of decoration, increased spaciousness of the cabin and increased safety. By increasing the base of the car, it was possible to provide a larger passenger compartment volume, especially the distance from the seat cushions to the ceiling, providing comfort. Front and rear footwell space increased by 35 mm. The amount of luggage increased by 18% and became 520 liters - one of the largest in its segment. It provides 10 points for fixing luggage and mesh with fasteners. Rigidly fixing the cargo in the trunk, this net is especially useful when transporting bulky and non-standard items, making it possible to prevent damage to them. A special hatch in the back of the rear seats allows you to carry long items, such as skis. Due to the low threshold and wide-opening tailgate access to it has become much easier. And for security, the hatch door has a lock to prevent intrusion into the cabin in the event of opening the trunk.
The design and the increased size of the doors, the opening width of which reaches 70 °, makes landing in Maxima QX very simple and natural, regardless of your build. The creators of the interior offered the most comfortable conditions for the driver, based on the fact that a well-designed driver's seat will help not only make a longer trip more comfortable, but also allow you to spend much more time behind the wheel without suffering from back pain: an improved form and larger seat arrangement size with improved support, higher fit, due to which improved visibility. The seat, steering column and pedals are located so as to make the driver's seat as comfortable as possible. An alarm lamp installed in the door is an excellent example of driver-oriented design. Instruments of control and management are constantly in the range of 300 from the line of sight direction. Audio control is now duplicated by the buttons on the steering wheel. The inscriptions on the dashboard are made in larger type using the "Fine Vision" fluorescent backlight technology. Visibility to the rear is improved thanks to the driver's anti-glare mirror and large heated side mirrors. To facilitate the control of the cruise control is built into the steering wheel. The Maxima QX ventilation system has special filters that clean the air before it enters the cabin. Removed microscopic particles of dust and pollen, which can be a problem in the hot summer months. Also, unlike other manufacturers' air conditioning systems, to remove particles that could get through the open window, the air circulating in the cabin is constantly filtered. Particular attention was paid to minimizing noise arising from the operation of the ventilation system.
The comfort of people in the car is provided by various well-thought-out elements of the interior design. Comfortable seats during the trip create a sense of serenity. The quality of the seams of the leather upholstery of the seats indicate the attention paid to the details. The wooden trim on the dashboard adds an extra touch to the luxury trim. A large number of different places to store the most necessary items and the presence of cupholders for front and rear passengers help the cabin to remain clean and tidy. The 12 volt socket located on the center console is suitable for charging a mobile phone or connecting a laptop computer. A high-quality audio system has a Traffic Information Management (TIM) system that receives traffic information. It allows you to avoid possible traffic jams, since the information is recorded even when you leave the car and can be heard on return. The car uses ultra thick glass that prevents the penetration of ultraviolet rays and at the same time reduces the noise level. Power have a function that does not allow to pinch a hand: if something falls between the top edge of the glass and the frame, the glass is automatically lowered. The air conditioner is included in the list of standard equipment on all models: manual on the SLX configuration and automatic on the SE configuration. Rear seats can fold towards 60/40, increasing the amount of luggage. The interior is protected from noise and vibrations due to a whole series of measures taken - from the triple noise protection coating of the front doors to the design of a multi-link suspension.
Installed on the Maxima QX aluminum engines of the VQ family, since 1994 for several years in a row are among the top ten engines defined by the independent American magazine "Ward’s Auto World", which is a record in itself. The VQ family of engines sets the standards of design solutions and technical characteristics leading in its class, even in a demanding market such as the E segment car market. Both of the V6 engines offer good acceleration performance and excellent dynamic performance. The 3-liter 24-valve petrol engine of the year 2000 boasts more power and torque. Improvement of the air intake system and gas distribution system led to an increase in power from 193 liters. with. up to 200 l. with. at 6400 rpm Torque, which is key to agility, has grown from 255 Nm at 4000 rpm to 271 at 3600 rpm. New intake system with variable valve timing allows you to get higher torque at both low and medium engine speeds, providing excellent vehicle dynamics, and cooling systems maintain the optimum engine temperature even during long journeys at high speed. Power and torque economical 2-liter engine remained the same (140 hp). The light weight of both engines contributes to efficiency and economy and is complemented by one of the lightest pistons among engines of this size. This, in turn, allows the use of lightweight connecting rods and a smaller, and hence lighter crankshaft.
The car is equipped with a specially designed four-speed automatic or five-speed manual gearbox, while in fourth gear the torque converter is locked to save fuel. Automatic 3-mode 4-speed gearbox provides smooth acceleration and provides an opportunity to choose one of three driving modes - regular, sporty or winter, depending on road conditions and your driving style. The car instantly reacts to any action of the driver, from lightly pressing the accelerator pedal to turning the steering wheel.
Many years of research and work on improving the car has led to what is called the Nissan Triple Safety Philosophy. Firstly, information security is the conviction that drivers have all the information they need in order to foresee any possible incident long before it happens. Secondly, the safety of management, helping to prevent a possible accident, while maintaining control over the car in an emergency. And, finally, crash safety, protecting people inside the car if an accident does occur. So Maxima QX is ready for any surprise. The durable safety cage and deformable zones of the Maxima QX in combination with airbags, active head restraints and energy-absorbing roof material will reliably protect you. Active head restraints fitted with side airbags significantly reduce the risk of neck injury. In a collision, they move up and forward to support the head and neck. Front and side airbags are standard on the Maxima QX. The rear seats have three head restraints and three three-point seat belts equipped with pretensioners with pressure limiters. Pre-tensioners instantly tighten the belt in the event of a frontal impact, if the instantaneous deceleration exceeds the set limits, and the pressure limiters do not allow the seat belts to cause injury. Fire resistant materials are used in the interior.
Stability and good handling, along with an improved brake system make up an active safety system. ABS and EBD systems keep track of each wheel, preventing blockage and providing controllability to perform maneuvers to avoid accidents. The standard 4-channel ABS acts on the front (ventilated) and rear disc brakes. The diameters of the front and rear brake cylinders were increased by 2.3 mm and 4.2 mm, respectively. In case of emergency braking, the ABS is put into operation immediately thanks to the Nissan Brake Assist system, a reliable mechanical system designed to increase the pressure on the pedal. These two systems are supplemented by an electronic brake-force distribution system that distributes the maximum pressure in the brake cylinders on each axle in accordance with the load, which significantly increases the safety of emergency braking.
On the new Maxima QX installed fifth-generation anti-theft system NATS (Nissan Anti Theft System) with an improved immobilizer. Central locking and the Superlock system are standard on all vehicles. Maxima QX comes with two ignition keys, each of which remembers the personal settings of its owner. This means that each of the drivers can use their own audio system settings, which will then be automatically restored. To do this, you only need to use your key and the audio system will automatically work using the settings associated with that key. By picking, there are two levels of equipment: SLX and SE. The first is typical for cars equipped with only a 2.0-liter engine, the second is available with both 2.0 and 3.0-liter gasoline engines. For trim in the standard version used fabric (SLX) and velor (SE) of two colors to choose from: gray or beige. Leather interior is available as an option in the SE package and comes in black, beige or gray. Upholstery steering wheel perfectly with the color of the instrument panel. The serial equipment of cars also includes satellite navigation system 3D Bird VIEW.
The official premiere of the 2004 Nissan Maxima new generation was held at the Detroit auto show in January 2003.
Sedan Nissan Maxima 2004 is built on a new platform FF-L, used on the Altima and Murano models, and received a completely new body design, made with an eye on the Nissan Altima, but having a lot of original solutions. Torsional stiffness of the body increased by 40%. For a sports sedan, this characteristic is directly related to handling, is extremely important. It is the sportiness of the character of the new Maxima that its creators tried to emphasize by offering her a 4-door body with a silhouette characteristic of a classic coupe. The novelty has a rather unusual design of the rear part of a complex geometry, and the rear pillar and non-standard taillights attract special attention. The front of the new Nissan Maxima 2004 in its style is a bit like a sports Nissan Z350 and Nissan Altima at the same time.
The interior of the Nissan Maxima 2004 is made in the new corporate style of the company, which first appeared on the Nissan Z and Murano models. Thanks to the use of the FF-L platform (the last letter stands for "large", that is, "large"), the interior of the car has "moved apart" in all basic parameters. In external dimensions (4915x1821x1481 mm), despite the dramatic renewal of the exterior, there were no dramatic changes, the most noticeable increase in the wheelbase, which added to its previous length of 74 mm. The driver now has a new instrument panel with three round dials, which the stylists decided to leave without a common visor. The driver's seat has eight servo-controlled adjustments, and the front passenger will have to be content with four settings (with or without servo drives, depending on the version). In addition, the driver's seat can be additionally equipped with a "memory" that stores the settings of the seat, steering column and exterior mirrors. Available for a fee, the Elite package turns the Nissan Maxima into a 4-seater vehicle, with the two rear passengers getting almost the same as the ones in front, the individual seats, separated by a console with armrest. Looking outwardly quite small, the trunk has a volume of 439 liters.
From a technical point of view, the Nissan Maxima 2004 will largely repeat the Altima model, which borrowed suspension assemblies and a 3.5-liter V6 engine with a capacity of 255 hp, which will be the only powertrain for this car for now. Later, several more engines may be added to it, and the car itself, which is not excluded, will also be equipped with an all-wheel drive system in the future.
While the novelty will have two modifications: sporty SE and representative SL, differing in the level of finishing and a set of basic equipment. Instantly distinguish the modification of the SL from the SE, you can look at the wheels. The more sporty model now has 18-inch wheels, and the Maxima 3.5 SL, which is aimed at connoisseurs of comfort, got 17-inch ones. You can not catch by eye the difference of one inch, but simply count the spokes: if there are seven, then you have a smart SL, if six - then SE. In the sportier version of the SE, the new Maxima will receive a 5-band automatic transmission with manual shift. As an option for lovers of dynamic driving style on the Maxima 3.5 SE will be offered a 6-speed manual with close gear ratios, as well as a limited slip differential. For the modification of SL is intended 4-band "automatic". The complete set Maxima with automatic transmission will include stability control and traction control.
Among the interesting innovations - the roof of Skyview, which is included in the standard equipment of both versions. This is a long rectangular glass panel, elongated along the centerline of the car. It gives additional lighting to the cabin and enhances the feeling of spaciousness. There are also curtains to protect against too bright sun. The traditional electric sunroof will also remain in the arsenal of the new Maxima, but will only appear on the list of customized equipment. The standard equipment of the Maxima, as before, looks more than attractive: electric windows, door locks, gas caps, a full set of airbags, cruise control, an onboard computer and much more, which allows the Maxima to confidently stay on top.