Fun 2 drive Ratio

If you have been paying attention to the roads, it should be overtly apparent that the Nissan Motor Company, as well as its luxury brand, Infiniti, has plans to flood the market (there are five new/re-designed models for 2003-04) with beautiful, strange and sometimes fresh vehicles. Nissan has done this by introducing new vehicles along with bold revisions of its best sellers.

In late 1999, Nissan created a new Maxima, a well executed re-design of the previous body. The funky, controversial tail end was soon forgotten, and the car became a great success, nothing new to Maximas of yore. Keeping with its four-year rule, Nissan has released an all-new Maxima, this time with a lot more controversy than the outgoing model.

Most noticeable is its funky exterior styling. If history serves us right, this funk will soon be a good thing, just like the rear end of the outgoing body. The rear end is actually the pretty side this time around, featuring purposeful quad exhaust pipes. The new Maxima, much like previous Maximas, promises to be the best mid-size four-door sports sedan on the market. The engine remains largely unchanged, save for a few more horses, bringing horsepower up to 265. The interior is rather bland but sporty, featuring extensive use of silvery-metallic treatment commonly used today.

There are new, innovative features, such as a new sunroof called Skyview that runs front to back, allowing the back passengers a glimpse of the sky, and the optional satellite radio with artist and song title display. The wheels are beefy at 18 inches, featuring V rated 245/45R18 tires.

Yet, there seems to be a problem with the new Maxima. While the rest of America is trying to lose weight, the Maxima has gained a few pounds, and it shows. Not such a bad thing since this means more room, but it is perturbing, considering you can get the far lighter Altima with the same engine albeit with 20 fewer horses. The new Maxima is a little more expensive as well.

Let’s hope Nissan is smart enough to not kill the Maxima. The Altima is just not a good enough replacement. Look for the new Maxima to arrive in showrooms this month.

Contact Andrew Popoolaat