Nissan Maxima

From Academic Kids

The Nissan Maxima is a car manufactured by Nissan that is in a line of mid-size sports sedans. The line debuted in 1981 and has been made continuously since then. It competes primarily with the Acura TSX/Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. Early versions were six-cylinder versions of the Nissan Bluebird, before becoming a model in its own right.



The Maxima model line began with the Datsun 810 in the U.S., first introduced in 1977, and powered by the 2.4 L SOHC L-series straight-6 engine from the Datsun 240Z. The 810 used fuel injection rather than a carburetor, and was good for about 125 hp (93 kW) net. These cars were rear-wheel drive and had a four wheel independent suspension.

A 2-door coupe version was introduced in 1979 along with an exterior refresh. Datsun's new 280ZX shared the 810's chassis, though the 810 did not get that car's larger 2.8 L engine.


The first car to wear the Maxima name was introduced in 1981. It was essentially a Japan-market 910 with a 3.9 in longer nose. The car was offered as the 810 Deluxe or 810 Maxima that first year, and all 810s became Maximas for 1982. That was also the year that American Datsuns began carrying the "Nissan" badge as well. For 1984, the car was officially the "Nissan Maxima" in the US.

Powered by the same 2.4 I6 engine as the Datsun 810 and Datsun 240Z, the car was still rear wheel drive.


In the fall of 1984, the first front wheel drive Maxima was introduced. This Maxima was available with a 157 hp (117 kW) 3.0 L V6 VG30E engine and a 4-speed automatic or 5-speed manual transmission. 1988 was the last year for the Maxima station wagons, which had been offered since the Datsun 810 days.


The Maxima was redesigned in 1989 as the J30 model. It was called the '4DSC' by Nissan (4-Door Sports Car) and even had a window decal showing this. It now featured a 160 hp (119 kW) 3.0 L V6, with a 190 hp VE30DE engine available starting in 1992. The VG30E was a unit that had been used in the previous line of Maxima, as well as the Z31 Nissan 300ZX. In the United States, the VG30E engine was used on all 1989-1994 GXE models, and the 1989-1991 SE models. The VE30DE engine, plus a limited-slip differential, became standard on the SE models in 1992. The SE models can be further distinguished from the GXE by their white-faced guages, larger wheels, firmer sport suspensions, and optional 5-speed manual transmissions, which weren't offered on the GXE models.

The automatic transmission on all GXE's and optional on SE's was an innovative compact unit from Jatco, featuring four speed electronic control and adaptive 'sport' and 'comfort' modes that shift at different points.

During this year the Maxima was first introduced to the UK market. It was made available as a choice of three models, the 3.0, 3.0S and 3.0SE. All options were available as automatic transmission only.

The Maxima SE was on Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list for 1990.


The car was redesigned again in 1995 as the A32. A new VQ30DE 190 hp (142 kW) 3.0 L V6 was the only engine option. The exterior was refreshed for 1997. The independent rear suspension was replaced with a cheaper torsion bar solid axle.

This Maxima was Motor Trend's Import Car of the Year for 1995. The Maxima SE again made Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list for 1995 and 1996.


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2002 Nissan Maxima

The 2000 Maxima was a refresh of the previous car, designed at Nissan's La Jolla, California design studio. The engine was a 222 hp (166 kW) 3.0 L VQ30DE V6. A 2001 20th Anniversary edition got an increase of five horsepower (4 kW) and other tweaks, while the engine was replaced for the whole lineup in 2002 with a 3.5 L VQ35DE that produced 255 hp (190 kW).


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2004 Nissan Maxima

The latest generation of Maxima shares its platform with the Nissan Altima. It comes with the venerable VQ35DE, a DOHC V6 engine that now produces 265 hp (198 kW). The VQ35DE and its predecessor, the VQ30DE, have won Wards 10 Best Engines award ( every year since the competition's inception in 1995. It is offered with a six-speed gearbox.

The rear independent suspension returns, this time using a multilink setup similar to the Altima.

Despite the tuned engine and the sportier positioning, it is slower than the Altima, thanks largely to its 110 kg heavier weight.

A smaller Maxima, from 2003, is sold in the Asia-Pacific region and based on the Nissan Teana. In some markets, it is sold as the Nissan Cefiro. It is built on the standard FF-L platform of the Altima, rather than the stretched FF-L used on the US-market Maximas. The US line of cars is known for a balance between sport and luxury; other models tend to focus more on comfort.




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