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Mitlov
The new Maxima is the first Maxima to bear the "4DSC" label in a while. Built off of a stiffened version of the new Altima platform, it's smaller, more powerful, and far more refined than the previous Maxima. It offers excellent interior materials and build quality, less torque steer than you'd expect, and sharp handling for a midsize front-driver. But at the end of the day, it's still a midsize front driver with a CVT trying to play sport sedan. And it's pricing makes it only marginally less expensive than more focused RWD sport sedans like the G8 V8 and Nissan's own G35. The "4 Door Sports Car" label seems to be more marketing than truth.

What you do get, though, is a refined and luxurious, but unpretentious, flagship sedan with some pretty athletic moves. The consensus over at CS is that it's a good car. But is it cool?

FWD, transverse-mounted engine
3.5L V6
CVT automatic with shift paddles
290 horsepower
0-60 in 5.8 seconds.
3669 lbs
Starts at US$29,290.

Reviews:
http://www.caranddriver.com/buying_guide/n...ma_sv_road_test
http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Drive...rticleId=126520











clarkma5
It's a big front-wheel drive pseudo-luxury sedan, which isn't cool, but it's got a niche appeal and an executive ambiance that edges it just barely to cool for me.
Zenix13
uncool. its trying to be too many things but isn't all that good at being a "luxuruy" sedan or a sporty sedan. i find it kind of an odd car.
Razor
Optional AWD and a good transmission would have made it cool. Whoops.
moe
It's a big FWD sedan. Uncool by default. Styling could edge it into cool if it weren't for the generic rear.
fiber optic
They exterior styling has gone horribly wrong but the interior looks like a step up. My wife's sister has the previous generation and it's not a bad ride. I don't think there's anything cool about this WWD luxobarge. Uncool vote.
Mitlov
What kills it for me is the "4DSC" (Four Door Sports Car) badge. It's a relatively large, FWD sedan with a CVT, and it's claiming to be something it's not. That's uncool. A G35 Sport 6MT could wear a 4DSC badge without embarrassing itself, but a Maxima can't.
clarkma5
4DSC is nothing more than bad marketing. I'm not inclined to let bad marketing count for much when it comes to cool/uncool.
Phix
It looks cool.
Mitlov
QUOTE(clarkma5 @ Aug 10 2008, 08:08 PM) *
4DSC is nothing more than bad marketing. I'm not inclined to let bad marketing count for much when it comes to cool/uncool.


Bad marketing, in general, may not always be relevant. For example, the "Subaru is love" ad campaign, while annoying, doesn't change my opinion of the WRX or STI. But when a car is trying to be something it's not (a pleasant flagship sedan trying to pass itself off as a "four door sports car"), that's kind of different.

Besides, I think the fact that this is a FWD midsize sedan with a CVT would always doom it to "uncool" for me, regardless of what it tried to pass itself off as.
moe
^ You mean like a Saab trying to pass itself off as a jet?
Mitlov
QUOTE(moethepaki @ Aug 11 2008, 03:47 AM) *
^ You mean like a Saab trying to pass itself off as a jet?


I wouldn't mind it so much if it was just a TV campaign. But saying "ready for takeoff" when the car starts up is over the line. Somehow, though, it doesn't seem as bad to me, because a 9-3 clearly isn't a jet, whereas you're inevitably going to get some tool who claims his Maxima really is a sports car.

Another big offender is Aston Martin saying "power, beauty, soul" when it starts off. There's nothing quite so uncool as vocally repeating that you're cool.

That said, this sort of thing is just one piece in the puzzle, and I think both the 9-3 and DBS are fucking frozen overall. So bad marketing alone couldn't drop them all the way to uncool.
Bjorn
In my eyes, it went from being something unique looking in the market place (I was a huge fan of the previous generation's bold styling) to something which I would mistake for a Camry at first glance. In this segment, as far as I'm concerned, driving dynamics take a back seat to styling...and this car is a major disappointment for me in that regard.

Uncool.
RIDEwithG
Then there's Cadillac "Life. Liberty. And the Pursuit"....I still like the older "Breakthrough" slogan.
Mitlov
QUOTE(RIDEwithG @ Aug 11 2008, 12:28 PM) *
Then there's Cadillac "Life. Liberty. And the Pursuit"....I still like the older "Breakthrough" slogan.


What does that have to do with anything? That's not a slogan claiming that a Caddy is something it isn't.
maxima302
QUOTE(Razor @ Aug 10 2008, 11:12 AM) *
Optional AWD and a good transmission would have made it cool. Whoops.


My sentiments exactly. I think there might be an AWD model coming over, as well as a diesel model, which unfortunately, would even further diminish the price point of this car considering the G35.

QUOTE(clarkma5 @ Aug 10 2008, 07:08 PM) *
4DSC is nothing more than bad marketing.


Agreed. One of the worst marketing ploys in recent memory. In all honesty, there is no longer a place for the Maxima in the lineup. Its priced in G35 territory, and will never be the performer that the G is. I hate to see the Maxima go, but they essentially killed this brand when they made the Altima so competitive.
moe
I was at dinner at a friend's house last night, and he bought a Maxima many, many years ago (he no longer has it, as he ran it into the ground). He cross-shopped it with the BMW 3-series of the time, and ultimately went with the Maxima. He's not much of an enthusiast, and figured for the same money as a stripper 3-series, he was getting a fully-loaded Maxima. I suppose the G35 fills that space now without any compromise in performance, but here's another thought. What if Nissan dropped the 6-cylinder Altima, and had the Maxima fill up that space?

Also, as far as mainstream sedans go, the Maxima is pretty cool. I only wish they sold it here. Somebody change my vote.
clarkma5
QUOTE(moethepaki @ Dec 5 2008, 02:14 AM) *
Somebody change my vote.


From what to what?
moe
Uncool to cool. Sorry about that.
Mitlov
QUOTE(moethepaki @ Dec 5 2008, 02:14 AM) *
I was at dinner at a friend's house last night, and he bought a Maxima many, many years ago (he no longer has it, as he ran it into the ground). He cross-shopped it with the BMW 3-series of the time, and ultimately went with the Maxima. He's not much of an enthusiast, and figured for the same money as a stripper 3-series, he was getting a fully-loaded Maxima. I suppose the G35 fills that space now without any compromise in performance, but here's another thought. What if Nissan dropped the 6-cylinder Altima, and had the Maxima fill up that space?


An Altima V6 offers a 6MT and costs nearly $5,000 less. I'd only be okay with that plan if they offered a MT Maxima and had a base-model Maxima with fewer electronic gadgets pushing the price up.
moe
Well that was my idea, instead of have the Altima V6 and Maxima, and Maxima and G35 butting heads on different sides of the market, get rid of the V6 Altima, and have the Maxima comfortably occupy that space. Offer some lower spec models, a 6MT, and you're good to go.
Mitlov
QUOTE(moethepaki @ Dec 5 2008, 09:36 AM) *
Well that was my idea, instead of have the Altima V6 and Maxima, and Maxima and G35 butting heads on different sides of the market, get rid of the V6 Altima, and have the Maxima comfortably occupy that space. Offer some lower spec models, a 6MT, and you're good to go.


I'd dig that. Shit, there's as good chance I'd buy that. I'm idly looking at sporty midsizers now that mini-Mitlov's feet can forcefully kick the backs of the seat in front of him.
clarkma5
QUOTE(moethepaki @ Dec 5 2008, 03:50 AM) *
Uncool to cool. Sorry about that.

Done and done.
moe
QUOTE(Mitlov @ Dec 5 2008, 09:50 PM) *
I'm idly looking at sporty midsizers now that mini-Mitlov's feet can forcefully kick the backs of the seat in front of him.


Used G35 or CTS?
Mitlov
QUOTE(moethepaki @ Dec 5 2008, 01:03 PM) *
Used G35 or CTS?


Both contenders. Unfortunately, CTSes with manuals are rarer than philanthropists in S-Classes (except for MT CTS-Vs, which are a bit thirsty for my tastes), and Infiniti's overall availability isn't helped by the fact that they have ONE dealership in Oregon, and it's five hours away. So there's not many used G35s on the roads around here, regardless of transmission. Also entertaining the idea of a base-model Volkswagen CC (2.0T MT). Overall, though, a used G35 looks to be the most likely option right now.

This is all a little theoretical at the moment, thanks to my family's financial situation. Still, since both Caddies and Infinitis depreciate quickly, it's not nearly as theoretical as, say, a 3-Series (not that that's roomy enough for what I want anyway).
maxima302
The G's back seats are pretty small, have you ever driven one before? Your son will still be able to do a fair amount of kicking back there! What about a used M35? They also depreciate quickly! I'm driving an 08 M45S right now and its an awesome car!
Mitlov
QUOTE(maxima302 @ Dec 5 2008, 03:38 PM) *
The G's back seats are pretty small, have you ever driven one before? Your son will still be able to do a fair amount of kicking back there! What about a used M35? They also depreciate quickly! I'm driving an 08 M45S right now and its an awesome car!


No, I've never been in a G35, as a driver or otherwise. If you could convince your bosses to put an Infiniti dealership in Medford in addition to, or instead of, Bend, that would change quickly wink.gif

I'm a manual transmission snob. And even with depreciation, an M might be out of my price range. That's why I hadn't really considered up to this point.
maxima302
I've been trying and trying!! Unfortunately the luxury car industry is at an absolute standstill. Even the golden child Lexus is suffering. So at this point, the last thing automakers are doing is expanding their dealer network. We did a bunch of demographic research around central Oregon, mostly in Bend. The problem is that Bend is a boom town. It was the fastest growing city on the West cost over the past few years, but now its at a standstill. Homes in Bend are depreciating at an alarming rate, and the money has essentially dried up there for the time being. I have a feeling that new Mercedes store is in for some serious trouble... In fact, I heard that the brand new Lexus store here in Bellevue might be going bankrupt! The guy bought out the old Bellevue city hall and turned it into an amazing store, but hes got a shit load of overhead right now, and cars are not moving. Surpisingly the only company who hasn't posted enormous losses in the past few months is Subaru.

I did forget, the M isn't offered with a manual gearbox. Just remember that the G is a 3-series clone, and the M is a 5-series clone so dimensions will be approximately the same respectively.
moe
I thought Infiniti's were also a size bigger than the BMWs they competed with? This is just a visual observation, but one of my friends just picked up a brand-new G35, and another has a 530i. Parked together, they look roughly the same size. Inside, they feel roughly the same size as well (though my head occasionally brushes the G35's roof when I'm in the back. I'm 5'11"). The 3-series and IS felt considerably more cramped.
Mitlov
QUOTE(moethepaki @ Dec 6 2008, 01:56 AM) *
I thought Infiniti's were also a size bigger than the BMWs they competed with? This is just a visual observation, but one of my friends just picked up a brand-new G35, and another has a 530i. Parked together, they look roughly the same size. Inside, they feel roughly the same size as well (though my head occasionally brushes the G35's roof when I'm in the back. I'm 5'11"). The 3-series and IS felt considerably more cramped.


Our senior partner had a second-gen G35 while he was waiting for his Hyundai Genesis to come in, and it certainly appeared to be closer in size to a 5-Series than a 3-Series. I was never inside it, though.
moe
I personally believe the current-gen G35 (we've yet to get the G37), is one of the best all-rounders on sale. There are very few, if any, serious flaws, and the competitive pricing (at least here) makes it impossible to fault. The thread is massively off track now, but I felt the need to share my G35 experience...look for a DS review soon.
Bjorn
QUOTE(Bjorn @ Aug 11 2008, 09:55 AM) *
In my eyes, it went from being something unique looking in the market place (I was a huge fan of the previous generation's bold styling) to something which I would mistake for a Camry at first glance. In this segment, as far as I'm concerned, driving dynamics take a back seat to styling...and this car is a major disappointment for me in that regard.

Uncool.


My neighbour just bought one of these...and I have to say, in person it's pretty good looking. much longer and lower than the press photos would lead you to believe. It's still not nearly as good looking as the previous generation was...but it has presence.

Can someone please change my uncool to cool.
Mitlov
QUOTE(moethepaki @ Dec 6 2008, 01:01 PM) *
I personally believe the current-gen G35 (we've yet to get the G37), is one of the best all-rounders on sale. There are very few, if any, serious flaws, and the competitive pricing (at least here) makes it impossible to fault. The thread is massively off track now, but I felt the need to share my G35 experience...look for a DS review soon.


I will be doing just that. Except for the aesthetic design, which leaves me cold inside and out, the G35 sedan 6MT seems like the perfect car for my needs and wants.
maxima302
Mitlov-

The new G37 sedan, or the previous G35 sedan? I've been driving around in an M45 Sport for a few months now and am spoiled by the sound of the V8. My wife is driving an EX35, and I can't help but notice how much harsher sounding the V6 is in comparison to the 8-cyl in the M. I don't remember the previous generation ever sounding that harsh. Like I said, maybe I'm just spoiled now, but I really dislike the sound of the VQ's in the EX... although the G might be tuned for a slightly better sound, but I haven't driven one since 2007-ish so I can't really remember.

Right now, these cars are so cheap on the used market, there really are some good deals right now. I've even seen a few 06 M45's go on ebay for around $24-26,000 which are fresh off lease.
moe
No it's true, the previous generation G35s sounded a lot better than the new ones. The EX btw, from everything I've read you may know better, has a retuned exhaust so it's quieter. Apparently, they expected most of the buyers to be female, and didn't think they'd like such an aggressive engine noise.
Mitlov
I have heard that the _37 engine is coarser than the _35 engine was. Still, when you're buying used cars on a tight budget, you can't be THAT picky. I'd be happy with either. (Note: I'm not actively shopping at this point thanks to the cost of Mini-Mitlov's speech and occupational therapy and now this...but I'm not expecting to get more than 3 more years out of the Jetta before it becomes a bit of a headache, and ideally, I'd like to try something else in two).

As for the M45, I guess I'd need to drive one, but I'd really miss a manual transmission.
dukenukem
Wait for a G8 GXP if they dont kill it by then.
Mitlov
QUOTE(dukenukem @ Jan 23 2009, 08:12 AM) *
Wait for a G8 GXP if they dont kill it by then.


First-gen CTS-Vs are also surprisingly affordable, and widely available with manuals.
dukenukem
Not sure about the widely available part. But then again i havent really been looking for them much and have only seen like 5 of them on the road.
Bjorn
^I don't know how common it is, but wasn't there a problem associated with the first gen CTS-V's manual tranny? I remember reading about some warranty woes.
Mitlov
QUOTE(dukenukem @ Jan 23 2009, 10:01 AM) *
Not sure about the widely available part. But then again i havent really been looking for them much and have only seen like 5 of them on the road.


I meant regionally; sorry for the confusion. Southern Oregon is very domestic-centric. CTSs probably outnumber G35s 10 to 1 down here.
dukenukem
QUOTE(Mitlov @ Jan 23 2009, 03:28 PM) *
I meant regionally; sorry for the confusion. Southern Oregon is very domestic-centric. CTSs probably outnumber G35s 10 to 1 down here.

CTS are plenty common here. I meant the V specifically.
moe
Duke has a point. I believe the last-gen CTS-V really did do its part as a halo model. A lot of people did up their regular CTSs with original equipment from Cadillac to look like the V. The actual CTS-V is a rarer animal...don't take my word for it though, it's just something I read somewhere.
midnightdorifto
QUOTE(Bjorn @ Jan 23 2009, 11:29 AM) *
^I don't know how common it is, but wasn't there a problem associated with the first gen CTS-V's manual tranny? I remember reading about some warranty woes.

There was a wheel-hop issue, but seeing as they used a standard Tremec T-56 as the transmission (its a very stout tranny, to say the least), I can't imagine this would be the issue. Also, moe, the dress-up bits (grille, specifically) are rather common, but the CTS-V's are certainly not that common at all (thankfully). You can pick them up down here for under-20s to mid-20s until you're blue in the face.

Mitlov, have you looked into getting just a run-of-the-mill G8 GT? They should have the 6-spd by later this year, and they look (and move) quite impressive. The GXP is looking to be avaliable for around $40k if you're really looking to go high-performance, but the GT still has enough to keep things entertaining.
dukenukem
QUOTE(midnightdorifto @ Jan 25 2009, 07:33 PM) *
There was a wheel-hop issue, but seeing as they used a standard Tremec T-56 as the transmission (its a very stout tranny, to say the least), I can't imagine this would be the issue. Also, moe, the dress-up bits (grille, specifically) are rather common, but the CTS-V's are certainly not that common at all (thankfully). You can pick them up down here for under-20s to mid-20s until you're blue in the face.

Mitlov, have you looked into getting just a run-of-the-mill G8 GT? They should have the 6-spd by later this year, and they look (and move) quite impressive. The GXP is looking to be avaliable for around $40k if you're really looking to go high-performance, but the GT still has enough to keep things entertaining.

BUY YOUR CTS-V ALREADY!!!!
Mitlov
QUOTE(midnightdorifto @ Jan 25 2009, 05:33 PM) *
Mitlov, have you looked into getting just a run-of-the-mill G8 GT? They should have the 6-spd by later this year, and they look (and move) quite impressive. The GXP is looking to be avaliable for around $40k if you're really looking to go high-performance, but the GT still has enough to keep things entertaining.


New G8 is definitely out of the question due to price. I've seen first-gen CTS-Vs in Oregon on AutoTrader at around $20,000, which is why I mentioned it.

In reality, if I do trade cars in the next year or so (which I may actually do after having my first major electronics gremlin in the Jetta this weekend, a door locks problem), I'd probably go for a first-gen G35. Especially since the second-gens came out, the used prices of the first-gens has plummeted (upper teens is easily attainable), and my understanding is that they're very reliable (and the low resale is due to the awful dashboard plastics) and very competent sport sedans. I'd have to drive to Portland to buy one (about 5 hours away), but they're a dime a dozen there.
moe
I drove around an early model FX45 for a couple days last week. The interior plastics are truly atrocious. They were worse than my Mazda, and we're comparing an econobox with a top-of-the-line luxury SUV.
maxima302
Yeah the first gen FX had one of the ugliest interiors I've ever been in. Even the model update first gens are pretty ugly. The new ones are gorgeous though! But the worst was the QX56! That thing's interior is/was horrendous! Bad build quality too.

It sounds like there is a whole lot of V8 talk in here too (CTS-V, G8 GT, M45). The cost of owning a V8 is significantly higher than a 6-cylinder. I'm lucky I don't have to pay for gas or insurance on my M45, but if I did I would surely reconsider. I think nearly everyone is expecting gas prices to rise continually throughout the upcoming months as well. I'm a firm believer that the prices we are seeing now will likely be the lowest we will ever see again in our lives. Gas aside, V8s are terribly addicting. I'm in love with the 8-cyl in my M. Even though the Wive's EX is only down 35ish HP, the torque and sound of the 8 is awesome!!!

A used first gen G35 sedan is a good choice for sure. The 6 speeds are really fun. Another thing I've noticed is that the black interior trim looks 100 times better than the grey/beige ones. I really like the black dash/door trim with the light interior. That beige/grey is just so dated looking.
Mitlov
QUOTE(moethepaki @ Jan 26 2009, 12:57 AM) *
I drove around an early model FX45 for a couple days last week. The interior plastics are truly atrocious. They were worse than my Mazda, and we're comparing an econobox with a top-of-the-line luxury SUV.


I realize that the interior materials are awful, but between mini-Mitlov's occupational and speech therapy bills (perhaps $1,000 per month), my wife's student loans, and micro-Mitlov on the way, we're in a tough financial spot right now. When I prioritize between affordability, driving pleasure, reliability, and interior quality, the dashboard comes in dead last by a wide margin.
dukenukem
QUOTE(Mitlov @ Jan 26 2009, 01:40 AM) *
New G8 is definitely out of the question due to price. I've seen first-gen CTS-Vs in Oregon on AutoTrader at around $20,000, which is why I mentioned it.

In reality, if I do trade cars in the next year or so (which I may actually do after having my first major electronics gremlin in the Jetta this weekend, a door locks problem), I'd probably go for a first-gen G35. Especially since the second-gens came out, the used prices of the first-gens has plummeted (upper teens is easily attainable), and my understanding is that they're very reliable (and the low resale is due to the awful dashboard plastics) and very competent sport sedans. I'd have to drive to Portland to buy one (about 5 hours away), but they're a dime a dozen there.

My friend just bought a G8 GT for almost $7k below sticker. That puts it around 23k-24k. Even if you had it shipped to Oregon from here thats only $5k more than a used car.
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