The Nissan Maxima is a powerful sedan designed with the comfort of the driver and passengers in mind. It features a large, spacious interior with an impressive array of optional comfort and audio features. The more luxurious Maxima SL has many features, such as leather seats as a standard commodity. The Maxima is not quite considered a luxury sedan and is priced substantially less than the entry-level luxury models.
The Maxima matches its comfort with high performance as well. The standard engine for this sedan is a 256-hp, 3.5-liter, V-6 engine. It is one of the most powerful vehicles in its price range. The engine provides great acceleration and performance that should satisfy almost any driver.
The 2005 Maxima provides the best of both worlds. On one hand, it is vehicle tailored to the comfort of the driver. On the other hand, it is a powerful car with an impressive engine under the hood. It is priced slightly higher than many of its competitors, but it is still less expensive than an entry-level luxury vehicle.
Body Styles: sedan
Engines: 3.5-liter six-cylinder
Transmissions: six-speed manual, five-speed automatic
Models: Nissan Maxima 3.5 SE, Nissan Maxima 3.5 SL
While the 2005 Nissan Maxima is considered a fairly significant redesign by Nissan, it actually is fairly similar to previous models. The only major change is the body design. The 2005 Maxima is more rounded than the previous models with a slightly less pronounced trunk. The long, narrow sunroof is also a new feature. The cabin size has also been increased but is not as noticeable since the previous models had fairly spacious cabins.
The 2005 Nissan Maxima is based off the same platform as the Altima and shares a similar appearance as a result. It is a smooth, rounded four door sedan. The most unusual exterior feature of the Maxima is the sunroof. Unlike most models, the sunroof is a narrow window that runs along the entire roof of the cabin. The sunroof can be blocked off using a sliding shade inside the vehicle. Some people may find it looks a little odd, but it does brighten the interior significantly more than a traditional sunroof.
The interior of the Nissan Maxima is very close to many luxury sedans in terms of size and comfort. The cabin is 103.6 cubic feet in size, which is even more spacious for a vehicle designed for four people in total. It does not quite have all the bells and whistles as a true luxury sedan, but it comes very close. The SL has power adjustment, leather seats as a standard feature. The SE has both of these as optional features. An optional memory system is available for both models to readjust the driver seat, steering wheel, and mirrors to stored settings with the push of a button. This feature is very nice for drivers that share the same vehicle.
The center console does feel like a transitional model for the vehicle. On one hand, it has a lot of features and controls for the climate control, audio system, and other vehicle controls. However, it is slightly overloaded in terms of controls, which makes it a little difficult to get used to. Most drivers are going to need to take a good look at the center panel to get a grasp of how to actually use it.
Performance & Handling
The Nissan Maxima comes standard with a V-6 engine. This engine provides a great deal of power and acceleration compared to similar-sized and -priced cars. Both models provide a comfortable ride with the standard feature set. Even without any optional features, both versions of the Maxima provide a smooth drive.
One slight negative is that the Maxima occasionally experiences torque steering. Vehicles that experience torque steering see a slight pull on steering wheel during acceleration. It is not difficult to handle for most drivers, but it can come as a surprise to anyone that has never operated a vehicle with this issue. Torque steering is standard on most powerful, front-wheel-drive vehicles, like the Maxima. Cars that have similarly powerful engines, but no torque steering issues, are almost always significantly more expensive than the Maxima.
The Nissan Maxima has front, rear, and side head airbags standard for the driver and passenger. In addition, four-wheel anti-lock brakes are a standard feature. The Maxima received a four star safety rating in side collisions and passenger front collisions from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA). It received a five star rating in front driver side collisions. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave it a low rating for rear collisions, which was not included in the NHTSA testing.
EPA Fuel Economy
Nissan Maxima SE: 18/27 mpg city/highway
Nissan Maxima SL: 18/26 mpg city/highway
- Comfortable interior
- High-quality engine
You Won't Like
- Slightly high price tag
- Poor center console layout
A sedan designed to be enjoyable to drive with every aspect of the driver's comfort taken into account.
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