In a year when midsize sedans are offering more luxury for a lower price tag, the 2008 Nissan Maxima may struggle to stay relevant in the eyes of consumers. Although the powerful standard 3.5-liter V-6 engine offers a powerful ride with peak performance, the price tag can be somewhat startling when placed next to other comparable cars that boast even higher quality throughout. The Maxima was considered Nissan’s flagship car but did not keep that title for long. Sticker prices reached the mid $30,000 depending on the model and available bundled trim packages you select. The SE boasts a sporty look and feel with all the specifications to match. On the other hand, the SL features many luxury features that helps pushes the envelope in comfort and style.
Body Styles: sedan
Engines: 3.5-liter V-6
Transmissions: Continuously variable transmission (CVT)
Models: Nissan Maxima 3.5 SE, Nissan Maxima 3.5 SL
The latest overhaul for the Maxima occurred in 2007, so the 2008 saw minimal updates, which was to be expected. The overall body style remained the same along with many of the interior attributes. Consumers may notice a slight shift in available packages that will directly impact the final cost depending on the amount of additions. Nissan is known for bundling package options that result in high final price tags so be cautious when searching for a 2008 Nissan Maxima in either the SE or SL models. Multiple packages are available for both.
The exterior of the Maxima SE and SL differ greatly. Those searching for a sporty look and feel can turn to the SE that included 18-inch alloy wheels along with a rear spoiler and SkyView glass-paneled roof. Standard on the SE is also a rear defogger and all-season tires. The SE was also available in over eight color options including Sonoma Sunset, Majestic Blue Metallic, Winter Frost Pearl, and Dark Slate Metallic to name a few. The more luxurious SL is available in the same color palette but rides on 17-inch alloy wheels. Thought to be the more upscale version of the SE, the SL is standard with a variety of luxury features throughout the interior that separate the two trim packages apart.
As mentioned previous, the available package options can allow you to create a Maxima that meets your needs and your budget. The SE is sold standard with remote power locks, power mirrors, and universal remote transmitter to name a few interior details. Many of the standard features on the SL can be added to the SE through one of the many bundles. The Sensory Package and Platinum Edition package are two to take note of when making your final purchase decision. Inside the cabin the Sensory Package focuses on the premium sound while the Platinum Package offers Bluetooth, memory seats, and a heated steering wheel to name a few perk. Also available are optional sunroof and navigation systems on both models. Three unique color options known as Cafe Latte, Charcoal, and Frost are available in both cloth on the SE and leather on the SL. In terms of comfort, expect to find dual zone climate controls in both models.
Performance & Handling
In 2008, consumers could choose from the two available trim options: the sporty 3.5 SE and the luxury appointed 3.5 SL. Its 225 horsepower and 252 lb-ft of torque is offered by the award-wining V-6 engine with continuously variable transmission making Maxima a high-performance vehicle. For a midsize sedan, the Maxima offer a smooth ride thanks to the CVT, and the braking is reliable thanks to the ABS. With many competitors on the horizon, consumers may be able to find a similar ride for a more affordable price.
Standard on both the Maxima SE and SL are anti-lock disc brakes with brake assist and traction controls. Drivers can also take comfort in the front and rear head airbags and the dual front side-mounted airbags. Also standard are child seat anchors, rear door child safety locks, dusk sensing headlamps with auto delay, tire pressure monitoring, and anti-theft alarm system. Those searching for stability control will have to add this on as part of package.
EPA Fuel Economy
2008 Nissan Maxima: 19/25 mpg city/highway
- Powerful V-6 Engine
- Spacious Interior
You Won't Like
- High-Priced Package Options
- Luxuries When Compared to Competition
Remains competitive even though more affordable and luxurious car options are readily available from other manufacturers.
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