2008 Nissan Maxima

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19 CITY / 25 HWY
Overall Quality
Overall Performance and Design
Predicted Reliability


What Changed for 2008:
  • New Platinum Edition package on SE and SL
The Maxima is the flagship of Nissan's model lineup. The earliest Nissan \"Bluebird\" Maxima (sold in the United States as the Datsun 810) offered rear-wheel drive. It was available in coupe, sedan and station wagon models, all manufactured in Japan. Slightly more than three decades later, the Nissan Maxima is now a front-wheel-drive, 4-door sedan manufactured in the United States. (The final assembly point is Smyrna, TN.) The Maxima is now in its sixth generation, with subsequent iterations growing in size as they offer increasing levels of refinement. For 2008, Nissan has made a new Platinum Edition package-a complement of luxury and technology features-available on both SE and SL models.

All 2008 Nissan models are covered by a 36-month/36,000-mile basic coverage warranty and a 60-month/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. In addition, a corrosion coverage warranty is in effect for the first 60 months of ownership.

Model Lineup
The 2008 Nissan Maxima is offered in two models: 3.5 SE and 3.5 SL. The model designations differentiate between the performance \"SE\" model and the more luxuriously appointed \"SL\" model. All models feature the same 6-cylinder engine and CVT transmission.

The Maxima 3.5 SE features 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels, all-season performance tires, rear spoiler, and dual-zone Automatic Temperature Control (ATC). The upholstery is cloth, with leather optional. The 4-way passenger seat is manually adjusted, with power controls available as an accessory. The cabin reflects the sportiness of the SE model as it is accented with brushed aluminum decor. The Maxima 3.5 SL features 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels and all-season tires. The Bose audio system in the SL has an in-dash, 6-disc CD changer with MP3/WMA CD playback capability. Gathered leather seating, with electric heating, is standard. The passenger seat is 4-way power adjustable. Reflecting the luxurious theme, the cabin is accented in warm wood tones.

For 2008, a new Platinum Edition package is available on both SE and SL models. It offers driver memory features, driver's seat power lumbar support, auto-dimming outside mirrors, HID Bi-Xenon headlights, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, heated steering wheel and more.

The 2008 Nissan Maxima is powered by a 3.5-liter, DOHC, 24-valve 6-cylinder engine rated at 255 hp and 252 lb.-ft. of torque. Designed for durability and low maintenance, according to Nissan, the engine features an electronic throttle, microfinished camshaft and crankshaft surfaces, molybdenum coated pistons, and platinum-tipped spark plugs with 100,000-mile maintenance intervals. The award-winning \"VQ\" engine is mated to a Nissan Xtronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) with manual shift control. All Maxima models are front-wheel drive.

The front suspension is of an independent strut design with coil springs and a stabilizer bar. The rear suspension is of a multi-link design. Steering is through an engine-speed-sensitive power rack-and-pinion steering system. The Maxima is equipped with 4-wheel disc brakes with standard anti-lock braking system (ABS). Traction control is standard equipment, with Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) optional. EPA fuel economy estimates for the Nissan Maxima are 19 mpg city/25 mpg highway with the CVT transmission.

All 2008 Maximas are equipped with Nissan's Advanced Air Bag System including dual-stage front supplemental air bags with seat sensors. Driver and passenger side-impact supplemental air bags and inflatable air curtains are also standard on all models. All seating positions feature 3-point restraints, and the front seats offer Active Head Restraints. The Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH) system is standard. The 2004-2008 Nissan Maxima has been crash tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The Maxima earned a \"Good\" rating in the frontal offset test overall evaluation-the highest rating issued by the Institute. The side-impact test results were scored \"Marginal\" (the vehicle tested was equipped with front and rear head curtain air bags and front-seat-mounted torso air bags).

The standard transmission in the 2008 Maxima is Nissan's Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with manual shift mode. Compared to a standard automatic transmission with a predetermined fixed number of gears and ratios, a CVT offers a nearly seamless number of possible gear ratios allowing the engine to run more efficiently and offer more power under varied driving conditions, according to Nissan. Nissan has been using CVT transmissions in production models since 1992. The maker's latest engineering and design is found in the Xtronic CVT. Eliminating many of the less desirable traits of early CVT designs, Nissan claims, the Xtronic CVT quickly brings the engine up to an efficient speed under acceleration, giving the vehicle better response to pedal inputs.

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