2008 Nissan Maxima ST-L review

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2008 Nissan Maxima ST-L review

“You’d be hard pressed to beat the combination of space, options, and price”

Model tested:

  • 2008 Nissan J31 Maxima ST-L Sedan - $34,990
  • Options available: Metallic Paint $395, Sunroof $2,585.

Gutsy V6, Smooth CVT, Quiet, Affordable

Dated Design, Soft Handling, Weak Stereo

CarAdvice rating:

- by Matt Brogan

We all seem to be of the impression that owning a sedan like this means a Berlina or Fairmont, a few might even stretch their imagination so far as a 380SX or a Prodigy, but what about the Nissan stable?

For starters the standard appointments offered and just how well these present for the price really do impress. It's uncomplicated, comfortable and easy. But it’s more than that, it looks elegant, it goes well and it’s a pleasant ride.

So just what do you get for your money? Well, acres of room for a start and it’s nice room too. Leather seats, spacious design, simple and ergonomic lay out, just what you need for those long mornings in traffic or the weekend road trip for a few more cases of wine - and if like us that weekend trip turns in to several(ish) cases of wine, then you’ll have no problem bringing them all home.

My only bone of contention was the stereo and the let down it is to the package as a whole. Everything else is just right, again it may be dated, but it’s functional and works well – except the stereo. It has no depth, poor clarity, weak reception and at volume is utter rubbish. To top it off it has no steering wheel mounted controls and was thought of before the iPod took off, so you can leave that at home.

Power delivery is also very smooth, predictable and incredibly consistent with only a hint of torque steer under hard acceleration which makes trundling around town altogether as pleasurable as can possibly be.

Braking is quite strong, capable and with thanks to ABS, EBD and EBA is very safe as well. The pedal feel is hardly sporty, as you’d no doubt expect, but is confident enough after a little additional input from your right foot.

It’s not pleasant and it’s certainly not what I’d have expected before experiencing it first hand so it really is best to leave that VDC switch on - just in case.

It may also be your last chance to secure a car with the Maxima name as the Skyline badge will most likely re-appear late this year. For this price Max is a great deal and despite being a little thirstier than claimed (15.0l / 100km urban), is well on target when cruising the highway (10.0l /100km highway).

CarAdvice overall rating:
How does it drive:
How does it look:
How does it go:

Engine: Nissan VQ35DE 3.5 litre DOHC V6 with VVT
Power: 170 kW @ 5,600 rpm
Torque: 333 Nm @ 2,800 rpm
Drive: Front Wheel Drive
Transmission: Xtronic six ratio CVT
0-100km/h: 8.1 secs (claimed)
0-400m: 16.5 secs (claimed)
Top speed: 225 km/h (claimed - electronically limited)
Turning circle: 11.4 metres
Emission rating: Euro IV
Fuel type: 98 octane PULP
Fuel Consumption: 10.8 litres / 100 km (combined)
Towing Capacity: 1,200 kg
Warranty: 3 years / 100,000 kms