1994 Nissan Maxima SE 3.0 DOHC V6 from North America
Reliable like Jekyll, a Sleeper like Hyde
This is the most reliable car I have ever owned.
There was one time when I turned the engine off and the ABS module continued to run even after I had locked the car and walked away. I disconnected the battery and let the computer reset itself and it was fine.
The BOSE system is incredible to hear, but very costly if you ever run into problems. I had to replace the head unit after it stopped working shortly after I bought the car. Because it was a BOSE CD/Cassette head unit, the dealer quoted me almost $1,000.
This car is a sleeper. It's one of those cars that you can drive fast in and never get pulled over by the police. You don't draw the attention of a Camaro or Mustang.
This car has too much body roll for the power of the engine, and handling it takes some adjustment at first.
It has a timing chain, so you never have to worry about the belt snapping causing volatile detonation (destroying the valves and the heads of the engine).
No low-end torque was a big let-down when I first purchased this car. It does not have very much power until you get above 2900 RPMS. Once you tack it up, it continues to accelerate when other cars start wheezing. This is because of it's Hemi-style heads. It loves the highway.
The heated mirrors were a nice convenience living in New England and having four seasons, but this car cannot handle at all in a snowstorm.
I have learned over time that Nissan uses a very soft paint. You can scratch it with almost anything, even a fingernail. It takes a lot of patience and maintenance to make it shine.
The morphing gauges (offered in the SE) are very easy on your eyes both day and night.
It is a very reliable car, I haven't seen my regular mechanic in two years now. I don't miss him either!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 21st July, 2002
7th Jan 2003, 12:53
I've had my '94 Maxima for just over a year now. I bought it used in 2001. This is the only car I haven't had to go through major repairs with. I am very pleased with the reliability and some of the features such as, heated mirrors; living in Alaska makes it helpful, adjustable transmission settings, as mentioned in another comment the power and low profile of the vehicle; I love that cops won't think a four door family type sedan will smoke a mustang off the line, and best of all the key-less entry. I can leave my keys in the car and lock it and not worry about my car or where I left my keys.
13th Oct 2006, 14:03
I believe that the Maxima is one of the greatest cars ever built. One of my friends has a '94 that has been driven through Hell and back and it is still going. When I rode in it, it had about 179,000 miles on it. The engine mounts were shot, and the suspension was completely worn out because the wheel had tons of play in it and the car eats tires. Not bad considering that my friend is the single most abusive person towards an automobile that I know. It's really too fast of a car for her because she has been known to get speeding tickets riding her bicycle, yuk yuk. If a car can stand this much abuse, it is on my shopping list!