1996 Nissan Maxima GLE V6 from North America


Reliable, trouble free, powerful luxury


Nothing but standard maintenance. CD player broke twice.

General Comments:

This is an exceptional car, if you can find one properly maintained. Also very fast & powerful, great pickup. It is killing me that I have to part ways with mine finally; the body has finally given into rust, but that's more from the way we've stored it than a manufacturing problem - I see lots of these mid 90s Maximas on the road still, and those are rust free. Too bad I could not have kept mine better protected, but that's 17 Canadian salty winters it went through before giving up.

It still drives perfectly. Wouldn't hesitate to recommend one, they're cheap now to own with a surprising amount of luxury & power (GLE model). Don't waste money on a $30,000 car when you can get one of these for $3000 or less. I loved the heated seats, leather interior, auto thermostat heating controls, sportshift, comfort, cruise, 200hp V6 power, reasonable fuel economy, & most of all, the side headlights that would turn on with the indicators - hence illuminating sideways the area you were turning into. Great for navigating into a dark country driveway. What a great idea! Loved this car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th November, 2013

1996 Nissan Maxima GLE VQ30DE from North America


Good car if you have time, patience, a little money, and want quickness and fuel efficiency


Starter gone bad twice (both warranty replaced).

Windows don't roll up full power at times.

Check engine light comes on each time I disconnect the battery (code reader says it's the knock sensor, I've replaced it once).

Bose radio display fades in and out (when I first got the car it didn't work at all, a month later it works variably) CD play and cassette function do not work.

Radio antenna does not extend and retract (motor works just off track, does not affect radio reception).

Leaks transmission fluid if it sits more than a week upon start up (minor drips).

Sometimes when I start accelerating, it putters and hesitates, transmission is not at fault. Add a bottle of fuel injector cleaner and octane booster, it goes away.

Hood risers gone bad, nothing plywood or heavy duty pliers can't fix.

Rear leather seat headrests are badly damaged due to sun.

Underbody is rusty, one of my exhaust hangars rusted, and muffler has a huge rust hole in it, doesn't bother me just makes it sound better :)

General Comments:

The Nissan Maxima (4th 5th and 6th) is a great car if you do not want attention from the law, yet want a very quick and efficient car.

Gets up and goes, very fast for a somewhat heavy passenger car.

Parts are cheap (er) to come by if you can repair yourself, otherwise be prepared to spend a pretty penny at the dealer or any other shop.

I've owned this car since September, no major repairs needed done; only have kept tranny fluids, oil, and starter done since I've had the car.

If you see a high mileage Maxima, don't hesitate, they are good cars, last twice the amount of time a Ford Taurus or another comparable sedan.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th November, 2009

1996 Nissan Maxima SE 3.0L V6 from North America


Beautifully engineered and a blast to drive


- Needs an 02 Sensor (doesn't affect anything).

- Odd clunking from rear end at low speeds.

- Rear windows do not roll down.

- CD player gives an error message.

All of these things were wrong with the car when I bought it ($2500). Nothing has gone wrong since I purchased it.

General Comments:

I sold my '96 LS 400 looking for a more entertaining ride. Did I ever find it! My Maxima is an SE with a five-speed manual and it absolutely flies! I gave up some luxury features, but the basic ones remain like a Bose stereo, auto climate control and power leather seats.

Power in first gear can only be described as scary. It's geared very short, and if you don't apply the throttle carefully, you can really make a scene! Second gear is tamer, but is nevertheless a quick rush. 60 mph arrives in just 6.6 seconds! The engine is very smooth, but produces a powerful growl starting at about 3,000 rpm. Torque is plentiful. I crawl around town at 1,300 rpm and achieve 26-28 mpg.

It's not just about power though, this car corners very well. Body lean is noticeable, but excusable on a family sedan (albeit a sporty one), but the grip is relentless. I've yet to squeal the tires even when sweeping around tight turns.

The steering provides good feel, but the effort is a bit light for my tastes. It doesn't quite have the buttoned-down feel of my mother's '03 Accord EX-L V6 sedan. The Maxima feels lighter and more tossable than the Accord however.

The interior is a pleasant place with soft plastics, pleated vinyl inserts in the door panels and nicely-dampened switches and knobs. The bean-counters at Chrysler could learn a thing or two. The leather seats in these Maximas hold up well; mine look like new.

I'm a tall guy (6'4") but I have tons of headroom, even with the optional sunroof, about an inch more than the LS 400.

The Bose stereo sounds terrific and the A/C is very effective. I love the one-touch 'ECON' mode that runs the fan but not the compressor to save fuel and refrigerant.

The trunk is also very spacious. Heck, this whole car offers a surprising amount of room. The cabin is very airy and the visibility is panoramic. The hood is low and the window pillars aren't enormous like many new cars these days.

I love this car. Its light, quick, quiet, refined, spacious, economical, fun, the list goes on and on. Nissan was all business when they built this car; no obvious cost-cutting, no stupid frills or gimmicks, just a solid well-engineered vehicle built to last. Where is this spirit today? It's becoming harder and harder to find well-maintained examples like mine, but they are out there. I highly recommend it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th March, 2009

20th Mar 2011, 10:20

"Power in first gear can only be described as scary. It's geared very short, and if you don't apply the throttle carefully, you can really make a scene!"

I had to laugh when I saw this in your review. I bought a 97 Max three years ago, and the first thing I had to learn was how to go very gently on the gas. Even the automatics (which I have) make a scene if you aren't expecting it, take it from another tall guy happy with his Max.