2002 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5L from North America


A sports-sedan that delivers with plenty of power.


The Compact Disk's player's left channel sometimes cuts out, especially while playing disk 4 of 6.

The 200-watt Bose sound system's base was not as strong as I had anticipated, even though the system includes a sub woofer.

A strange grinding noise can be heard from the wheels when the car makes a sharp left-hand turn, which is probably minor.

The tires provided looses its traction in wet snow, as I have found out while sliding into a guardrail this past winter.

General Comments:

This was my dream car. The only "nightmare" was when I discovered that the 17-inch aluminum alloy rims with the all-season steal-belted radial tires just could not handle Ottawa's harsh winters as well as the old Altima's tires were able to.

The damage was repaired and the car still performs admirably. I have the 6-speed manual transmission SE, and I don't know about 0-60 times and quarter-mile times, but I can easily get it up there to 140 kph within 10 seconds! Makes merging into highway traffic a breeze!

A word for that guy too busy "beefing up" his V8 pick-up truck, I have two things to say:

1: The Maxima has a 6-Cylinder Engine, you blockhead, not to mention the Maxima is a heavier vehicle, and...

2: Have you gone up against the new 2002 model with 255 horses under the hood, instead of 222? Something tells me the new Maxima can put up a better show than you anticipate.

On dry Pavement, the car feels like it sticks to the road like glue, thanks to the sport-tuned suspension. If I wanted to, I could easily take curves at twice the posted speed limit. Emphasis on the word "EASILY"!

On the negative side, I get the impression that the stick is a little on the "clunky" side. The clutch doesn't always allow the stick to slide into gear, and I've already stalled the engine far many more times than I have had with the 3 years that I've had with the Altima. This also can be "painful" when you're accelerating and the the clutch "crunches" second gear! (With the Altima, it was 3rd gear.)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th May, 2002

18th Apr 2005, 12:10

I ended up trading out of my '02 Maxima at 2 years old due to failing clutches with the 6-speed. I was on the third clutch by 47K highway miles and the dealer stopped offering to fix the problem and Nissan basically told me I was out of luck. The dealer also admitted it was an "undvertised recall" and mine was one of many they had seen with this problem. I have been driving standards for over 20 years and NEVER have had any trouble with any clutch. The quality and service from Nissan is terrible. On top of everything else, they basically admitted there was a real problem with the car when they offered me such a ridiculous trade in value (40% of original msrp at 2 years old). They didn't want the car back!! I loved this car when I bought it and I was so disappointed that it (and Nissan) failed me so miserably.