2004 Nissan Maxima Si 3.5L from Australia and New Zealand


It's an OK car


FYI: This car is 70% RENAULT, I think. Apart from the engine which is Japanese, I believe everything else was done by Renault.

1. Recall on all the door actuators - driver's door locked up and would not open up at all. Had to get in from the passenger side.

2. Alternator recall; second time lucky.

3. The fuel gauge is playing up. Dealer told me to leave it alone as repairing this could cost me big bucks.

4. Now there is a weird engine noise when I start the car cold. The noise goes away in 5 seconds.

General Comments:

The car drives good, but is guzzling fuel now.

Now it does more like 14L / 100km, maybe because I am only doing short distances everyday; more like 2km / day.

I will be neutral on this review, as most of the issues mentioned above were replaced under manufacturer recall.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 21st September, 2015

21st Sep 2015, 20:16

Your poor fuel consumption is definitely affected by your driving distance. 2km is not enough for the engine temperature to warm up enough to send a signal to the ECU and run the fuel system in closed-loop mode. That means that until the car is warmed up enough, the ECU will run the engine rich so as to comply with emissions regulations. I had a similar temperature problem with an older Audi - bad fuel consumption. I read somewhere about the open-loop operation due to a thermostat stuck open (so it wouldn't warm up). I changed my thermostat, the consumption improved dramatically. The car will only start running in closed-loop mode when the engine has reached proper operating temperature. So if you drive 10 km, and it takes say 2 km for the engine to get warm, it will guzzle fuel for those two km and get more economical for the rest.

2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5 from North America


This car is a piece of junk


My transmission went out at 60,000 miles.

My air conditioner went out at 65,000 miles.

My front suspension needs major work at 80,000.

Now they are saying my timing chain needs replacing (major engine repair - another $1500).

General Comments:

Maximas have always been fun to drive. Too bad they are now being built like crap these days. I thought maybe I just had a lemon, until I looked up other reviews and see the same general consensus.

I am very disappointed with the reliability of this car. The upkeep and repair costs are ridiculously high for such low mileage.

At 80000 miles it has already required major repairs to transmission, engine, suspension, and A/C. Is there anyone else?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 6th February, 2013

2004 Nissan Maxima ES 3.5 from North America




The transmission shifts into gear really hard. Sometimes it takes a while for the transmission to shift from park to drive. The transmission will make a jerking motion when going from first to second gear. All of these issues happen after the car or the transmission has warmed up.

General Comments:

I love the car, but hate the problems. I've owned Nissans in the past, and never had any problems. This was the car I was going to keep for my son to drive to school in a couple of years.

I like the new Maxima, and had planned on purchasing a new one for myself, but my wife has already said that our son will take her Camry, and that I should purchase a Camry like she does.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th May, 2012

29th May 2012, 13:51

This could be a sticking valve. I would consult a shop pronto.

2004 Nissan Maxima Ti 3.5 litre petrol from Australia and New Zealand


A damn-near perfect highway cruiser


Replaced one of the oxygen sensors.

General Comments:

This was a one private owner, full service history car I bought in September 2010. It's the NZ-spec top of the range Ti.

I've always liked the look of the J31 Maxima, especially the interior. The use of the faux wood and shape of the dash polarized opinion, but I love it.

It's easy to see where the Renault influence is once inside the car, with its unusual style and very French-esque levels of comfort.

The leather seats are supremely comfortable and supportive too. The centre console is a design of simplicity, the only quibble there is that it's easy to confuse the fan speed buttons with the temperature buttons while on the move. Nice, comfy armrests too.

Externally, the car's profile smacks of Passat/A4 in profile, generally a very nice styling job. Front-on is its least flattering angle, the chrome grille and big headlights make it look a bit too "smiley" IMO.

On the go, the VQ35DE 3.5 motor is a stormer, especially above 4000RPM, where it seems to get a second wind. Make no mistake, this thing's a flier - various road reports put the 0-100 time at around 7 to 7.5 seconds. But when you floor the throttle, it has a strange habit of down-changing into 3rd for a split second then straight into 2nd, it doesn't feel very nice at all as it has a jerkiness to it.

It does need to sound a little better though - it kind of sounds a bit thrashy at high RPM.

The suspension is also heavily biased towards comfort, so the chassis can easily lose pace with that aggressive engine. However, if you plan the corner ahead of time, steer with the throttle and switch the traction control off, you can have some fun in the bends.

Go in all ham-fisted, and expect your Maxima to return home on the back of a tow truck. But I guess comfort was always the Maxima's primary design brief.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th June, 2011