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(2004 model shown)
Nissan's sporty sedan was redesigned last year with handsome styling inside and out and good overall performance, and thus continues for 2005 with only slight revisions. Its 265-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 engine drives the front wheels via a five-speed automatic transmission in the base version, and a choice of either the automatic or a close-ratio six-speed-manual gearbox in the SE model. If you choose the manual, you can also add Vehicle Dynamic Control for added surefootedness over a wide range of conditions. A Skyview sunroof comes standard and is essentially a narrow glass panel that runs lengthwise across its roof. (For those who find this slot-like sunroof unseemly, a standard moonroof is also offered.) Four-wheel-disc anti-lock brakes, dual-zone air conditioning, a CD stereo, keyless entry, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, garage door opener, and alloy wheels with 18-inch tires are all standard. An Elite Package includes a fixed full-length center console and rear bucket seats that makes this a four- (rather than five-) passenger sedan.
2004 Nissan MaximaEnlarge Photo
2004 Nissan Maxima by Bengt Halvorson
Conveniently, the Maxima is now the Maximum Altima.