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(2004 model shown)
Nissan's sporty sedan offers handsome styling inside and out and fine overall performance, thanks to its 265-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine. It comes mated to 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 sport-tuned, four-wheel independent suspension affords crisp handling, with the top SL trading off some cornering grip for added ride comfort. An odd-looking Skyview sunroof that runs lengthwise across its roof comes standard; thankfully, a conventional moonroof is alternately optional. 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. Other options include a navigation system, Bose audio array, high-intensity xenon headlamps, and a choice of either XM or Sirius satellite radio. The Maxima continues for 2006 with minor changes that include Illuminated steering wheel switches, an available Bluetooth hands-free phone, outside mirror auto-tilt down in reverse, and an improved user interface for the optional navigation system.