Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016
- An enviable list of standard equipment
- Comfortable seats
- Good quality 3.0-litre engine with decent fuel economy
- Outstanding build quality
- Unresponsive steering and handling
- Small boot space
- Lack of image
Nissan like to refer to their Maxima QX Saloon as a 4-door sports car, offering the functionality of a full-size saloon with the fun of a sports car. It comes with a host of rather handy features, including an intelligent ignition system and keyless entry. It also offers supremely comfortable seating, with 8 adjustable settings for the driver's seat alone. The 2000-2002 version of the Maxima QX are offered not only with an upgrade in terms of the interior trim and comfort and a few minor exterior refinements, but improved performance as well. It's referred to as the fifth generation of the Maxima. The 6th which offered significant interior and exterior changes came onto the market in 2004 but is rare in the UK.
Exterior and Interior
It's a well-built and beautiful car. Although it is a typical large-size Japane sedan, there is something sporty about the way it looks. The Maxima has an impressive body length and although the car is based on a 90s design, it offers a good elegant vibe.
The interior of the QX is executed to a high standard with superb-quality materials used and the seats are very comfortable. It tried to compete with the Audi A6 on the European market, however, the QX is slightly shorter and it offers a smaller boots space of 440litres compared to the Audi's 550. Due to the lack of provenance, the QX never came close to the sales figures of the A6, but it offered a good alternative for people who are looking for a classic elegance and subtlety.
The standard interior is of a good quality, though it doesn't offer anything unique. There are, however, two problems with it. Firstly, there's a slight lack of headroom, which makes it a bit uncomfortable for particularly tall drivers. Second, you can't adjust the position of the steering wheel, which can be a bit of an annoyance for comfort. On the up side, there's ample space for passengers in the rear. It also comes with a fair few handy features as standard, including GPS, keyless entry, intelligent ignition, Bluetooth connectivity, automatic dual temperature controls, rear air vents, key-operated trunk release, 8 speakers (which includes 2 subwoofers), and a radio.
Performance and Economy
The performance of the car, assuming that you go for the 3.0-litre rather than the 2.0, is quite exceptional. Perhaps surprisingly, it offers better handling in an urban setting than if you find yourself racing down a highway, but it's not great at sharper turns. Without doubt the best performance feature the car has to offer is its 3.0-litre V6, which offers a smooth ride and enough power to overtake without having to second-guess your acceleration. Even with this beastly engine fitted, noise is kept to a minimum and the ride is rather civilised.
Much to the disappointment of those more concerned with fuel economy, the Maxima QX didn't come with a diesel option. It did, however, come with two petrol options. The cheaper version is a 2.0-litre engine which produces some 140bhp and does about 29mpg. Unfortunately, the car feels a bit sluggish with this option and the automatic four-speed gearbox doesn't do it any favours. The second option, which is a V6, 3.0-litre beast producing 200bhp, offers much better performance. This performance even comes without sacrificing fuel economy as it averages about 27 miles to the gallon.
Like to Drive
For a car that tries to be a sporty sedan, the 2.0-litre engine is much too small. With the 3.0-litre engine, the car is good to drive, but not excellent. A 200bhp engine should be able to do better 0-60mph than in the 9.6 seconds it does. Although the car has been on the market for a while, the engineers haven't managed to eradicate its handling issues. Steering and suspension doesn't match its pseudo-sporty image.
Faults and Repairs
One thing to look out for is suspension damage. Maxima's are known to suffer from broken linkages in the front suspension, which could prove quite dangerous. Any mechanic worth their salt would spot it immediately, so if it has been inspected recently (as you should insist it has if you're buying a used car), all should be fine. Apart from that, the breaks have been found to suffer more than usual from wear and tear, and replacement headlamps are quite costly.