2008 Nissan Maxima Overview

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2008 Nissan Maxima Overview

Having received a much-needed update last year, the Nissan Maxima returns in 2008 as a holdover. Marketed as a sporty full-size luxury sedan, the 2008 Maxima features a bolder, more menacing front end, with large round foglights and elongated headlamps that give the feeling of dynamic movement.

The front-wheel-drive Maxima sedan comes in two trims. The luxury SL offers heated leather seats, power front seats, a 6-CD player, wood and leather accents, xenon headlights, and 17-inch wheels. The sportier SE comes with sport seats, a CD player, leather trim, and a good-sized rear spoiler. Both trims are fueled by a 255-hp, 3.5-liter DOHC V6 and CVT transmission, which allow for smooth, seamless shifting. This transmission is a big hit with drivers and adds to the overall satisfaction with the 2008 Maxima's handling. ABS brakes, dual front-side and side curtain airbags, traction control, and a tire monitor are standard across the lineup, with stability control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and parking sensors available as options. One nice standard feature on both the SE and SL is the SkyView full-length sunroof.

New for the 2008 Maxima is a Platinum Edition Package, which bundles xenon lamps and parking sensors with a heated steering wheel, Bluetooth, and memory settings for the driver's seat, steering wheel, and mirrors. Some other luxury options include a navigation system, heated rear seats, and an MP3 player. The interior is roomy, and rear seats split-fold, opening onto a trunk that holds 15 cubic feet. Although engine power and acceleration are good and rate highly with owners, they definitely get put to work by the weighty Maxima (nearly 3,600 pounds), which gained extra pounds when it added inches in length last year. Criticisms focus on the car's low fuel economy and wide turning ratio.

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