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2008 Nissan Maxima

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2008 Nissan Maxima Review

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Flagship of its current sedan fleet, the mid-size Maxima is Nissan's answer to established European sport/luxury competitors, as well as an alternative to the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. This roomy, front-drive four-door mixes expressive style with impressive performance and loads of features. The enthusiast-oriented SE and more opulently appointed SL variants both use the same potent V6 engine backed by the Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). Minor functional upgrades add even greater charm for 2008 and keep the Maxima solidly on the list of candidates for any buyer who needs a single vehicle with a genuinely multifaceted personality.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a front-wheel drive sedan with genuine sporting character, unique style and loads of outstanding features, the Maxima could well feel right at home in your garage.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Traditionalists may find the Maxima's exterior styling a bit too avant garde for their tastes. Those who favor a more compliant ride -- or a hybrid alternative -- might prefer a Toyota Camry, while enthusiasts might be happier with a rear-wheel-drive offering, such as the pricier BMW 3 Series or Cadillac CTS.

What's New for 2008

Sole changes of note for 2008 are the elimination of the four-seat Elite Package and the addition of a new Platinum Edition Package. Offered on both trim levels, it includes bi-xenon High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps, multi-function memory features, Bluetooth wireless connectivity and numerous other comfort and convenience items.

Driving the Maxima

Driving Impressions There's a definite sporting flavor to the well-sorted suspension of both the SL and SE. While neither feels harsh, the larger wheel and tire fitment on the latter does sacrifice...

a bit of ride compliance for slightly quicker steering response and improved overall grip. Standard traction control helps curtail wheelspin, although the engine has more than enough power and torque to make the optional Vehicle Dynamics Control stability system worth serious consideration, particularly if you live in an area where rain or snow are common. Stopping power of the anti-lock brakes is impressive and consistent, regardless of surface or weather conditions.

Standard SkyView Roof
This unique fixed-glass insert that runs longitudinally down the center of the Maxima's roof allows natural light to fill the cabin and includes manually-adjustable shades to prevent excess glare.

Premium Edition Package
Pairing two of the Maxima's prime option groups at a significant pricing discount, this stellar upgrade adds HID headlamps, Bluetooth, rear sonar warning system, enhanced power seat and mirror functions, a power tilt and telescoping steering column, heated steering wheel and more.

2008 Nissan Maxima Details
2008 Nissan Maxima photo Interior

The Maxima's roomy cabin reflects the contemporary flair of its exterior, with a well-integrated mix of angles and contours. Passenger space is generous up front, even with the optional power moonroof, and the rear is adult-friendly, if a bit close on headroom. The SL matches leather and faux-wood accents and the SE features a cloth and brushed-aluminum motif. Common touches include legible main instruments, logically arrayed supplemental controls and, for the radio, dual-zone automatic air conditioner controls and trip computer functions, yellow LCD display readouts that, unfortunately, can fade to illegibility in bright sunlight. Firm but supportive front buckets are paired with a 60/40 split-folding rear bench that enables increasing the usable cargo capacity.

Exterior

A far cry from the boxy designs of its predecessors, the sixth-generation Maxima was restyled for 2007 using Infiniti-inspired cues that have now become part of the body language of its Altima and Sentra kin, as well. Crisply-tailored lines punctuated by an expressive C-pillar and short decklid are complemented by a standard SkyView glass-panel roof insert. On the SL, the Maxima's pronounced fender bulges house 225/55 H-rated tires on 17-inch aluminum wheels, while the SE is fitted with 255/45 V-rated performance tires on 18-inch alloy rims and a tasteful decklid spoiler.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Mechanically, the SL and SE share the same 255-horsepower V6 engine, Continuously Variable Transmission, traction control and anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), plus front, front-side and side-curtain airbags. Both include numerous power assists as well as keyless entry and start, steering-wheel mounted audio and cruise control switchgear, dual 12-volt powerpoints and Homelink. From there, the SL standard equipment is skewed more toward luxury, with an upgraded Bose premium audio system with six-disc changer, leather upholstery and heated front seats, while the SE offers more enthusiastic handling with bigger 18-inch wheels and wider, lower-profile performance tires.

Optional Equipment

A major addition to the extras list for 2008 is the Platinum Edition Package, with bi-xenon HID headlights, rear sonar backup warning, power tilt and telescoping steering column, supplemental driver-side seat-memory functions, folding mirrors, Bluetooth wireless connectivity and heated steering wheel. Other stand-alone options include Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC), power moonroof and a Navigation system. The Bose premium audio package and leather upholstery that is standard on the SL are optionally available on the SE, while larger, 18-inch wheels are available for the SL.

Under the Hood

Winner of numerous awards, the Maxima's potent 24-valve 3.5-liter V6 is used throughout both the Nissan and Infiniti lineups. In the Maxima it makes 255 horsepower and 252 lb-ft of torque and drives the front wheels through Nissan's Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission. This stepless CVT also incorporates a sport-shift mode with six "virtual" ratios for those who want the added control of manual-style gear changing. Either Maxima model will sprint from zero to 60 miles per hour in about 6.5 seconds and has EPA fuel economy numbers of 19 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.

3.5-liter V6
255 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
252 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/25

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2008 Nissan Maxima Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.1
Out of 10

Based on 600 Ratings for the 2004 - 2008 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.2/10
    Quality
    8.3/10
  • Reliability
    8.4/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.7/10
    Styling
    8.8/10

The Nissan Maxima

By on Friday, July 31, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 151,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "The last car you should need to buy (Save resorces"

Cons: "Tight engine bay for routine maintainance"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

Have fun buy one and ride a bike

"Ok I want to be fair This car is sold under different names all over the world. I had a 91,it had injector problems Probably from sitting too much. Great car independent rear suspension. a 97 SE 5 speed Manual, Deadly fast and unbreakable. My wife's 98 was purchased in 98 and now with 151000 miles needs belts brakes, tires, a windshield, shocks, a trans filter, and a front and rear bumper cover. This has been a excellent car for her and yes I will fix all that and sell the car (some day),, The VQ30DE is great and a low mileage, used, one can be had for 3 to 5 hundred NO demand for them because they do not break. Now for the VQ35DE The 2002 with the 4 speed auto is a GREAT car when Nissan and Infiniti went to the 5 speed auto is when the problems started, all the way throw 07. can you drive a stick ??? that is the best insulation A 6 speed! in 08 Nissan had a % of cars with engine problems (upper engine valves rods and oil use.In 2008 the CVT was about the only transmission here in the US Some people did not like how it preformed when cold (rough shifts). I would educate my self on the car , (any car) before you buy. I will always buy Nissan's But know that any car will need work after you put a bunch if miles on it. 160K to 180K timing chain timing gears , chain guides, water pump and oil pump on a front wheel drive Maxima this will mean pulling the engine. So transmission to engine seals and change the filter and fluid in the transmission. No one will tell you these things I will state that with these items I have shared that 400k is possible on this car! Use synthetic oil and always a car cover in the sun. I like the 4th generation VQ30DE best and I like a standard transmission hard to come by. I hope this is of use to you!"

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Have fun buy one and ride a bike

Great Car

By on Saturday, July 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 69,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Quality, Reliability, Good Looks"

Cons: "Battery life"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is my 2nd Maxima and I'm very impressed with the quality and reliability of the car after owning it for 10 years (2006 model purchased 7/2005). I'm very impressed with the original paint/clear coat as I rarely put on any wax protectant and the paint still looks beautiful. The only issue I have with the car is it needs a new battery about every 2, maybe 3?, years (although the Texas heat may contribute to this wear), which is something I can live with."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Rock solid, dependable, go anywhere tomorrow car

By on Tuesday, July 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 119,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "The four door sports car."

Cons: "None"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Been driving Maximas sine 1990. They are a real value. Solid, fairly priced, extremely low maintenance vehicle. Economic to own and operate."

4 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Very nice car. Fun to drive

By on Friday, July 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Sporty car to drive with nice exceleration"

Cons: "Turning radius is just to wide."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Only issue is the very, very, very wide turning radius. Numbers of times I have had to back up pulling into a parking space because I could not make the turn. Forget about making a u-turn with out backing up."

2 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Worst vehicle ever

By on Friday, May 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 201,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Cons: "Very fast and comfortable"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"Nissan Maxima was my dream car. I saved and put down the deposit to a total nightmare. I paid $21k for the car. I replaced the transmission twice. I replaced the right rear hub assembly. I replaced the radiator and all hoses and thermostats. And about 5 other sensors that took weeks to figure out what the actual problem was. ABS system went out. Car squeaks and makes noises.Air conditioning squeals when you cut it on. I mean i would get it out of the shop and one week later its back for something else. This is by far the worst car i ever bought and the biggest I told you so in my family. Every time i see someone driving one with 30 day tags my skin cringes. Currently it the power steering fluid is leaking and needs to be repaired as well as the anti freeze is leaking and needs repair. recently had a headlight go out...bulb cost 100 and then 100-200 to install because the BUMPER has to be removed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There has NEVER been a recall on anything and doesnt make any sense."

11 people out of 22 found this review helpful

sad to say goodbye

By on Thursday, April 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 118,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "styling, acceleration"

Cons: "turning radius, gas mileage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"After 10 years we will be selling our Nissan Maxima. This makes me sad because I loved this car. It is sporty and fun and the styling is awesome and has stood up to the test of time. It has lots of great options including my favorite - a heated steering wheel. The gas mileage isn't great, and the turning radius is pretty awful, but the ride and acceleration are fantastic."

10 people out of 16 found this review helpful

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