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2008 Nissan Maxima

Overview
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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 593 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

good car overall

By on Wednesday, March 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "nice car , but???"

Cons: "hard ride and too many toys tht got broke , should"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"had the timing chain replaced at 51000 miles . Nissan dealer said tht was normal, however , in checking on google I found they had alaw suit against premature timing chain failure . they used plastic tensioners on ametal chain . however, Nissan did agree to pay 2/3's of the over $1000.00 cost will buy another brand next time"

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

over all nice car

By on Saturday, February 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Cons: "can't tow with acvt transmission"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"had the tiiming chain go bad at 51000. nissan said it was normal wear . timing chains do noe wear tht quick . found out they had alitigation suit against premature timing chain failures . they used plastic tensioners on ametal timing chain . talkl about cheap. vcost $1050.00 , but nissn paid for 2/3's of it . not happy with the quality"

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Wil never buy another Nissan!

By on Friday, December 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 120,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Will NEVER recommend any Nissan to anyone."

Cons: "Nissan does not stand by their products."

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

"Have owned many Nissans. My last Maxima had 220,000 miles and was running great when I sold it. I loved this Nissan when I bought it. It began jerking when I changed gears around 90,000 miles. The transmission in these from 2004 - 2006 have issues causing the transmission to slip. Nissan has not stood behind their product refusing to correct the issue. A class action lawsuit has been filed but no telling how long that will take. Attempted to trade it in at a Nissan dealership, but they only wanted to give me $1000.00 for it because they know of the transmission issues. (My car is in very good condition other than the transmission and should have gotten at least $4500-$5000 for a trade-in.)This is the reason I bought a Subaru and will NEVER own another Nissan."

24 people out of 39 found this review helpful

Excellent machine. One of the best ever.

By on Sunday, November 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great pickup looks and handling"

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

"Car is fantastic. Owned the car over 8 years and not a single problem. Fast pickup, smooth ride and handles great. Still looks great and style is better than new models. Great reliability. Better than new cars. Nissan outdid themselves with this machine."

7 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Nice car

By on Friday, October 31, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,530

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "comfortable"

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

"I drove my car off the lot brand new. I have new had anything go wrong with my car. I love it. It's a 2004 and yes I have never hot rodded it. I like the fact you can shift it or put it in drive. When it is slippery outside you can shift it down really fast and that lowers your R P M S very quickly so you can avoid a collision. I have never had any problems with my car. The only problem with these kind of cars ( Well any kind of cars that have those kind ) that have the lights shaped the way they are very expensive to fix. I still love my car. I have owned it for 10 years and it has never failed me."

13 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Great car, comfortable, reliable, fun to drive

By on Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 72,000

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
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Comfortable, reliable, low maintenance cost"

Cons: "Turning radius."

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

"This is my second Maxima in 20 years. I would buy a third one but we need more room for growing grandchildren and more cargo room. I have loved everything about this car except the turning radius, it is just way too short and causes problems when trying to make a U-turn. The car is very comfortable for long distance traveling for four people. It has been very reliable, with only one mechanical issue (the air compressor belt broke leaving us stranded out in the middle of nowhere). I would highly recommend this car. I know there are many more years of enjoyment left in mine but I want more modern technology and more room so we will buy a Toyota Highlander."

8 people out of 16 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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