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Roadfly Magazine
Issue 13
Table of Contents

Past Issues Index
Roadfly Magazine
Nissan Maxima
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Issue Thirteen
August 3, 2004
Hybrid Vehicles: Sales on the Rise
Summer BBQ Guide
The Dells Auto Museum
Hot Lap: Top of the Line
2004 Mazda6
2004 Nissan Maxima SE
Coming Next Issue
Chrysler 300C
iPod FM Tuners
Helmet Review

2004 Nissan Maxima SE
The Sixth Time's a Charm
By Steve Litscher

(Tuesday, July 6, 2004 2:30 PM EST)

Nissan Maxima

Nissan Maxima SE

New Nissan Maxima

2004 Nissan Maxima dashboard

Nissan Maxima Skylight

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The latest version of the Nissan Maxima is now in its sixth generation, and from what we can tell, this may be the finest Maxima yet. Spending a few days with a 2004 Maxima SE gave us a chance to explore its highs and lows, push it through some serious back road blasts, and observe how it handled mundane daily tasks.

For 2004, the Maxima is treated to a few upgrades, a few downgrades, and a few minor adjustments. Most noticeable of which is the revised body style. With its wide C-pillar and very arched look, the Maxima drew heavily on design cues first introduced by its smaller brother, the Altima. The new body sits on a wheelbase that's 2.9-inches longer than last year's Maxima, measuring in at 111.2-inches. Overall length has also grown, proportionately, to 193.5-inches. Inside, passengers will be happy to note that the overall width of the sixth-gen Maxima has also grown by 1.4-inches.

All of these dimensional changes result in an interior that is downright expansive. Sitting in the wide drivers seat, we couldn't help but notice how far away the A-pillars seemed to sit - there's definitely a "great room" feeling with the Maxima's interior. Furthering the euphoric interior experience is Nissan's "luxury cloth" upholstery, which gives a suede-like impression. There are cloth accents that extend through the dash board, and are a welcome switch from the usual plastic or fake-wood that many manufacturers so habitually revert to.

The seats in our 2004 Maxima SE model (the sportier option, over the luxury-focused SL model) were wide and comfy, but didn't offer much by way of lateral support. While cranking the SE through some tight twistys, I felt a bit uncomfortable with how much I was moving around in the seat. Despite the lack of lateral support, the seats are extremely comfortable in almost every other situation, and offer easy entrance and egress. Back seat passengers won't feel cramped in the Maxima, and they'll most certainly enjoy the longitudinally mounted sunroof that offers two distinct "portals to the sky."

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