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Advice: Compare it with the upper end cars first - then go test drive a Maxima - then you will see how great this car is.I drive a lot of cars throughout the year, if you want a car that is just as good as a Lexus for a lot less money this is your car. You cannot go wrong.
Pros: Performance..this car is incredibly quick for its size
Cons: Sunroof operation and associated wind noise
Advice: Take a test drive and be amazed!!At 6'1' I was amazed that the salesman at 6'3' was able to sit behind me, even with the seat all the way back. The spaciousness of the vehicle is tremendous from the interior all the way to the trunk. The vehicle has tremendous power and can get you into the traffice flow quickly and without any effort. The Altima has been redesigned and will definitely be a class leader.
Pros: Overall quality
Cons: Front wheel drive and dull appearance
Advice: Bargain aggressively, they are not selling as fast as they would likeIt's always a compromise when you purchase a car, be it price, performance or any of your favorite features. I think 2002 Maxima is a good compromise. The 2004 version is going to be even better with rear wheel drive and added power, but you have to wait for 2 more years. I managed to negotiate for the GLE for $1000 below invoice before the $1000 factory rebate because dealership feared that Maxima will sit in the lot with new design of Altima.
Cons: torque steer
Advice: Unless you want the prestige of an Acura or Infiniti or etc.The only 2 less than stellar aspects of this car are (1) fairly boring (and a little odd) styling and (2) torque steering that can be severe. The plus side to issue number one is that the car can be picked out in a crowd... (+ or - ... you make the call...). The plus to item 2 is that the Maxima is one of the fastest sedan/sport sedans on the market. My other car is a Miata. While the Maxima handling is not nearly as responsive as the Miata, it's far superior to both the Camry and Accord, and easily in the same league as the Infiniti I35 and Acura TL-S. The only sport sedan I drove that had discernibly better handling characteristics was the BMW 328i... For MANY thousand more dollars. An added note: The first car I drove at the Nissan dealership was the 2001 Maxima GLE. Frankly, the car was less than inspiring. The 2002 model is a distinct step up in several areas. OK... One more note: I drove the new Altima, maxed out. Power and handling are comparable to, but, IMHO, not quite up to the Maxima standards. While it listed for a couple of grand less than the maxed out Maxima, the salesman couldn't discount it as much because Altimas are selling so well. Just my opinion... If you're offered the same dollar deal between these 2 cars... The top of the line Altima is not nearly as nice (especially the interior!!!) as the top of the line Maxima.
Pros: Handling and ride.
Cons: No mute button on the stereo.
Advice: Do your homework and be prepared to be surprised.The ride is wonderful. The acceleration is not to be believed. Went from a 2000 Malibu LS to this car and will keep this car until it falls apart. I got the SE for the firmer ride, but liked the comfort of the GLE also. Love the braking. Recently saved me from a bad accident, someone turned in front of me and at the speed I was going, if I had been driving the Malibu I would have destroyed both cars. Have had it 3 months and fall more in love with this car everytime I get in it.
Cons: interior plastics
Advice: Buy it!!The car looks great! Drives like a luxury car. handles like a sports car. I love my Altima. If your in the market for a midsize sedan such as a camry or an accord. Test drive an alitma!!
Pros: the tail lights
Cons: the cheap interior
Advice: dealers won't haggle to much on the priceI was very impressed with the vehicles outside appearance, but after getting inside and looking around I would say Nissan has a long way to go as far as the interior is concerned. The dash and controls are very 'plasticy' and cheap, I was very un-impressed overall with the vehicle.