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New cars: Nissan Maxima 3.5S

What critics say about the $29,290 Nissan Maxima 3.5S

Motor Trend
We believe this four-door sports car to be “the best-performing front-drive car in the world.” The Maxima has always had a “cult” following. But this restyled model, more stylish than its “homogenized predecessor,” features a cockpit that “is nothing short of gorgeous.” The re-engineered 3.5 V6 engine delivers 290 hp. Extras in the sportier 3.5SV edition include leather seats, nine-speaker Bose audio, fog lights, and outside mirrors with turn-signal indicators.

Edmunds.com
Known originally as the Datsun 810, the Maxima was long the choice of enthusiasts “weighed down by the grim reality of family life.” Positioned between “midsize snoozers” and exotic European sports cars, the front-wheel-drive midsize sedan delivered both roominess and performance. The Maxima now has plenty of competition, but it remains impressively competitive. Anti-lock brakes, front-seat side airbags, and full-length head curtain airbags are standard.

The Washington Times
This flowing, muscular looker “is—gasp!—smaller than its predecessor.” Shorter by 4 inches, it offers less passenger space and even has a smaller trunk. Yet the “curvy, muscular bodywork” and bulging-center hood give the impression of a car as big as an Audi or BMW grand touring car. Officially, this is a four-door, “but it feels as if you’re driving a sports car.”

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