Used Nissan Maxima QX Saloon 1995 - 2003 review

Category: Executive car

The Nissan Maxima QX is not the executive model it promised to be, and falls well short of the best in its class

Nissan Maxima QX Saloon (00 - 02)
  • Nissan Maxima QX Saloon (00 - 02)
  • Nissan Maxima QX Saloon (00 - 02)
Used Nissan Maxima QX Saloon 1995 - 2003 review
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Steve Huntingford
Published01 January 2006

What's the used Nissan Maxima QX saloon like?

It's important for an executive car to pamper the driver and the Nissan Maxima QX doesn't do too badly. It provides a decent high-speed ride, and around town it's fine. However, the handling just can't compete with the German models that dominate this class. The steering is lifeless and it feels nose-heavy through the corners.

The two V6 engines are the car's strengths, pulling smoothly right through the rev range. They're quiet, too, which sadly means you can hear just how much road noise there is.


The Nissan Maxima QX is not the executive model it promised to be, and falls well short of the best in its class

  • It's a well specified family saloon with roomy rear seats and smooth V6 petrol engines
  • It's got a poor driving position, the steering is lifeless and the handling disappointing

As you'd expect of a Nissan, the dashboard is well laid out, but the cabin has none of the quality in the QX's rivals. There's no reach-adjustment for the steering wheel, either, and taller drivers will find it short on headroom. Rear passengers get the best deal, with acres of space to spread out in, but the way the suspension intrudes into the boot limits its practicality.

Ownership cost

What used Nissan Maxima QX saloon will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Nissan Maxima QX saloon?

The Maxima QX suffered catastrophic depreciation as a new car and lost 80% of its value in the first three years of its life. That means it's a lot of metal for the money as a used buy.

However, it will cost you in other ways. For example, with no diesel model to offer decent fuel economy, the miles per gallon figures aren't that great. The official numbers are 29.1mpg for the 2.0 and 27mpg for the 3.0, but you'll struggle to reach those in everyday driving.

Sourcing replacement parts could be a problem, given the age of the car now, but at least Nissan bills tend to be lower than average, even if you use a main dealer for your servicing and repairs. But, if you want to cut your bills even further, there are plenty of independent garages that specialise in Japanese makes.

Our recommendations

Which used Nissan Maxima QX saloon should I buy?

The QX was only on sale in the UK for two years - it was launched on an X-plate - and there are just two models to choose from. Both are V6 petrols, a 140bhp 2.0-litre and a 200bhp 3.0-litre. Our pick of the pair is the latter.

The smaller engine struggles in such a large, heavy car, and with the optional four-speed automatic it's very sluggish. By contrast, the auto-only 3.0-litre is much stronger and delivers a decent turn of speed.

There are two trim levels, SE and SE+. SE is only available on 2.0 models and has remote central locking, alloys, a CD changer, climate control, and power-operated windows, mirrors and sunroof. SE+ is the best bet because it adds leather upholstery. All cars have anti-lock brakes, and twin front and side airbags. In security testing, the car was found to be very good at keeping out the thieves.

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