I know, I know. Another review of a car that’s more than a decade old. But trust me, this one is worth your time. I had the chance to test drive a 2004 Nissan Maxima and was pleasantly surprised at its quirky capability. Despite its age, the Maxima drove pleasantly well and handled respectably on the open road.
The 2004 Nissan Maxima is a full-size four-door sedan that departed from Nissan’s previous boxy designs. The 2004 Maxima offered a comprehensive list of standard features, unmatched in its day, while powered by the impressive 3.5L V6 Nissan engine.
The 2004 Nissan Maxima was positioned upmarket from its stablemates and the competition and, during its tenure, was the effective flagship of the Nissan range. The Nissan Maxima range has been offered since 1982, making its 30 years in existence one of the most enduring models around.
The History Of The 2004 Nissan Maxima
Nissan has used Maxima for several models, including the 1987 Datsun 810. In international markets, the Nissan Cefiro and Teana (Australasia) and in the United Kingdom for the English versions of the B11 Sunny, N12 Cherry.
The original North American Nissan Maxima was debuted in 1982, and by the time the 2004 model rolled around, there had been five previous generations.
The car is now in its eighth generation guise, and by the end of 2021, this enduring design has sold over 3.2 million vehicles in North America alone.
In North America, the Maxima is positioned as an upmarket alternative to the Nissan Altima and offers a premium interior and V6 engine.
What Is The 2004 Nissan Maxima?
The 2004 Maxima is a full-size four-door sedan that the marketing material stated matched performance with luxury.
Although looking a little dated by modern standards, it was considered a “futuristic” design. It was emphasized by the roofline, which sloped down to the trunk, and two triangular, large, taillight clusters wrapped around the car’s sides.
Reviewers were impressed with the 2004 Maxima’s “expressive sports styling and bold design innovations” at its launch. It was a massive improvement over the previous generations’ boxy design.
Its main competition was.
- Toyota Avalon Honda CR-V.
- Honda Accord.
The 2004 Nissan Maxima is longer and higher than its competitors, which translates to more room for the occupants.
|Dimension||2004 Nissan Maxima||2004 Toyota Avalon||2004 Honda Accord|
|Length||193.5 in||191.9 in||189.5 in|
|Width||71.7 in||71.7 in||71.5 in|
|Height||58.3 in||57.1 in||57.1 in|
What Is The 2004 Nissan Maxima Like To Drive?
Although it accelerates briskly, the 2004 Nissan Maxima handles a little like a 1960’s Lincoln Continental. While it provides a smooth pliable ride for the occupants, the softer suspension doesn’t offer precise handling and instead feels a little “floaty.”
While the 2004 Nissan Maxima responds to steering inputs, touching the accelerator in a corner and the understeer quickly reminds you that this is a car meant to be used on open highways and not through twisty corners where it feels barge-like ponderous.
The 2004 Nissan Maxima has long legs, which make highway cruising effortless. At 80 mph in top gear, the 3.5L V-6 Engine revs at just 3000 rpm.
Changing down a gear increase the revs to 3800 rpm, which causes the engine to pull strongly enough and overtake traffic quickly without any strain.
The engine’s broad powerband means it is just as happy cruising effortlessly or putting boy racers with their hot hatches in their place. When the Nissan Maxima shakes her skirt and picks up the pace, it is an impressive performance even by today’s standards.
Despite the ready power on tap, the MPG around town was 20 miles per gallon, and the highway was 28 miles per gallon, making this an economical car.
|Model||Miles Per Gallon|
|2004 Nissan Maxima||Town 20 MPG, Highway 28 MPG|
|2004 Toyota Avalon||Town 21 MPG, Highway 30 MPG|
|2004 Honda Accord||Town 20 MPG, Highway 25 MPG|
The high tail makes it difficult to see the rear edge of the Maxim, making it a little difficult to park.
2004 Nissan Maxima – Extensive List Of Safety Features
Standard safety features on all models were
- Standard front, side-impact, and side curtain airbags
- Standard rear-seat curtain airbags
- Front seat belt pre-tensioners
- Front active head restraints
- Traction control
- Electronic brake-force distribution
- Brake assist
- Cornering Lights
- Illuminated entry
- Panic alarm
2004 Nissan Maxima Interior
When opening the front doors of the 2004 Nissan Maxima, the immediate impression is one of quality. From the faux wood trim (which looks remarkably realistic) on the elegant dashboard, which is well thought out, to the supportive and luxurious, electrically operated leather seats.
The instrument panel is dominated by three gauges set in single pods, and all of the controls are close to the driver.
The two back seats are comfortable and roomy and give the occupant a sense that this is not a typical family sedan but something which is a little sportier.
The Maxima has a center console that runs from the front to the back, making it a genuine four-seater.
The Maxima was one of the most comprehensively equipped cars in its class and even challenged more expensive cars.
- Front air conditioning, dual-zone automatic.
- 1st row LCD monitor.
- A sunroof is a glass panel running lengthwise over the front and rear seats.
- Remote keyless entry.
- 240-watt AM/FM/CD with steering wheel controls.
- Trip computer.
- Garage and universal garage door transmitter.
The 2004 Nissan Maxima Specs
In its day, the 3.5L V6 2004 Nissan Maxima engine was considered one of the best engines in its class.
The 2004 Nissan Maxima engine produces 265-horsepower, which provided the 2004 Nissan Maxima 0-60 mph time which was very competitive at the time of just 6.5 seconds. Despite its impressive performance, its fuel consumption remained relatively frugal.
Both four and five-speed transmissions were offered, with the 5 speeds considered the better box.
|Model||Engine||0-60 mph time||Top Speed|
|2004 Nissan Maxima||3.5L V-6 Engine||6.5||146 mph (236 km/h)|
|2004 Toyota Avalon||3.0 L V6 Engine||8.0||135 mph (218 km/h)|
|2004 Honda Accord||3.0 L V6 Engine||7.3||113 mph (228 km/h)|
What’s the Current 2004 Nissan Maxima Price
The table below includes the MSRP for the 2004 Nissan Maxima and its competitors.
|Model||Year||New MSRP||Current 2nd Hand Value|
|2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5L||2004||$27,100||$2,000|
|2004 Nissan Maxima SL 4 speed||2004||$29.000||$7,995|
|2004 Nissan Maxima SL 5 speed||2004||$29,350||$10,000|
|2004 Toyota Avalon||2004||$26,145||$3,000|
|2004 Honda Accord||2004||$26,400||$4,000|
The general opinion is that the car is reliable and endures high mileage and rougher use when studying owner reviews.
Most owners only spoke in glowing terms about the 2004 Nissan Maxima.
Our Verdict on the 2004 Nissan Maxima
The 2004 Nissan Maxima was the first of a new breed of full-size sedans which departed from previous generations of boxy sedans. The Maxima matched the sporty looks with an engine that could deliver sterling performance figures.
The design is almost 20 years old, and the fact that it still causes heads to turn is a statement about the foresight its original designers had. If you are looking for a full-size sedan in this category, you should keep the 2004 Nissan Maxima on your list of options.