New for 2008:

– Unchanged for 2008

Having undergone a makeover in 2007, the Nissan Maxima returns for 2008 unchanged.

The Maxima uses a 3.5-litre V6, mated exclusively to a CVT with manual shift mode. Trim lines are the SE and SL, and rather than being a base and upscale model, the SE is more sport-oriented, the SL more luxury.

Shared features on the two models include dual-zone automatic climate control, traction control, eight-way power driver’s seat, automatic headlamps, fog lamps, mud guards, heated mirrors, tire pressure monitoring system, information centre with trip computer, garage door opener, Intelligent Key, power locks, power windows, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, cruise control, variable intermittent speed-sensing wipers, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, heated seats and steering wheel, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and six-CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary jack.

Specific to the SE are 18-inch alloy wheels, sport-tuned suspension, rear spoiler, SkyView glass panel roof, tilt and telescopic column, and aluminum accent trim.

Specific to the SL are 17-inch alloy wheels, rear sonar parking assist, luxury-tuned suspension, vehicle dynamic control, Xenon headlamps, power-folding and auto-dimming rear-view mirrors with reverse tip-down, power sunroof, Bluetooth hands-free telephone system, power tilt and telescopic steering wheel, digital compass, four-way power passenger seat, driver’s side easy-entry/exit system and memory settings, leather upholstery, wood-tone accents and XM Satellite Radio.

Most of the SL’s luxury features can be optioned on the SE, and both trim lines can be optioned with a navigation system.

The Maxima’s dual personality makes it appealing to a broad range of buyers, and those who like the SE’s sporty handling can load it up with numerous luxury features if they prefer. Those who like the Maxima’s looks but are more budget-minded should also look at the slightly smaller but equally appealing Nissan Altima.

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