By James Bergeron

Day 1:

2007 Nissan Maxima 3.5SL
Click Image to Enlarge

This week I have the pleasure of driving the 2007 Nissan Maxima 3.5SL. Available only with a CVT transmission disguised as an automatic, the Maxima is no longer as sporting as the Maxima once was, in the days when it was offered with a manual transmission. However, Nissan did give the Maxima a manual mode in the form of a tip-tronic type shifter and quad exhaust pipes to attempt to make up for it.

My test vehicle is a 3.5SL model, which Nissan estimates will be 33 per cent of Maxima sales. My SL is fully loaded, including GPS navigation, Bluetooth hands free calling, unique gathered-style leather seating, power sliding glass sunroof, simulated wood trim and luxury suspension tuning. The navigation system is a $2,950 option, bringing this vehicle’s as-tested MSRP to a rather pricey $45,873.

2007 Nissan Maxima 3.5SL
Click Image to Enlarge

The Maxima is once again powered by Nissan’s award winning VQ engine, a 3.5 liter DOHC 24-valve V6 powerplant rated at 255 horsepower and 252lb-ft of torque. This engine is silky smooth with a wide powerband, and the new CVT makes this vehicle even smoother.

The 2007 Maxima is offered in three models – the 3.5 SE 5-seat, 3.5 SE 4-seat and 3.5 SL – with the 4-seat model estimated to capture only 5 per cent of total sales. Personally, I’m not sure why they bother with the 4-seat model: not only do you lose passenger space, but you lose cargo space by giving up the 60/40 split folding rear seats.

My tester comes with a few other goodies such as an Intelligent Key system, which means there is no key to put in the door or the ignition to start the vehicle. The incredible HID headlights provide unparalleled night vision. I’m looking forward to a few trips I have planned this week for this vehicle; hopefully it proves to be as luxurious as it seems at first glance.

2007 Nissan Maxima 3.5SL
MSRP as tested: $45,873

For more information on Nissan and the Maxima visit Nissan Canada

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