Since its introduction in 1981, the Nissan Maxima has been the perennial sales leader in the upper middle import sedan segment -- a category it helped create. With the introduction of the refreshed 1997 Maxima, Nissan continues to set new benchmarks for its class in styling, performance and value.
For 1997, the Maxima lineup includes the luxuriously equipped GLE model, performance-oriented SE and high-value GXE, providing a wide selection of equipment and features to match the individual needs of each customer.
"The 1997 Maxima continues Nissan's tradition of high-value, well equipped, sporty and stylish sedans, sustaining the car's class-leading characteristics," said Thomas H. Eastwood, vice president, Nissan Division. "In addition to its updated exterior and interior styling, Maxima continues to deliver the comfort of luxury cars and the class-leading performance of elite European touring sedans at an affordable price."
Nissan's flagship sedan has refreshed styling for 1997, enhancing the sleek, smooth, luxurious shape. Maxima's sophisticated, yet sporty, new looks were achieved through a series of enhancements that include a new front grille design (chrome on GXE and GLE), jewel-like multi-parabola headlights, new front and rear bumper fascias, and new taillights.
Other major exterior refinements include new 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels and integrated fog light design on the sporty SE, new wheel covers for GXE models, and distinctive new aluminum-alloy wheels for the fully equipped GLE.
Maxima retains Nissan's award-winning 3.0-liter DOHC V6 engine. This powerful yet refined powerplant was named "Best Engine" by Ward's Auto World for two years running. It is one of the lightest, most compact engines for its displacement ever built for production use, producing a potent 190 hp at 5,600 rpm and 205 ft-lbs of torque at 4,000 rpm.
Among the many technical highlights of Maxima's engine are microfinishing of the camshaft and crankshaft, a digital knock control system and a cross flow coolant pattern. These attributes help enhance engine performance, reduce exhaust emissions and lower overall engine friction -- resulting in improved performance and fuel economy.
The affordable GXE and sporty SE are equipped with a standard 5-speed manual transmission. An electronically controlled 4-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is standard on the luxury-equipped GLE and available as an option on GXE and SE.
Maxima's innovative engine is even more impressive when considering its exceptional fuel economy. The Maxima delivers an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 22/27 mpg City/Highway when fitted with the 5-speed manual transmission, and 21/28 mpg City/Highway when equipped with the 4-speed automatic transmission.
The 1997 Maxima is also equipped with Nissan's patented rear Multi-Link Beam™ suspension, which offers precision handling and stability by minimizing camber change during cornering. This design provides an enhanced ride -- due to the minimal camber change during cornering, softer bushings, springs and shocks are used and suspension friction is reduced.
The Multi-Link Beam's compact design combined with Maxima's long 106.3-inch wheelbase accommodates a large and luxurious interior. Other benefits of Maxima's thoughtful design include a spacious, easily accessible trunk and exceptional driver and passenger visibility.
Maxima's independent front suspension uses MacPherson struts with coil springs and a 21.0 mm stabilizer bar to provide optimum control in a variety driving conditions.
The 1997 Maxima features an extensive list of standard safety equipment, including dual air bags, 3-point front seat belts with height-adjustable front shoulder belts and 3-point ALR/ELR front-passenger side and rear outboard passenger seat belt system.
Front and rear crumple zones, an energy-absorbing steering column, child safety rear door locks and pipe-style steel side-door guard beams that help Maxima meet 1997 Federal Side-Impact Safety Standards, provide further occupant protection.
For added driver confidence and control, Maxima is equipped with standard power-assisted 4-wheel disc brakes. An optional anti-lock braking system (ABS) is available on all three trim levels.
Standard Equipment/Optional Features and Packages
All three 1997 Maxima models come equipped with an unexpected level of standard equipment including: a multi-adjustable reclining front bucket driver's seat; power windows with driver-side one-touch auto-down feature; power door locks with selective unlocking; dual power remote-controlled outside mirrors; digital clock; and CFC-free air conditioning.
Other standard equipment includes a tilt steering column, cruise control, updated, larger cup holders, AM/FM/cassette stereo and center console with armrest.
The affordable GXE model offers standard luxury velour seat cloth, large center console area with storage for CDs and cassettes, available fold-down rear center armrest and 205/65R15 S-rated all-season tires.
For drivers seeking an extra level of style and performance, Maxima SE boasts a sport-tuned suspension with firmer shocks and struts, electronically controlled liquid-filled front engine mount (on automatic transmission models only), new 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and H-rated all-season tires, a body-color rear decklid spoiler, new integrated fog lights, body-color door handles, blackout window moldings, sport velour seat cloth, new leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shift knob, and black-on-white analog gauges with red pointers for increased visibility and a sporty appearance.
The luxurious Maxima GLE comes equipped with standard leather seating surfaces, wood-grain trim, new aluminum-alloy wheels, 8-way power driver- and 4-way power front-passenger seats, automatic climate control, a remote keyless entry and vehicle security system and a Bose( six speaker AM/FM stereo with CD player.
A number of options and packages are available on Maxima in 1997, including a power sliding glass sunroof with tilt feature and sunshade, vehicle security system, Cold Weather Package, Security and Convenience Package (GXE and SE), and Leather Trim Package (SE).
Maxima is available in four new exterior colors for 1997, Neptune Blue, Sage Mist Green, Concord Mist and Rosewood. Other Maxima colors include Pebble Beige Metallic, Deep Evergreen, Super Black and Arctic White Pearl. The exterior colors are available with complementary interior colors -- an updated Beige, Charcoal and Sereno cloth. New for 1997 is Sereno leather-appointed interior (available on GLE and SE models), in addition to Beige and Charcoal.
All 1997 Nissan models are covered by a comprehensive 3-year/36,000-mile "bumper-to-bumper" Limited Warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile Limited Powertrain Warranty, a 5-year/60-000-mile Corrosion Coverage and a Lifetime Seat Belt Warranty