The 1998 Nissan Maxima adds to its extensive list of accolades the distinction of being the first Nissan vehicle to offer front-seat side air bags in the U.S. Offered as optional equipment on Maxima SE and GLE models, Nissan continues to bring leading technology and innovation to the marketplace.
The 1998 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.
"Maxima continues to provide class-leading handling, comfort and performance in an attractive package," said Tom Eastwood, vice president, Nissan Division. "Maxima has been our flagship sedan since it was introduced in 1981, and it continues to offer exceptional power, performance and styling.
Design/Exterior Styling Maxima's exterior styling is a distinctive package that announces the car's sporty nature with clean, yet muscular, lines. Originally designed in Japan, Maxima received styling updates from the company's well-known, U.S.-based design studio - Nissan Design International of La Jolla, Calif. Maxima's styling is attractive and functional, with a slippery 0.32 coefficient of drag (Cd). A low, sloping hood, rounded rear decklid and smooth sides all contribute to this aerodynamically efficient shape.
Maxima is offered in eight exterior colors for 1998, including a new Sterling Mist. Other colors include: Neptune Blue, Sage Mist Green, Rosewood, Pebble Beige Metallic, Deep Evergreen, Super Black and Arctic White Pearl.
Engine/Suspension/Body Structure 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 three 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 value-oriented 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 optional on GXE and SE.
Maxima's innovative engine is even more impressive when considering its excellent 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 1998 Maxima is also equipped with Nissan's patented Multi-Link Beam™ rear suspension, which offers precision handling and stability by minimizing camber change during cornering. This design provides a smooth ride as well - due to the minimal camber change during cornering, softer bushings, springs and shocks are used and suspension friction is also 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 1998 Maxima features an extensive list of standard safety equipment, starting with the optional front-seat side air bags on SE and GLE. All Maximas are equipped with standard 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 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 1998 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, an electronically controlled liquid-filled front engine mount (on automatic transmission models only), 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and H-rated all-season tires, a body-color rear decklid spoiler, integrated fog lamps, 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, 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 200 Watt Bose( six speaker AM/FM/CD audio system.
A number of options and packages are available on Maxima in 1998, including a power sliding glass sunroof with tilt feature and sunshade, Security and Convenience Package (GXE and SE), Leather Trim Package (SE) and Deluxe Seating Package which includes front-seat side air bags and heated front seats (SE and GLE).
For 1998, there are eight exterior colors: Neptune Blue, Pebble Beige Metallic, Deep Evergreen, Sage Mist Green, Super Black, Rosewood, Arctic White Pearl and Sterling Mist (new for 1998).