Created at Nissan Design International, Inc. (NDI) in La Jolla, Calif., the new, fifth-generation 2000 Maxima features an unmatched blend of performance and luxury. The new Maxima includes the most front head room, front leg room, interior and trunk space in class, state-of-the-art interior ergonomics, a class-leading 222-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 engine with a 100,000-mile tune-up interval and available 17-inch alloy wheels.
“Nissan is fortunate to own some of the industry’s strongest brands – including our flagship Maxima, which has an incredible reputation and following,” said Jed Connelly, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division, Nissan North America, Inc. “Our goal in creating the newest Maxima was to remain true to its ‘Maxima-ness’ – which we define as the heart and soul of the performance/luxury sedan.”
The original Maxima was introduced as a 1981 model. Its arrival essentially created the “mid-size import sedan” category. The first V6-equipped Maxima appeared in 1984, and Maxima has remained the number one selling V6 import sedan ever since, with more than 1.7 million sales since its debut.
“Maxima has an exceptionally loyal owner base, with many buyers on their third or fourth Maxima – simply because they cannot find a better package,” said Connelly. “With the new 2000 Maxima, we’re once again proving that there truly is no other car in America like it. We took a great car in the current Maxima and made it even better.”
Key to the Maxima’s unique positioning is its uncompromised balance of performance and luxury. “We call it a 60 - 60 percent blend, because Maxima hits both sides of the equation so well,” said Connelly. For the 2000 model, both performance and luxury attributes have been greatly enhanced.
The new Maxima’s performance capabilities are first announced through its aggressive styling, including large, well-filled wheel forms connected by a taut, substantial shoulder line sweeping front to rear. Its front honors the familiar Maxima grille shape, now smoothly integrated into the powerfully aerodynamic form. The rear view leaves a strong visual impression with its large, distinctive taillights and unique “cut-off” design.
“The new Maxima is a road car with an Autobahn flavor and a ‘high want factor’ even though it is a sedan,” said Connelly. “Some of the best cars from Europe are sedans, and the new Maxima captures that flavor. The rear view especially leaves what we call a memorable visual calling card. We want other drivers to know that they’ve just been passed by a sedan with confidence and character.”
Since 1995, Maxima has also been known for its V6 engine superiority. Its innovative 3.0-liter powerplant design has been named one of the “10 Best Engines” by Ward’s Auto World five consecutive years. Ward’s editors have written that it is “simply ... the best V6 engine available in America.”
For 2000, the engine has been refined through use of new intake and exhaust manifolds, Nissan Variable Induction System (NVIS) air intake control with a resin intake collector, new equal length exhaust pipes and the addition of a new variable capacity muffler derived from the one on the high performance Nissan Skyline GT-R. A special muffler flap valve, using high temperature aerospace spring technology and materials, opens at 2,000 – 2,400 rpm and above – reducing exhaust system backpressure. These changes help increase the engine’s horsepower from 190 to 222 and torque from 205 ft-lbs to 217 ft-lbs.
The Maxima’s DOHC 24-valve V6 continues to utilize micro-finished crank journals and cam lobes, molybdenum coated pistons, digital knock control, six coils (one per spark plug) and a cross flow coolant pattern. Additional refinements for 2000 include a new engine control module (located inside the passenger compartment to increase reliability), a larger air intake chamber, a thicker radiator and new cooling fans and a new four-point engine mount design with two liquid filled (manual transmission) or electronically controlled fluid (automatic transmission) mounts for reduced vibration.
The Maxima engine offers a 100,000-mile tune-up interval through the adoption of double-tipped platinum spark plugs, providing a lower projected cost of ownership.
The 2000 Maxima is available with a choice of 5-speed manual (standard on GXE and SE) or 4-speed electronically controlled automatic (standard on GLE) transmissions, both strengthened to support the increased engine performance.
Maxima’s innovative rear Multi-Link Beam™ suspension, which offers precise handling and outstanding stability by minimizing camber change during cornering, has been refined through use of thicker front and rear stabilizer bars, adoption of larger, softer trailing link bushings and a relocation of the system’s unique lateral link to behind the rear beam.
The new Maxima’s “cut above” performance is also reinforced by standard 4-wheel disc brakes with 4-channel/4-sensor Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), refined engine-speed-sensitive power rack-and-pinion steering utilizing the same computer controls as the Infiniti Q45 and an available Traction Control System (TCS).
“The new Maxima delivers the performance level worthy of a true flagship sedan,” said Connelly. “While many first-time Maxima buyers will be attracted by its luxury attributes, the car’s exceptional driving performance will be a surprising and rewarding added benefit.”
Maxima’s luxury, like its performance, takes many forms, starting with its enhanced roominess. Versus the previous generation, the 2000 model offers a 2.0-inch longer wheelbase (increased from 106.3 inches to 108.3 inches) and 2.9 additional cubic feet of passenger compartment volume (from 99.6 to 102.5 cubic feet). Front seat head room and front leg room have been increased, and front footwell width is 1.4 inches wider, while rear leg room is up 2.7 inches. Trunk room is up .6 cubic feet, from 14.5 to 15.1.
The interior, also created by NDI, features a stylish “wave” design with a sweeping console, striking instrument panel and special attention to driver ergonomics. The steering wheel has been repositioned forward, the parking brake lever moved rearward and power seat controls moved forward – all to provide better driver control and comfort.
The new Maxima’s low-fatigue front seats have been redesigned with a more rigid seat structure and improved vibration absorption. Other enhancements include a new deep pattern seat appearance, improved seat cushioning, continuously variable lumbar support and a new double-lock recline mechanism. The rear seat offers a 60/40 split fold-down design and anti-theft lock function.
Other luxury touches include the extensive use of noise, vibration and harshness countermeasures, isolation of wind and road noise, generous storage space including room in the center console for 16 compact discs, “one-touch” auto up and down driver’s window and sunroof, auto on/off headlights, a second 12-volt power outlet and an available custom-tuned 200-watt Bose® audio system with six-speakers plus woofer.
Attention to detail also reinforces Maxima’s exceptional luxury feel. Heater and cooling vents on the instrument panel close flush for a sleek appearance; dome light switches are easier to operate; and the front and rear door levers are larger and easier to use with gloved hands.
Maxima safety features include a redesigned impact dispersion body side structure which includes reinforced roof side rails, B-pillars and side sills, pipe-style steel side-door guard beams, dual supplemental front air bags, 3-point front seat belts with seat belt pretensioners and load limiters, and available front-seat supplemental side-impact air bags.
“The new Maxima has what we believe is the best Nissan interior ever – quiet and comfortable,” said Connelly. “Yet in the true spirit of Maxima, there’s still a strong connection to the road rather than complete isolation. This is where performance and luxury really come together.”
A Choice of Three Well-Equipped Models
The 2000 Maxima will again be available in three models: the well-equipped GXE, the performance SE and the luxurious GLE – each evolving from the previous generation to include more standard luxury features.
The GXE, like all Maximas, comes with the 222-horsepower 3.0-liter V6, 5-speed manual transmission, refined suspension, standard ABS, keyless remote entry, power windows and door locks with a driver’s window “one-touch” auto up and down feature, illuminated visor vanity mirrors and more.
Optional on Maxima GXE is a 4-speed electronically controlled automatic overdrive transmission, power glass sliding sunroof with one-touch open and close feature, GXE Comfort and Convenience Package, which includes 16-inch alloy wheels, 8-way power driver seat, premium 3-in-1 audio system with 6-speakers, illuminated visor vanity mirrors, variable intermittent wipers, cargo net and height adjustable center console. Additionally, the GXE offers the Deluxe Seating Package, including heated front seats, heated outside mirror, low washer fluid warning light, special trunk lid trim and side air bags.
The Maxima SE includes unique smoke-color taillamps, titanium colored gauges, a 6-speaker 120-watt 3-in-1 audio system, dark color grille surround, dark chrome badges, sporty seat cloth, rear spoiler, sports tuned suspension with firmer springs, front struts and shock absorbers, 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.
SE options include 17-inch alloy wheels with V-rated tires (7/99 production), an automatic transmission, traction control (automatic transmission only), SE Comfort and Convenience Package, which includes a sunroof, 8-way power driver seat, HomeLink® Universal Transceiver, variable intermittent wipers and cargo net. The Deluxe Seating Package is also offered on the SE as is the SE Leather Trim Package, which includes leather seating surfaces, automatic temperature control, 4-way power front passenger seat, simulated leather upper door trim, passenger side seatback pocket and outside temperature display. SE owners can also specify a 200-watt Bose audio system.
The top-of-the-line Maxima GLE offers all the standard performance equipment, along with luxury amenities including leather-appointed seating surfaces, wood-tone trim, 200-watt Bose audio system, automatic temperature control, 8-way power driver’s seat, Integrated HomeLink® Transceiver, fog lamps, automatic transmission and 16-inch alloy wheels with 215/55R16 all-season tires.
Optional on GLE is a sunroof, traction control and the Deluxe Seating Package.
The 2000 Maxima will be available in eight exterior colors and three interior colors.
“The new Maxima is better in every dimension – more powerful, luxurious, spacious, comfortable and quieter,” said Connelly. “It’s every inch a Maxima, yet totally changed. It stands apart from every other vehicle on the road today.”