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SEE ALSO:Nissan Buyer's Guide

For the 1995 model year Nissan has developed an all-new Maxima four-door sedan. This fourth-generation model been redesigned, reengineered, and repriced to command attention. With new body styling, more interior room, a new engine and a lower base price it exemplifies Nissan's latest advertising slogan - "It's time to expect more from a car."

Since its introduction in 1980 the Maxima has been Nissan's flagship sedan with a sporty flair. It was originally a rear-wheel drive design powered by an inline six- cylinder engine based on that of the 280Z sports car. In 1985 the second generation model moved to front-wheel drive, using a variation of the potent V-6 found in the 300ZX. The third generation, introduced in 1989, was designed specifically for the American market. With its combination of roominess, luxury, and performance it became the best-selling import sedan in its class, selling over 100,000 units annually.

To keep its edge in today's highly competitive market Nissan turned to its U.S. and Japanese design and engineering studios to develop the logical, evolutionary machine that represents the next step for the luxury car of the '90's. The result is new styling, a new engine, and new suspension, along with many other significant features. The 1995 Maxima sedan is available in a base model, an upscale GXE, the SE sports- configured sedan, and this week's test car, the top-of-the-line luxury GLE.

APPEARANCE: The new Maxima bears a very definite resemblance to its little brother - the Altima. It is contemporary and discernably Nissan. Like the Altima, it is smooth, graceful and well-rounded, and has a low coefficient of drag (Cd) if .31. In front it displays a vertical grille that bisects a wide band of lights, a plastic covered bumper and bold lower air intakes. In back the compound curved rear decklid covers a large low liftover trunk. Modest black window trim and stainless brightwork along with shiny stylish alloy wheels accent its monochrome exterior.

COMFORT: As the top-of-the-line luxury sedan the GLE is elegantly fitted out with the convenience features desired and required in this class of car in the nineties. Only the glass sunroof, ABS, and the cold weather package are optional. All seats are leather covered, the front bucket seats are all-day comfortable, and the driver's is eight-way power adjustable. The rear armrest allows access to the large trunk via a passthrough. Power mirrors, windows and remote control locks are standard, as is the excellent sounding specifically designed Bose AM/FM/CD/cassette system. An even temperature is maintained in the large cabin by a quietly efficient automatic control system. Wood trim surrounds the well-appointed analog instrument panel as well as the armrest switch plates. Elegance and convenience combined with all-day driving and riding comfort are its hallmarks.

SAFETY: This Maxima promotes both active and passive safety. It has the built-in active power and handling plus four-wheel disc brakes to get out of and stay out of trouble. Passive safety is enhanced by dual front airbags, side guard door beams, three- point safety belts, with adjustable front shoulder height. Also contributing are the energy-absorbing steering column and front and rear bumpers.

ROADABILITY: The GLE delivers a very quiet ride. When cruising down the highway the combination of a new suspension, plus a stiffer platform, added insulation and weatherstripping contribute to a ride that is a quiet as a cathedral. A major key to the smooth, controlled handling of the 1994 Maxima is a new patented multi-link rear suspension that creates an optimum balance between handling, stability and comfort. Its a new twist on a proven design that keeps the rear wheels perpendicular to the road surface at all time, thus providing excellent traction for control particularly in cornering and high speed maneuvering. Other factors includes power steering and disc brakes.

PERFORMANCE: All Maximas are equipped with an all-new, lighter, more compact, and more efficient aluminum-alloy 3.0 liter engine. This engine is built in a highly- automated new plant that allows very close tolerances for maximum performance and quietness. Its four-valve per cylinder, double overhead cam design with sequential multiport fuel injection and precision construction result in better fuel economy and reduced emissions. Nissan's electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission shifts very smoothly up and down the gear range.

CONCLUSION: In the words of the folks at Nissan , the new Maxima GLE is "a responsible luxury sedan with a design that delivers beyond expectations." I couldn't have put it better myself.


	   Base Price              $ 24,199   
	   Price As Tested         $ 25,488   
	   Engine Type             V-6, dohc - 24 v, smpfi   
	   Engine Size             3.0 liter/183 cid      
	   Horsepower              190 @ 5600   
	   Torque (ft/lbs)         205 @ 4000   
	   Wheelbase/Length        106"/188"   
	   Transmission            four speed auto w/od   
	   Curb Weight             3100   
	   Pounds per Horsepower   16   
	   Fuel Capacity           18   
	   Fuel Requirement        Unleaded premium (91 oct)   
	   Tire                    Yokohama P205/65R15 M+S   
	   Brake                   anti-lock optional       disc/disc   
	   Drive Train             front engine/rear drive   
	   EPA Economy - miles per gallon,           
	     city/highway/observed  21/28/23.7   
	   0 to 60 mph              7.6 sec              
	   1/4 mi (E.T.)            16.1 sec     
	   Coefficient of drag (cd) .31