Tak­ing sales to the MAX­IMA

Two en­gines and high equip­ment lev­els her­ald the ar­rival of the new Nis­san Max­ima large sedan, re­ports NICK DAL­TON.

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - Front Page -

NIS­SAN is hop­ing to snare sales from up­mar­ket four cylin­der mid-sized cars, such as the Mazda6 and Honda Ac­cord, with the new 2.5-litre V6 ver­sion as well as make in­roads into the tra­di­tional six cylin­der mar­ket dom­i­nated by Holden Com­modore, Ford Fal­con and Toy­ota Au­rion.

The big news for the new Max­ima is a new 2.5-litre ver­sion of Nis­san’s in­ter­na­tional award-winning VQ en­gine. The VQ25 en­gine pow­ers the ST-L vari­ant which en­ters the mar­ket priced at $33,990.

Equipped to a high level, the ST-L has a 134kW six-cylin­der en­gine, new six-speed M-Mode X-Tronic con­tin­u­ously vari­able au­to­matic trans­mis­sion, Xenon head­lights, LED tail­lights and 17ih wheels, all wrapped up in a fresh, mod­ern ex­te­rior. Im­por­tantly, the 250 ST-L re­turns a highly com­pet­i­tive 9.5 litres/100kms fuel econ­omy (com­bined cy­cle).

In­side there is stan­dard black leather up­hol­stery, dual zone cli­mate con­trol air­con­di­tion­ing and a sixs­tacker CD player with AUX-in and MP3 com­pat­i­bil­ity. The driver is pam­pered with an eight-way power seat with lum­bar ad­just­ment (four-way power ad­just for the front passenger) and a push but­ton en­gine start.

Safety fea­tures in­clude six airbags, in­clud­ing cur­tain airbags, ac­tive front head­rests and ABS with VDC dy­namic sta­bil­ity con­trol.

Many fea­tures, in­clud­ing the rear spoiler, wheel de­sign and seat trim, were de­signed ex­clu­sively for the Aus­tralian mar­ket. Nis­san Aus­tralia prod­uct plan­ners worked ex­ten­sively with Nis­san Ja­pan to tai­lor the new J32 Max­ima for the lo­cal mar­ket.

Nis­san says this high level of stan­dard lux­ury fea­tures gives the new Max­ima 250 ST-L a very com­pelling ar­gu­ment with which to com­pete in the busy and size­able medium four-cylin­der front-wheel drive mar­ket.

The new Max­ima ST-S and Ti pre­mium sedans fea­ture a fur­ther re­fined ver­sion of the crit­i­cally ac­claimed VQ35DE se­ries V6 en­gine, again in 3.5-litre ca­pac­ity, de­liv­er­ing 185kW power, up 15kW on the out­go­ing model.

“With its lux­ury-car spec­i­fi­ca­tion, the new Nis­san Max­ima now has new-found im­pe­tus to make deeper in­roads into the Aus­tralian large car mar­ket,’’ Nis­san says.

“The VQ 3.5-litre en­gine gives the Max­ima abil­ity to ap­peal to cus­tomers who may pre­vi­ously have con­sid­ered lo­cally made rear-drive or front-drive bigsixes, in ad­di­tion to cus­tomers of im­ported front-wheel drive six-cylin­der class ve­hi­cles from Ja­pan, Asia and Europe.’’

Over and above the spec­i­fi­ca­tion of the 250 ST-L model, the mid-range 3.5-litre pow­ered 350 ST-S ver­sion adds rear park­ing sen­sors, rear boot spoiler, In­tel­li­gent Key key­less en­try sys­tem and heated front seats priced at $37,990.

The top of the range Ti model adds DVD satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion with 3D map­ping, a large 7in full colour touch screen, exclusive to Nis­san in this seg­ment DVD player, rev­ers­ing cam­era with pre­dic­tive path tech­nol­ogy and an 11-speaker pre­mium BOSE au­dio sys­tem with aux­il­iary MP3 player in­put jack.

Blue­tooth hands-free mo­bile phone tech­nol­ogy is also in­cluded, con­trolled by steer­ing wheel but­tons and the pack­age is topped off by an elec­tric glass slide and tilt sun­roof. The 350 Ti is priced at $46,990.

The all new model ar­rives in show­rooms in early June, re­plac­ing the fourth gen­er­a­tion J31 Max­ima launched in Aus­tralia in 2003.

This was the most suc­cess­ful Max­ima since in­tro­duc­tion of the Max­ima lin­eage in 1990 and Nis­san ex­pects the fifth gen­er­a­tion will con­tinue to grow its share in this mar­ket.

Nis­san Aus­tralia chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Dan Thomp­son said the new Nis­san Max­ima of­fered a sig­nif­i­cant op­por­tu­nity for Nis­san in Aus­tralia.

“The new Max­ima will play an in­creas­ingly im­por­tant role in the large and medium car mar­ket by of­fer­ing the best blend of dis­tinc­tive lux­ury – at an at­tain­able price,” he said.

“We are dou­bling the ap­peal of the new Max­ima in Aus­tralia with our new two-en­gine model strat­egy and a very at­trac­tive en­try price.

“The new 2.5-litre V6 en­gine, the sharp pric­ing right in the heart of the four-cylin­der mar­ket and the un­prece­dented high level of lux­ury fea­tures as stan­dard, makes the Max­ima 250 ST-L un­beat­able. For a start, no one else in this mar­ket sec­tor of­fers leather up­hol­stery as stan­dard.

“We are mak­ing four-cylin­der large car cus­tomers an of­fer they can’t af­ford to ig­nore in the Max­ima ST-L,” he said.

“And with the el­e­gant Max­ima ST-S and Ti sedans, an im­pres­sive ride and lux­u­ri­ous ap­point­ments will give the new Max­ima the mus­cle to grow its sales in the up­per end of the large car mar­ket where there are many cus­tomers looking for un­par­al­leled value.”

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