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Why you should buy this car: You're a multiple-personality type seeking a luxury fix, but would rather not have to pop a dramamine every time you buckle up. Or you'd rather be in a sports car, but have kids (or more than one friend) or suffer from that fear of being flattened by a wayward SUV. If you're a retiree who wouldn't be caught dead in an "old guy's car" you probably won't do much better for the money. Of course, you could just head for Barrett-Jackson and pick up a '69 Firebird.

Why you shouldn t buy this car: If you're looking for a cushy, comforting, wrap-yourself-in-a-down-comforter of a luxury car, walk away now. Nothing to see here. Those who prefer true-blue, sports sedans in the Audi/BMW vein, would be better off test driving the SE model. Of course, for them, front-drive is likely a dealbreaker anyway.

Suitability Parameters:
· Speed Merchants: Yes
· Fashion Victims: Yes
· Treehuggers: No
· Mack Daddies: Yes
· Tuner Crowd: Yes
· Hairdressers: Yes
· Penny Pinchers: No
· Euro Snobs: No
· Working Stiffs: No
· Technogeeks: No
· Poseurs: No
· Soccer Moms: No
· Nascar Dads: No
· Golfing Grandparents: Yes

Vitals
· Manufacturer: Nissan
· Model tested: Maxima 3.5 SL
· Model year: 2005
· Price as Tested: $33,160
· Engine type: 3.5-liter DOHC 24-Valve V6
· Horsepower: 265 hp SAE @ 5,800 rpm
· Torque: 255 ft lb @ 4,400 rpm
· Redline: 6600 rpm
· Wheels and Tires: Continental, 225/55R-17
· Drive type: Front wheel drive
· 0 - 60: 6.4 secs.
· 1/4 mile: 14.9 sec @ 95.8 mph
· Top speed: 140 mph (electronically limited)
· Fuel economy city/highway: 20/28
· NHTSA crash test rating front/side/rollover: 5 driver; 4 passenger / front seat 4; rear seat 4 / 4

[by Mike Spinelli]

Related:
Jalopnik Reviews: 2005 Nissan Maxima SL, Part 1, Part 2 [internal]