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Replacement for Nissan Maxima SE - sports sedan with a little bit of luxury without breaking the bank

The Right Car for Me:

This member has purchased a 2011 Nissan Maxima.

Member6202

I love my 2002 Maxima SE - great drive (handling, speed, pickup) sporty, luxurious, roomy, comfortable. Multi-purpose for family and business. What's a good option something similar to this?

Car Needs: Family transporter / Errands about town / Long trips / Off-roader

Need minimum of 5 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 50000
Maximum age: 5 years

Maximum price: US $ 25000

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Response from sasolomon

11:09 am October 15, 2014

Camry SE is probably as close as you can get to Japanese reliability and longevity, which some slight sporting pretenses. Buick Regal GS I think is fun to drive but I have not ridden in one so cannot confirm.

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Toyota Camry
Buick Regal

Response from mkaresh

9:23 pm October 15, 2014

You can probably get a fairly new Infiniti G37 within your budget.

For much less money a 2011-2012 Ford Fusion Sport could provide what you're looking for. The newer Fusion has a turbo four rather than a V6, and you sit lower in it, which might not be to your liking.

I'd suggest the 2014+ Mazda6, but it might not have the low-end power you're looking for.

A Honda Accord V6 could also be a good fit, but I'm not sure a 2013+ would fit within your budget.

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Infiniti G
Ford Fusion
Honda Accord

Response from SVO

5:49 pm October 17, 2014

Passat is a good option. It shares similar handling. New Accord Sport is really what you want but gotta stretch tbe budget a bit as its a new model.

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Volkswagen Passat
Honda Accord

Response from svtcarboy

2:22 am October 19, 2014

I just bought a Buick Regal GS, it definitely delivers on the driving experience and the amenties. However, you may find it less roomy than ideal. I would also say the same with my second place finisher (if a manual doesn't matter), the Volkswagen CC. It is finished a little nicer, but has less power and no true sport package. The Fusion Titanium takes a little away from the sport-touring driving experience, but returns real rear adult seating capacity (again if you can tolerate an automatic). I am thinking it may represent the best balance. I agree with mkaresh that the new Mazda6 likely lacks the power you want. It's a fabulous car that lacks a performance engine choice.

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Buick Regal
Ford Fusion
Volkswagen CC

Response from avshelden

8:46 pm October 20, 2014

Not really my target segment, but I believe there's been good press about the Hyundai Genesis. I know Micheal did a recent review of the latest model which unfortunately would break your budget limit, but there seem to be used ones (2010-2012) below 25K. I can't say if it will match your fun to drive requirement. I'd be interested to hear his comment as compared to his suggestions above.

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Hyundai Genesis

Response from mkaresh

9:38 pm October 20, 2014

Most likely the Genesis is a larger, heavier car than he's looking for, and the first-gen didn't handle very well. But for anyone seeking a large, luxurious sedan at a very affordable price, used first-gen Genesis are worth a look. Reliability hasn't been great, but the most common problem is the power tilt-and-telescoping wheel, not a major item.

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Response from SVO

10:25 pm October 20, 2014

VW CC occured to me too- I nearly bought one a few years back. 1st gen handling was VERY firm (liked) but the rear seat headroom is pretty severely compromised, not making the "roomy" requirement IMHO. But a very sharp car with an Audi grade interior.

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Response from Member6202

10:13 am January 27, 2015

Response from SVO

12:23 pm January 27, 2015

Did not know there was a sport package option on the newer Maxima. That's a great choice! I rented a new Altima recently- very impressed by that car. Too soft suspension was it's only obvious shortcoming. Fuel mileage was exceptional considering the interior room.

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Response from mkaresh

12:36 pm January 27, 2015

The Maxima feels quite a bit sportier than the current Altima. Tighter, quicker steering as well as a firmer suspension.

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Response from Member6202

12:57 pm January 27, 2015

Yes, I feel like i have a true "luxurious" sports car :) seat & steering wheel heaters, both power moon/sunroof. Handling and power are great.

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