VIDEO: The 1989 Nissan Maxima was pretty cool

Remember the original “4DSC” Nissan Maxima? The so-called 4-Door Sports Car was a notch above the standard family sedan offerings at the time. It tempted us with a dedicated chassis and V6-only drivetrain. The design was clean, it was tossable, and you could get it in a stick.

Watching Motorweek‘s review at the time, you can hear the sporty SE model’s 160-horsepower VG30E emit a nice, mechanical growl. Even more amazingly, when it came time for the facelift in 1991, Nissan gave it huge bump of 30 horsepower to 190. That was an impressive number at the time. These days, there’s not much difference among the major family sedans in the market but those of us who drove Accords and Camrys back then actually aspired to own a Maxima.

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5 Responses to VIDEO: The 1989 Nissan Maxima was pretty cool

  1. Ryan P. said:

    I had two, my 1st and 3rd cars, both 1989 SE 5MTs. It definitely earned the “4DSC” moniker, as the car was very fun to drive and highly tossable in the back roads. Plus it sat 4 people comfortably. IIRC, 1st gear had a tendency to pop out with higher mileage.

    The 92-94 SE models with the 190 hp VE30 engines (GXEs made do with the 160 hp VG30 engines), when running properly, had excellent top end and would pull on newer 95-99 Maximas with 190 hp VQ engines. The VEs had Nissan’s early version of VTEC.

    The 3rd gen chassis had independent rear suspension (IRS), and had a tendency to snap the rear sway bar link to the chassis. The 4th gens (95-99) had twist beam rear suspension. To this day, I still check out ads for 3rd gen Maximas.

  2. alvin said:

    Did you know that 2019 is a big year for Nissan? It’s the 50th Anniversary of the Z!
    Nissan has ambitious plans to commemorate the occasion with special versions of their lineup.

    JNC, you WILL aspire to own the newest Maxima to join the Nissan family:

    The 2020 Heritage Edition Maxima SE Pure Drive Hybrid Nismo S-tune

    Available in Nissan Heritage (TM) colors including, and limited to: Yellow. With black Nismo accents.

    Revel in the standard 300hp (301hp with optional R-Tune package) 3.5 V6. Hark back to the days of the “4DSC” as you carve the road with special Nismo-tuned suspension (standard on all models).
    Yes. You will “look back at it” to admire the stunning Special Decor Package (ZZZap) inspired by the 1977 280Z. All of this could be yours for MSRP of $72,000.00.

    Visit your local Nissan dealer now!

  3. Brian Lueck said:

    The 160hp version was a VG30E. The only dual cam version in this chassis in the states was the VE30DE at 190hp.

  4. Styles said:

    “It tempted us with a dedicated chassis ” – not too sure I’d agree with that, as with the PU11 before it, the J30 was effectively a stretched and widened Bluebird, in this case a U12….. Not sure if you guys got the U12 though?

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