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Model Comparison for third generation Maxima (1989 - 1994)
Author : Bryan Tisch, Craig Brace (upcoming)
Published : October 23, 1999 (BT);
Last Modified : September 26, 2002

All of the third generation Maximas feature many standard options.  The U.S. third generation Maxima came in two models, the SE and GXE.  The SE, targeted a sporty end of the market while the GXE emphasized more luxury features.  The SE features stiffer springs, sway bars, struts, strut mounts, and bushings.  Also, from 1992 - 1994, the SE had a high output DOHC engine with variable timing control.  Here are some standard features that both models share.

  • Standard allow wheels- 6.5 inch on the SE, 6 inch on the GXE
  • Four wheel independent suspension
  • Power windows, locks
  • Power/Comfort button for automatic transmissions
  • Cruise Control
  • Air conditioning
  • Standard security system (ignition disable, doors, trunk, hood- no shock sensor)
  • Rear window defrost

SE vs. GXE:

  • Tighter suspension, thicker sway bars on SE, not GXE
  • Dual tipped exhausts on SE versus a single tip on the GXE
  • Black rear view mirrors on SE versus body colored Mirrors on GXE
  • Rear disk brakes on SE, rear drums on the GXE
  • 5 speed manual available on SE, automatic-only on GXE
  • 6.5 inch rims on SE, 6 inch rims on GXE
  • Driving lights standard on SE's, no driving lights on GXE
  • Spoiler standard on SE, no spoiler standard on GXE
  • White gauges standard on SE, black guages on the GXE with reduced bolding.
  • Sport leather steering wheel on SE, standard steering wheel on GXE
  • DOHC high output engine on 92 - 94 SE models, SOHC on all GXE's
  • standard exterior door locks on SE, GXE's standard with keyless entry

1989-1991 SE specific

  • VG30E SOHC engine generating 160 hp and 182 ft lbs of torque.
  • Standard Moonroof
  • Standard Bose Radio
  • Black rear lenses
  • Split front grill with a small "Nissan" sign
  • Standard with H rated tires
  • lever to open trunk left of driver's seat

1989 - 1991 SE & GXE specific

  • hinged door under radio
  • all speedometers at 1 25 mph
  • all tachometers redline at 6000 rmps
  • split grille with Nissan name

1991 changes   

  • New Bose stereo face design started
  • chromed wheels started
  • Extended mirrors on SE models

1992 changes

  • An extendable bin under the radio
  • OD light is different in that it is spelled out instead of a separate light on the right
  • SE's now have a button to open the trunk instead of the lever.
  • stronger transmission for VG30E
  • plastic bezel around the radio/climate control changed in that there are no screws above the radio to remove.
  • new steering wheels for each model.
  • New mesh grille with Nissan logo.
  • Black rear gone, SE's have read rear lenses with a slight lens design change.

1992-1994 SE specific

  • VE30DE DOHC engine generating 190 hp and 190 ft lbs of torque
  • VLSD Viscous Limited Slip Differential) - if last letter on transmission code = V.
  • Red rear end
  • Meshed front grill with Nissan logo in center.
  • Heated side mirrors
  • Came standard with V rated tires (up to 149 mph)
  • speedometer to 145 mph, tachometer to 6700 rpm redline

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