Starting off as the Datsun 810 in 1977 with rear-wheel drive and a semi-trailing arm rear suspension with a 2.4L OHC straight 6 engine from the 240Z. It has been suggested that this be called the Zero Generation because it never really wore the Nissan Maxima badge, so in late 1980/early 1981, Nissan made a base called the Deluxe, still with rear wheel drive and a 2.4L OHC straight 6, being officially named the Nissan Maxima in 1984. The second generation, much as the same as today, was the first front-wheel drive model, and the third generation was BMW inspired, introducing the DOHC VE30DE in the SE model.
A luxury import car by Nissan that tries to introduce innovations before other manufacturers, and sacrifices relibility in the process.
A car by Nissan that has a good engine and transmission, but all other systems are in doubt.
My mother had a 1985 Nissan Maxima, and in the nine years she had it, the A/C compressor broke 3 times, the alternator broke 3 times, and the battery had to be replaced once a year. She had friends with 1986, 1987, and 1988 Maximas, and they had similar problems.