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2005 New Car Model Guide, Model Guide, New Car Reviews, Nissan Cars, Trucks, & SUVs


2005 Nissan New Car Model GuideNissan constructs sleek and powerful sedans in three sizes with the flagship Maxima, mid-size Altima in new style and a compact called Sentra.

Yet there's more to Nissan's car collection for 2005 with sports cars that bear the name of Nissan's famed Z-cars -- the 350Z conforming as a slinky hatchback coupe or racy drop-top roadster.

Nissan Maxima
2004 Nissan Maxima

Nissan crafts a four-door flagship under the badge of Maxima. It looks crisp with curvaceous lines but flat surfaces and chiseled corners lending to an overall effect that seems both sensuous and muscular with the suggestion of power and speed. Concepts for the car came from Nissan's designers in Japan, but assembly occurs in the United States at a massive manufacturing plant in Smyrna, Tenn. Maxima's two trims vary suspension tuning. The sport-oriented 3.5 SE version uses a performance-tuned suspension for tight handling control, and the comfort-oriented 3.5 SL edition has cushy settings for a luxurious ride quality.

Power flows from a 3.5-liter V6, which makes 265 hp. For the sporty 3.5 SE trim, the engine connects to a smooth automatic five-speed transmission with manual shift mode or a six-speed close-ratio manual stick. For Maxima's elegant 3.5 SL, the engine uses a four-speed automatic with gated shifter. Maxima's cockpit provides twin front bucket seats separated by a console, with a rear bench in sculptured positions for two but space for three. The optional Elite Package on 3.5 SE brings a four-seat plan with buckets front and rear, while a Skyview Roof puts glass above front and rear seats.

Nissan Altima
2004 Nissan Altima

The mid-size Altima sedan series presents a fresh face and new interior designs. The look is bold with an aggressive prow featuring a raised hood and restyled front fascia plus smoked headlamps. Body forms reveal a wedge-shaped profile scored by sharp character lines. Altima's cabin, with front bucket seats and a rear bench for up to three riders, upgrades with a redesigned instrument panel, center console, three-spoke steering wheel and chrome accents on dash and doors.

New audio systems range from a standard AM/FM/CD with six speakers to an optional CD changer for six discs or a Bose premium system with eight speakers and steering wheel audio controls. The Altima appears in four trims for 2005 described by the size of two engine options.

An entry model and two upgraded issues carry a dual-cam 2.5-liter in-line-four plant with 175 hp and line up as the Altima 2.5, mid-grade 2.5 S and deluxe 2.5 with SL Package. Altima 3.5 SE and new 3.5 SL earn Nissan's 3.5-liter V6 that's good for 250 hp. A five-speed manual shifter works with either engine, but the four-cylinder transmission option is a four-speed automatic while the V6 offers a five-speed automatic.

Nissan Sentra
2004 Nissan Sentra

Nissan's compact-class sedan is called Sentra and it spins off sport-inspired SE-R special editions. Inside a generous cabin, two race-style bucket seats stand up front with a split-and-fold rear bench. Models begin with the Sentra 1.8 and extend to the 1.8 S and 2.5 S. The Sentra 1.8 and 1.8 S draw from a dual-cam 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine racked to 126 hp with five-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic transmission. The Sentra 2.5 S gets a 2.5-liter four-pack for 165 hp with an automatic four-speed.

Sport-tuned SE-R and racy SE-R Spec V Sentras bring even more equipment. A special front fascia, styled after Nissan's exotic and powerful Skyline GTR sports sedan, adds a crisp mesh grille and round fog lamps. Body-colored sills stretch toward the pavement along each side, while at the tail a winged spoiler flies off the trunk's flat deck. Power for SE-R Sentras comes from the twin-cam 2.5-liter four that hits 175 hp for the Spec V performance edition. Spec V also has serious performance hardware, including a six-speed manual shifter, limited-slip differential, four-wheel disc brakes and tighter suspension tuning. A Brembo Brake Package for high performance appears on the option list for the SE-R Spec V.

Nissan 350Z
2004 Nissan 350Z

Nissan's Z-car returned to the North American market in 2003 as a slinky two-door hatchback coupe with sport-tuned hardware for serious performance. A year later, a convertible roadster variation emerged. Both appear in Nissan's car class of 2005. All stock a 3.5-liter V6 churning with 287 hp when teamed with a six-speed manual transmission. The coupe comes in many trims. The entry-issue 350Z 6MT contains a six-speed manual transmission and 17-inch wheels. Enthusiast 6MT adds xenon headlamps and a limited-slip rear differential.

A five-speed automatic makes it the Enthusiast 5AT. A 350Z Performance 6MT with manual gearbox moves up to 18-inch wheels with vehicle dynamic control (VDC) anti-skid equipment. Z's Touring 5AT with the automatic shifter has luxury gear and a 240-watt Bose stereo. Touring 6MT for the six-speed manual goes further with aluminum pedals, VDC and 18-inch rollers. Ultimate 350Z Track 6MT gets alloy wheels, vented Brembo brakes and spoilers front and rear. The airy roadster has a power-operated soft top that lowers the lid in 20 seconds. A Touring Edition and the Enthusiast Edition are available for the roadster with either the five-speed automatic or six-speed manual shifter.