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Expert Reviews 1 of 2
By Jim Mateja
January 8, 1989
When we first drove the 1989 Maxima, neither theoptional sonar suspension system nor heads-up display were available on thetest cars. We`ve now had the chance to drive a Maxima GXE with both, and we strongly doubt that you need to invest $1,500 in
an ``electrical equipment`` package toget the items. Nissan offers a level-1 suspension in the GXE for soft ride and a level-2 suspension in the SE version for a firm ride. The optional sonar suspensionadjusts on its own based on road surfaces to
give you soft or firm ride. Thereseemed to be little difference in a variety of road situations. The level-2suspension in the SE still is our choice. As for heads-up, that`s the system that Oldsmobile toyed with in its Indy pace car last year.
Digital green numbers are displayed on the lowerwindshield to the left of the driver`s field of vision. After one day we foundourselves seldom if ever looking at the reading and relied on the numbers inthe instrument panel straight ahead. When
driving the pace car around the track at Indy, the heads-up displaywas invaluable because the engine had been programmed to shut off at 110m.p.h. On regular roads the need to know exact speed wasn`t as vital. The GXE is offered only with automatic,
but there`s a switch on the lever that lets you engage or disengage overdrive. Handy feature when a little more power was needed getting off the light, a little less at cruising. Two other features of note are the automatic shoulder belt that
motorsalong the driver`s door to secure itself around you when the key is turned on and the brake-pedal shift lock that prevents you from getting out of park intoany gear unless you apply the brake pedal. Both are good features. The GXE doesn`t
offer optional antilock brakes. Only the SE does. Goodprice, very good car, but the lack of antilock brakes is a sore point. Base price of the Maxima GXE had been $16,999 but went up by $500 to$17,499 last week to account for the rise in the value
of the yen against the dollar.