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ES 300 Or GS 300?


Which car should I trade my 03 Maxima for?  

14 members have voted

  1. 1. Which car should I trade my 03 Maxima for?

    • 2000-2001 ES 300
    • 2001 GS 300

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Hi all, I am a NY guy from maxima.org who is presently disenchanted with his 03 Maxima SE, which is partially my fault. It's bad enough I am at 14k and I'm on my second tranny and it seems to be taking the route that the first one did. To make matters worse-I slammed the car on JIC coilovers which results in a not so compliant road ride (especially in NYC pothole filled streets).

My question is to you guys-which car should I get and why. I know that the GS300 is RWD and has paddle shifting capabilities (for 01+ is it standard??) and the ES 300 would obviously be better in snow due to it's FWD chassis.

I am just looking for some opinions as the used car pricing is quite competitive on both cars.

thanks in advance guys.

oh, and for those who want to see my current ride, check out my site:


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two totally different cars for two totally different personalitites and styles.

GS rules in the mod arena.

ES is very smooth and comfy, however minimal to no performance mods available.

take a ride in each and see where you can go in each one.

I would love a GS but would go broke doing stuff to it.

On the other hand, my ES is the ultimate in affordable comfort style and grace. It is like a baby LS.


PS....when in doubt, toss the coin.

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I traded my 01 Nissan Maxima SE 20th A.E. in on my 2001 ES. I considered the GS but because of the harsh winter conditions we have here in Ontario, the ES was the better choice because of the FWD. The GS 300 (stock) is heavier & larger than the ES so I'm not sure how much better off the line performance will be. I feel the with the equipment I got on the ES (loaded including the factory AVS suspension.....the only thing It does not have is the chrome wheels), there are not a whole lot of performance mods one can do to make a huge difference in the overall performance (I've added a K & N filter, tint, switched to synthetic oil & Mobil 1 & K & N oil filters). If I was to get a GS, I would have to seriously consider the GS 400 over the 300 personally....there is a reason why the ES has only the one engine & the GS has two engine choices but is pricer than the ES on the used car market. But if your into serious mods, the GS would be the way to go. Let us know what your decision is, good luck! & welcome to the club B) Why have you decided to trade the Maxima in (I read your post, but had no major issues with mine, but have to say I was never impressed with Nissan service that's for sure!)? :unsure: just courious if there are any other. ;) I also agree with steviej, mods you can do to the GS are vast, but can end up costing you an astronomical amount over time.


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Personally a gs , my wife has a es and I have a gs300 I drive both and she drives the es , we both like the gs better , roomier, more power, feels really solid like a vault [ that is what the wife calls the gs ] They are two totally different cars . Happy shopping!!!! :cheers:

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thanx alot guys...my reasoning for dumping the maxima is multi-folded.

1) I am on my second tranny at 14k, with it taking the same route that the first one did (on its way out)

2) the depreciation is horrible-and im cutting my losses here

3) the ride is horrendous (I know-my fault-damn JIC coilovers :( )

as for the GS vs ES--I am limited to the 6 cyl-the GS 400/430 wouldn't be affordable at this point in time

I want to keep the HIDs tho, which I have spent $300 in ultinon bulbs upgrading and wondering on the availability of them on GS 300's.

I sat in the ES300-it was comfy but an overpriced camry at that. The GS sparked my interest with the e-shifting (paddle shifting)

I guess I'll wait and see which I can get a better buy on-but I know that I am taking a few steps down in terms of power loss (maxima is a BEAST) but now with the stupid mayor of NYC, speeding has become damn near impossible anyway.

thanx guys....you all already seem tons more respectable than the fellow maxima.org bretheran.


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I hear ya NT, I was a member of maxima.org as well & many were quite ignorant & that putting it nicely B) I agree the maxima had pretty awesome power (I had the 227 hp 3.0L) so I know the 03 had an additional boost. My SE's ride was terrible without any suspension mods so I know exactly what you mean (hey, they don't call it the 4 door sports car for nothing lol :lol: ). I was a bit disappointed with the resale value too considering it was Japanese......but let's face it, Nissan is basicly the "Chrysler" of the Japanese imports.

I wouldn't go as far as to say the ES an over priced Camry (I thought that too at the beginning), as you are partially correct (in fact the ES shares about 25% of the Camry in total, the rest is Lexus's doing) so I would keep an open mind at the start & drive both vehicle's before you make you decision. Do yourself a favour & test drive a 2000 or 2001 loaded V6 Camry (XLE) after you take out an ES because trust me, there is a big difference believe it or not. Both are excellent choices however, & the ES will be quite a bit less expensive than the GS on the used car market generally speaking. Keep us posted!


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  • 3 weeks later...

Actually the GS300 and ES300 have totally different engines. The GS has a derivative of the Supra engine, an inline 6 shared with the IS300 and old SC300s. The ES has a derivative of Toyota's corporate 3.0l V6 used in the RX300, in detuned form in the Camry and Highlander, Avalon.

My advice would be if you can afford it try and look into a 2002 ES300. They made so many improvements to the 2002 IMO the 01s and older look positively archaic next to them. The new ES is bigger (bigger than the GS actually) heavier, smoother, and quieter, lots more equipment and luxury amenities. The "just a Camry" thing is a hangup and is not true. The ES is so different from the Camry that in Japan they sell the ES AND the Camry right next to each other as different models (The ES is the Toyota Windom in Japan).

I too was torn between the GS and the ES, and ultimately picked the ES because its smoother, quieter, and newer in the lineup than the GS (which is going on 7 model years old).

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