The Nissan Cefiro was an intermediate-sized line of vehicles produced by Nissan from 1988 until 2003 and sold in Japan as well as many other countries. It was released as a 4-door sedan followed by a wagon version in later years. Majority of the Cefiro came equipped with automatic transmission.
The first generation Cefiro was based on the sixth generation Nissan Laurel’s and R32 Nissan Skyline’s chassis. Even the top of the line model available with a 2.0-L turbocharged 6-cylinder engine (200 hp; 150 kW) used in the R32 GTS-t. Nissan RB engine was used in certain other versions of Cefiro. Compared to its Nissan Skyline counterpart, Nissan Cefiro was a bit more expensive.
For the second and third generation, the Nissan discontinued their sporting assertions for the Cefiro and shifted their focus onto the front-wheel drive. The second and third generation models sold in Japanese market were differing in a great deal from the models marketed in the US market. The Cefiro was also popular as a grey import in Russia, Ireland, United Kingdom and New Zealand.
The A31 Cefiro was marketed in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) as Nissan Laurel-Altima before the launch of the 2009 model of Laurel-Altima. It is important to note that the models produced from 2004-2008 had different specs for Japanese and North American markets.
The first generation A31 Cefiro was introduced in 1988 as 1989 model year. It was offered as rear-wheel drive, 4-door sedan with engine displacement of 1998 cc and turbo 2498 cc. The A31 Cefiro had a wheelbase of 2670 mm with a ground clearance of 150 mm. The vehicle could accommodate 5 passengers. The A31 also featured power steering and had a strut-type front independent suspension, while rear features a link-type independent suspension.
The second generation A32 Cefiro was introduced in 1995. For the second generation Cefiro, Nissan shifted the market orientation of the Cefiro from small premium sports saloon to larger executive saloon. In the Japanese domestic market, the Cefiro was sold under the A32 Cefiro badge, while in the export markets it was marketed under Maxima badge.
The second generation A32 Cefiro featured the front-wheel drive and award winning VQ series V6 engine. The chassis used for A32 Cefiro was the same that led the basis for the Infiniti I30. The A32 was sold under Nissan Maxima QX badge in many export countries where three different versions VQ were offered including: VQ20DE, VQ25DE and VQ30DE.
From 1997 to 2000, a wagon version of Cefiro was also produced for the Japanese domestic market only to compete with the Toyota Mark II Qualis.
The third and last generation A33 Cefiro was comparatively larger than its preceding generations. It was based on Maxima and Infiniti I-series platform. Apart from its sporty ardor, it was also built as an executive saloon. The different engine options available were: VQ20DE, VQ25DE, VQ30DE-K, VQ35DE as well as some Neo and direct injection engines. Different trim levels offered were: 2.0 and 2.5 Excimo, 2.0 and 2.5 Excimo G, 2.0 and 2.5 S Touring, and 3.0 Brougham VIP. 2.0 Excimo and 2.0 S Touring received 5-speed manual transmission.
During the third generation, Nissan also produced a limited edition L Selection and Autech versions for Japanese domestic market.
The Cefiro was sold as Nissan Maxima in Australia between 1999 and 2002. Trim levels available there were: S, ST and Ti. All the models received 3.0-L engine.
In Malaysia, the Cefiro is still in production and offered as 3.0 3.0 Brougham VIP and Excimo 2.0G.
In 2003, the production of Cefiro was ceased and replaced by J31 Nissan Teana, but the Cefiro name continued to be used in several export markets.
In countries like Hong Kong, Bangladesh, Singapore, Brunei, Latin America and Caribbean, the J31 Teana was marketed as Cefiro, while in Australia and New Zealand as Maxima. However, it was sold with its original Teana name in Japan, Thailand, Philippines, Taiwan and China.