The Maxima started out as a top-of-the-line Bluebird. The PU11 (first-generation model) was launched on October 17, 1984. With the first model change (J30) on October 21, 1988, however, it was recognized as an independent series.
The J30 only came as a 4-door sedan. The model powered by the VG30E V6 engine featured an electronic 4-speed automatic transmission with DUET-EA integrated control, as well as the DUET-SS "supersonic" suspension. Safety was enhanced, with those models equipped with ventilated front disc brakes having ABS as standard.
At the time of the launch, there were only two models on offer: Type I (standard: 4-wheel disc brakes, ABS, fully automatic air conditioner, aluminum wheels), and Type II (Type I plus DUET-EA, Bose sound system, ASCD as standard). However, on August 24 1989 the sporty SE was added, followed by the luxury 300SV on January 24, 1991.
The SE, which went on sale in August 1989, featured the DUET-EA system, 2-stage shock absorbers, and electronically controlled power assisted steering. Its standard equipment included a "blackout" exterior (black trim moldings and rear finisher), a rear spoiler, leather-wrapped 4-spoke steering wheel, ASCD, Bose sound system, and fully automatic air conditioner.