Flagship of its corporate fleet, the 2012 Nissan Maxima melds sport-sedan character with large-sedan practicality in an engaging combination that also puts it ahead of its competition with respect to long-term value. Available in Maxima 3.5 S and Maxima 3.5 SV spec, this front-drive four-door gets a mild restyling for 2012 that imparts a more refined character to its elegantly exhilarating exterior design. To further bolster that appeal, a new Limited Edition package matches distinctive trim elements with enhancements like xenon HID headlamps, unique alloy wheels and a tasteful rear spoiler. Smaller inside than true full-size sedan competitors like the Taurus and Impala runners-up, the Nissan Maxima is our best full-size car when it comes to resale value.
Although not the biggest in class, the Maxima's rear seat can readily accommodate full-size adults in long-distance comfort. Here, too, cosmetic revamps add even more charm and style to its tastefully and generously appointed cabin. In addition to adding things like leather upholstery and a Bose premium audio system, choosing the upline Maxima 3.5 SV also allows buyers to select from optional Sport, Premium and Tech Packages.
Both the 2012 Maxima 3.5 S and 3.5 SV share Nissan's superb 290-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine and the automaker's Xtronic continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) that features a manual mode and offers available paddle shifters. That muscle, coupled with a well-sorted chassis, quick-ratio power steering and big antilock brakes, helps ensure that any drive in either 2012 Nissan Maxima variant will be a memorable one.
Pricing for the 2012 Nissan Maxima 3.5 S opens around $32,500 with the Mazima 3.5 SV commanding just over $35,000. Both hold an edge over their prime residual-value rivals, the 2012 Ford Taurus and the 2012 Chevrolet Impala.