By KBB.com Editors
The Maxima was the first Japanese import to encroach on the European sport sedan market. Viewed by many as a sporty alternative to the family-oriented Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, the Maxima set new standards in performance, luxury and reliability. Ironically, as the competition has reached parity with these standards, Nissan has repositioned the Maxima, with a greater emphasis on luxury and comfort. Gone is the wonderfully smooth manual transmission, replaced by a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with manual shift modehardly the transmission of choice for the enthusiast crowd. Still, for the consumer who needs a car to be the family sedan, a client hauler and a weekend escape pod, the Maxima is, as it has always been, an excellent choice.
If you're looking for a high-performance front-wheel-drive sedan offering a number of unique styling and comfort features, you'll love the Maxima.
The Maxima's unique exterior shape is a litmus test. Some love it; some don't care for it. Others (perhaps those who view themselves as more enthusiastic drivers) might prefer the steering feel of a car with rear-wheel drive.
The Maxima receives a major makeover, with a new front and rear fascia, new interior and a new Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) as standard equipment on all trim levels.
Driving Impressions No matter which trim you choose you'll find the same 3.5-liter V6 engine under the hood. This wonderful engine is absolutely power-happy, without a flat spot or weak point anywhere...in the rpm band, and it runs and performs like a big gas-thirsty V8 while returning a respectable EPA highway fuel rating of 28 miles per gallon.
The Maxima's unique glass roof allows natural light to fill the cabin.
The Elite Package's rear bucket seats offer a level of exclusivity not found on any competitor.
The instrument panel mimics the three-pod motif found in the Z-Car and Altima, a nice tie-in to the Nissan family line. The dash and door panels are very well arranged, with proper backlighting for all buttons and switchgear. Safety features include seat-belt pretensioners, built-in crumple zones, front side-impact airbags and full-length side-curtain airbags.Exterior
The sleek Maxima is a far cry from the boxy designs that defined previous generations of the well-known nameplate. A rounded greenhouse, sleek nose and big 18-inch alloy wheels practically place it on a par with the Infiniti line. Innovative features, such as the fixed glass panel running down the center of the roof, show Nissan's willingness to push the design envelope.
The Maxima SE comes with a 255-horsepower V6, CVT automatic transmission with manual shift mode, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), Vehicle Dynamic Control stability system, traction control, fog lights, remote keyless entry, garage door opener, AM/FM stereo with CD, front side-impact airbags, front and rear head-curtain airbags, SkyView fixed glass-panel roof, eight-way power driver's seat, cruise control, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, trip computer and alloy wheels.
Options include heated leather seats, Bose audio, quad bucket seats, power rear sunshade, DVD navigation, heated rear seat, power moonroof, heated steering wheel, xenon headlamps, Bluetooth hands-free phone and XM or SIRIUS Satellite Radio.
Nissan's 24-valve, 3.5-liter V6 is without question one of the best V6 engines ever produced. With such sturdy and rarely-found features as an honest-to-goodness timing chain (as opposed to a rubber belt, which will eventually require replacement) and platinum-tipped spark plugs, the Maxima's powerplant is built to go the distance. Smooth as silk at idle and at high speeds, the 3.5-liter engine delivers abundant power throughout the rpm range yet sips fuel like a frugal four-cylinder.
255 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
252 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/28
By Ellymay on Tuesday, April 15, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 200,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Im really inpressed with this car. Would not be afraid to take it anywhere. It has more power then what I need. I would buy another maxima."
By jumping jack on Saturday, April 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 112,458overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fast, sporty, comfortable, reliable, controls"
Cons: "gas mileage, turning radius"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"had it since late 2007 its a '08 model with SE package but love the car on everything. I have it maintained at Nissan dealership all oil changes/scheduled maintenance on time. Drives effortless and gas mileage isn't great but not bad. 255hp engine is great in giving Max lots of smooth performance and its sporty on a bigger interior. I got Bluetooth, 6 Disc changer Bose sound, rear sonar system, sunroof, 17'' alloy factory wheels, halogen headlights, spoiler and heated seats. LUV the car its fun driving but wish wasn't discontinued without a 6 speed manual from 2007-08 models. I like how Nissan gave it more refreshed lines and made ground effects look better after the 2004-06 Maxima's had that bland styling but my car got sportier aerodynamics which are best."
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By twinotter on Sunday, March 30, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 64,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Had this car since new.Just asked for a trade-in and what they would give me for my 64k milage car.Was told right away ,you have a hole under the car on the passenger side floor board? I was told that is a common problem with ALL MAXIMA AND ALTIMA,S. I could not believe this.I just had the trans fluid changed at a Nissan dealer,service rep,said that's right COMMON FOR MAXIMA AND ALTIMA,S TO RUST THRU UNDER PASSENGER AND OR DRIVERS FLOOR BOARD,THEY EVEN HAVE A REPAIR=550.00 FOR EACH SIDE.I asked about a recall answer was no. I told this to a person at my work who has a 2008 max,checked it out,boyh sides have holes.Iam done with any NISSAN PRODUCTS,WILL FIX MINE AND SELL IT. SO BEWARE OF ANY FLOOR PANELS ON THESE CARS"
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By Bob on Monday, March 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 92,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good value"
Cons: "nothing that immmediately comes to mind"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Good performance, excellent highway fuel economy while still having a good engine. Reasonably good low cost maintanenece, and after 10 years still has the look of a "muscle car." Very pleased with my second Maxima."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By don green on Sunday, March 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "fun to drive"
Cons: "fuel economy"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"Fuel gauge stopped working at 57,000 miles and dealership, its under a 'add-on' warranty, is trying to find one. Thats been 3 weeks now. The electronics on the dash, i.e.., radio, A/C all work fine but… the MTE (miles to empty) feature, stopped working also, nice feature when its working, but it adds and subtracts miles as I go down the road Mileage is a flat 22 miles to gallon - hwy/city"
By Bubba90827 on Sunday, March 02, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 176,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Cons: "little to no storage one 12v plug usable"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"Only got it because I had a gas guzzler before. So far problem after problem dollar after dollar spent. But gets me from a to b"
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful