By KBB.com Editors
The 2009 Nissan Maxima continues its flagship status with an entirely new look and purpose. Aiming to compete in the narrow segment between the family-oriented Altima sedan and the luxury-performance Infiniti G37 sedan, the Maxima competes against, among others, the Volkswagen Passat, Pontiac G8 and Chrysler 300. Nissan built this front-drive four-door to please both performance and luxury-sedan fans alike, and it scores on both points. Although marginally smaller in size than the previous-generation model, the 2009 Maxima exudes a sporty coupe vibe from the outside while retaining its roominess on the inside. With its aggressive new look and increased power, Nissan is touting this new incarnation of the Maxima as the return of the "four-door sports car."
If you're looking for a sedan with aggressive styling and sports-car prowess, you may want to consider the Nissan Maxima. Although other sedans in its class give off a bold appeal, the Maxima's styling is a true attention grabber.
If interior space is important, you might not like the 2009 Nissan Maxima's smaller size, as its passenger volume is smaller than many of its competitors, including the Honda Accord, Chrysler 300 and Toyota's Avalon and Camry. Also, there is no manual transmission available.
The all-new 2009 Nissan Maxima is a completely different car, boasting new sheetmetal, a revised powertrain and new standard and available features.
Driving Impressions After a day of driving the 2009 Nissan Maxima through some curvy roads, as well as some extensive time on the freeway, we can report that the Maxima's V6 engine...delivers good low-end torque and smooth operation. Power for merging and passing is more than adequate, but overall the car feels somewhat heavier in the turns, especially when compared to some other sport sedans we've tested. The engine sounds sporty, but the lack of a proper six-speed manual detracts somewhat from the car's sporty nature. Overall, the Maxima does a great job in combining looks, power and practicality, but it might need a bit more power to really live up the "four-door sports car" claim.
The available paddle shifters add to the Maxima's "four-door sports car" image and can be used at a moment's notice without needing to shift into a "sport" mode. This feature comes in handy when passing, descending a steep hill or just doing some spirited driving.
Better than a standard auxiliary input, and leaps and bounds beyond any form of standard radio, having complete control of an iPod through the car's audio system is much safer than driving with one hand while fumbling to control your iPod with the other.
Nissan intended the Maxima's interior to feel like a cockpit and, when equipped with premium leather seating and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, we think the objective has been achieved. The aggressive dash design places all controls closer to the driver and raises the center console controls closer to the driver's line of sight. We did, however, find the driver's-side door-pull handle hinders lateral hand motion when using the power-window buttons, and is an annoyance at times. Nissan's nicely bolstered seats feature available thigh support and, in conjunction with the sporty three-spoke steering wheel, place the driver in a commanding position that encourages aggressive driving. Rear seats are given equal treatment, but some of us thought the hollowed-out seatbacks could offer more lower back support and noted that the sloping roofline brushed against the heads of taller occupants.Exterior
Nissan calls the design theme for the 2009 Maxima "liquid motion," which incorporates a wave-like flow in everything from the bulging hood to the bold fenders. The design is quite seductive and, despite the Maxima's four doors, imparts an aggressive sports-car look. An interesting option is the giant dual-panel moonroof, which features a retractable glass front half that powers open over a fixed rear glass panel. Further aesthetic enhancements include a higher deck lid, L-shaped headlights and a wide grille. With a shorter wheelbase, and more width than its predecessor, the Maxima has more of an athletic stance, especially with its standard 18- or optional 19-inch wheels.
The 2009 Nissan Maxima has a 3.5-liter V6 engine, Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), power windows, power door locks, power moonroof, automatic halogen headlights, 18-inch aluminum wheels, eight-way power driver's seat, four-way power front passenger's seat and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Other standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless start and entry, AM/FM/CD6/MP3 audio system with eight speakers, dual front and side-curtain airbags, Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and Traction Control System (TCS).
Many options for the 2009 Nissan Maxima come with the higher SV trim, which includes leather-appointed seats, Bose audio system with nine speakers, HomeLink Universal Transceiver, fog lights and manual thigh support on the driver's seat. Other options can be found bundled in packages, including a dual-panel moonroof, a sport-tuned suspension, 19-inch wheels, a rear spoiler, premium leather seating, paddle shifters, heated steering wheel and seats, Nissan Hard Drive Navigation with voice recognition, iPod interface system, RearView monitor, metallic trim, one-touch rear windows and a power rear-window sunshade.
Nissan further refined its already-brilliant 3.5-liter V6 engine, resulting in a 35-horsepower increase over the previous Maxima. Improvements included maximizing the air intake and exhaust flow to not only gain power and enhance performance, but also to create a sporty engine sound to evoke what Nissan calls an "exhilaration feeling."
290 horsepower @ 6400 rpm
261 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/26
By New to Nissan on Thursday, March 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,155overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "cheaper, cooled and heated seats, controls,"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I drove a Acura product for 18 years now they all have been greatest cars ever but decided it was time to narrow it down on another brand. Looked at luxury vehicles from Toyota Avalon, Lexus ES350 and Nissan Maxima. Chose the Nissan because was best in priced and cheaper in luxury with everything being great on a special rebate. The Maxima handles smooth its quiet for a midsize premium sedan. Overall what I like about this car is all the options that were best on a perfect price I paid on the Maxima has Bose stereo, blue tooth, navigation system, paddle shifters, cooled and heated dual power seats, 18'' wheels on Premium model includes rear spoiler and HID High Intensity xenon headlights all these features currently available wasn't bad on window sticker. Its very comfortable on excellent support in seats and performance is great in giving responsive ride to car. When giving more power to a 290 horsepower has the acceleration just effortless on a smooth throttle response have out my car. I never owned Nissan products before but now after driving Acura's for many years I'm pretty much pleased with this flagship sedan on everything without being pricey bought cars from $30,000-$40,000 they bit higher than Maxima but love the car on a great ride. I've checked on rebates and financing before bought this car after seeing was much cheaper decided try this vehicle on what kind of deal get from it but its the best vehicle yet."
1 person out of 3 found this review helpful
By maxima owners on Wednesday, March 19, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,547overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Ride, comfortable, features, dual moon roof"
Cons: "CVT, no blind spot, better gas mileage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"We have been a long time Maxima owner our first one was a 1996 it lasted at 250,452 miles that vehicle had been well taken cared of with religiously maintained and oil changes only things went wrong were just minor. Bought an more upgraded model, it rides like a luxury car very great handling, fast quiet engine under a 290hp best performance get out of it is perfectly terrific. Features are outstanding includes navigation system, Bose stereo, USB port, cooled and heated seats, dual moon roof, steering controls, Bluetooth, high intensity HID discharge headlights, rearview camera, push button engine with intelligent key and more. It is comfortable on a adequate ride gives us when took a trip from North Carolina to Pennsylvania the Maxima had a great ride liked never before it was so powerful commuting on interstates, freeways and toll booths also got paddle shifters using the car in sport mode for more shifting feeling this automobile held the highways very tight. CVT is the first vehicle, ever driven car is smooth with a great ride but under acceleration can feel some jerky guess just a thing with continuously variable transmissions otherwise our Maxima is overall the best car ever purchased. Before making a new car purchased we looked at other upscale sedans as BMW, Cadillac, Lexus, Ford, Mercedes and Maxima was our last on the list. When test drove it was fabulous on roads and interior materials were absolutely the perfect luxury automobile for us others was nice just didn't have that upscale performance like Maxima with SV premium its only 2 months old been literally driving a lot in this car only biggest concern gas mileage is not so great getting at least 20 mpg which requires couple fill ups from time to time in other model mpg was 28 but still love our newer model a steal! We are happy having another one in our driveway hope can last at 200K miles or more we're going to take care of this 2014 even more religiously keeping up the maintenance and oil changes on time as remanufactured guide recommends. It's quiet, seats are well best with headrest being best no issues on anything except gas mileage should be better."
6 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By Jackie on Wednesday, March 19, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 67,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Value price, have lot of great gadget for the $$$$"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I love my Nissan Maxima 2011 with Navigation Packages, but the inside quality is to many plastic instead of leather. When you pay over $40K, you expect to get very nice from inside and out quality. But still, I love it. I trade in a 2010 Audi A4 2.0T to get a Maxima."
By Nissan man24 on Monday, March 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 365overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Cooled and heated seats, navigation, controls,"
Cons: "tight rear headroom"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I love driving my maxmobile as a everyday vehicle its super fast and unique with lots of features. Car was bought having 3.5sv premium package with got bit more luxury to car. Love how it drives so well all the features and options were the best ever at a great price for Maxima. Bose stereo is best beats other factory stereos out of other cars includes USB port and 6 dash changer with iPod interface and Sirius satellite while get tired of my radio collection either switch to XM or hook my iPod through the device. Bluetooth and Navigation systems are very optional on how get crystal clear voice commands programming my iPhone its great as can listen to playlist of music using the USB port for it. The Maxima is an excellent performance automobile, faster and quieter the interior is firmed in great seating support even available with cooled and heated seats for summer or winter any choice can be more comfortable having a nice quieter ride driving anywhere. I love the intelligent key, xenon headlights, dual moon roof, wood trim dash around the controls and near console center. It rides more like a Cadillac with most responsive handling doesn't feel clumsy or goes off to right has perfect light steering feel every time I drive car its the best ever. Its a really beautiful luxury vehicle besides with cars as Chevy Impala, Dodge Charger, Volkswagen CC, Toyota Avalon, Ford Taurus, Hyundai Azera, Chrysler 300 and Kia Cadenza. Overall it gives sport or luxury feel to it getting either sport or premium packages anywhere would have a great ride I believe just pay little extra for the SV premium because has more top of the line features as sport package would give a sporty ride something like a Infiniti or BMW but I recommend buying the Maxima with both packages these cars are affordable and much better in reliability from other previous models that suffered trouble spots. The styling looks top of the line with LED lights, bulged up front fenders, refreshed grill, headlights, taillight lenses, 18 or 19'' wheels to sport or premium packages. Got 18'' wheels which make car have an much supple ride gives me on the highways even paddle shifters are neat too."
By Ken on Sunday, March 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,000overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Cons: "All the above"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"2012 Maxima SV, Premium (Mine), 2011 Nissan Versa (fiancé's).Worst new car purchases ever made. Nashville dealers are a joke. We have both dealt with all 3 on the north side of town, and left just equally aggravated as the other. We have had nothing but issues, both with car and the dealerships. The overall quality of the cars have plummeted. I have 37,000 miles on mine, fiancée has 32,000 on hers. Squeeks and rattles are common in and around the windshields, door pillars, and door panels. Definitely not OCD friendly. The climate control has quit working. The drivers seat has play in the drive mechanism, every time I brake or accelerate the seat goes moves on its track about an 1/8" and goes thunk. Impressive when you have execs with you on a business lunch. The impeccably maintained Maxima mileage has dropped to a best of 24.3, and that's on premium fuel. The dealerships act like your a criminal when you bring them back for service, questioning your intellect with every issue. Problem is, I owned a service center for quite a number of years, Have been deeply entrenched in Motorsports all my life, and have been a mechanical engineer for a tier one supplier for many years. I guess I kinda know what I'm talking about. Lesson learned and I will never grace the presence of a new Nissan again. Hey Nissan.....remember the reputation of the Datsun years?"
By Denny on Friday, March 14, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "total value"
Cons: "fuel mileage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This is a wonderful vehicle for comfort, style, safety, and drivability. I love the push button locks and start features. The only drawback is the fule mileage, but other than that, it's all thumbs up."