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2009 Nissan Maxima

Overview
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2009 Nissan Maxima Review

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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."

You'll Like This Car If...

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.

You May Not Like This Car If...

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.

What's New for 2009

The all-new 2009 Nissan Maxima is a completely different car, boasting new sheetmetal, a revised powertrain and new standard and available features.

Driving the Maxima

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.

Paddle Shift
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.

iPod Interface
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.

2009 Nissan Maxima Details
2009 Nissan Maxima photo Interior

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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

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).

Optional Equipment

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.

Under the Hood

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."

3.5-liter V6
290 horsepower @ 6400 rpm
261 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/26

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2009 Nissan Maxima Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 270 Ratings for the 2009 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    9.1/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

Best car I've ever owned!

By on Thursday, December 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 112,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "price, style, blast to drive"

Cons: "none"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Before my Maxima I bought an Altima, and I absolutely loved my Altima. I knew when I went back to look for another car I wanted something from the Nissan family. I test drove a Maxima and it was over! It is so much fun to drive, and a great family car for my family of four. We take my car on long trips and my husband often drives it to work instead of his truck because of the great gas mileage that it gets."

My 2012 Maxima!

By on Saturday, December 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 34,290

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Everything!"

Cons: "No Sirius XM, $23k price of the car"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I absolutely love this car! It's comfortable and I have 2 kiddos and there is lots of room for them. Even my husband would rather take my car than his truck to work. I have had no issues with my Maxima at all. It is very clean inside and out. The only things I don't like about it is the price and not getting Sirius XM full time. I wish we could get it with the Maximas since we paid nearly or even above $20k for the car."

Never had an issue with performance

By on Saturday, November 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 79,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Powerful engine interior design is nice"

Cons: "Heat/cool seat controls are out of place."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"the Nissan service dept. technicians have done a great job not matter where we have the car serviced."

8 people out of 12 found this review helpful

love my care

By on Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 46,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "everything, but gas milage"

Cons: "poor gas milage, but it is a v6"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"love my car, but it was totaled on 10-30-14. someone was texting, and speeding. His insurance says the cash value of my car is only 17,000. I strongly diagree"

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

powerful great handling true 4 door sportscar

By on Friday, November 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 71,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "great performance, reliability,styling an economy"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"290 hp engine feels super or turbo charged, it has great get up and go. Handling is exceptional, this car hugs the road. If you are a bank robber, this would make a great get-away car.Great styling, I have had elderly people admire and compliment me on its styling. My last car was a 2002 Cadillac Deville with a V8.The ride was luxurious, but, the Maxima outperforms it in every other way. After you get used to the sports suspension, this car is fun to drive. If you want to go fast and whip around corners and look good doing it, this is the car for you. Reliability is also exceptional. I've only had to do routine maintenance (tires, brakes, oil changes and wiper blades-that's it). Fuel economy is also fantastic for such a hi-performance car. I average21.6-22 MPG in mixed driving."

3 people out of 7 found this review helpful

I love it so far!

By on Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,750

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Fun to drive!"

Cons: "None so far, love the larger steering wheel as wel"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Had the car for a couple of months and I LOVE IT! I actually traded my 2014 Altima in for the Maxima.. Why? I wanted the power, and the Maxima delivers in spades. No more shifting out of overdrive to get the power I need, I just hit the gas peddle. If I need a little extra I shift into manual mode and go from there. I have had no problems with the transition like a previous poster had. Great car, I love it!"

9 people out of 17 found this review helpful

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