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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 259 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

great car

By on Saturday, August 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,600

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: "great price drives like a dream"

Cons: "cant find any"

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

"great over all car well built great gas milage 28 city 34 highway better than I thought all the toys and for the price a great deal"

Absolute worst transmission in otherwise great car

By on Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "good MPG, decent ride"

Cons: "Worst transmission I've ever owned"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"I have owned 8 new Nissan vehicles including this one all with manual transmissions except the 2010 Maxima. The transmission provides no engine braking when going down hill and over-revs the engine when accelerating. reminds me of an old Buick Dynaflow the way it tries to manage torque and power. On top or the other faults the transmission requires service ever 30000 miles or the warranty is void (read this as the 300$ added operating cost.) The traction control is so aggressive that the car will get stuck since you can not get the tires to even spin enough to dig itself out."

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Great Vehicle , value for this car is great

By on Monday, August 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 87,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Value of car, and performance ."

Cons: "Front wheel drive , takes a little away ."

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

"2nd maxima I have owned, last one had 180,000 miles and kept driving like New !! Interior , exterior , comfort , and ride are Great !! Hate to mention this but only thing I would change on this Maxima is to make it a Rear Wheel a Drive!! Engine has great punch and would be better managed by rear wheel drive. Other than that , car is amazing !"

Best vehicle I have owned!!

By on Saturday, August 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

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

"You get a lot of car for the money. There really isn't anything about the Maxima that I don't like. It's a great everyday driver."

8 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Fun!

By on Saturday, July 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 73,800

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"Quite possibly the best car I have ever owned. Fun to drive, powerful, nice looking. The interior is very classy. Exterior has great lines.."

5 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Terrific car

By on Sunday, July 06, 2014

I don't own this car

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great looking, classy, fun to drive"

Cons: "no day running lights, placement of mirror control"

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

"This is a terrific car in appearance and performance. Great to drive. The amenities are super. My only complaint is low city mileage, no day running lights and the placement of the side mirror controls. Otherwise it's wonderful."

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

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