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."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 It 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.Favorite Features
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.