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2011 Nissan Maxima

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2011 Nissan Maxima Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.1

Sliding into the narrow segment between the family-oriented Altima Sedan and the luxury-performance Infiniti G37 Sedan, the 2011 Nissan Maxima competes against, among others, the Volkswagen CC, Mazda MAZDA6, Ford Taurus SHO 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 Taurus or 300, the 2011 Maxima exudes a sporty coupe vibe from the outside while retaining its roominess on the inside. With its aggressive look and impressive power, Nissan correctly touts this latest 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 2011 Nissan Maxima's smaller size, as its passenger volume is smaller than many of its competitors, including the Ford Taurus SHO, Chrysler 300 and Toyota's Avalon and Camry. Also, there is no manual transmission available.

What's New for 2011

Changes for 2011 are limited to the Sport model, which receives smoked headlamps, a dark chrome grille and shiny gray interior stitching.

Driving the Maxima
Driving Impressions

After a day of driving the 2011 Nissan Maxima on some curvy roads and 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.

2011 Nissan Maxima Details
2011 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
2011 Nissan Maxima photo

Nissan calls the design theme for the 2011 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 its relatively short wheelbase and low, wide body, the Maxima displays a more of an athletic stance than most of it competition, especially with its standard 18- or optional 19-inch wheels.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2011 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, Bluetooth, dual front and side-curtain airbags, Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and Traction Control System (TCS).

Optional Equipment

Many options for the 2011 Nissan Maxima come standard 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's latest iteration of its already-brilliant 3.5-liter V6 engine turns out an impressive 290 horsepower and 261 foot-pounds of torque. 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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2011 Nissan Maxima Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 298 Ratings for the 2009 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    9.1/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

I really love my 2009 nissan maxima its the best

By on Saturday, June 25, 2016

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: "great everthing i have no problems at all"

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

"my car is a 09 and only have 46,000 miles on it I had a accident in it and got it repaired and its still drives great after all of that when I buy a new car it will be a Nissan maxima"

Great Ride and Value

By on Saturday, May 21, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

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
10/10

Pros: "fun, great value, powerful, comfortable"

Cons: "fuel economy"

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

"Super powerful, tight to the road and good looking. 80K and never a problem. On long drives you feel like you been sitting in a lounge chair, very comfortable. Fun to drive as well. Only downside is the lack of technology sync for phone and somewhat not so great fuel economy."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

3 Maxima owner and couldnt be happier.

By on Saturday, April 16, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 51,590

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Performance, Style and Comfort"

Cons: "Price was high but I got over it after driving it."

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

"I have owned 1994, 1997 and 2013 Maxima's. All 3 have been fun to drive, reliable & great looking! I have driven over 300000 miles in my Maxima's and have no complaints at all. I drive 100 miles a day to work and I enjoy every mile I drive."

2014 Maxima SV

By on Tuesday, April 5, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great performance milage is great ride great"

Cons: "A little better luxury inside metttalic paint etc"

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

January 2015

"I had this car for 14 months great power great features average gas is easy 26mpg I had as high as 32Mpg on interstate keeping it around 65 -68 Mph When i use 91 octane in spring or summer i usually get 28 Mpg Very Good Handling I do wish they would not have some cheap plastic inside could use some better luxury items but features are very good SX radio sound system looks plenty of power I'm glad i got this Maxima Good car Period Had a 96 Maxima 20 years ago had over 100 Thousand miles great service & still sold it for 6500$ 8 years later !"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

January 2015

most fun and best vehicle ever

By on Friday, April 1, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,300

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: "fun mobility, love the sunroof during spring"

Cons: "no navigational system but i got over it quick"

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

"Since the day I purchased this vehicle it has been nothing but a thrill driven this car. The acceleration, maneuverability , the sound of the engine and the speakers, heated seats and steering wheel, air conditioner, and my favorite accessory the Maxima came with, the sunroof. It all has been a great experience. I never thought that these accessory actually made a difference in my life until owning this car. The only thing i didn't like about the car at first was the push start because it was my first time owning a car with new feature and I got use to it quick."

8 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Doesn't hold value

By on Thursday, December 31, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Comfortable to drive. Good gas milage"

Cons: "Doesn't hold value. Feels "heavy" to drive."

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

"Feels "heavy" to drive. Slow it accelerate. Comfortable to drive. Difficult to see out back if you are short. Doesn't hold value. Vehicle worth half of what I paid for it and its a 2014 with low miles."

11 people out of 27 found this review helpful

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