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2013 Nissan Maxima

Overview
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2013 Nissan Maxima Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.5

The 2013 Maxima is Nissan's flagship sedan, and one with roots that date to when these vehicles were still known as Datsuns. The Maxima is a premium car that emphasizes sportiness over sheer comfort. A strong V6 engine and Z-car-like performance help it to compete well with rivals such as the Chrysler 300, Ford Taurus SHO and Volkswagen CC, which also reside in the mid-$30,000 and up range. But for 2013, the Maxima's biggest competitor may just be its younger sibling, the V6 version of the Altima. That mid-size sedan has fresher styling, almost as much power, better fuel economy, and roomier accommodations at a lower price than the Nissan Maxima.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want a sedan that has luxury style and the heart of a sports coupe, the 2013 Nissan Maxima sedan may just be your ticket. The Maxima's mid-$30,000 starting point and well-regarded V6 engine are also high points.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you want your sport sedan to have rear-drive or all-wheel drive and/or a manual transmission, you're out of luck. The Nissan Maxima is front-wheel drive and its sole transmission is an automatic. You might find a better partner in the Ford Taurus SHO, Chrysler 300, or Buick Regal Turbo.

What's New for 2013

The SV Value Package and Bose Audio Package bundle features, and the Sport Package adds components such as 7-inch monitor and climate-controlled driver's seat. Pearl White joins the exterior color choices.

Driving the Maxima

Driving Impressions The 2013 Maxima aims to be a "4-door sports car," and it mostly delivers on that goal except in one big instance – its transmission of choice. The Maxima's 290-horsepower...

V6 offers robust power and emits a sweet, low growl. The sedan's suspension, meanwhile, easily tackles corners yet also provides a comfortable ride on the open highway. Our biggest gripe with the Maxima is its continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Although Nissan's CVT is well-respected, it just doesn't work for us in this car. Even with the optional paddle shifters, we yearned for the feel of a manual like the one used in the 370Z. The Maxima doesn't feel as nimble as a Volkswagen CC or BMW 3 Series, but does a good job of combining looks, power, and practicality.

HEATED STEERING WHEEL
If you've ever suffered shivering fingers after seeking refuge from the cold, there's nothing quite like wrapping your hands around a warm steering wheel. The 2013 Maxima offers this feature among its package options along with the also-appreciated heated front seats.


VELVETY ENGINE
The Maxima's standard 3.5-liter V6 is strong and smooth. In this flagship vehicle, it has been tweaked to be the most potent of any Nissan sedan: 290 horsepower.

2013 Nissan Maxima Details
2013 Nissan Maxima photo Interior

Nissan says it aimed to make the Maxima's cabin feel like an airplane's cockpit. We think Nissan's team achieved that goal, and then some. From the premium leather seats that are standard on SV versions, to its thick steering wheel, the sedan's interior seems to scream, "Let's go driving!" Also available on the higher-trim SV model is a sleek infotainment system with 7-inch color screen and visually appealing buttons and dials that are just as at home in vehicles from Nissan's Infiniti luxury division. For passengers in back, there is adequate but not great headroom and legroom, and the 2013 Maxima's hollowed-out rear seatbacks don't offer the kind of firm lumbar support found in the front seats. The rear seats fold for expanded cargo room.

Exterior
2013 Nissan Maxima photo

Defining the Maxima's styling as "liquid motion," Nissan incorporates coupe-like design cues into a mid-size sedan body. Look closely and you can see traces of the Nissan 370Z sports coupe in the 2013 Maxima, especially in the headlights and taillights. That liquid mantra carries onto the sleek hood and bulging front fenders, and carries aft where the sloping roof meets a sculpted rear end. Seen from the side, the Maxima appears in motion even when still thanks to an athletic stance. Twin tailpipes further send the message of this car's potency.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2013 Nissan Maxima is available in two trims, S and SV, with the SV also available with Sport and Premium packages. A base Maxima S comes with a power moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming inside mirror, pushbutton ignition, an 8-way power driver's seat, cloth interior, and an 8-speaker audio system with AM/FM/in-dash 6-CD changer and auxiliary input. SV models add leather seats, fog lights, and a Homelink remote transceiver. Both trims come standard with 18-inch wheels.

Optional Equipment

Many options in the 2013 Nissan Maxima are bundled in packages. They include a Bose premium sound system, navigation system, wood trim, heated and ventilated driver's seat, a rear-window sunshade, 19-inch wheels, and a dual-panel moonroof. For those seeking the best cornering performance, the Sport package offers a specially tuned suspension and trunk chassis reinforcement. An external ground lighting kit can literally make your Maxima glow. Unlike the less-costly Nissan Altima, safety technologies such as blind-spot monitor and lane-departure warning are not available in the 2013 Maxima.

Under the Hood

The standard engine in the 2013 Nissan Maxima is a 3.5-liter V6 that makes an impressive 290 horsepower, more than enough power to make this front-wheel-drive sedan scoot. Its sole transmission is a continuously variable automatic. The recommended fuel for the Nissan Maxima is premium unleaded.

3.5-liter V6
290 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
261 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/26 mpg

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2013 Nissan Maxima Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 261 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

Let 'er eat

By on Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

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
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

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

"We've owned this car (2013 Max with premium, sport, and technology packages) for a couple of years now. Almost 25k miles and no mechanical problems to speak of. My wife is the primary driver and has a pretty light foot. When I get in to drive it however... I let 'er eat. I like to make sure all 290 horses are still present. And they are! It's a lot of fun to have refined power like that in a sporty sedan. Not a huge fan of CVT but I've grown to appreciate it. It really helps keep the torque right at the pedal, if that makes any sense. In other words, if you're driving along at 60mph and want to accelerate to 80mph, that process happens extremely quickly. Accelerating from a dead stop is also interesting but it's all RPM's man... The tach will instantly climb to the top and hang as the car accelerates from 0. It's a different feel. We opted for every option because the rebates were right. Glad we did as all of those options (including the cool undercarriage LED lights) help justify the higher price tag. Yes, I wish it had a manual and RWD but if we really wanted that, we would have paid $10k more for an Infiniti. Wasn't in the budget nor was the insurance cost for the Infiniti. The glass roof is awesome. The Bose stereo is amazing. Long trips in an incredibly comfortable, ventilated seat are great. We love this car and hope it lasts. I know several folks who have 2008+ Max's with 200k on them and no problems. That's encouraging as our last Max was an 2001 with 380k miles on it and still ran perfectly. You'll love the 2013 Max if you decide to get it. Just expect higher preventative maintenance costs (CVT tranny) and higher fuel costs (premium fuel required)."

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"

4 people out of 8 found this review helpful

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."

9 people out of 14 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

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