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2013 Nissan Maxima

Overview
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2013 Nissan Maxima Review

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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 265 Ratings for the 2009 - 2014 models.

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

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."

1 person out of 2 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!"

7 people out of 13 found this review helpful

CVT transmission ruins this car

By on Sunday, September 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,500

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
3/10

Pros: "Reliable, Sporty Handling"

Cons: "CVT Transmission, blue tooth audio, cheap plastics"

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

"Very reliable and sporty handling. The CVT transmission doesn't shift predictably until it is warmed up. If pushed from low speed, say rolling away from a stop light, the engine sounds great but clearly the transmission is holding it back. i really do not like the way this transmission operates in either day to day or spirited driving. Other complaints include the fact the blue tooth audio will often drop the connection to my iPhone5 and I am unable to reconnect until I turn the car off and back on. I'll never buy a Nissan again after owning several Maxima's over the last 15 years"

13 people out of 25 found this review helpful

Great car!

By on Thursday, September 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 56,350

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great price, good gas mileage, very comfortable."

Cons: "None"

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

"I have enjoyed my 2011 Nissan Maxima very much. The only reason I am selling it is because I am going back to a full sized SUV, because at 6'5" and 275 lbs. I am more comfortable in my new Tahoe."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

This is a great sport/luxury sedan

By on Wednesday, September 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,000

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Powerful, reliable, tight, looks good, fast."

Cons: "The Bose sound system is not great."

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

"Have had my 2011 Maxima for 3.5 years now. I've liked it from the start, and I like it more every day I drive it. It's still tight and feels/smells like new. MPG avg is over 25, and all highway is over 27. I do use premium gas which costs more, yet it a cleaner fuel and better for your engine long term. Powerful, smooth, quiet, and feels like it costs much more than $30k. The 3.5 liter V6 is in this car is nothing less than excellent. The CVT trans has never been a bother for me. I have no problems with it. Next car: The totally new Maxima which is coming out soon"

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

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)."

9 people out of 9 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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