By KBB.com Editors
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
290 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
261 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/26 mpg
By Drivit on Saturday, November 22, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 79,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "Powerful engine interior design is nice"
Cons: "Heat/cool seat controls are out of place."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"the Nissan service dept. technicians have done a great job not matter where we have the car serviced."
By Tracks on Wednesday, November 19, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 46,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "everything, but gas milage"
Cons: "poor gas milage, but it is a v6"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"love my car, but it was totaled on 10-30-14. someone was texting, and speeding. His insurance says the cash value of my car is only 17,000. I strongly diagree"
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By Bill on Friday, November 14, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 71,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
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
By Mud Maggot 99 on Wednesday, October 15, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,750overall rating 9 of 10rating details
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
By Pmac on Sunday, September 21, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,500overall rating 3 of 10rating details
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
By Joe on Thursday, September 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 56,350overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great price, good gas mileage, very comfortable."
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