By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.4
As Nissan's flagship sedan, the 2014 Maxima has long held a special position in the fleet. Although not quite Infiniti-like in its luxury offerings, the Maxima is a cut above the bread-and-butter sedans from Honda and Toyota. Many owners consider the Maxima to be a performance sedan on par with Audi and BMW sedans, but for far less money. A powerful V6 engine, impressive cornering and braking ability, and a feature-laden interior place the Maxima in the same league as the Chrysler 300, Volkswagen CC and Hyundai Azera. However, the Maxima's biggest competition may come from inside Nissan itself. Less expensive than the Maxima, the new Altima offers more interior room, better fuel economy and nearly the same level of performance.
If you need a traditional-sized 4-door sedan but you don't want to drive the same car as 400,000 of your fellow Americans, check out the 2014 Nissan Maxima. It offers power, performance and luxury at price starting just over $30,000.
If you're a true driving enthusiast, the Maxima's front-wheel drive layout and CVT automatic transmission probably won't sway you. Those looking for similar performance and styling can save thousands by opting for the Nissan Altima.
For 2014, the Nissan Maxima SV gains a rearview monitor, a USB port and a 7-inch color display. A new S Value Package adds smoked-lens HID headlights, 18-inch Dark Hyper Silver aluminum-alloy wheels, a rear spoiler and fog lights.
Driving Impressions The Maxima has always been touted as the "4-door sports car," and for all intents and purposes the 2014 Nissan Maxima delivers on this promise. The Maxima's 290-horsepower V6 engine...provides an abundance of power and a lovely low growl that brings a smile to our face every time we hear it. Nissan has done a masterful job with the Maxima's suspension, tuning it to be responsive in tight turns, yet still compliant over surface streets and highway pavement. If there is one area of contention it can be found nestled between the Maxima's engine and front wheels. Although Nissan's CVT automatic is arguably one of the best CVTs in the industry, 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.
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 2014 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.
From the premium leather seats that are standard on SV versions, to its thick steering wheel, the 2014 Nissan Maxima's interior seems to scream, "Let's go driving!" Standard on the higher-trim SV model is a sleek infotainment system with a 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 2014 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 2014 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 2014 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, rearview monitor, USB port, 7-inch color display and a Homelink remote transceiver. Both trims come standard with 18-inch wheels.
Many options in the 2014 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 2014 Maxima.
The standard engine in the 2014 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
The 2014 Nissan Maxima S has a base Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just under $32,000. Load up a top-level Maxima SV and you're looking at around $40,000. At its base price, the Maxima costs more than the Dodge Charger, Kia Optima SX, and Buick Regal Turbo. It is about the same as a Hyundai Azera and Chrysler 300 and less than base Ford Taurus SHO and V6-equipped VW CC. The 2014 Maxima is priced higher than a V6-equipped 2014 Altima 3.5 S, which starts just over $27,000. Be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are actually paying for the 2014 Nissan Maxima. We expect the Maxima's resale value to be marginal at best.
By Mack on Wednesday, April 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 258overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Dual sunroof, better fit and finish, ride, quiet,"
Cons: "better gas mileage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"this car might be out of style now but love the ride gives me anytime. It's comfortable in plenty of seat support it drives smooth having a quiet 290 engine in its class. I got the SV Premium got a perfect deal in financing and special rebate on my Maxima drove off the dealers lot in my shining new car. Maxima is fully loaded in a navigation system, the blue tooth hands free works absolutely best on crystal clear voice recognition and USB ports are great with audio system that is best with a custom-tuned Bose stereo. This vehicle handles well better than a 2005 Maxima SE I owned since brand new even love the options more a luxury car instead a plain bland interior my older had since no issues out the 2005 traded on a more upgraded model it was well taken care of with all fluids and scheduled oil changes on time by dealership now love my newer model even more because its a smoother cruiser on highways like the sport mode/paddle shifters very fun driving on a trip from Boston to Brooklyn NY this car was great on a quiet ride with all the options even navigation helped on roads and destination on the distance. LUV MY MAXIMA hope will last longer than my 2005 model traded on new model because it was reliable for 9 years getting money worth from it."
By New to Nissan on Thursday, March 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,155overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "cheaper, cooled and heated seats, controls,"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I drove a Acura product for 18 years now they all have been greatest cars ever but decided it was time to narrow it down on another brand. Looked at luxury vehicles from Toyota Avalon, Lexus ES350 and Nissan Maxima. Chose the Nissan because was best in priced and cheaper in luxury with everything being great on a special rebate. The Maxima handles smooth its quiet for a midsize premium sedan. Overall what I like about this car is all the options that were best on a perfect price I paid on the Maxima has Bose stereo, blue tooth, navigation system, paddle shifters, cooled and heated dual power seats, 18'' wheels on Premium model includes rear spoiler and HID High Intensity xenon headlights all these features currently available wasn't bad on window sticker. Its very comfortable on excellent support in seats and performance is great in giving responsive ride to car. When giving more power to a 290 horsepower has the acceleration just effortless on a smooth throttle response have out my car. I never owned Nissan products before but now after driving Acura's for many years I'm pretty much pleased with this flagship sedan on everything without being pricey bought cars from $30,000-$40,000 they bit higher than Maxima but love the car on a great ride. I've checked on rebates and financing before bought this car after seeing was much cheaper decided try this vehicle on what kind of deal get from it but its the best vehicle yet."
1 person out of 4 found this review helpful
By maxima owners on Wednesday, March 19, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,547overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Ride, comfortable, features, dual moon roof"
Cons: "CVT, no blind spot, better gas mileage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"We have been a long time Maxima owner our first one was a 1996 it lasted at 250,452 miles that vehicle had been well taken cared of with religiously maintained and oil changes only things went wrong were just minor. Bought an more upgraded model, it rides like a luxury car very great handling, fast quiet engine under a 290hp best performance get out of it is perfectly terrific. Features are outstanding includes navigation system, Bose stereo, USB port, cooled and heated seats, dual moon roof, steering controls, Bluetooth, high intensity HID discharge headlights, rearview camera, push button engine with intelligent key and more. It is comfortable on a adequate ride gives us when took a trip from North Carolina to Pennsylvania the Maxima had a great ride liked never before it was so powerful commuting on interstates, freeways and toll booths also got paddle shifters using the car in sport mode for more shifting feeling this automobile held the highways very tight. CVT is the first vehicle, ever driven car is smooth with a great ride but under acceleration can feel some jerky guess just a thing with continuously variable transmissions otherwise our Maxima is overall the best car ever purchased. Before making a new car purchased we looked at other upscale sedans as BMW, Cadillac, Lexus, Ford, Mercedes and Maxima was our last on the list. When test drove it was fabulous on roads and interior materials were absolutely the perfect luxury automobile for us others was nice just didn't have that upscale performance like Maxima with SV premium its only 2 months old been literally driving a lot in this car only biggest concern gas mileage is not so great getting at least 20 mpg which requires couple fill ups from time to time in other model mpg was 28 but still love our newer model a steal! We are happy having another one in our driveway hope can last at 200K miles or more we're going to take care of this 2014 even more religiously keeping up the maintenance and oil changes on time as remanufactured guide recommends. It's quiet, seats are well best with headrest being best no issues on anything except gas mileage should be better."
6 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By Jackie on Wednesday, March 19, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 67,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Value price, have lot of great gadget for the $$$$"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I love my Nissan Maxima 2011 with Navigation Packages, but the inside quality is to many plastic instead of leather. When you pay over $40K, you expect to get very nice from inside and out quality. But still, I love it. I trade in a 2010 Audi A4 2.0T to get a Maxima."
By Nissan man24 on Monday, March 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 365overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Cooled and heated seats, navigation, controls,"
Cons: "tight rear headroom"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I love driving my maxmobile as a everyday vehicle its super fast and unique with lots of features. Car was bought having 3.5sv premium package with got bit more luxury to car. Love how it drives so well all the features and options were the best ever at a great price for Maxima. Bose stereo is best beats other factory stereos out of other cars includes USB port and 6 dash changer with iPod interface and Sirius satellite while get tired of my radio collection either switch to XM or hook my iPod through the device. Bluetooth and Navigation systems are very optional on how get crystal clear voice commands programming my iPhone its great as can listen to playlist of music using the USB port for it. The Maxima is an excellent performance automobile, faster and quieter the interior is firmed in great seating support even available with cooled and heated seats for summer or winter any choice can be more comfortable having a nice quieter ride driving anywhere. I love the intelligent key, xenon headlights, dual moon roof, wood trim dash around the controls and near console center. It rides more like a Cadillac with most responsive handling doesn't feel clumsy or goes off to right has perfect light steering feel every time I drive car its the best ever. Its a really beautiful luxury vehicle besides with cars as Chevy Impala, Dodge Charger, Volkswagen CC, Toyota Avalon, Ford Taurus, Hyundai Azera, Chrysler 300 and Kia Cadenza. Overall it gives sport or luxury feel to it getting either sport or premium packages anywhere would have a great ride I believe just pay little extra for the SV premium because has more top of the line features as sport package would give a sporty ride something like a Infiniti or BMW but I recommend buying the Maxima with both packages these cars are affordable and much better in reliability from other previous models that suffered trouble spots. The styling looks top of the line with LED lights, bulged up front fenders, refreshed grill, headlights, taillight lenses, 18 or 19'' wheels to sport or premium packages. Got 18'' wheels which make car have an much supple ride gives me on the highways even paddle shifters are neat too."
By Ken on Sunday, March 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,000overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Cons: "All the above"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"2012 Maxima SV, Premium (Mine), 2011 Nissan Versa (fiancé's).Worst new car purchases ever made. Nashville dealers are a joke. We have both dealt with all 3 on the north side of town, and left just equally aggravated as the other. We have had nothing but issues, both with car and the dealerships. The overall quality of the cars have plummeted. I have 37,000 miles on mine, fiancée has 32,000 on hers. Squeeks and rattles are common in and around the windshields, door pillars, and door panels. Definitely not OCD friendly. The climate control has quit working. The drivers seat has play in the drive mechanism, every time I brake or accelerate the seat goes moves on its track about an 1/8" and goes thunk. Impressive when you have execs with you on a business lunch. The impeccably maintained Maxima mileage has dropped to a best of 24.3, and that's on premium fuel. The dealerships act like your a criminal when you bring them back for service, questioning your intellect with every issue. Problem is, I owned a service center for quite a number of years, Have been deeply entrenched in Motorsports all my life, and have been a mechanical engineer for a tier one supplier for many years. I guess I kinda know what I'm talking about. Lesson learned and I will never grace the presence of a new Nissan again. Hey Nissan.....remember the reputation of the Datsun years?"