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.
You'll Like This Car If...
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.
You May Not Like This Car If...
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 the Maxima
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.
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.
2014 Nissan Maxima Details
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.
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.
Under the Hood
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.
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.
Pros: "Fun to drive, great quality, near perfect."
Cons: "A little pricey (when purchased new...)"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"The Nissan Maxima has been on my radar for many years now, and after having over 15 cars in my life so far, it has by far been my favorite overall.
Quality is very good compared to other makers (second only to BMW in my experience), fun to drive, comfortable for a family of 4, great options/accessories, etc...
If you are in the market for a 4 door that still gives you a sports car feel, (without breaking the bank) I don't think you can do much better than the newest model Maxima."
"Only looking for different car because I am soon retiring and
want unleaded fuel and more room for luggage for road trips. Like
to sit up higher as well!
I love NISSANS! They stand behind their product, and require
Pros: "MPGs with fast v6, interior space for four"
Cons: "Harsh ride, if you beat this car it wont last"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"Very good handling for a front drive car. Great mpg 24-28 in mixed driving 29-30 on highway for a fast v6. Ride is harsh. A/C seems to always want to come on annoying and will drag down mpgs. Bad in snow and rain. No problems with CVT, it works as designed. Breaks are ok dont seem to last after servicing. Needed a wheel bearing replaced earlier than it should have been but no other mechanical issues. Rear suspension seems jumpy over bumps."