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All Maximas get a 3.5-liter V6 with 290 horsepower, mated to a continuously variable transmission. It's a more powerful version of the setup used in vehicles like the Murano crossover, Infiniti JX and the new Nissan Altima V6. Every model gets front, side and curtain airbags, electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, split-folding rear seat and tilt-and- telescoping steering wheel.
In terms of the competition, the Ford Taurus is available with three choices of powertrains and front or all-wheel drive. But the Taurus is much heavier and less agile than the Maxima. The Toyota Avalon is larger and quieter than the Maxima, but that works against the Avalon because it's not nearly as rewarding for the driver as the Maxima. The Buick LaCrosse offers an eAssist four-cylinder that gets up to 37 MPG highway. But it is also heavy and lacks the Maxima's sporting pretentions. The Dodge Charger offers a V8 and rear or all-wheel drive that will please enthusiasts or those living in snowy areas. But top-level Chargers are expensive.
Overall, the Maxima is one of the sportiest large sedans, even if it isn't as large as some other competitors. Its sporty nature and smooth CVT transmission set it apart from the class and it does offer a more premium feel than many mainstream branded sedans, but at a lower price than premium makes. It's perfect for sedan shoppers who want luxury features and good value.
The S trim level comes with a long equipment list, even though it's the base Maxima. Standard on all S models are 18-inch alloy wheels, leather- wrapped steering wheel that tilts and telescopes, Bluetooth with iPod integration, cloth seats with 8-way power adjustments for the driver and 4-way power for the front passenger, keyless entry and start and a trip computer. The optional Limited Edition package nets dark silver wheels with matching grille, xenon headlamps, foglights, rear spoiler and a compass in the rearview mirror.
The SV not only includes another flood of standard features, but also opens up the Maxima buyer to options like navigation and sports suspension. All SVs get leather seats, 9-speaker Bose audio with satellite radio and Homelink. The Monitor Package adds a 7-inch screen with backup camera and a USB connector. The Cold Weather Package adds heated front seats, steering wheel and outside mirrors. The Premium Package packs in a dual-pane moonroof, power sunshade for the back window, a cooled driver's seat, ambient lighting, xenon headlamps, power adjustment for the steering wheel and bucket seats for the back that replace the 3-place bench. The Sport Package has a sport- tuned suspension, 19-inch wheels, premium leather seats and extra chassis reinforcement. And the Technology Package includes Nissan's excellent navigation system with SiriusXM traffic and weather.
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|Build & Price|
2013 Nissan Maxima$19,988 | 32,427 mi
2013 Nissan Maxima$20,768 | 37,576 mi
2013 Nissan Maxima$23,988 | 28,922 mi
2012 Nissan Maxima$17,716 | 76,329 mi
2012 Nissan Maxima$17,981 | 43,091 mi
2012 Nissan Maxima$18,981 | 39,384 mi
2012 Nissan Maxima$20,997 | 28,614 mi
2012 Nissan Maxima$24,957 | 34,505 mi
2011 Nissan Maxima$18,995 | 44,280 mi
2011 Nissan Maxima$19,285 | 26,854 mi
2011 Nissan Maxima$19,366 | 56,303 mi
2011 Nissan Maxima$19,478 | 36,613 mi
2011 Nissan Maxima$19,677 | 27,878 mi
2011 Nissan Maxima$19,678 | 37,443 mi
2011 Nissan Maxima$20,768 | 39,531 mi
2011 Nissan Maxima$20,995 | 39,025 mi
2011 Nissan Maxima$21,995 | 32,810 mi
2011 Nissan Maxima$21,997 | 46,035 mi
2011 Nissan Maxima$23,454 | 40,649 mi
2011 Nissan Maxima$24,390 | 40,542 mi
2011 Nissan Maxima$24,789 | 36,178 mi
2011 Nissan Maxima$24,810 | 38,735 mi
2011 Nissan Maxima$25,190 | 41,164 mi
2010 Nissan Maxima$14,996 | 97,406 mi
2010 Nissan Maxima$15,494 | 81,603 mi
2010 Nissan Maxima$16,997 | 89,796 mi
2010 Nissan Maxima$18,996 | 40,718 mi
2009 Nissan Maxima$17,000 | 49,600 mi
More space, engine options and all-wheel drive, but is cumbersome and gets expensive.
Quieter and more refined, but not as interesting to drive.
Offers high fuel economy and big rear seat, but not sporty.
Available with rear or all-wheel drive and a V8, but can get expensive.