It has been a while since I have had the Nissan Maxima, yet it is a car I recommend when asked, based on many years of it being a really great car. I was excited to see the changes that have been made over the past few years. From the moment I open the door of this sporty sedan, I could see that the car had evolved from a nice car to a near-luxury car.
My evaluation car is a 2011 model Crimson Black, which to me looks like a really deep red with Café Latte interior, which is tan. Under the hood is a 3.5-liter V6 running 290 horses with an exciting 261 pound-feet of torque which makes acceleration a lot of fun. Maxima comes with a continuously variable automatic transmission.
The new 2011 Nissan Maxima comes with an impressive list of safety features, including front and side airbags, side impact roof-mounted curtains, traction control system, energy-absorbing steering column and much more.
Inside the car, just about everything is standard, it has dual power seats, leather interior, Bluetooth connection, push button start, power sliding moonroof, halogen headlamps, dual zone automatic air conditioning and many more niceties too numerous to list.
The exterior lines of this car were REALLY well done. The car looks incredibly sporty and looks fast, which it is. There are large chrome exhaust tips running out the rear of the car that enhances the Maxima sports car image.
One of the best packages of the year has to be the Premium package in this car. For $3230 retail, you get a moonroof over the rear seat area, Xenon headlights, heated and air-conditioned driver’s seat, automatic entry/exit system, rear bucket seats, 7” color monitor, 2GB music storage system, and upgraded leather seats throughout.
This Maxima just feels GOOD. It handles extremely well, has no dig or sway when taking a corner hard, and yet rides very much like a Lexus. The quietness of this car is noticeable, and normally I only notice an abundance of road noise. There is zero torque-steer under heavy acceleration, and the car is very smooth and determined when you jump on it. Overall, it is a joy to drive.
I applaud what Nissan has done with this car, it has completely changed since earlier versions and all the changes were of the positive nature.
What I liked most: Interior, handling, and exterior looks.
What I would change if I could: I’d make the monitor controls more user friendly.
MSRP as tested: $38,060.
Fuel Economy: Rated at 19 city/26 highway, and is doing it.
Maxima in a few words: A great combo of luxury and sportiness!