2006 Nissan Maxima Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Nissan Maxima Sedan

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Nissan Maxima Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.5 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 265 hp @ 5800 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/27 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2006 Nissan Maxima

  • Although the 2006 Nissan Maxima still offers a likable combination of performance, luxury and interior room, there are now many good sedans in this price range.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Strong acceleration from sweet V6, roomy interior, lots of upscale options, available with a manual transmission, balanced ride and handling.

  • Cons

    Lousy center stack ergonomics, reflexes aren't as sharp as some competitors', some interior materials seem low-grade.

  • What's New for 2006

    Steering wheel audio controls are now illuminated, satellite radio is available and the navigation interface has been improved for 2006. New options include a Bluetooth hands-free system and outside mirror tilt-down in reverse.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Wheel shakes also!

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Vehicle: 2006 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SE 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6M)

I've had the car for 3 years (since new) and love to drive it. The only problem is that the darn steering wheel has had a shimmy since I test drove it. I didn't think much of it and asked them to check the tire balance before I took delivery. Big mistake. 3 years and more than 15 attempts to get it fixed and it still shakes. Nissan mechanics don't have a clue why. Nissan has given up on trying to fix it and I've given up trying to get it fixed. Luckily it's a lease and it'll be their problem next month. It's too bad, my family has been loyal to Nissan since 1985, not any more...

I really wanted to love

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Vehicle: 2006 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SE 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6M)

Bought this car new since family had good luck with older Maximas in the late 90s but this one has been a disappointment. CD changer replaced 3 times for freezing up, lumbar support dead twice, center console arm support snapped, grille replaced for paint chipping, paint in general isn't great and now fighting with Nissan cause clutch and flywheel failed. Mechanics say its a defect but Nissan says its regular wear and tear. Funny how that works. BBB to the rescue!!! I do like driving this car but its put a sour taste in my mouth especially with how Nissan corporate treats its customers and just worrying about when I'll be sitting in service again. I think I just got a dud.

Big disappointment!

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Vehicle: 2006 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SE 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6M)

This car has given me no confidence in the Nissan brand. It has a horrible fit and finish. This is going to catch up with Nissan just like it did with the big three.

Good, not great

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Vehicle: 2006 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SE 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6M)

Put 33k on my 2006 Maxima in 14 months and it is a decent car. Good performance, nice to look at, good highway mileage, stereo and bluetooth are excellent, and it's a big car. However, I've had the brakes done twice (11k and 26k), The lumbar in the seat broke, 2nd gear a little notchy when cold, and AC stopped blowing real cold air and dealership says it's fine. Couple of annoying rattles in dash. My biggest complaint is seat comfort. No lumbar or upper back support compared to other "Sport" sedans. I drive 30k miles per year at least and my back is broke after a 300 mile drive. Back was never sore in my 2004 acura TL. So... going back to Acura or step-up to lexus/infiniti.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

You're crazy if you dont

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Vehicle: 2006 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SE 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6M)

I'm a long time Nissan buyer and this 2006 maxima is one of my best buys from Nissan. I love the power and the handling. Most vehicles with this power and options are very costly. Nissan, as always has found away to put the best of all cars in a Maxima. If you dont understand, test drive a Maxima and other cars in its class and Your heart will tell you to buy Nissan.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful


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Vehicle: 2006 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SE 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6M)

i love my car this my fifth new maxima that i have owned my first in 1988 they have come along ways since then. i now live in las vegas i drove the car, by myself, from Tuscumbia, Al. had no trouble at all. i have people all the time commenting about how great of a good looking car i have. i'm proud to be seen driving it. the color is white, interior, tan leather, moon roof the works. i'm 60 years old and feel 30, what more can i say. good luck to new owners of a se maxima. there,s nothing better. thanks, Linda, Las Vegas

Full 2006 Nissan Maxima Review

What's New for 2006

Steering wheel audio controls are now illuminated, satellite radio is available and the navigation interface has been improved for 2006. New options include a Bluetooth hands-free system and outside mirror tilt-down in reverse.


The Maxima is Nissan's premier sedan, and only the Z seems to have more instant name recognition in the Nissan fleet. The Maxima name goes all the way back to 1982, but really the Datsun 810 which preceded it was the genesis for what has become one of the best sporty sedans on the market. The Nissan Maxima has long boasted one of the best V6s in the industry, and the 2006 models certainly continue that tradition.

With the introduction of the 2002 Nissan Altima, many were predicting the death of the Maxima. It never made sense that Nissan would kill a car with such name recognition, but at the same time, the Maxima seemed obsolete, overpriced and underwhelming when compared to the quick and spacious Altima. For the 2004 model year, a redesigned Maxima debuted, sharing a platform with the Altima. This sort of begs another question -- isn't the Nissan Maxima now little more than a fully loaded Altima? In short, the answer is no.

Nissan has made the Maxima distinct enough in attitude and function that no one will confuse it for nothing more than an overpriced Altima. The Maxima lineup has just two trim levels: 3.5 SL and 3.5 SE. The SE is the sporty model with a firmer suspension and bigger 18-inch wheels, while the more luxury-oriented SL has 17-inch wheels and a slightly softer suspension. The SE is available with an optional six-speed manual transmission, while a five-speed automatic with shift-it-yourself mode is standard on both trims. In leather-lined SL trim, the Maxima is essentially a near luxury car that bridges the gap between the Nissan and Infiniti model lines. A luxurious "elite" package transforms the three-person rear-seating area into an even more comfortable two-person setup.

With its spacious interior, superb V6, balanced ride and handling and wide array of features and options, the 2006 Nissan Maxima offers solid value for its $30,000 price tag. However, there are plenty of good sedans in this price range, not the least of which is the Passat, which now has a big V6 of its own and a luxurious interior that makes the Maxima's cockpit seem a little cheap. This is not to say that a Maxima wouldn't still be a satisfying choice, but we would certainly encourage buyers to test-drive its competitors before making a decision.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The midsize Nissan Maxima is offered in 3.5 SE and 3.5 SL trim. Designed to be the sportier of the two, the SE has a slightly stiffer suspension and 18-inch wheels on the outside and a metallic-trimmed interior on the inside. It's loaded with standard features that include an eight-speaker CD stereo, one-touch up-down front windows and keyless entry. Along with its softer tuning, the more luxurious SL has 17-inch wheels, wood interior trim, heated leather seats, a 320-watt Bose audio system and HID headlights. The optional Elite Package affixes even more luxury to the Maxima by changing the rear-seating area into a more comfortable two-passenger setup. This package adds a rear center console that features controls for the seat heaters as well as a switch to operate the power rear sunshade. Additional options on both models include a DVD-based navigation system and satellite radio.

Powertrains and Performance

The front-drive Nissan Maxima comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine rated for 265 horsepower and 255 lb-ft of torque. The 3.5 SE is available with a six-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic; the SL comes only with the automatic.


Every Maxima comes with four-wheel antilock disc brakes with BrakeAssist and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution. Front-seat side airbags and full-length head curtain airbags are also standard, as are foglights and cornering lights. Maximas with an automatic transmission can be equipped with an optional stability and traction control system. A torque-sensitive limited-slip differential is optional when you select the six-speed manual. In NHTSA tests, the Nissan Maxima earned five stars (out of a possible five) for driver protection in frontal impacts. Front-passenger protection is rated at four stars in frontal impacts, as is front- and rear-occupant protection in side impacts. The IIHS named the Maxima a "Best Pick" after conducting its frontal offset crash, however the sedan earned only a "Marginal" rating (second lowest) in IIHS side-impact testing.

Interior Design and Special Features

It may be a midsize sedan, but the Maxima's interior feels downright cavernous front and rear. The front seats are wide and accommodating, though finding an optimal driving position can be difficult. The dashboard features a sleek and modern design, ergonomics are spotty as most of the center stack buttons are the same size and shape, while the orange-lit central display offers minimal contrast. Trunk space measures 15.5 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

With the sweet 3.5-liter V6 under the hood, acceleration is strong at any speed, regardless of transmission choice. Although its suspension provides a smooth, comfortable ride, the 2006 Nissan Maxima lacks a true performance feel expected of a self-proclaimed sport sedan. The steering is communicative and well weighted, but competing sedans like the TSX, Mazdaspeed 6 and Passat provide a better feel for the road. The brakes, at least, are strong and easy to modulate.

Talk About The 2006 Maxima

Gas Mileage


  • 18
  • cty
  • 27
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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