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 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 265 hp @ 5800 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/26 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

  Average Consumer Rating (46 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

Inherent transmission problem with '06

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Vehicle: 2006 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SL 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

As others have stated - there is an inherent transmission problem with the '06 Maxima and other years as well. At 62k miles my transmission started to slip and the car jerked when shifting. I brought my car to a local transmission shop and they told me this is a common problem with Nissan vehicles. On their suggestion, I opened a case with Nissan customer affairs. They instructed me to bring it to the dealership for inspection and guess what? My car needs a new valve body and transmission for an estimated cost of $6,000 - a gross over estimate! Nissan contacted me to say they would offer no assistance. Everyone with a similar problem must join the class action suit underway!

2006 nissa maxima-disappointment, costly

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Vehicle: 2006 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SL 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

So, like everyone else that seems to be writing reviews, my 2006 Maxima had transmission issues. I'll start at the beginning (which wasn't long ago). I bought the car for $12,000 from a used car dealership less than six months ago with 117,000 miles. I loved the car. It was one of the nicest cars I ever bought. I also bought a 2002 Altima brand new (loved it). Two weeks ago the transmission started slipping between 2 and 3rd gear and it would downshift when I let up on the gas. Also, the Service Engine Soon light came on. Took it in and low and behold, Transmission was all but gone and the catalytic converter was needing replaced. Out of luck the dealer told me. Traded for a 2010 Chev Impa

Picked-up used

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Vehicle: 2006 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SL 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

I bought this car used from my father about 3 month ago. The dealers were trying to fleece him on trade in value for a new vehicle. My family was growing and I needed a larger second vehicle. I was looking for a larger sedan with safety and reliability, but with some HP and was fun to drive. After looking at the new sedans (2010-2012) on the market I could not find a vehicle that had all of the features of the 2006 Maxima and under 25K. I was aware of the transmissions problems of the Maxima, fortunately, I knew the history of this Maxima and the transmission has not been a problem. If worse comes to worse, I'll be out 3K instead of 25K+ price tag of new vehicle with less quality.

One of the best cars

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Vehicle: 2006 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SL 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

It's a nice car guys. The neighbors love it, Strangers love it,people see it and they want to take it home. People with more expensive cars love it. A 80 year man looked at me and said that's a bad mama jama. Even though this generation of Maxima is a great car it has it's flaws but most of you will come to find this car is very reliable and has much better reliability then 90% of the vehicles on the market it wont leave you stranded.

Great speed, but oh so

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Vehicle: 2006 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SL 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

Shopping for a new car and just for kicks thought I would check out the reviews on my 2006 Maxima, can't believe so many people have had similar problems...let me see if anyone can top these, at 2 years my catalytic converter went out, at 3 years my transmission went out (right b4 warranty expired), my motor mounts have broken twice, oh yeah at 4 years my throttle body went out, end of 4th year my timing chain and air conditioner went out...now for my 5th yr anniversary my struts and suspension are out!!! I have spent well over 8k in repairs and maintanence....i am broke and now cannot afford to keep putting $$ into it, so am forced to get a new car or even buy a used one =(

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Soooo disappointed

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SL 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

1st thing first,....I bought this car brand new and had no problems UNTIL my 4th year (2010). The AC unit went out ($897),....HID lights turned pink and went out ($426) and now........(infamous drumroll),..........the transmission is bad, LOL! No, its not funny at all and my head is still spinning to the tune of $2500 repair bill that was freshly printed today. WOW is all I can say. On my way back from the shop,..this guy in traffic asked me if the car was good (as he's picking one up this week), I told him "nah man this car is a piece of junk, DON'T DO IT! 111k miles, 13 more payments and transmission problems are all I have to show for this car!

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
  • 26
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs