Back in the 1990s, the Nissan Maxima was ideally positioned as a bridge between midsize family sedans and out-of-reach European sport sedans thanks to its powerful V6, upscale interior and catchy "Four-Door Sports Car" marketing tagline. These traits, along with Nissan's continual improvements, ensured the Maxima loyal followers and strong name recognition.
Since that time, other automakers have targeted the Maxima's niche and brought out excellent competing models. For a little while, the Maxima struggled to keep up. The current-generation Maxima, however, is again a compelling choice if you're looking for a sedan that provides both performance and luxury.
Current Nissan Maxima
The Nissan Maxima is a midsize sedan that packs a 290-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine. Sending the engine's power to the front wheels is a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
There are two available trim levels: S and SV. The base-model S is pretty well equipped, with a standard features list that includes amenities like a sunroof, keyless ignition/entry, dual-zone automatic climate control and a full complement of safety features. SV models pump up the luxury with features like xenon headlights, leather upholstery and a touchscreen interface with a USB/iPod interface.
A pair of packages available on the SV allows buyers to equip their Maxima with either a wealth of luxury/convenience items (Premium) or sportier performance/appearance items (Sport). To either of these, the Technology package adds a number of high-tech features. This all-or-nothing packaging system means the Maxima can get expensive very quickly.
Despite this, our editors have praised the current Nissan Maxima for its powerful V6 engine and well-tuned suspension. It also offers a high-quality interior and many premium features that make it feel like an entry-level luxury car. However, it's priced like an entry-level luxury car, too, which may be a turn-off to those who'd appreciate a luxury badge to match.
Read the most recent 2014 Nissan Maxima review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Nissan Maxima page.
For more on past Nissan Maxima models, view our Nissan Maxima history page.