Nissan Maxima Review
The 2013 Nissan Maxima ranks 18 out of 20 Upscale Midsize Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of 32 published reviews and test drives of the Nissan Maxima, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.
Test drivers say that while the 2013 Nissan Maxima has a powerful engine and an upscale interior, its high price is out of place for a non-luxury brand.
A V6 engine comes standard in the 2013 Nissan Maxima, and reviewers agrees that it provides plenty of power. However, some test drivers are less enthusiastic about the Maxima’s continuously variable transmission (CVT). One says that he’d like a manual transmission option, and another critic writes that the CVT detracts from the Maxima’s performance aspirations. Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 19/26 mpg city/highway, which is decent for an upscale midsize car. Still, cars like the Audi A4 use less fuel. Many reviewers say that the Maxima offers controlled handling and accurate steering, as well as a comfortable ride. However, some reviewers also note that cars like the Volkswagen CC and BMW 3-Series offer better driving dynamics. The Maxima also falls short with a lower safety score than most upscale midsize cars.
The 2013 Maxima has an attractively-designed cabin that’s constructed with high-quality materials, which leads many reviewers to say that the Maxima could probably get away with an Infiniti badge. However, some critics point out that the Maxima is priced similarly to the Infiniti G37, as well as other luxury models. Reviewers generally like the Maxima’s comfortable front seats, saying that there’s plenty of room for a 6-foot-tall driver. Most also regard the second row as spacious and comfortable, though one reviewer says that the back seat could offer more support. Still, the Maxima impresses auto writers with an intuitive navigation system, as well as other user-friendly electronic features. Dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button start and Bluetooth come standard on the base Maxima, while options and features available on higher trims include a backup camera, navigation, leather upholstery, heated front seats and a Bose stereo.
- "Adding expensive option packages escalates the sticker price to the point where a comparable investment will get you the Infiniti, which offers superior interior materials, warranty coverage, and customer service. It's also more entertaining to drive." -- Consumer Guide
- "The Maxima doesn't feel as nimble as a Volkswagen CC or BMW 3 Series, but does a good job of combining looks, power, and practicality." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "To put it simply, Nissan's flagship sedan offers much of the same performance, luxury and features as the company's upscale Infiniti brand, but with a less flashy badge and better value." -- Edmunds (2012)
- "The price of the Maxima may be its biggest drawback as it puts it into range of many of the more esteemed auto makers." -- Automobile Magazine (2011)
Other Cars to Consider
Although reviewers don’t think it’s as attractive as the Maxima, the Acura TL earns praise for its powerful V6 engine and high-quality interior. The TL also comes with more standard features, and is available with all-wheel drive.
The Buick Regal costs slightly less than the Maxima, but reviewers say that the Regal still delivers nimble handling and a luxurious interior. Although it’s not as powerful, the Regal also comes with more standard features than the Maxima, including Buick’s IntelliLink infotainment system.
Details: 2013 Nissan Maxima
The 2013 Nissan Maxima seats five and has front-wheel drive. A 3.5-liter V6 engine and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) come standard on all models. The 2013 Maxima comes in S and SV trims, the latter of which adds interior technology features and upgrades some interior materials. Aside from the availability of a new SV Value package and a revised Sport package, the Maxima is basically unchanged. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from 2010 through 2013.
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