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#14

in 2009 Upscale Midsize Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $14,006 - $15,770
Original MSRP: $30,160 - $32,860
MPG: 19 City / 26 Hwy
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2009 Nissan Maxima Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

Most writers have positive impressions of the 2009 Nissan Maxima's new dimensions and standard features. Cabin technology borrowed from some higher-end Infiniti cars gives the Maxima a more upscale feel. That feel is marred, however, by surprisingly low-end materials in a few places -- leaving the press with mixed opinions of the cabin.

  • "The design, materials, and execution of the interior are first-rate throughout." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "While the car is wider than the previous model, the interior is executed with an approach called 'super cockpit' that gives the driver the feel of being in a closely coupled sports coupe by repositioning controls, like the shifter, closer to the well-bolstered bucket seat." -- Road and Track
  • "Inside, the Maxima is more luxurious and offers the usual assortment of electronics." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The Maxima's cabin could probably get away with an Infiniti badge." -- Cars.com
  • "Inside, the Maxima is a curious mix of premium and cheap. The shapes and textures have attractive colors and textures, but aside from the top of the dash, the rest of the surfaces surrounding the driver are hard plastics." -- Autoblog

Front Seats

Critics describe the front seats as cozy with good and bad results. To some, the snug feeling is appealing, but others find the driver's position awkward, especially without a manual tilt steering wheel. You may need to test drive the Maxima before you'll know if it fits your body type.

  • "Seats front and rear are comfortable and firmly bolstered, with the rear seats perhaps more comfortable and snug than the fronts." -- Car and Driver
  • "The driver's seat is multi-adjustable, especially in the Sport package version that we drove, and very huggy and comfortable." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "The driver's seat is another mixed bag, with eight-way power adjustability, along with a very welcome manually adjustable thigh support. Unfortunately, we had issues with getting the seat back to fit comfortably, as the upper portion felt slightly lumpy and a bit too thick." -- Autoblog
  • "With its smaller interior dimensions, the Maxima has a snug, tight feel in the driver's seat, enhanced on the test car by the optional manually-adjustable thigh support. You might also want to order the power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel because the manual version is awkward to operate." -- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Rear Seats

Though the redesigned Maxima is smaller than its predecessor, critics are still impressed with the amount of space available. Maxima shoppers should be aware, however, that upgrading to the premium package alters the rear seats completely. Rather than a three-passenger bench, Maximas outfitted with the premium package offer a pair of rear bucket seats, reducing the car's overall seating capacity from five to four.

  • "If back-seat passengers miss those longitudinal inches, at least they now have extra space to splay their knees. Unless Maxima passengers are circus-sized, however, they shouldn't have any complaints." -- Car and Driver
  • "The rear seats offer excellent leg room (for normal-sized adults). Nissan advertises the Maxima as a five-passenger sedan. The center passenger in the rear does have to cope with a center hump, but it's not too high to make the ride uncomfortable." -- The Auto Channel
  • "Even with the reduction in wheelbase and now-standard moonroof (dual-panel is extra), the rear accommodations are generous and comfortable." -- Edmunds

Interior Features

Most regard the 2009 Maxima's features as an improvement from previous models, and competitive within its price bracket.

  • "Entering the cabin of the 2009 Nissan Maxima, we were immediately impressed to see the same infotainment interface used in models from Infiniti. A big knob studded with directional buttons sits just below the navigation LCD. Given this hardware, we weren't surprised to find an iPod connector in the console. Pairing an iPhone to the car and hooking it up to the iPod cable set us up for communications and entertainment, so we were on our way." -- CNET
  • "What once was some sort of vaguely sporty assemblage of 350Z-inspired gauge pods, amber LEDs and hard plastic bits is now an attractive, high-quality collection of supple, supportive leather seating, sound ergonomics and up-to-date infotainment." -- Edmunds
  • "Beautifully shaped and rendered in a rich-looking faux aluminum, the shift paddles are mounted to the steering column instead of the wheel, so the driver always knows where they are through the most serpentine stretches." -- Car and Driver
  • "Nissan has finally rejoined the rest of the world in using the simpler, sane system for presets. Hallelujah!" -- AutoWeek
  • "The theme is one of pods or binnacles projecting from a grained black background material, and this works well when on a contour. But the flat sections have the esthetic appeal of Styrofoam board." -- Popular Mechanics

Cargo

Reviewers give no opinions about the new Maxima's trunk capacity, but do note that the now 14.2 cubic feet of available space is less than the last generation's 15.5 cubic feet, as well as smaller than the space in similarly sized sedans. Shoppers should note -- opting for the premium package eliminates 60/40 split folding rear seats, leaving only a pass-through for long but thin items.

  • "The trunk is smaller than the previous generation. The rear seats fold 60/40 in the 3.5S and 3.5SV packages. The Sport and Premium packages offer a pass-through, because additional structural rigidity was felt necessary for these versions." -- The Auto Channel
  • "Depending on configuration, the rear seat can come with a center pass-thru or as a conventional 60/40-split folding seat. Trunk volume is 14.2 cubic feet, well short of the cavernous trunk space in a Lucerne or Taurus." -- Cars.com

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