2011 Nissan Maxima Review

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9.0
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6.0
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8.0
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8.0
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8.0
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2017
The Car Connection
2017
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

The 2011 Nissan Maxima is no longer primarily a sport sedan; think of it as comfortable and refined first, with its sportiness a bonus, and you’ll be happy.

Nissan calls the Maxima "The 4-Door Sports Car." To some, that notion implies a lot of packaging sacrifices in the name of performance, and probably rear-wheel drive. But it's very solidly a luxury car in all but marque, with a sporting edge that doesn't infringe on passenger comfort.

The Nissan Maxima was given a redesign a couple of years ago, but it's still one of the freshest-looking sedans in this class. It's still head-turning, with curvy sheetmetal, an aggressive front-end design, and an overall stance that makes it look like it could have rear-wheel drive. The Super Cockpit instrument panel design in the 2011 Nissan Maxima especially stands out, and it resembles that offered in several vehicles from Infiniti, Nissan's upmarket brand.

The 290-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine that propels the 2011 Nissan Maxima is extremely smooth, and it allows relaxed acceleration in normal driving with the automatic continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The CVT also includes a manual sport mode and available steering-wheel paddle shifters to access a series of simulated gear ratios for high-performance driving. However, no manual transmission is offered on the Nissan Maxima, and the CVT doesn't allow the level of control in high-performance driving that conventional transmissions do. The Maxima still has one of the sportiest suspension calibrations for a front-wheel-drive sedan, and Nissan retains last year's improved suspension geometry that reduces torque steer—the tendency for high-powered front-drivers to pull to the side on hard acceleration. Overall, the Maxima has a firm yet supple ride, allowing good handling response without sacrificing comfort. Stabilizer bars are included front and back, and a new Twin Orifice Steering System helps provide good feedback from the road in spirited driving, while remaining rather light around tight corners.

Front occupants get great seats—especially with the Sport Package—but backseat occupants will likely find headroom tight. The sculpted interior of the Nissan Maxima is designed to seat five, but the interior dimensions mean that in practice, it seats only four average-sized adults. Otherwise, interior refinement, materials, and build quality are quite good.

The Maxima stays true to its name and offers a tremendous list of standard features and available tech features. All considered, however, if you want the top technology features, they come at a luxury-brand price—and only on the more expensive SV. Both models have a standard-equipment list that also would be fitting for a luxury car, including a power moonroof, dual-zone climate control, power front seats, keyless entry, an Intelligent Key entry and starting system, a six-disc changer, and steering-wheel audio controls. The list of options in the Maxima doesn't disappoint either, as it includes such comforts as a heated steering wheel and cooled front seats. Other technology options include a Bose premium audio system, a navigation system with 9.3GB Music Box hard drive, XM NavTraffic, XM Satellite Radio, and iPod interfaces.

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The Car Connection Consumer Review

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December 24, 2016
2017 Nissan Maxima SR 3.5L

Great buy, great looking.

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I have a Pearl White Maxima SR model, came off an 2012 Audi A6. Test drove the SV and was very impressed with the interior quality, materials and design, as well as ride. My wife saw a Pearl White SR and fell... + More »
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July 19, 2015
2016 Nissan Maxima 4-Door Sedan 3.5 Platinum

wow the most awesome maxima yet

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just bought 2016 maxmia truly impressed had a 2011 max this one is far superior interior is great ride and drives great
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July 19, 2015
2016 Nissan Maxima 4-Door Sedan 3.5 SL

Great car, no regrets.

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Test drove mazda6 and Hyundais offering. Neither came close. Honda and Toyota highly rated but boring looking. Found the maxima SL beautiful inside and out. Looks great, sort of like a cross between sports... + More »
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July 8, 2015
2016 Nissan Maxima 4-Door Sedan 3.5 Platinum

Just keeps getting better

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This is my 3rd. maxima. First a 04 then a 09 then the new 2016. Have only had it for 5 days but is a cut above my 2009 Maxima. Everything works better. Love the new car and all the new high tech features. Car... + More »
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June 21, 2015
2016 Nissan Maxima 4-Door Sedan 3.5 SL

Interesting style for the 8th generation model

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CVT still does not belong in a Maxima, needs a DSG or 6 speed manual transmission. It would be worth the extra money. Now the current CVT looks for the highest ratios for better gas MPG. If you're buying a... + More »
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February 10, 2016
2014 Nissan Maxima 4-Door Sedan 3.5 SV w/Premium Pkg

Nothing but problems!

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Brake/rotor problems at 16,000 miles and after repairs again at 19,000 miles, a/c dials don't work 40% the time, already had to replace a faulty master cylinder at 18,000 miles, emergency brake light randomly... + More »
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June 3, 2015
2014 Nissan Maxima 4-Door Sedan 3.5 SV w/Premium Pkg

Nice car with decent power

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Nice car with decent power and fun to drive, could use more horsepower and better upgrade in luxury styling and transmission upgrade.
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April 30, 2015
2014 Nissan Maxima 4-Door Sedan 3.5 SV w/Premium Pkg

STYLISH AND FUN

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I love the Maxima! It is a superb combination of sleek sophisticated styling and fun performance. No wonder Nissan calls it a 4door sports car :) I previously had a 2005 Ford Mustang GT and as an addition to... + More »
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April 17, 2015
For 2014 Nissan Maxima

A great car.

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I have had 7 Maximas over the years, and this one is the best yet. They just keep getting better.
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April 28, 2015
2012 Nissan Maxima 4-Door Sedan V6 CVT 3.5 SV w/Premium Pkg

The car is comfortable, roomy, fast, stylized very well, and I enjoy driving the vehicle.

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This car has just about everything that you would want in a car of this quality. When you want it to be sporty you can change to the paddle shifters and get a real sports car feel with a four door. It has all... + More »
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