Two different models of the 2011 Nissan Maxima are offered—S and SV—with the SV modestly expanding the standard equipment list to include leather upholstery, fog lamps, and a Bose premium audio system, among a few other items. 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.
Tech features are all now well-represented. Bluetooth comes standard on all Maxima models, while 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. Just keep in mind that most options are only available in the more expensive SV. Separately, a 7-inch monitor system is available in the Maxima.
Especially of note is a Sport Package, which brings firmer suspension tuning, larger 19-inch wheels, paddle shifters, upgraded front seats, and a host of other upgrades. We recommend the package for enthusiasts, despite its $2,300 price, because of its superior seats and crisper handling response without significant effect on the ride.
The last Maxima that The Car Connection tested, a 2010 Nissan Maxima SV Premium Package model, stickered at $37,310. That's pricey compared to some of these rivals, but it's absolutely loaded to the gills with equipment that's optional even on many luxury-brand models—xenon headlamps, a power rear sunshade, a dual-panel moonroof, heated seats and steering wheel, a nav system with rearview monitor, and iPod/USB inputs, for example.