The 2012 Maxima stays true to its name in offering an impressive list of standard luxury features and optional tech extras and comforts. Our only real beef is that if you want the top technology features, they come at a luxury-brand price—and only on the more expensive SV. So if you want a feature set that's close to that of luxury-brand models, you're going to pay nearly as much for it, in any case.
The Maxima is offered in two different models—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. But base-level S equipment is strong, with a power moonroof, dual-zone climate control, power front seats, and an Intelligent Key entry and starting system all included.
A heated steering wheel and cooled front seats are among many options. So are a Bose premium audio system, a navigation system with 9.3GB Music Box hard drive, XM NavTraffic, XM Satellite Radio, and iPod interfaces. For 2012, a new Limited Edition Package combined HID headlamps, smoked lenses, Dark Hyper Silver wheels, a rear spoiler, and other appearance extras.
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.