2011 Nissan Maxima vs. Its Competition

2011 Nissan Maxima 4-door Sedan V6 CVT 3.5 S Angular Front Exterior View
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Senior Editor

The 2011 Nissan Maxima is more of a perky, smooth, and stylish V-6 luxury sedan than an outright sport sedan.

For real sport-sedan enthusiast types, there's really no reason not to pick the Infiniti G37 Sedan, which is roughly the same price (though admittedly louder and more cramped).

Without hesitation, for luxury shoppers who are a little hotfooted, we'd recommend the Maxima over a top-of-the-line Honda Accord EX-L, and probably the Lexus ES350, even though you give up the Lexus dealership experience that's part of the price.

The Acura TL is also a formidable rival to the Maxima thanks to its sharp looks and similar characteristics—and the Acura's a step ahead as it does offer a manual transmission.

The Maxima is also tough competition, with a sportier edge, than the Ford Taurus Limited, Buick LaCrosse CXS, and Volkswagen CC.

If you won’t settle for front-wheel drive, the Dodge Charger R/T fits the bill, with a big V-8, too, and its interior has been spruced up for 2011.

At the opposite end of the scale, for those who might want even more comfort and interior space, there's the Toyota Avalon, although the Avalon is less exciting to drive and look at.

2011 Nissan Maxima 4-door Sedan V6 CVT 3.5 S Angular Front Exterior View2011 Nissan Maxima
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2011 Acura TL 4-door Sedan 2WD Tech Angular Front Exterior View2011 Acura TL
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2011 Dodge Charger R/T2011 Dodge Charger
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2011 Toyota Avalon 4-door Sedan (NAT) Angular Front Exterior View2011 Toyota Avalon
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2011 Volkswagen CC 4-door Sedan Lux Angular Front Exterior View2011 Volkswagen CC
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Quick Specs
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.
If the bold exterior is to your liking, the 2011 Acura TL is a solid luxury value—and the SH-AWD has true sport-sedan chops.
The Charger R/T is a passionate play in a niche full of milquetoast four-doors. You don't have to wear a mullet to love it and own it.
The 2011 Toyota Avalon is at once traditional and modern, with a classy, comfortable luxury-car look and feel combined with top-notch safety and a great feature set.
The 2011 Volkswagen CC has performance that doesn't altogether match its sexy shape, and seating space is disappointing, but otherwise there's a lot to like.
MSRP From    
Gas Mileage    
19 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy15 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy20 MPG City / 29 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy
Gas V6Gas V6Gas V6Gas V6Turbocharged Gas I4
EPA Class    
Style Name    
4-Door Sedan V6 CVT 3.5 S4-Door Sedan 2WD4-Door Sedan Rallye Plus RWD4-Door Sedan (GS)4-Door Sedan Manual Sport PZEV
Front Wheel DriveFront-Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
Passenger Doors    
Body Style    
4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan4dr SdnSedan4 Door Sedan
Continuously VariableAutomatic w/ODAutomaticAutomaticManual
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2011 Nissan Maxima vs. 2011 Acura TL2011 Nissan Maxima vs. 2011 Dodge Charger2011 Nissan Maxima vs. 2011 Toyota Avalon2011 Nissan Maxima vs. 2011 Volkswagen CC