The Nissan Maxima remains pushed as a four-door sports car, but it's best to simply forget about that, and consider it as a V-6 luxury sedan that has more style than other non-luxury-brand alternatives.
If you want a somewhat sporty driving feel and love the Maxima's styling, we'd give the nod to the Maxima over a base Acura TL, even though you do give up the Lexus dealership experience that's part of the price.
In more expensive SH-AWD guise, the TL is the sportier pick, however.
The Toyota Avalon gives you a roomy interior, but we think that even for 2013 its styling isn't as flamboyant as the Maxima's.
The Buick LaCrosse and Ford Taurus are both more sedate but very competent alternatives, but the Taurus has some of the same back-seat issues as the Maxima and the LaCrosse doesn't feel sporty at all unless you move to its upper trims.
The Volkswagen CC has been given a slight refresh for 2013, and its interesting packaging and nimble, lighter driving feel (in 2.0T form) could be an appealing alternative.
The Dodge Charger is sort of an alter-ego to the smooth, curvy Maxima; its crisp styling and rear-wheel-drive layout appeal to a completely different kind of shopper, but Charger V-6 models are appealing and sporty in some of the same ways to those who want an 'almost' sport sedan without too many compromises.
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|2013 Nissan MaximaBrowse Used Listings||2013 Acura TLBrowse Used Listings||2013 Buick LacrosseBrowse Used Listings||2013 Dodge ChargerBrowse Used Listings||2013 Toyota AvalonBrowse Used Listings||2013 Volkswagen CCBrowse Used Listings|
|19 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy||17 MPG City / 29 MPG Hwy||17 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy||14 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy||21 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy||17 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy|
|Gas V6||Gas V6||Gas/Electric I4||Gas V6||Gas V6||Turbocharged Gas I4|
|Midsize Cars||Mid-Size||Midsize Cars||Large Car||Large||Compact|
|4-Door Sedan 3.5 S||4-Door Sedan Automatic 2WD||4-Door Sedan Base FWD||4-Door Sedan SE RWD||4-Door Sedan XLE (Natl)||4-Door Sedan Manual Sport|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front-Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|Continuously Variable Ratio||Automatic w/Manual Shift||Automatic w/manual shift||Automatic||Automatic||Manual|
|Detailed Spec Comparison|
|2013 Nissan Maxima vs. 2013 Acura TL||2013 Nissan Maxima vs. 2013 Buick Lacrosse||2013 Nissan Maxima vs. 2013 Dodge Charger||2013 Nissan Maxima vs. 2013 Toyota Avalon||2013 Nissan Maxima vs. 2013 Volkswagen CC|