2013 Nissan Maxima vs. Its Competition

2013 Nissan Maxima 4-door Sedan 3.5 S Angular Front Exterior View
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Senior Editor

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.

2013 Nissan Maxima 4-door Sedan 3.5 S Angular Front Exterior View2013 Nissan Maxima
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2013 Acura TL2013 Acura TL
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2013 Buick LaCrosse2013 Buick Lacrosse
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2013 Dodge Charger SRT8 392 Appearance Package2013 Dodge Charger
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2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid, Catskill Mountains, NY, May 20132013 Toyota Avalon
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2013 Volkswagen CC2013 Volkswagen CC
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Quick Specs
The 2013 Nissan Maxima offers a lot more flair than the typical larger sedan, along with premium feel inside; but driving enthusiasts should be aware that it isn't quite a serious sport sedan.
The 2013 Acura TL is a comfortable, attractive, and well-equipped luxury sedan--but in top SH-AWD guise it morphs into something that even driving enthusiasts will find compelling.
The 2013 Buick LaCrosse hits the mark for comfort, sophistication, and refinement in a large sedan—and its 36-mpg rating is icing on the cake.
The 2013 Dodge Charger hits all the right blue-collar chords, yet its interior may impress the upper crust.
The 2013 Toyota Avalon is more responsive and sophisticated than ever before, without giving up any comfort; and in the new Avalon Hybrid, 40 mpg has never been so serene.
The 2013 Volkswagen CC sacrifices some practicality in the name of fashion, and feels like a luxury car in many respects.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
19 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 29 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy14 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy21 MPG City / 39 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy
Gas V6Gas V6Gas/Electric I4Gas V6Gas V6Turbocharged Gas I4
EPA Class     
Midsize CarsMid-SizeMidsize CarsLarge CarLargeCompact
Style Name     
4-Door Sedan 3.5 S4-Door Sedan Automatic 2WD4-Door Sedan Base FWD4-Door Sedan SE RWD4-Door Sedan XLE (GS)4-Door Sedan Manual Sport
Front Wheel DriveFront-Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
Continuously Variable RatioAutomatic w/Manual ShiftAutomatic w/manual shiftAutomaticAutomaticManual
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2013 Nissan Maxima vs. 2013 Acura TL2013 Nissan Maxima vs. 2013 Buick Lacrosse2013 Nissan Maxima vs. 2013 Dodge Charger2013 Nissan Maxima vs. 2013 Toyota Avalon2013 Nissan Maxima vs. 2013 Volkswagen CC