The Nissan Maxima is a full-size, four-door sedan. Both sporty and elegant, it features a strong V6 engine and front engine/front-wheel drive. Nissan has been an innovator in the area of convenience features, despite some complaints about its pricey options packages. Some additional criticisms concern interior features like rear seating capacity and comfort. Nevertheless, the Maxima's style and reliability make it a popular new car choice, especially for families.
Initially manufactured in Japan, the Nissan Maxima is now primarily produced in the U.S. With 290 horsepower and 261 pound-feet of torque, it features a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) with optional paddle shifters. Unfortunately, manual transmission enthusiasts will have to look elsewhere. Considered average in terms of efficiency, the Maxima's fuel economy is estimated at 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway.
The Nissan Maxima has maintained its reputation as both luxurious and sporty. It debuted in 1977 as the Nissan Bluebird. The first generation Maxima was introduced in 1981, going through seven generations to date. The Maxima was classified as a compact vehicle until the 1988 model, and as mid-size until 2003. The 1981 model was the first talking" car in the U.S., with voice warning systems for the doors and lights. Front-wheel drive was introduced in the 1985 model. The latest redesign took place for the 2009 model year with a small decrease in height and length, but a slight width increase. Sport package options have been upgraded for the 2011 model year.
Trim level options for the Nissan Maxima are the 3.5S and the 3.5SV, with no difference between the two regarding the engine or transmission. Its interior and exterior features are comparable to the Nissan Infiniti models. Both trim levels feature a quality interior, known for their sturdy build and smooth ride. Premium and Sport packages are available for the SV trim. The extensive list of high-tech options offered includes a navigation system and Bluetooth integration. The iPod interface is probably the most praised feature by consumers.
As an entry-level luxury sedan, the Nissan Maxima can boast more features than some of the more prestigious names in its class, including Audi, BMW, and Lexus. Known as an innovator in the field in terms of options and upgrades, the vehicle has consistently earned industry recognition and numerous awards. The 2011 Nissan Maxima earned a five-star crash test rating for frontal- and side impact protection. It also won the ALG Residual Value Award for best full-size car three years in a row, along with the 2010 AutoPacific Best in Class Vehicle Satisfaction Award.
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