2010 Nissan Maxima Review

2010 Nissan Maxima Review

When it was new, critics praised the 2010 Nissan Maxima for being more than just a bland family car. Critics had mixed reviews on the Maxima’s cabin, where some praised the fit and finish and others said quality fell short of most luxury cars. Powering the Maxima is a 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 290 horsepower. Many reviewers said the Maxima is fairly fast, and most said that it feels composed at high speeds for a front-wheel drive car. The Maxima earns a fuel economy estimate of 19/26 mpg city/highway, which is about average for the class. Maximum trunk space is 14.2 cubic feet, which is a competitive amount of room when compared with other 2010 midsize cars. The Maxima’s cabin drew the praise of some critics and the ire of others. Some expressed the sentiment that an Infiniti badge would not look out of place, while others countered that the Maxima employed cheap materials that would never wind up in a luxury-branded vehicle. The seats drew similar flattery and criticism. Some found them comfortable, while others had difficulty finding an agreeable driving position. Most, however, found the rear seats to offer plenty of comfort and space, which will make passengers happy. Standard equipment includes a sunroof, push-button start, Bluetooth, dual-zone climate control and an auxiliary jack. Leather seats, navigation and a Bose stereo with satellite radio are available on the 2010 Maxima. See the full 2010 Nissan Maxima specs » Other Cars to Consider If you’re looking for a sporty sedan, you may like the 2010 Acura TL. Critics said the TL, especially the all-wheel drive variant, feels very sporty, and it has an upscale, high-tech interior. The TL also has better safety ratings than the Maxima. The rear-wheel drive 2010 Infiniti G37 is one of the sportiest sedans available in the segment, thanks to its powerful engine and agile handling. The Infiniti G is also available with all-wheel drive and a manual transmission, which may appeal to shoppers who dislike the Maxima’s continuously variable transmission or front-wheel drive. Compare the Maxima to the TL and G37 »
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2010 Nissan Maxima Review

Nissan execs admit that, in the wake of the company’s merger with Renault, the Maxima was given second billing to the Altima when it came time for their respective redesigns—especially after the current Altima debuted in 2007 wearing hand-me-down duds from its big brother. The two cars were nearly indistinguishable, and the Altima’s optional 270-hp V-6 meant it was more powerful than the flagship Maxima. The 2009 Maxima changes that. The eye-catching shape, with its liquid-like flow, will be mistaken for nothing in the Nissan stable but does share many cues with the current Infiniti design philosophy, particularly that of the recently introduced 2009 FX. And the power issue is resolved with a bump of 20 horsepower over the Altima’s optional V-6, endowing the Maxima with 290. Sporty starts with size, and the 2009 Maxima reverses the trend toward bigger and heavier by shedding inches in nearly every critical dimension. Length is down almost four inches, wheelbase has been cut by two, and the roof is a half-inch lower. Width is up 1.5 inches, however, for a sportier stance. If back-seat passengers miss those longitudinal inches, at least they now have extra space to splay their knees. Unless Maxima passengers are circus-sized, however, they shouldn’t have any complaints. Seats front and rear are comfortable and firmly bolstered, with the rear seats perhaps more comfortable and snug than the fronts. More Power + Less Weight = Hi-Ho! As a result of the downsizing, the new Maxima weighs in right on top of the old model—3669 pounds for our tester. More power and less weight conspire to cut the Maxima’s 0-to-60-mph acceleration time to 5.8 seconds from 6.1; and the sedan now clocks 14.5 seconds at 98 mph in the quarter-mile. An important part of those numbers is the Maxima’s next-generation CVT, which zings the engine to its power peak and allows it to stay there while the speedo twirls toward the high end—good for performance numbers, not so good for aural enjoyment. What we would usually call top-gear acceleration—if it weren’t technically inaccurate to call it that when a CVT is involved, as there are no real “gears”—is quite impressive: 30-to-50 and 50-to-70 mph take just 3.2 and 3.6 seconds, respectively. Passing on a two-lane is a quick and stress-free affair, and the power and response of the CVT are fun and addicting. For a vehicle routing 290 horsepower through the front wheels, there is surprisingly little torque steer. A gentle tug to the right is easily controlled by a single finger; with two hands firmly on the wheel, the driver will not notice. For those gleeful moments when speed limits fade from worry and maximum lateral load becomes mission critical, the CVT can play manual transmission, with paddles selecting from six preprogrammed ratios, the right paddle pulling higher gears and the left dropping down for tight carousels. Beautifully shaped and rendered in a rich-looking faux aluminum, the shift paddles are mounted to the steering column instead of the wheel, so the driver always knows where they are through the most serpentine stretches. They summon immediate responses from the transmission, although some of our crew thought they lacked the positive feel of, say, Mercedes-Benz’s paddle shifters. View Photos View Photos 1 2 3 Next Page
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2010 Nissan Maxima Review

2010 Nissan Maxima Details Interior Nissan intended the Maxima’s interior to feel like a cockpit and, when equipped with premium leather seating and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, we think the objective has been achieved. The aggressive dash design places all controls closer to the driver and raises the center console controls closer to the driver’s line of sight. We did, however, find the driver’s-side door-pull handle hinders lateral hand motion when using the power-window buttons, and is an annoyance at times. Nissan’s nicely bolstered seats feature available thigh support and, in conjunction with the sporty three-spoke steering wheel, place the driver in a commanding position that encourages aggressive driving. Rear seats are given equal treatment, but some of us thought the hollowed-out seatbacks could offer more lower back support and noted that the sloping roofline brushed against the heads of taller occupants. Exterior Nissan calls the design theme for the 2010 Maxima “liquid motion,” which incorporates a wave-like flow in everything from the bulging hood to the bold fenders. The design is quite seductive and, despite the Maxima’s four doors, imparts an aggressive sports-car look. An interesting option is the giant dual-panel moonroof, which features a retractable glass front half that powers open over a fixed rear glass panel. Further aesthetic enhancements include a higher deck lid, L-shaped headlights and a wide grille. With a shorter wheelbase, and more width than its predecessor, the Maxima has more of an athletic stance, especially with its standard 18- or optional 19-inch wheels.
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2010 Nissan Maxima Review

The Maxima has always been a favorite for those who love power, handling and performance mixed with a high level of luxury, quality and reliability. The 2010 Nissan Maxima continues this tradition, sporting a stealthy look wrapped around a wide, low body. Some even say the Maxima resembles a stretched 370Z sport coupe, and that’s exactly how Nissan hopes people will view their flagship sedan.Although it lacks the option of a manual transmission, the Maxima is just as enjoyable to drive as more expensive sedans from Audi, BMW, Infiniti and Lexus. It comes with a long list of standard and optional equipment, including high-end features such as a ventilated driver’s seat, a Bose audio system, a heated steering wheel and voice-activated navigation and audio controls.Against similarly priced sedans, such as the Volkswagen Passat and Hyundai Azera, the Maxima offers more luxury features and better performance, as well as more distinctive styling both inside and out. For 2010, the Maxima gains standard Bluetooth and some revised option packages, including the addition of streaming Bluetooth audio, SiriusXM NavWeather and a USB port that replaces last year’s iPod-specific port.
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2010 Nissan Maxima Review

For the 2010 model year, the Nissan Maxima remains relatively untouched, although Bluetooth capability is now standard on all Maxima models. Nissan’s flagship sedan, the Maxima, was completely redesigned last year. Built on the same platform as the Altima mid-size sedan, the front-wheel-drive 2010 Nissan Maxima takes a sportier and more luxurious direction than the Altima.
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2010 Nissan Maxima Review

The 290-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine that propels the 2010 Nissan Maxima is extremely smooth, and it allows relaxed acceleration in normal driving with the automatic continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Fuel economy is good with the setup, at 19 mpg city, 26 mpg highway. The CVT also includes a manual sport mode and available steering-wheel paddle shifters to access a series of simulated gear ratios for high-performance driving. However, no manual transmission is offered on the Nissan Maxima, and the CVT doesn’t allow the level of control in high-performance driving that conventional transmissions do. The Maxima still has one of the sportiest suspension calibrations for a front-wheel-drive sedan, and Nissan retains last year’s improved suspension geometry that reduces torque steer—the tendency for high-powered front-drivers to pull to the side on hard acceleration. Overall, the Maxima has a firm yet supple ride, allowing good handling response without sacrificing comfort. Stabilizer bars are included front and back, and a new Twin Orifice Steering System helps provide good feedback from the road in spirited driving, while remaining rather light around tight corners.

2010 Nissan Maxima Review

2010 Nissan Maxima Review

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