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2009 Nissan Maxima Review

Completely redesigned for 2009, the Nissan Maxima has a healthy dose of sportiness for a 2009 midsize car. It’s more powerful than most family sedans and has an interior with an up-market feel, but the Maxima still lacks the agility and refinement of many competitors within the segment.

Pros & Cons

  • Ample power
  • Spacious rear seat
  • Not as agile as most sport sedans
  • Some complaints about front-seat comfort




Critics' Rating: 8.2
Performance: 8.3
Interior: 7.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.0
Safety: 9.2
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2009 Nissan Maxima Overview

When it was new, critics praised Nissan for taking the redesigned 2009 Maxima to a higher level with a good interior and more muscle than you might expect from a family sedan. They said it performed well for a front-wheel drive car, but lacked the athleticism of true sport sedans. Regarding its interior, some said it appeared to be lifted out of an Infiniti. Others though, said the Maxima’s interior fit and finish fell short of true luxury brands.

The Maxima is powered by a 290-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 that critics said has plenty of power to get the Maxima moving. Though most reviewers commented that the Maxima handles well, they still felt that it lacks the agility of rear- and all-wheel drive rivals in the class. Fuel economy is 19/26 mpg city/highway, which is about average for the class. The Maxima can hold up to 14.2 cubic feet of cargo in its trunk, which is similar to what you’ll find in other 2009 midsize cars.

The Maxima’s cabin drew a mix of praise and criticism from reviewers. Some said it would look appropriate in an Infiniti, while others said it used materials that seemed cheap. The seats also drew mixed reviews. Some found them very comfortable, while others found them a bit too snug. Most said the back seat offered plenty of leg space. The Maxima comes standard with power front seats, dual-zone climate control and an eight-speaker stereo with an auxiliary input jack. Available features include leather seats, a panoramic sunroof, a Bose stereo, Bluetooth, navigation, satellite radio and a backup camera.

See the full 2009 Nissan Maxima specs »

Other Cars to Consider

The 2009 Acura TL is available with either front- or all-wheel drive, and critics said the front-wheel drive version has a softer, suppler suspension, while the AWD variant can run with some of the best sport sedans in the class. Additionally, the base TL is loaded with standard features and offers unbeatable safety scores, which may appeal to shoppers who want a safe used car.

The 2009 Lexus ES 350 is the luxury benchmark of the class, thanks to its opulent, quiet interior and smooth suspension that isolates occupants from all but the worst road imperfections. It’s no sport sedan, but if you’re looking for a comfortable cruiser, critics said you can’t go wrong with the ES.

Compare the Maxima to the TL and ES »

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