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2010 Nissan Maxima Review

The 2010 Nissan Maxima is a family sedan with a healthy dose of sportiness. While it isn’t as athletic or luxurious as some rivals, the Maxima’s compromise of both may be right for those who need practicality, but don’t want to totally abandon driving fun.

Pros & Cons

  • Refined handling
  • Powerful engine
  • Spacious back seat
  • Not as sporty as true sport sedans
  • Some interior cheapness




Critics' Rating: 8.0
Performance: 8.1
Interior: 8.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.0
Safety: 9.2
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2010 Nissan Maxima Overview

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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