$9,885 - $10,684

2012 Nissan Maxima Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2012 Nissan Maxima was new.


Interior: 8.0

Impressive cabin tech and a luxurious feel help the 2012 Nissan Maxima earn high marks from test drivers. While the Maxima’s wraparound dash design draws comparisons with the Nissan Altima, the quality materials and electronics generally earn praise for their similarities to those found in the Infiniti G and Infiniti M. Consumers on the hunt for an even better-appointed interior should check out the Hyundai Genesis sedan, which offers interior luxury seldom seen at this price point.

  • "Soft-touch surfaces are just OK in appearance, which is disappointing given Maxima's upscale pretensions." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "The Maxima's cabin could probably get away with an Infiniti badge." -- Cars.com
  • "Within the cabin, you'll find a well-designed interior with excellent materials." -- Edmunds 
  • "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." -- Kelley Blue Book 
  • "The interior's nearly as good as the exterior. First and foremost is that thick (we're talking BMW-thick) leather-wrapped steering wheel that is mercifully (nearly) free of button clutter. While all Maximas now ship with a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), the large, almost oversized aluminum flappy paddles behind the wheel feel great." -- Autoblog


The front seats of the Nissan Maxima are generally well-received, with critics noting comfortable, well-bolstered accommodations. All Maxima sedans feature an eight-way power driver’s seat, with manual or power lumbar support on the S and SV trims, respectively. Opt for the SV trim and leather-appointed seats come standard. Comfort also jumps up a notch with the optional Premium Package, which includes a climate-controlled driver’s seat that’s heated and cooled. Heated front seats are also available in the Cold and Sport Packages.

Reviewers have mixed opinions about the rear seats in the Maxima. Some say they’re comfortable, but others note that the sloping roofline and unsupportive seatbacks may detract from passenger comfort.

  • "Maxima's seats are very comfortable and supportive. SV is equipped with a thigh extender for more support. Headroom and legroom are generous for those under 6 feet." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Within the ample, adult-size cabin, the front seats blend support and soft cushioning. The executive-style rear bucket seats are comfortable and stylish just like those in the Mercedes-Benz CLS and Volkswagen CC, but the small center position is understandably all but unusable." -- Edmunds 
  • "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." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The seats are also thick, many-way adjustable and comfy. Though we'd like some more leg and hip bolstering - the seat bottom is a little flat - rear seat customers will enjoy their spacious perch." -- Autoblog

Interior Features

There’s no shortage of standard features on the 2012 Nissan Maxima, which include Bluetooth, dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button ignition and steering wheel-mounted controls for cruise and audio functions.

While the long list of standard features is impressive, reviewers also favor the high quality of the Maxima’s interior, which uses mostly upscale materials.

  • "Maxima's controls are clear and logically placed. SV's large center-mounted trip-computer screen offers little of value on models without the navigation system. Navigation system is easy to use, and does not complicate audio functions. The available iPod interface system makes easy work of controlling the device through the stereo system." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "It draws elements from Infiniti's G and M sedans, while the wraparound dash looks much like the one in the Altima. All told, it easily rivals the cabin in a Ford Taurus, another player in its segment." -- Cars.com
  • "The cabin is understated and surrounds passengers with high-quality materials worthy of the sedan's luxury-car price tag. When combined with the Premium or Sport packages, the cabin is on even footing with its pricier Infiniti G37 cousin. We're especially fond of the Maxima's optional iPod interface, which is one of the best." -- Edmunds 
  • "The instrument binnacle is intelligently designed and filled with big, legible gauges, exactly what one would need if you were to take Nissan up on its renewed 4DSC (Four-Door Sports Car) boast." -- Autoblog


Test drivers are tight-lipped when it came to their feelings about the Nissan Maxima’s 14.2 cubic feet of cargo space. They do note, however, that upgrading to the Premium Package eliminates the folding 60/40-split rear seat, replacing it with just a center pass-through. If you’re looking for a bigger trunk, check out competitors such as the Lincoln MKZ and Hyundai Genesis, which offer 16 and 15.9 cubic feet of cargo space, respectively.

  • "Maxima's interior storage spaces are decent and include a large, wide glovebox, deep center console, and small scattered cubbies." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The standard 60/40-split rear seats can fold down for bulkier items, but the optional bucket rear seats offer just a center pass-through for longer objects." -- Edmunds

Find the Best Price

Enter your zip code to get local pricing.

Get Dealer Quotes

To get dealer quotes, enter your zip code.

Search Used Listings

To search used listings, enter your zip code.

Change Location

Enter your zip code to see listings near you.

Please enter a valid zipcode

Best Price Program

Interested in a New?

Use the U.S. News Best Price Program to find great deals and get upfront pricing on the.