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2013 Nissan Maxima Review

The 2013 Nissan Maxima has athletic handling and strong V6 engine performance, but iffy safety scores and tight rear seats land this Nissan in the middle of its class.

Pros & Cons

  • Brawny V6 engine
  • Pleasant ride and handling
  • Tight rear-seat headroom
  • Marginal crash safety ratings




Critics' Rating: 7.8
Performance: 8.0
Interior: 7.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.0
Safety: 8.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 Nissan Maxima Overview

Is the 2013 Nissan Maxima a Good Used Car?

A used 2013 Nissan Maxima is a decent option for a previously owned large car. The Maxima offers fun-to-drive handling and a muscular V6, but its cramped rear seats, shortage of advanced safety features, and low fuel economy make it a tough sell. There are better picks in this segment, like the 2013 Toyota Avalon.

Used 2013 Nissan Maxima Performance and Interior

The Nissan Maxima has a 3.5-liter V6 engine with 290 horsepower. A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and front-wheel drive are standard. The engine feels sturdy and hustles the Maxima up to speed with confidence. The CVT is unusually responsive, giving the Nissan fine passing power at highway speeds. However, fuel economy is low by class standards at just 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway.

Though the Maxima isn’t exactly a sports sedan, it is quite enjoyable to drive. Its suspension keeps the car balanced around turns, yet it still smooths out most road bumps comfortably. The power steering is precise and the brakes are strong, though the brake pedal feels a little too sensitive. An available Sport Package adds a stiffer suspension, but it reduces ride comfort without any noticeable handling benefits.

Read more about Maxima performance »

The Nissan Maxima is a four-door sedan with five seats. Its soft, supportive front seats offer generous head- and legroom. The same can’t be said of the rear seats, however. Rear headroom is slim due to the Maxima’s sloping roofline. Rear legroom is adequate for average-sized adults, but it’s still a few inches shy of most competitors in the class. There are two sets of LATCH connectors for securing child car seats. The Maxima has 14.2 cubic feet of trunk space, which is on par with class standards.

The Maxima’s cabin echoes the styling of its upscale cousin, the Infiniti G37. The infotainment screen operates in much the same way, and it’s simple to use. Soft plastics and upholstery cover many of the interior’s frequently touched areas as well. Despite these niceties, the cabin’s overall design doesn’t look as modern or feel as luxurious as many competitors'.

Read more about Maxima interior »

Used 2013 Nissan Maxima Prices

The price of a used 2013 Maxima ranges from around $11,300 for a base S model to $12,500 for an SV model. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

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We Did the Research for You: 46 Reviews Analyzed

This overview includes fuel economy estimates, reliability ratings, crash test scores, and much more. We've also researched 46 Nissan Maxima reviews to help you decide if the 2013 Maxima is the right car for you.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Reliable Is the 2013 Nissan Maxima?

The Maxima has above-average reliability, earning a score of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

See Maxima reliability scores »

How Safe Is the Maxima?

The 2013 Maxima has disappointing crash safety ratings. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Maxima a score of Good (the highest offered) for side impact and moderate overlap front crash safety. However, the sedan received a score of Acceptable (the second-highest offered) for roof strength and small overlap front crash safety. The Nissan received the second-lowest score of Marginal for seat safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the car five out of five stars for rollover and side impact safety, four stars for overall safety, but only three stars for front crash safety. The Maxima is available with a rearview camera, but there are no other active safety features.

See Maxima safety scores »

Is the 2013 Maxima the Best Model Year to Buy?

The 2013 Nissan Maxima is part of a generation that began with a 2009 redesign and ended in 2015. The Maxima saw no major changes during this stretch, so you may want to consider an older – and very similar – model to save money. A new Maxima generation debuted for 2016.

Compare the 2012, 2013, and 2014 Maxima »

Which Used Nissan Maxima Is Right for Me?

The 2013 Maxima comes in two trims: S and SV. The base Nissan Maxima S model has a CD player, Bluetooth, an auxiliary input, cruise control, dual-zone climate control, cloth seats, remote keyless entry, push-button start, a moonroof, and alloy wheels.

The Nissan Maxima SV trim adds fog lights and leather seats. SV models are also available with a 7-inch infotainment screen, a rearview camera, satellite radio, a USB input, a dual-panel moonroof, a touch-screen navigation system, heated front seats, a climate-controlled driver’s seat, and a sport-tuned suspension.

You may also want to consider a certified pre-owned Maxima for added peace of mind. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Nissan extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years or 100,000 miles. To become certified pre-owned, each vehicle must pass a 167-point inspection. Other benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Nissan warranty page carefully. The model's original sale date determines whether or not it is eligible for the CPO program. 

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the Nissan certified pre-owned program »

2013 Nissan Maxima and Other Cars to Consider

Which Is Better: 2013 Nissan Maxima or 2013 Nissan Altima?

In truth, neither of these sedans are great used car options. Still, the redesigned 2013 Nissan Altima is a midsize car that outperforms its Maxima sibling in most areas. The Altima has a higher-quality interior, more back-seat space, and superior fuel economy (27/38 mpg city/highway). It also has better crash test scores and more advanced safety features, like blind spot monitoring. However, it has poor reliability.

Which Is Better: 2013 Nissan Maxima or 2013 Toyota Avalon?

You’re apt to pay more for a used 2013 Toyota Avalon than a used Maxima, due to its high resale value. However, it’s far-and-away the better car. The Avalon’s luxe interior puts some Lexus models to shame. It has a much roomier back seat, a comfier ride, better fuel economy (21/30 mpg city/highway), solid crash safety ratings, and advanced safety features like forward collision warning. Go with the Toyota.

Which Is Better: 2013 Nissan Maxima or 2013 Hyundai Azera?

The Maxima offers better handling than the 2013 Hyundai Azera. But if you’re willing to make that concession, the Hyundai is the better used car. The Azera has a roomier cabin, better safety ratings, and far lower projected ownership costs. Its interior materials are generally nicer as well, and the Azera offers a few luxuries that the Nissan lacks, including heated rear seats and parking sensors.

Compare the Maxima, Avalon, and Azera »

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