Not for the milquetoast
Power and refinement
The Maxima is powered by a 3.5L DOHC V6 engine that develops 290 hp @ 6,400 rpm and 261 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm. Those are decent figures by any measure but when paired with a CVT engineered to keep the engine in its power-band sweet spot when pushed, the outcome is impressive indeed.
Power is readily available at any speed, enabling the four-door Maxima to pull smoothly and smartly forth with uninterrupted acceleration. Due to its front-wheel-drive configuration, some torque-steer can occasionally seep its way in. Still, I’d be far more enamored with this car’s ability if it were configured with rear-wheel or all-wheel drive.
Behind the wheel
The Maxima’s seats are delightful: comfortable, supple and supportive. I have to rave momentarily about how pleasing it is to find an extendable seat cushions built into the front seats. This is a feature that anyone with long thighs would surrender their first born to acquire. Well done, Nissan!
Once underway, the Maxima’s flat, secure cornering becomes evident. Even when pushed hard through a tight turn, the sedan remains remarkably stable, giving credibility to Nissan’s claim that it’s a four-door sports car.
My tester was equipped with the Sport Package, which enhanced the Maxima’s adroitness but also contributed to its fairly firm ride dynamics. Not harsh by any means but don’t expect Camry-like ride absorbency. And don’t expect the Camry’s tomb-like quiet operation either.
Auto journalist & Consumer Ratings
Editor's Review Highlights
2012 Nissan Maxima Specifications
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