Review 3 of 446|
from Nissan of Santa Rosa
Year / Model Reviewed:
2009 Nissan Maxima SV/Sport
Engine power and sound. Seat comfort. Programmable CVT transmission sport mode. Styling is brilliant and unusual (take a note Acura designers). Quiet road manners that allow the engine note to be heard. Great Nav system and backup camera. Large trunk. Great iPod interface. Huge glove box. Rattle free interior. Xenon headlights. Sensuous view out the windshield of the fender line and hood bulge.
Suspension is set up a 1/2" too high. Rear seats on the Sport/Premium packages only have a pass through and don't drop down completely. Plastic on the lower door panels doesn't seem as nice as the rest of the car. Sunroof buffets a slow to moderate speeds, needs a wind baffle.
A powerful sedan that has multiple personalities, which are conveyed by its interesting transmission and powerful engine (with a great Z engine note). Sportingly comfortable and entertaining handling. The Sport package has 19" wheels, stiffer springs and antiroll bars. Always insist on having the summer Bridgestone rubber, it is quieter and adds steering feel at the wheel (same wheel as the Z). Seats are very supportive and for the driver, thigh extensions, ala BMW. Sport package also includes heated seats, but counterintuitively, leaves out the cooling function available in the "premium" package. Exterior styling is fascinatingly sensuous, masculine and menacing from some angles. The fluid fenders emphasize the beautifully styled wheels. Headlights echo the Z and GTR. GTR touches also in the "haunches" of the rear which is better emphasized by the rear spoiler available in the sport package. So far, no service issues, the car is quiet and rattle free. Mileage is improving with each tank. Standard "D" for around town is best for mileage and takes advantage of the CVT's efficiency. Open highways and curvy roads are definitely enhanced by the "Ds" mode, where the car suddenly has a six speed transmission, that will downshift while braking into turns and the flappy paddles will hold a gear. Mileage on long trips has been about 24 mpg, while combined in town, 20, not bad for a nearly 300 horsepower car! The Tech package adds back up camera with predicted path grid, bluetooth, iPod interconnection cable, nav, 9 GB internal drive (it can record CD's) and a compact flash transfer point, which I used to listen to music off of a friend's computer...The nav/talk function is more deliberate than Acura's system, but there are shortcuts that are in the manual. Further, the Infinit-based nav system is intuitive and has good tactile feel. What would be really nice is to set up various computer mapping functions on this system, which would help program how the engine, transmission and traction control interact. One thing I haven't mentioned is torque steer: that is because it is so minimal it is not worth mentioning, Nissan has dropped the engine further down into the subframe support structure and used equal length half-shafts to keep the axles from canting at extreme steering angles.
Similar Products Used:
In shopping for a mid sized (and mid priced) performance sedan, I drove an Acura TL (too ugly), Audi A4 (moaning 2.0T engine), Infiniti G37S (bone jarring ride, too narrow), Cadillac CTS (uncomfortable), Mazda 6 (too loud and tinny, ugly interior), Hyundai Genesis 3.8 sedan (too heavy), VW CC 2.0T & VR6 (turbo, loud and peaky, VR6 better but engine moaned like it was being punished). BMW 328i (you could only buy a stripped one to compare with this group, too small inside).