Though the 2011 Nissan Maxima is billed as a four-door performance sedan, a disconnect between its marketing and actual road manners resulted in just a mid-pack Total Car Score in the large sedan category.
The five-passenger Maxima lacks a manual transmission option and fails to deliver the expected level of precision handling claimed in its longstanding "four-door sports car" tagline.
Reviewers were more forthcoming with praise for the car’s quality materials, powerful V6 engine, ride comfort, and overall value.
Redesigned just two years ago, the 2011 model arrives with new Brilliant Silver and Metallic Slate paint colors, and a Sport Package that adds smoked headlights, paddle shifters, a unique grille, and contrast stitching. Every Maxima is fitted with six airbags, while options range from a performance-tuned suspension to a voice-activated navigation unit with hard drive space for personal music storage.
The 2011 Nissan Maxima is offered in two trim levels: 3.5 S and 3.5 SV.
Both trims are fitted with a 3.5-liter V6 that pushes 290 horsepower and 261 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission. The EPA rated the powertrain at 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway/22 mpg combined.
Standard on all Maxima models are 18-inch alloy wheels, a moonroof, Bluetooth hands-free calling capability, a push-button ignition system and power-adjustable front seats.
The Maxima 3.5 SV adds fog lights, Bose audio and leather instead of cloth upholstery.
Among the options are HID headlights, the Sport Package, and a Premium Package with heated and cooled front buckets.
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