2010 Nissan Maxima 3.5 — Flash Drive
This 2010 review is representative of model years 2009 to 2013.
By Staff of MSN Autos
While the Maxima 3.5 SV continues to be a well-mannered front-wheel-drive sedan, over the years it has traded some of the sport for additional comfort and luxury. The 2010 model is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 paired to a continuously variable transmission. The CVT is one of the best I have experienced, keeping the engine at the optimum rpm for either acceleration or cruising, and allowing manual shifts between set ratios in sport mode while achieving an EPA city rating of 19 mpg and a combined city/highway rating in the 20s. There is the occasional odd sound or vibration from the engine when pulling at low rpm. Inside the Maxima SV with Premium Package is very comfortable and nicely appointed with premium leather, heated seats, climate-controlled driver's seat and two-panel sunroof. Maxima is a proper Nissan flagship sedan, it's just not a sports car. –Mike Meredith
The Maxima is a great premium sedan with decent handling and good power, but does not live up to its label of a 4DSC (4-Door Sports Car). Styling is somewhat bland, but it isn't unattractive either. Inside is quite nice, with ample rear legroom and comfortable seats. With almost 300 horsepower and one of the best CVTs in the business, performance is pretty good for such a large car. The CVT provides exceptionally smooth acceleration as well as good fuel economy - I saw around 20 mpg in the city. Ultimately, the Maxima is a great family sedan, but the 4DSC badge only raises expectations that lead to disappointment. –Perry Stern
Nissan did a great job designing the new Maxima. The aggressive lines and attractive sheet metal look cool and stand out from the competitors. Inside, the driver is treated to a great looking dashboard and center console. The optional nav system design is from the Infiniti model line and extremely easy to use. The leather seats are very comfortable during long commutes, with decent headroom and legroom in the front and rear seats. Since the engine puts out almost 300 horsepower, you can easily spin the front tires under hard acceleration. Even with all that power, I achieved 21 mpg in mixed driving. If you want an affordable 4-door sports car that has a useable trunk, you should take a look at the Maxima. –Joe Chulick