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2009 Nissan Maxima: Return of the 4DSC?

Posted in Nissan by Geoff | August 21st, 2008 | 4 Responses |

2009 Nissan Maxima
2009 Nissan Maxima

It has been almost 20 years since Nissan’s “4DSC” designated Maxima was introduced to the U.S. market.  A “Four-Door Sports Car” it wasn’t, but what it was, was a sedan with a sport-tuned suspension and 190-horsepower.  To current drivers that may not seem too extraordinary, but back then it was enough to get the Maxima SE mentioned in the same breath as the big name German sport sedans.  With the 2009 Maxima is banking on not only nostalgia but legitimate performance to put the Maxima in the same class as Benz and BMW.

It is a relief that the awkward-looking Maxima of 2004-2008 is gone. The styling design of the new Maxima is what Nissan calls “liquid motion.” With a severely upgraded and aggressive look from those of the previous generation, the new Maxima hopes to invoke thoughts of the GT-R and Infiniti G35.

2009 Maxima
2009 Maxima

Power of this new design is the old standard 3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve VQ-series V-6 engine that powered the previous-generation Maxima and nearly everything else in the Nissan fleet. This revised engine is now rated at 290 horsepower and 261 lb-ft of torque, an increase of 35 horsepower and nine lb-ft of torque over the 2008 Maxima engine. It provides 19/26 mpg fuel economy; a 1-mpg increase from 2008 in highway performance.

The standard transmission is what Nissan calls the next-generation 3-mode Xtronic CVT.  Reports are that if you launch hard from a stoplight, the car surges away from the traffic with a snarl, but that at cruising velocity, the CVT seamlessly climbs to a higher ratio, dropping the engine speed dramatically.  In terms of handling, the Maxima comes with aluminum intensive MacPherson strut suspension up front and a separate spring and shock multi-link setup in the rear. There are various chassis reinforcements throughout the car (some cannabilized from the Infiniti M45), including a front strut tower brace and, for Sport/Premium package-equipped models, a rear seat panel that is said to improve torsional rigidity by 17 percent.  0-60 mph is achieved in a respectable 5.8 seconds.

Maxima Interior
Maxima Interior

Interior design has also been given a facelift in both trim levels, 3.5 S and 3.5 SV.  The Designers positioned all of the major driver controls and information displays within easy reach and view of the driver.  For example, the CVT shift lever is to the left of the vehicle center-line, and the three-spoke steering wheel features long paddle shifters and a large cutout for easy view of the bright “Daylight Illumination” gauges.  Seats also are performance oriented, with eight-way adjustability (including lumbar support) standard for the driver and four-way adjustability for the passenger.

The Maxima offers options including leather-trimmed seats, metal or Eucalyptus wood dash paneling, and a wide range of electronic upgrades including a premium audio system, a rearview camera and monitor, navigation with XM NavTraffic real-time traffic information, voice recognition and a 9.3GB hard drive for storage and playback of digital audio files.

For those interested in buying the Maxima, Nissan has kept pricing of the new version close to that of the last; in the low 30 grand range.  The new Maxima may not be a sports car, but it keeps getting closer.

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4 Responses

  1. mavrouli says:

    The old maxima had looks which could detach retina’s, mabe it had too much “fluid retention”. But this could rival anything Lexus has in it’s stables, and in the low 30’s. This one has it’s all the liquids in the right place, keep it up nissan..

  2. keshia says:

    im so in love with this car. i am going to get one dont matter how much it is

  3. Eli says:

    Picked up my 2009 SV last week. Fantastic car. I’m a former Acura owner, and I’d planned on the TSX right up until I took this one out for a spin. I wasn’t sold on the CVT, but the sport mode makes a huge difference – just spot-on across the board.

  4. Tony says:

    I just bought my 2009 Maxima SV (premium package, Dark Slate color) 2 weeks ago. It is an absolutely amazing car. It preforms like a sports car, but the interior is as good or better then any luxury car out there. I sold my 2007 Infiniti FX35 for this car and it has more tech gadgets than the FX did (I had Navi on the FX, fully loaded). It is almost a carbon copy of the new Infiniti G37 sedan inside. The only thing I would say in comparing it to the high-end luxury cars is that the leather is not quite as nice as the FX I sold. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good leather, but just not as soft feeling as the higher-end leathers, it has more of a rougher feel. Incidentally, I test drove about 10 other cars from various manufacturers, this Maxima was the last car I test drove and bought it the same day. It was that impressive.