the better values on the Australian family car market today.
The Maxima is offered in three variants, with Nissan Maxima prices ranging from the ST-L ($34,190) to the up-spec Ti ($47,290) with the ST-S slotted in between at $38,190. The ST-L is powered by a 6-cylinder 2.5i unleaded petrol engine while the ST-S and Ti get the larger 6-cylinder 3.5i premium petrol version. The entire range comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, and a unique Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).
Under the bonnet
The 2.5 litre engine in the ST-L puts out a seemingly disappointing 134kW/228Nm, numbers one would hardly expect from a big V6. However, according to at least one 2013 Nissan Maxima review, the CVT extracts as much power as possible out of the engine to deliver better performance than the raw
numbers indicate. It also uses a surprisingly efficient 9.5 l/100km of petrol, better than its chief competition the Toyota Camry.
On the other hand, the 3.5 litre engine in the ST-S and Ti puts out a serious 184kW/326Nm, which is enough to satisfy almost any power fiend. Though the surcharge for the larger engine is about $4,000, it has the potential to inject a touch of fun into an otherwise bland driving experience.
Exterior and style
The vehicle has not changed much since its last redesign in 2009, but it still holds up well: strong curves, a low-set grille and roofline, and an aggressive stance give this car the impression of a rear-wheel drive sedan. While it may not stand out as much in today’s market of increasingly well-designed economical cars, the Maxima remains among the best in style.
Interior and comfort
Nissan continues to assemble a consistently above average cabin with plenty of leg space for the driver and passengers as well as headroom for most adults. Leather seats and steering wheel come standard on all models, giving this car the appearance of a higher-end Infiniti model rather than a more “common” brand. The accessories in the Ti make the console even more impressive as it adds seat warmers and satellite navigation to the mix
The car comes with all the safety features that you would expect from a family car – standard ABS, front and side airbags, traction control, and dynamic stability control. It has been awarded a 5-star overall safety rating from the NCAP.
On the road
The base ST-L certainly won’t be confused for a performance car, but the V6 combined with CVT give it enough kick to satisfy most driving requirements. Cornering is only average, according to several 2013 Nissan Maxima reviews, as the car contends with body roll and suboptimal grip from the tyres. However, that kind of problem is unlikely to bother too many potential owners. The Ti adds more drama with its impressive additional power but the handling doesn’t improve with it, so harder driving is best kept in straight lines.
Value for money
The combination of a frugal V6, large interior, and plenty of features makes the $34,190 ST-L a solid value in the large family car market. Those looking
for more of a kick from their daily driver can spend more on the Ti ($47,290) and get an adequate number of additional features for the money.
The Nissan Maxima and Toyota Camry have squared off for years in the family sedan arena – in this particular fight, the most comparable Camry can boast a lower price ($33,490 versus Nissan Maxima prices of $34,190) and better overall fuel economy (7.8l/km versus 9.5) while the Nissan wins in the categories of standard features and performance. Because of the near equality in price, personal preference will likely decide the outcome of that matchup.
The last gasp of the Maxima actually turns out to be one of the better versions of this car that Nissan has produced. Typical family sedan owners may not expect much power or luxury from their daily drivers and may be surprised by the standard options – leather seats and accents as well as keyless entry add a touch of class in a place that it might not have been expected. Australians with families to haul around can now do it in ease and style with a 2013 Nissan Maxima.
About Tim Marsh:
Tim Marsh, author of New Cars Plus’s Car Reviews and Blog, has been covering the car beat for the last 8 years. Tim specialises in finding the best deals on wheels and offering advice on making your car last.
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