Product Reviews

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The Maxima is a quick car, but it doesn't add much over the less costly Nissan Altima overall. While pleasant, it falls short in some ways. Handling is responsive, but at low speeds the steering is overly light. The car is quiet, and the ride is decent. But the new coupelike silhouette has compromised visibility, trunk room and rear-seat comfort.
Alerts
There is 1 recall on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
2004
2005
NA
2006
NA
2007
2008
NA
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
NA
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
NA
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
NA
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
NA
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
NA
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
NA
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
NA
Safety Equipment
ABS available, standard from 2000. Side air bags available, standard from 2004. Head protection air bags standard from 2004. ESC available from 2004, standard from 2009.
Road Test

The Maxima is a quick car, but it doesn't add much over the less costly Nissan Altima overall. While pleasant, it falls short in some ways. Handling is responsive, but at low speeds the steering is overly light. The car is quiet, and the ride is decent. But the new coupelike silhouette has compromised visibility, trunk room and rear-seat comfort.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • CVT
Engines Available
  • 3.5-liter V6 (290 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2009 Nissan Maxima owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Cruise control

“There are 2 spindly rods protruding downward behind the brake pedal. They have to do with brake lights and cruise control systems. I have neuropathy in my feet and cannot always tell exactly where my foot is., which has not been a problem till I remove my foot from the brake pedal. Sometimes it slips behind the brake pedal and breaks one or both of these rods, resulting in the brake lights staying on till I cut off the breaker and the cruise control not working. This has happened 4 times sin”

E B., TX (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)
Gauges

“Several warnings appear on dash when outside temp is low, under 50 degrees. Also have a faulty low tire pressure warning light”

Anonymous, OH (2009 Nissan Maxima S 3.5-L V6)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

“The brake lights under the rear window have failed, and the whole assembly must be replaced. There's no pulling a burned bulb and sticking another in its place, a $2 operation. This burned out bulb will cost about $175 to "change." Who needs this?”

E B., TX (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

“Center LED brake lights failed because of a loose connection on the board. Effort to resolver failed. New light unit was $400 installed”

Anonymous, NC (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

“It is one of several warning lights that appears on the dash when there is no real problem with the tire pressure. This issue goes away in the summer when the temp is high”

Anonymous, OH (2009 Nissan Maxima S 3.5-L V6)

“Light on dash stays on even when all tires are correctly inflated”

Anonymous, TN (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

“had to replace tire pressure monitor on both front tires. advised that the back two would probably go out in the near future”

Anonymous, IN (2009 Nissan Maxima Unsure 3.5-L V6)

“See previous page concerning warning light indicator problems”

R B., NJ (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

“The TPMS tire gauges have failed. The batteries have died and need replacement”

Michael J., MO (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

“was always reporting a tire was under pressure”

Anonymous, VA (2009 Nissan Maxima S 3.5-L V6)

“It took the Nissan dealer multiple attempts to correctly diagnose and solve a tire pressure indicator on problem”

Anonymous, VT (2009 Nissan Maxima S 3.5-L V6)
Heated or cooled seats

“passenger heated/cooled seats failed. too expensive to repair, $3K”

Timothy B., GA (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

“The driver's seat which is heated and cooled, stopped working after I left the heater control on one day. The electronics and heater pad had to be replaced”

Gary N., BC (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

“Doors do not lock or unlock when using the key fob”

Anonymous, TN (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)
Warning lights

“Dash tire pressure light continues to stay on. Service garage re calibrated same but subsequently came back on. Also a tire pressure monitor was changed, but did not solve the problem. Tire pressure checked periodically and seems to be ok”

R B., NJ (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

“Had to have bushing and axel replaced. Car shoudln't have this kind of problem. I'm a 66 year old safe driver”

Anonymous, FL (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)
Power steering leaks

“Took to mechanic leaked just a couple months after fixing”

Roben A., ID (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

“Had to replace leaking shocks and struts. Total cost of around $1300”

Anonymous, MO (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

“Very hard or rough driving”

Anonymous, NY (2009 Nissan Maxima Unsure 3.5-L V6)

“Front struts needed replaced”

William B., AZ (2009 Nissan Maxima Unsure 3.5-L V6)
Springs or torsion bars

“Front left and rear right coil springs failed (broke) within three weeks of each other”

Gilbert B., ON (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

“Spring simply cracked and broke”

Anonymous, AB (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)
Tire wear is uneven

“All tires had uneven wear - low profiles”

Anonymous, MA (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

In-dash navigation system (GPS)

“Nav system runs everything in car electronically. Went out with too much time on warranty but within mileage limit, Nissan wouldn't honor anything cost $5,600 to fix. Last Nissan for sure. This is not a rare event according to blogs”

Anonymous, TX (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)
Radio

“Radio controls in back don't work. Radio/Cd in front reverts when turned on. Ex. If radio was on when I turned off car it will be on CD when I turn back on and vice versa or if i am on CD 1 it reverts back to CD 3 when I turn on car. electronics bad”

Timothy B., GA (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

“The radio quit working and had to be replaced (under warranty fortunately)”

Anonymous, TX (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)
Steering wheel controls

“The adjustable steering wheel quit working due to stripped gears, Nissan won't fix even though they have a TSB issued. They do not want to retain customers”

Anonymous, TX (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

“Steering wheel is locked in one position making it difficult for second driver to make any adjustments. Locked in driver one position”

Anonymous, NJ (2009 Nissan Maxima Unsure 3.5-L V6)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

“There's a common problem in this vehicle that causes water to leak from the cabin molding”

Scott G., TX (2009 Nissan Maxima S 3.5-L V6)

“you can outside cabin noise (wind) when driving on the highway”

Warren M., MO (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)
Squeaks or rattles

“Squeaks in the panoramic roof when it is cold outside”

Anonymous, NE (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

“From date of purchase rear suspension squeaks when driving over bumps or rough surfaces”

Anonymous, GA (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

“It stopped operating and had to be replaced. The problem reoccurred within 60 days and had to be replaced a second time. This was completed both times by Nissan service. There have been no problems since”

Anonymous, NV (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

“AC compressor repairs were $2200, shortly thereafter had to replace a part leading to the AC unit, another $600”

Anonymous, ON (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)
Evaporator

“Total AC repair cost was $1300”

Anonymous, NC (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Normal routine brake wear

“rotors were resurfaced and pads were replaced”

Anonymous, MA (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

“noise when I applied brakes”

Anonymous, NJ (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

“I replaced rear break pads and rotors at 65000 - thought it was a bit soon since the front brakes were fine”

Anonymous, ON (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Cooling fan

“Fan blade broke and damaged the radiator and caused the engine tio overheat”

Anonymous, TX (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

“first a radiator hose went - probably from age as it was approx 7 years old, then the radiator sprung a bad leak and had to be replaced”

Anonymous, VT (2009 Nissan Maxima S 3.5-L V6)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Electronic ignition

“What no one tells you is that once it fails you must get towed...and that no other systems work. On a freezing winter night, after midnight, waiting about an hour for the tow truck, with no heat, it's so terribly cold! Luckily Nissan provides a towin”

Joan A., NY (2009 Nissan Maxima S 3.5-L V6)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine computer

“car shut down 4 times since new with control module issues and Nissan would only pay for repair once. Car was totally inaccessible when it shut down. can't get in doors,open hood, nothing”

Anonymous, AR (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Fuel gauge/sender

“If power is disconnected the fuel gauge pegs the needle 360 deg around and stays there”

Anonymous, OH (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Head gasket

“Went in for routine checkup and was told that the head gasket was bad and needed to be replaced. $3000”

Martin W., IL (2009 Nissan Maxima Unsure 3.5-L V6)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

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