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Beater That's Hard To Beat: 2009-2014 Nissan Maxima

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On: Wed, Nov 4, 2015 at 12:45PM | By: Teddy Field

Beater That's Hard To Beat: 2009-2014 Nissan Maxima

In the world of family sedans, it pays to be different. No, you have to be different. Otherwise, people would just buy another Camry. To that end, Nissan sent their 7th-generation Maxima to the gym, and it emerged as a muscle-bound "4-Door Sports Car" (that's what the 4DSC sticker means). Granted, the 2009–2014 Nissan Maxima won't outdrag an M3, or outhandle a Quattro. But it will outclass a Camry just sitting still, which makes it one beater that's hard to beat...

Introduced for the 2009 model year, the A35 Nissan Maxima rides on a modified version of the Altima/Murano FWD platform. Its dimensions sit between mid-and-full size, and it wears some of the best looking sheetmetal that Nissan's ever devised. Although power is sent to the 18/19-inch front wheels, the aluminum-intensive suspension does a great job of transferring its 3,700 lbs through the bends. You won't mistake a 2009–2014 Nissan Maxima for a 'real' sports car, but you won't mistake it for a milktoast family car either.

Part of the Maxima's charm comes from the VQ-series V6 under the hood. Thanks to lots of clever technology, this chain-driven twin-cam 3.5L cranks out 290 hp and 261 lb-ft. That 'oomph' gets channeled through a CVT transmission, which has been programmed to handle all that power brilliantly (it even has synthetic 'gears'). Simply mat the throttle (the optional paddle shifters seem to slow it a bit) and the 2009-2014 Nissan Maxima will charge to 60 mph in 5.8–6.2 seconds. You won't be late for that sales/PTA/AA meeting again!

The cabin of the 2009–2014 Nissan Maxima is just as smart looking as the outside. There's an Infiniti-esque center stack, with lots of features packed into the full-color touchscreen display. All of the materials feel high-end, and seats are comfortable and supportive. Options include dual glass roof panels, adaptive cruise control, rear climate/audio controls, and a sport pack with bigger wheels and a sportier suspension setup. Comparing this generation Nissan Maxima to more expensive models from Acura, Lexus, and Infiniti is totally justified. And, considering that you can get a low mileage 2009 Nissan Maxima for around $14,000, it's one nice beater that's hard to beat.

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