2010 Nissan Maxima SV Review

2010 Nissan Maxima

Last year, Nissan completely overhauled the Maxima, bringing it into premium territory. And it needed it. The 2004-2008 model held little over the Altima, and could even be confused for an Altima by someone not familiar with the Nissan product line. Now it’s a premium sports sedan so good that competitors should be running scared. If it weren’t for its price, that is.

They’re calling the new Maxima a “4DSC” (short for 4-Door Sports Car) – a tribute to the Maxima of late eighties. It certainly acts like it, too. A strong 290 hp 3.5-liter V6 engine in combination with a CVT provides quick and responsive throttle inputs without the harshness of a typical sports car. No, I’m still not a fan of the CVT, but I understand why they use it. Steering input is quick without feeling overly boosted, suspension is tight but not rough, and it provides a Sport mode with paddle shifters (not that they actually shift anything.) It’s smaller than last generation, which is a good move, and exterior design certainly hints at a more aggressive car. A proper sports car though? Not quite, but a highly capable sport sedan most definitely.

Interior quality is superb, with high-end materials used all around, and a driver-oriented cockpit with modern design that Nissan calls a “Super Cockpit” due to the high tech feel and design. 8-way power leather seats with heating and cooling, a good amount of bolstering, and driver thigh extension make long-distance and aggressive drives comfortable. Lots of features are standard – intelligent key with push-button start, cruise, dual-zone climate, power moonroof, bluetooth, and 8-speaker sound with available USB connectivity.

2010 Nissan Maxima side

Check out the 2009 Nissan Maxima Review for more details and opinions. So what’s changed for 2010? They’ve simplified their option packaging a little bit (which we complained about last year) by offering a monitor package, giving you the 7-inch color monitor, rearview monitor, and 2GB music server without having to buy the technology package. Bluetooth is standard, and now there’s only one technology package instead of three, which could be confusing. Two new wheel finishes are available as well as two new colors, Crimson Black and Ocean Gray. Finally, they’ve changed their previous iPod connectivity to USB connectivity, allowing those who own something other than an Apple iPod to connect their MP3 player. Other car makers should follow suit.

I love the new Maxima – it’s a pleasure to drive either aggressively or complaisantly. It’s smooth, quiet, fast when you want it to be, and handles like a champ.

2010 Nissan Maxima interior

The Numbers

The problem the Maxima is going to have is its price. Not that it’s overpriced, but it’s priced into a premium category generally held by Nissan’s premium brand Infiniti. Personally, I’d rather have the Maxima than a G35 sedan, but I’m afraid buyers aren’t going to look at it like that or agree. The 2010 Maxima starts at $30,460, and $33,180 for the SV trim. Our test model, which includes the Sport Package, Sport Technology package, and Monitor package, comes in at a whopping $38,660 – a price point normally held by brands like Lexus, Cadillac, and BMW. Fuel economy comes in at an excellent 19 city / 26 hwy.

Before you Buy

Competitors include Toyota Avalon, Acura TL, Cadillac CTS, Hyundai Genesis, VW CC, Audi A4, and at the higher end, BMW’s 3-Series, and Nissan’s own Infiniti G37 Sedan, funny enough. If you’re looking at the higher end models within the Maxima’s price range, you’ll have to stick with the base models, which won’t include as many features as the Maxima but will have the brand prestige too many are looking for. Frankly, out of all the models listed, the Maxima will give you some of the best value in terms of features and fun-to-drive factor.

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2010 Nissan Maxima rear

About The Author

I founded Automoblog.net in May of 2006 to share my love of cars. My favorites include the Lamborghini Diablo 6.0 VT and Koenigsegg CCX, and I think the Ferrari 360 Spider is still one of the sexiest cars in existence. For “normal” cars, I like imports - Nissan, Audi, Subaru... I love my Pearl Yellow (don't judge) 1990 Nissan 300ZX TT and plan to get it to around 550 HP one day. I'm also an avid world traveler and love rock climbing.

3 Comments on "2010 Nissan Maxima SV Review"

  1. Jim

    I leased a 2010 Nissan Maxima one month ago and every day I find something else I do not like about this car. The bluetooth hands free phone system does not support call waiting. The cheapest of cheap blutooths do this. If the bluetooth system is turned on and you are not connected to it you can not use another bluetooth ear piece because of the interference. The safety reverse on the auto up window does not work. My wifes broken finger can attest to that. The driver seat is very uncomfortable, the front console sits back to far and does not allow you to open it without straining your body. The cup holders are difficult to use and will not hold small coffees from most fast food chains. Try using the coin storage , never mind don't waste your time. The letterig on the a/c knobs are below the knobs therefore you can not read them. The navigation system consistently gives out incorrect information. The rear seat belts stick. I am currently using premium gasoline and getting 10 mpg. The cargo area is small. This is my third Nissan and as much as I loved my two Altimas this will be my last Nissan. I have a 39 month lease and will not keep this car for a year.

  2. Jim

    Nissan does want to talk about my wifes broken finger . They just keep saying let the dealer repair the safety reverse. They now claim that they should have an update in a month or two for the bluetooth lol. Can't wait to get out of this car. Will probablt take a financial whipping on it but that is better than keeping this piece of s@*% for more than a year.

  3. Eric

    Kudos Jim, your assessment is excellent. Funny thing also is you cant get anyone to speak intelligently from Nissan about it. In addition, call waiting was listed as a feature when I purchased the 2010. Then when I looked again that was removed – and apparently removed from 2009 to 2010. I like the car but too many issues. Last Nissan for me.

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