2009 Nissan Maxima priced to start below $30,000Enlarge Photo
The new car will be offered in two trims, the 3.5 S and 3.5 SV, both featuring the award-winning 3.5L V6 found throughout Nissan's lineup. Both cars are also fitted with the company's Xtronic CVT (continuously variable transmission). Power from the V6 is up 35hp (26kW) over the previous generation car to 290hp (216kW), while fuel economy also improves by a point in highway driving to 19mpg city/26mpg highway (12.4L/100km city, 9.0L/100km highway). Base price for the S model is $29,290, while the SV starts at $31,990.
New features include an enhanced interior with a more driver-oriented 'super cockpit' - ergonmically close and sport-oriented controls. A full complement of technological features including a RearView monitor, hard-drive nav system with XM NavTraffic information, voice recognition capability and 9.3GB of storage for music.
Optional upgrades include a Sport package, available on the SV models, that adds 19-inch wheels and more tautly tuned suspension, leather seats and paddle shifters. A premium package, also available on SV models, adds a dual-panel moonroof, 7-inch color screen RearView Monitor and Eucalyptus wood-tone trim.
Nissan says the exterior design of the new Maxima is intended to impart a feeling of 'liquid motion' more common to exotic sports cars than family sedans. A slightly shorter wheelbase and wider track than the outgoing model add to the aggressive stance and lend credibility to the revival of the 4DSC nameplate. With 290hp (216kW) on tap, the car should certainly accelerate with adequate verve to deserve the appellation.