Used Car Review

2009 Nissan Maxima: Used Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Joe Tralongo June 2015

The Maxima has always been a favorite with those who love power, handling and performance mixed with a high level of luxury, quality and reliability. In its first year of a complete redesign, the 2009 Nissan Maxima took on a more aggressive look that's reminiscent of a stretched 370Z sport coupe. In fact, Nissan has always billed the Maxima as the "4-door sports car," and the 2009 model further lends credibility to the claim.

Although it lacks the option of a manual transmission, the Maxima is just as enjoyable to drive as more expensive sedans from Audi, BMW, Infiniti and Lexus. It comes with a long list of standard and optional equipment including high-end features such as a ventilated driver's seat, a Bose audio system, a heated steering wheel, and voice-activated navigation and audio controls.

Against similarly priced sedans, such as the Volkswagen Passat and Hyundai Azera, the Maxima offers more luxury features and better performance, as well as more distinctive styling both inside and out.

What We Like

Stealthy styling; potent V6 engine; admirable ride and handling; a well-appointed cockpit; an excellent navigation and audio system; good reliability ratings

What We Don't

No manual transmission option; continuously variable transmission is not an enthusiast's first choice; upper trim models can be pricey; cooling seat is a driver-only option

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The 2009 Maxima is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 good that's for 290 horsepower and 261 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy figures are a respectable 19 miles per gallon in the city, 26 mpg on the highway and 22 mpg combined.

Standard Features & Options

The 2009 Maxima only comes as a 4-door sedan offered in two trim levels: S and SV.

The Maxims S includes cloth seating, an 8-way power driver's seat, a 4-way power passenger seat, cruise control, a tilt-telescopic steering column, keyless entry with push-button start, a power moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, 8-speaker AM/FM/MP3/6-disc stereo with an auxiliary audio input jack, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, 18-inch alloy wheels and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

The SV trim adds leather-appointed seats, a 9-speaker Bose audio system, driver's seat extendable thigh support, driver's power lumbar support and HomeLink.

There is a handful of optional packages for the SV trim. The Premium package brings steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, Bluetooth, HID headlights, an auto-dimming driver's-side mirror, a dual-pane panoramic sunroof, a 7-in screen with a rear backup camera, rear bucket seats with separate HVAC and audio controls, an iPod interface, a power rear sunshade, a ventilated cooling driver's seat, a power tilt-telescopic steering column, a heated steering wheel and satellite radio.

The Sport package adds heated front seats, 19-in wheels, a sport suspension, paddle shifters, HID headlights, a rear spoiler, a power tilt-telescopic steering column, a heated steering wheel, upgraded leather interior and Bluetooth.

The Technology package adds voice-activated navigation, a rear backup camera, single CD player, 9.3 gigabytes of media storage and an iPod interface.

Many of these features were also available in smaller packages or as standalone items, namely the Cold package (heated seats, outside mirrors and steering wheel), HID headlights and the Monitor package (a 7-in screen and rear backup camera).

Pricing

The Maxima holds fairly good 5-year residual values, although they trend more toward average after the 3-year mark. As it's not really in high demand, you should be able to strike a good deal on a low mileage model. Unfortunately, the 2009 model is too old to qualify for Nissan's certified pre-owned option. To get a good idea of the Maxima's price range, we suggest checking out the used-car values at KBB.com. You can also search the Autotrader Classifieds to see what models are currently for sale in your area.

Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued the following recall for the 2009 Nissan Maxima:

A recall was issued for a possible problem with the upper front strut insulators. They may have been manufactured out of specification, thus resulting in a potential for the strut insulator to crack.

Recall repairs are required by law, even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed, and if not, will fix the car at no charge to you.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

The 2009 Maxima carries a full complement of airbags, side-protection beams and numerous electronic systems including electronic traction and stability control. In crash tests, NHTSA gave the Maxima five out of five stars in the front, side impact and rollover crash tests. The independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Maxima its highest rating of Good in the moderate-overlap and side-impact tests, an Acceptable rating in the small-overlap front crash and rollover tests, and a Marginal rating in the head restraints and seat tests.

The Nissan Maxima entered service backed by a 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Unfortunately, the 2009 Maxima is too old to qualify for Nissan's certified pre-owned (CPO) program. But if you find a later model Maxima that is covered by the program, the vehicle not only goes through an extensive 150-point check, but also comes with an extended factory warranty of 7 years/100,000 miles from the original date that the vehicle entered service. Other advantages of the program include a free CARFAX report, 24-hour roadside assistance, rental-car reimbursement, towing benefits and a free 3-month trial subscription to SiriusXM radio. To qualify for the Nissan CPO program, vehicles are typically less than 5 years old and must have fewer than 80,000 miles.

Other Cars to Consider

2009 Volkswagen CC -- The CC offers similar sporty styling and a luxurious interior, plus the added bonus of available all-wheel drive. But its unique rear bucket seats limit total occupancy to just four people.

2009 Acura TL -- Acura's TL isn't as expressive as the Maxima, but it does offer many of the same features, holds excellent resale and reliability ratings, and carries a highly recognizable luxury brand name.

2009 Audi A6 -- The A6 will cost more than a comparably equipped Nissan Maxima, but it has more power and a more luxurious interior, plus available all-wheel drive and a V8 engine option.

Autotrader's Advice

In the used market, we think finding a nice Maxima SV with the Premium and Technology packages will suit the need for performance and luxury without tipping the scales too much in favor of one or the other. The Sport package takes performance up a notch, but the larger wheels and stiffer suspension create a rather firm ride that can become tiring in day-to-day driving.

Find a Nissan Maxima for sale

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Used 2009 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SV
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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2009 Nissan Maxima: Used Car Review - Autotrader