The Nissan Maxima has been a pillar model for the Japanese brand for many years, so it wasn’t all that surprising that the company decided to freshen up the model for its 2012 release. Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be a whole lot of changes done on the car - both aesthetic and performance - to make it look different from the 2011 model.
For one, there are limited modifications done on the exterior of the car. The car’s powertrain also remains the same, which is a bummer considering that the engine has been around for the past three generations.
What we do like about the 2012 Nissan Maxima is that it’s got optional upgrades that customers can avail to for a pretty reasonable price. For only $750, you can get plenty of new goodies that can turn your Maxima into a full-fledged eye-catcher.
It’ll still carry the same powertrain, which is pretty disappointing, but hey, you can’t fault Nissan for at least trying to improve the new Maxima, even if the only thing they are offering is optional features.
Find out more about the 2012 Nissan Maxima after the jump
Exterior and Interior
The 2012 Maxima offers a refreshed look from its previous models, with only subtle changes distinguishing it. On the outside, the noticeable improvements include a new front grille design, a redesigned rear lights set-up, and the addition of new sets of 18" or 19" aluminum alloy wheels. Nissan is also offering two new color schemes for the 2012 Maxima: Java Metallic and Dark Slate.
Meanwhile, the interior of the 2012 Maxima offers a few subtle improvements, including the installation of a white illumination on the meter cluster to go with a new audio segment display and a revised audio/HVAC knob design. Nissan also dressed up the Maxima’s interior with a choice of different trims - Dark Piano hairline trim, Atlantic Cherry wood tone trim, and metallic-finish trim - to go with the new Cafe Latte interior color.
For an additional $750, Nissan is offering plenty of optional upgrades, including smoked HID Xenon headlights, a compass in the rearview mirror, a set of 18" Dark Hyper Silver-finished aluminum alloy wheels, a new rear spoiler, dark satin chrome front grille, fog lights, and side mirrors with their own integrated turn signals and metallic trim.
For the 2012 model, the Nissan Maxima retains the same 3.5-liter V6 engine as that of the 2011 model. The engine is still mated to Nissan’s Xtronic CVT transmission and produces an output of 290 horsepower and 261 lb/ft of torque.
If you’re at all interested in the 2012 Nissan Maxima, prepare to shell out either $31,750 for the S model and $34,450 for the higher-end SV model.
These prices are an increase from the $30,810 price for the 2011 S trim and $33,530 for the 2011 SV trim.
The Nissan Maxima belongs in a market that has plenty of competitors, including the Acura TL and the BMW 3-Series 335i. When it comes to esteem and public appreciation, the German BMW 335i has the edge over its Japanese counterparts.
But in terms of powertrain, the 335i’s 3.0-liter inline-6, twin-turbocharged engine that produces 300 horsepower and 300 lb/ft of torque is only marginally better than the numbers the 2012 Maxima is capable of. The Acura TL falls a little short compared to the other two because it ’only’ packs 280 horsepower from its 3.5-liter V6 engine.
The Maxima may lack the panache of the 335i, but it’s a whole lot cheaper than both of its competitors, even if you get the more expensive SV model that’s priced at $34,450. Compare that to the Acura TL, which retails for $35,605 and the BMW 3-Series 335i, which sells for $44,100, and you’re looking at some serious monetary savings without your car losing that much performance against its rivals.
Still packs a nice punch
Optional upgrade is a no-brainer given the cost
Doesn’t have the star appeal as the 3-Series
No extensive styling improvements