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

  • 2012 Nissan Maxima
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V6 engine
  • Transmission:
    Xtronic CVT transmission
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
  • Torque @ RPM:
  • Displacement:
    3500 L
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior and Interior

2012 Nissan Maxima Exterior
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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.


2012 Nissan Maxima Exterior
- image 414497

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.


2012 Nissan Maxima High Resolution Exterior
- image 414496

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.


2012 Nissan Maxima High Resolution Exterior
- image 414495

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.

2012 Nissan Maxima High Resolution Exterior
- image 414494
  • Leave it
    • * Doesn’t have the star appeal as the 3-Series
    • * No extensive styling improvements
What do you think?
Show Comments


  (119) posted on 09.26.2012

This car is simply stunning. But I just wanted to know is there anybody else who thinks the nissan maxima should have a 6 speed automatic with a sport shift mode as an option? This car is so nice but I don’t think they should all be cvt’s.

  (532) posted on 02.9.2012

There are few changes made with this 2012 Nissan Maxima. It looks more refreshing and more improved performance compared to the older models. The price is so affordable, and I want to own one.

  (683) posted on 12.4.2011

Maxima looks so cool and exclusive on its exterior styling, and I really love the angst that was expressing by its headlight. However, I still find out that its competitor is more powerful than on it.

  (577) posted on 10.25.2011

At the first sight, I thought that this Maxima is a good-looking car but looking at its whole picture, I must say that it only looks very ordinary and simple that’s why I’m not so impressed on it.

  (372) posted on 10.24.2011

Maxima is looks so angst and aggressive on its body paint, but I wonder if what will be the interior of this one will looks like and sorry to say, but I’m too disappointed on its poor engine performance.

  (526) posted on 10.10.2011

Maxima is so simple for a concept car, and I must say that I can’t see any special features that this car had for it to be such an impressive one and is it on a matte color?

  (410) posted on 09.28.2011

Very elegant and professional look. Though not surprisingly impressive at all. But I like the new features and things that has been improved here.

  (798) posted on 09.20.2011

Despite of having a simple styling and platform design I still find it very impressive and I bet it will stand out on its own appearance.

  (378) posted on 09.19.2011

The platform and the design seems so ordinary. That’s why I don’t find it an impressive car, but I’d love the fact that it is very reliable on the road and very practical to use in everyday transportation.

  (458) posted on 09.16.2011

2012 Nissan Maxima has 290 Horse power and V6 engine. This performance is enough for the simple car likes this

  (119) posted on 09.15.2011

many people may disagree with this but i think nissan should’ve offered a model of this maxima with a all wheel drive system and a slight horsepower boost.

  (444) posted on 09.12.2011

The same as Xtronic? I hope the newer reinventions would be better from the old ones.

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