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2009 Nissan Maxima



  • You can file your complaint on-line via the website or by phone with their 800 number. Don't know how much good it will do. In the old days, Nissan would fire Managers for getting complaints, these days I think not. Either way, try it and see what happens.
  • You should have paid by credit card. That way you could have protested the charge with your credit card company when they jerked you around.
  • Hey you now have 2 of us asking you about the octane of the fuel you use, that may very well solve your problem. High octane runs hotter clears build up and reduces emissions just in case that is causing the light to come on. Amoco/BP 93 octane is what I recommend although I have heard of some gasolines with even higher octane ratings.
  • Ok so everyone or almost everyone has some criticism of Nissan for the design of the outgoing 2008 Maxima body style, and I am sure we remember the controversial comments made about the front grill when the car hit the streets in 2004 (looked like bugs bunny's front teeth in the middle of the grille, also reminiscent of prior Oldsmobile models of the 80s). Now the new style comes out and the comments are about how much better looking it is than the older model.
    Also on this blog, there are a few praising comments about the Acura TL and how wonderful it is and better than the Maxima, I already wrote that the two cars are not fairly compared. So I googled images of the 2009 Acura TL and guess what? the body style and rear end are similar to the outgoing Maxima design, now I am confused. Oh and look at the front end of the new TL, Acura obviously did not learn from the 04 Maxima woes, that is 1 ugly grille.
    My dilema is that I don't dislike and actually like the outgoing body style of the Maxima and Acura is the one to offer the similar one, even has the strips over the roof line and buttress-like C-pillar. Add to that the controversial front grill and side window design and I think I can get a body style that similarly resembles the outgoing Maxima.
    And the other question is, what is Acura doing? It is a passe Maxima design, the Avalon also resembles it but I am sure Toyota is working on a new body style, and Acura is just now getting into it, wow what is the world of car design coming to? Acura as always, has a killer interior that far outdoes the outgoing and new Maxima in every way. maybe it is time to switch, you guys take a look and let me know if you see the resemblance that I see.
  • go_mdx1go_mdx1 Posts: 135
    If they continue to not fix your car, you car could qualify for the lemon law ruling:

    While the details vary by state, here's a common ruling:
    New Motor Vehicles Warranties Act provides specifically that a defective car may qualify under the lemon law if: 1) the car was presented for repair four or more times for the same defect and the defect continues; OR 2) the car was out of service for warranty related repairs for a total of 20 or more days during any one year period of the warranty.

    Even high end cars have a fair percentage of returns....when I was searching for a used 07 or 08 Lexus, I found over a dozen "lemon law" buy-backs from Lexus with most dealing with annoying rattles and shakes to the cars that the Lexus owners could not tolerate. So, Lexus bought the car back and it was being re-sold by a 3rd party.

    Good luck and sorry to hear about your unfortunate luck with the car!
  • Could someone please tell me what the money factor and the residual on the 2009 Maxima is. The sticker is about $37,000. Sport with Navagation. Thank You.
  • Eric106 the money factor varies, think of it like the interest rate which determines the total monthly payment. Your dealer will be able to let you know what it is. I know my salesman told me that the 09 Max was going to hit the streets with a terrible money factor, meaning a high one. That was a while back and by now it may be lower/better.
    The residual value also changes with market fluctuations and things like that, it is the value of the vehicle at the end of whatever least term you agree on. At the end of a 36-39 month lease, the residual should be 50 to 55 % of the original price. Again, your dealer will be able to tell you what the residual value is, you may want to shop around to make sure no-1 is giving you bad numbers.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    A few replies:

    out4cat: You can categorize cars however you wish, but the TL and Maxima are comparable. The are both FWD and both in the same general price range. A $40k+ SH-AWD TL might stretch the comparison, but when Nissan decided to push $35k+ with the Maxima, they invited a lot of other comparisons than the Accord and Camry. Including, for that matter, the 328i. The fact that the Maxima might not stack up all that well against "premium" competition is another issue. But if they want to price it in that territory, the smart buyer will compare it to a lot more than a $20-25k Accord or Camry.

    rkurlander: I am sorry for your experience, but while you have posted several times regarding your buyers remorse, you have also ignored several posts offering suggestions, including mine regarding a potentially faulty O2 sensor. I currently have a 1995 Maxima with a check engine light on that is driving just fine. I can turn the light off anytime I want by replacing a $150 O2 sensor.

    cyberpunk: I failed to respond to your previous post questioning my comment that Nissan's CVT is less fuel efficient than other transmissions. I read a print article several months ago that compared the latest crop of smg, dsg, dual clutch smg's, 8-speed automatics and cvt's to the good old manual transmission. The "drive train efficiency" of the manual transmission is still the standard - anything that adds any more moving parts has some adverse affect although it is minimal with the best SMG's and DSG's. But the CVT was at the bottom of the list, worse than even the some oleder 4/5 speed slushbox automatics in the comparison. The CVT may feel smooth, but that comes at significant loss of energy. In effect, it has the most "slush" of any slushbox transmission. Unfortunately, I didn't keep the article and a Google search didn't locate it. Anecdotally, the Nissan CVT is a gas hog, as several posters above have noted and has been stated by my Nissan service manager. That can be the result of a lot of factors, including gear ratios, etc. But in ther article I read, which measured horsepower at the wheels vs the crankshaft, th eNissan CVT came in dead last.
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 2,090
    Habitat1 regarding the pathatic MPG ofthe Nissan CVT, when I bought my Nissan Veras I was very dissapointed in my MPG I was supose to get 36 on the freeway, I was lucky to get 32, my over all MPG was down,until I past the 10K mile mark on the engine, my MPG went up with no change in driving habits.

    My Altima coupe, I have gotten better then the EPA says I should, its rated at 33 on the freeway, I'm getting 32.7 (per the on board computer) but I drive at 80 MPH too. I'm sure if I slow down, I would get 2-3 MPG better.

    The CVT is a tricky thing to drive, but once people understand how to drive it, it can get good MPG. I just wish you had the first hand knowledge of ownership of a Nissan with a CVT instead of reading something in a Mag... BTW, a ttest drive does not consititute ownership.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    For what it's worth, my "first hand" experience with several vehicles is that they all get better than the (old) EPA rating on the highway at a steady 75-80 mph:

    (1) 1995 Maxima 5-speed - rated 27; actual 28-30.
    (2) 2002 Honda S2000 - rated 26; actual 30-32+
    (3) 2004 TL 6-speed - rated 30; actual 30-31
    (4) 2005 911S 6-speed - rated 25; actual 26-27+
    (5) 2005 MDX - rated 23; actual 25.

    So I'm not sure what your anecdotal evidence means. Nor what possible explanation would be for sub-par mileage for the first 10,000 miles?? Or what the secret is to understanding how to drive a CVT?

    Personally, I don't give a hoot about 1-2 mpg one way or the other if the car/engine/transmssion performs well together. I was merely responding to some who have commented that the CVT is a tehnologically advanced transmission with performance / fuel efficiency advantages. To which I respond, bull. It's a smooth, cheap alternative to a old style slushbox automatic. Period. There appears to be more real world evidence that it is less fuel efficient than the other way around. But more to my point, it's NOT the type of transmission that even Infiniti, let alone Acura, BMW or Mercedes would put into something they dared call a four door sports car.
  • Sorry there Habitat but you are using fuzzy logic and based on different criteria within your own message. When the Honda guys decided to become more profitable by offering the gullible American car market an illusion with an upscale division called Acura, they did not plan to have those vehicles compete with Nissans. At the same time Nissan was thinking and planning the same thing and created their illusion with Infinity. Those 2 illusions, meant to take advantage of our gullibility and laugh all the way to the bank in doing so, were the ones meant to compete with each other. Oh and let's not forget Toyota and Lexus. With today's available vehicles, it works like this:
    Honda - Accord, Civic, Pilot - No Acura RL rival
    Acura - TL, TSX, MDX
    And on the other side of the street
    Nissan - Altima, Maxima - No Q35/45 rival
    Infinity - G35, M35/45
    And even on the other side of the street
    Toyota - Camry, Avalon
    Lexus - ES 350, GS 350/450 (outgoing Maxima even tried to imitate this car's body style).

    Acura, and rightfully so, was not intending on going against the Maxima with their TL, no matter how much you try to say that they did in order to give you reasons to pick on the Maxima, it is fuzzy logic. The rivalry/compatibility is not solely based on FWD/RWD, horsepower, or sticker price, it is based on the vehicle's intended target market based on where it ranks among the entire lineup of each respective car company. The buyer can compare it to whatever they want to but each car has its target market Nissan vs Honda and Infinity vs Acura (apples to apples and oranges to oranges). One thing to consider is that Nisan did not give its Maxima all-wheel drive like the TL, that feature is for the Infinity G35 M35/45, your own "A $40k+ SH-AWD TL might stretch the comparison" backs up this non-fuzzy logic.
    Just think Cadillac (FWD) still competes with Benz and BMW models (RWD), it is not about that. Cadillac XLR 80k 320 H.P still competes with Benz SL550 97K 382 H.P.
    Using your way of thinking, the new Pontiac G8, 400 H.P. RWD would compete with the Benz SL 550, we all know that is not even comprehensible.
    Don't worry, even with all your comments, I have still not begun to hate the TL, I think it is a nice car. Oh my god, using your way of thinking, who would the Porsche 911 compete with, it is rear engine, on yeah my bad the VW bug is rear engine too.
  • Sorry but I have to agree with Habitat, the CVT does drain mileage and having to know how to drive it defeats the purpose of it. The thing is supposed to give the same performance no matter how you drive it.
    My 04 Max, 5 speed (non CVT), 265 H.P. would get me above 30 MPG at 75 M.P.H.
    My 07 Max, 6 speed with CVT, 255 H.P., can't get me past 24 MPG at 70-75 M.P.H.
    I guess I will have to wait to hit 10k miles and all of the sudden it will become efficient, I don't expect that to happen at all. Besides being awkward, it drains HP and gas mileage.
  • 237

    So if you look at the sticker on this vehicle, it shows "Auto-dimming Driver-side Outside Mirror," is Nissan for real, on a 37K plus Sport Package car only the driver-side has the auto dim in 09, my $32,803 non-Nav 07 SE has both outside mirrors with auto-dim feature, that is just not right...
    I also noticed a picture of the car on the sticker with the steering wheel turned all the way to the left and the paddle shifter stayed in place at the 3 and 9 o'clock positions, is this right? you turn the wheel and the paddles stay put? Someone needs to clue Nissan in on the fact that it is all about the details when it comes to premium vehicles, something obviously not happening at Nissan.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Am I using "fuzzy logic", or are you guilty of being a "gullible Amercian" as you put it?

    The issue isn't what the Japanese car companies might have intended with the creation and marketing of their "premium" divisions. The issue is the reality of what reasonably intelligent consumers might consider and compare when actually shopping for a car. And if you have up to $35-$40k+/- to spend on a entry level luxury performance sedan, a hell of a lot of cars come into play. For some, FWD/RWD/AWD will be an important consideration. For others techno do-dads will take priority over driving dynamics or vice-versa. But to suggest anyone considering the Nissan Maxima shouldn't be comparing it to an Acura TL sounds like you've been brainwashed. I did that very comparison twice and in 1995 the Maxima SE 5-speed won and in 2004 the TL 6-speed won. So go ahead and hold up a blinder as you pass the BMW dealership, lest you be tempted by a 328i that is roughly the same price as a "non-Infiniti" Maxima. But rather than question my logic, perhaps you should reassess your own gullibility? ;)

    P.S. Regarding the 911's competition in 2005, there really wasn't anything, given my priorities at the time. Namely, serious sports car (not GT) that could serve as a family car with my daughters in the back seat. On the other hand, in 2002, when a two seater was acceptable, I had no hesitation about buying an S2000 instead of a Boxster, Z4 or SLK just because it happened to be called a Honda and not an Acura.
  • Copying your first line Out4cat...I have to disagree.

    In "intelligent" car buying the first thing to decide is the money you want to spend...
    Then you go out and look for best "perceived" value you can get for the Money.

    This month I decided to spend ~40K to 42K on a vehicle... so I test drove following
    2009 Maxima
    2008 TL (2009 were not available to test drive)
    2008 RL (Was/is selling for 40K here in SoCal)
    2008 Audi A6 3.2 FWD
    2008 BMW 528
    2008 Lexus GS 350 (41K for base)
    2008 Infiniti M35 (Can be had for < 40K )
    2008 MB E350 (Base is selling for 41K in So cal)
    and 2008 Acura MDX

    They all are very different cars...not in same class..but they share one thing...Price point & that makes them competitor

    This is the reason why G8 & Genesis will not compete with S550 but Maxima will compete with TL..and too some extent with G35. There is lot more cross shopping going on.. Auto makers dont like it hence they try to differentiate the cars... One way to do it not offer features/warrenty/service etc in one brand/car

    No AWD in MAX Vs G/M
    Better warrenty for G/M
    RWD in G/M (If you care)
    Dealer experience for G/M
    (I remember in Phoenix Midway Infiniti dealer coming to my office to pick up car for service, leave the loaner car. After work I go and pickup my car/drop off loaner car. All for $40.00 oil change...Totally worth it FOR ME)

    So its all about percieved value for the Money.
    MAX and TL are competitors they serve same market place.
    Acura service/prestige is not significantly different then Nissan/Honda

    Perception of Lexus/Infiniti is differnt then Toyota/Nissan

    BTW..Nissan & Infiniti do not share cars..
    Altima is NOT G35
    Max is not M35 they are different animals

    Acura seems to be looking for a place/identity...All they have is Accord platform and it shows.
    Infiniti as a brand has started doing well AFTER IT DISASSOCIATED itself with Nissan.
  • 05 5 SPEED AUTO RATED 26- GET 28-35
  • For those of you defending the Maxima as a worthy contender for the TL because of price, think of the compliment to Nissan when you say that a car by their base company can compete with another company's top tier vehicle line simply because of price. Now that I think about it, I feel better about driving the Maxima, thanks. My lack of gullibility worked, I did not go for the fufu Acura and still got a car that in your opinion is comparable. I think I will celebrate, double Johnnie Walker Blue coming up. And I got a bigger back seat and roomier trunk to boot, what a deal. Again thanks....
  • WOW you left out the new Audi A5, were you only looking for 4 doors? I must reiterate compliment to Nissan, you even considered it along with the BMW 528 (2.8 Liter vs Maxima 3.5 with more power). Also with the TL and RL (I don't like the styling on this one). We do agree with the Lexus GS compatibility. I know Infinity and Nissan do not share cars but they seem to have one for one side by side versions in each company, even the SUVs have side by side versions except for the Pathfinder. The one thing that difference of opinions points out is that we don't all think alike and therefore car companies keep trying to guess what we are looking for. I have never gone looking for a car based on price although I am limited by available funds. I pick the features that I like/need (4 door vs 2 door/ Fluffy ride vs road feel/ American vs import / and one subjective thing that some have left out -the overall looks of the car and whether or not it catches my eye). I think that one of the most distinctive cars out there today in 2 dr market is the Audi A5/S5, overall I think BMW has some catching up to do although I realize the Audi will NOT unseat the BMW.
    I also think that a power to cost based decision automatically makes the G8 a great choice, only drawback is the interior only comes in black so that is a no-go for me. I would get the room I need, good looks, reviews seem to be favorable, and rear wheel drive V8 punch with killer exhaust sound like only an America car can generate (the blender on steroid sound of the [non-permissible content removed] cars does not quite do it for me).

    Ok enough of that, so what car did you finally decide to get? I would go with the A6 or GS 350 but that is just me.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Don't be too quick to thank me. I didn't necessarily say the Maxima would win any competition by my scoring. I merely said that, at that price level, I would compare the Maxima to the TL and BMW 328i and a few others. At which point I might very well come to a different conclusion than you did. The TL offers more upscale interior / luxury and the 328i is clearly the champ in performance and driving dynamics. I just wouldn't give too many bonus points to the TL for being an Acura instead of a Honda.

    But to each their own and everybody has different priorities. So I guess I'll say "you're welcome".
  • Not fair, you caught me in the middle of my Johnnie Walker Blue with that response. In looking at the BMW 328i, it has a 2.8 liter V6, no doubt a fine automobile but anemic in HP (230 BMW vs 290 for Maxima/280 for Acura) yet it can keep the 0-60 time at 6.3 compatible with the other 2 cars, performance wise a champ as you call it. I just find the car to be smaller than both the Tl and Acura if space is a decision making consideration. That is why I passed up the BMW, no I did not just walk by it with blinders on, I had to take space into consideration, otherwise I would have a Audi A5.
    On another note, I just never figured that comparability between cars would be based on price and thought it was more towards what the manufacturer is trying to accomplish. I considered the Honda Accord in looking for my 4 door sedan but found it to be bland, spiritless, and uninspiring when compared with the Maxima. Great value, but just not exiting enough.
  • sergeymsergeym Posts: 271
    Wow! A new BMW with a 2.8 liter V6! Must be a rare find.
  • Is the Spare Tyre full size alloy or Steel
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I agree, although the 3 series has grown quite a bit over the past 2-3 decades, BMW keeps it just enough smaller than the 5 series that it does not offer quite the rear seat space of the Maxima, Camry or TL. It is a space compromise that many can't afford to make.

    On the performance front, BMW has always used Clydesdales to measure from, whereas most Japanese manufacturers appear to use Shetland Ponies. You may recall that Acura/Honda, Mazda, Nissan and several other Japanese manufacturers had to restate (lower) their horspeower ratings a couple of years ago when they were independently found to be overstated. BMW, Mercedes and Porsche would never have tried that, even on "gullible" Americans. The [non-permissible content removed] tried to make it seem like a new SAE measurement standard was being implemented, but the fact is, they were caught cheating. And even now I still think the European horses are bigger than the Japanese ones.

    Another big part of the performance difference is BMW's RWD setup and excellent drivetrain efficiency. Anything over about 200 horspeower in FWD doesn't add much to performance. Witness my 190hp 1995 Maxima that was tested at 6.6 - an extra 100 hp (and 600 lbs) only saves you 0.3 seconds. When BMW puts their 300 hp in a RWD 335i, they get sub 5 second 0-60. It's almost impossible to get a similar sized FWD car down to under 6 seconds, let alone 5. We'll have to see how Acura does with AWD in the 300hp TL, but that adds even more weight and AWD has at least 5-8% lower drivetrain efficiency than RWD.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Wow! A new BMW with a 2.8 liter V6! Must be a rare find.

    Give him a break - that was the Johnny Walker talking. ;)

    I'm sure with a clear mind, he would have written 3.0 liter (non-turbo) I6.
  • tom17tom17 Posts: 134

    Which car did you end up with ?
  • Four doors and space was important to me...
    Ended up with MDX Tech with Power Tail Gate

    Here is my rationale/thinking process

    2009 Maxima
    Liked the car.... but I thought 35K is little too high for what it offers (my opinion). And somehow I was not that enthusiastic after the drive... Cannot pinpoint the cause

    2008 TL. Nice car, liked the fit and finish, Decent space, I was getting one for 28.5K base & 31.5K for TL type S with NAV. I probably would have bought this if not MDX. A good value.

    2008 RL: Could not understand the purpose of this car. Is not significantly better then TL type S. Rear seat space is less then TL

    Audi A6: 3.2L engine felt weaker. Liked 4.2...but it was over my budget

    BMW 528: Best driving car. Was putoff by the I-Drive. wife did not like the all around visibility - specially from B piller back.

    Lexus GS: Nice car, good treatment by dealer, was priced well too (41K for base). Dont really know why I didnt consider it after first test drive

    M35: Best overall 4 door CAR. Good space, good driving & dealership experience. If TL was not 31K I would have bought this (CAR)

    E350: Like the design. But after reading the reliability issues here at edmunds I scratched it off.

    Genesis: This is the car I really wanted to like. The testdrive was OK. Has all the Doodads that you can think off. Was put off by Kerney Mesa Hyundai Dealer after he said "Genesis is probably too rich for you". Hyundai brand was scratched off

    Suburu Outback: We do quite a bit camping etc. Thought a wagon might be a good thing to consider. Suburu Outback 3.0R is selling very well. Very difficult to find.

    Finally Acura MDX: Was a good balance of the space we needed and the most car like 7 seater you can buy. 7 seater was not my first choice, but it was most PRACTICAL choice for us. Acura also had good incentives (Got mine for $358xx +TTL)

    Other SUV's that I drove either too soft or too expensive.

    A long confusing journey to buy a car
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Wow, that's an interesting set of vehicles you cross shopped - you are going to send out4cat back to his Johnny Walker tring to comprehend all of those violations of the manufacturers' marketing intentions.

    But I have to ask about some of the prices.

    - The TL and TL-S at $3k+ BELOW invoice? $7k below MSRP? And the MDX you bought at $35.8k was at $4,300 below invoice and close to $9,000 under MSRP? I haven't been seriously shopping lately, but those seem like huge discounts. Is Acura that desparate? Where are you located?

    - If you took your negotiating skills to the Nissan dealer and got a similar discount, you'd be looking at a $27-28k Maxima. Would that have changed your mind?

    - On the A6 4.2 being over your budget, but the E350 not? I get A6's when I take my 911 in for service and in our area, the actual price after discounts of an A6 4.2 is less than an E350 (and even 535i). But all of these are in the low to mid $50's.

    - What made you describe the M35 as the best overall car? The Infiniti dealers can't give them away here and the 2 people I know that bought one are both moderately unhappy. Ho-hum performance and driving dynamics, lousy gas mileage, and just not a "luxury feel". I have only riden, not driven the car, but even from the passenger seat, it wasn't very impressive.

    - Did you consider used? I've never bought a used car, but a friend that had been shopping for a LS460 recently bought a 2004 S500 4-matic w/ 31k miles in absolutely pristine condition for $35,000 including a (additional) 4/50k extended warranty. With basic entry level luxury sedans like the Maxima pushing $35k+ and mid-level luxury sport sedans in the $45-$55k+ range, that $35k S-Class (or even cheaper A8 or 750i) looks like a great deal to someone who wants the extra space. Did you consider that option?
  • It was interesting set.. or as my wife says irritating set as these vehicles have nothing in common except price... Towards the end she refused to come with me for test drives.

    About the pricing... All prices are in Southern California. I used in zipcode 90501 for comparision...and decided to shoot for 500 to 1000 below carsdirect prices.

    For example this morning cars direct had following prices:
    TL: 28K is not that great
    TL type S: 32.8 K

    A6 3.2 base: 40.7K..add some options and tax ~45K
    A6 4.2: 46.8 K add options and tax ~ 50K above my budget

    E350 base: 41K add options etc ~45K. If I could wait till January I might have considered this... as there will be big deals on E350 in January to march time frame.

    MDX Tech with PTG: 35.8 is not that out of line. There is factory to dealer incentive of I dipped 300 into his hold back.

    Infiniti M: They have 3000 fectory to dealer incentive + 3000 loyalty cash for infiniti owners... That is 6K off invoice.

    My assessment of Infiniti might be tainted as I have owned G20, I30, first gen Q45...and have been spoiled by the service. If Infiniti had a mid size non nissan based 7 seater I might have considered.

    Maxima dealers here in So Cal are not that willing. Having said that I did not like the Max enough to start negotiating. Moreover I generally dont like buying first model year car.

    No I did not consider used. I generally buy new, take care of them, and run them to ground
  • Tom,
    2008 MDX with Tech Pkg
    Sterling grey
    Black interior
    No other add ons

    Resisted buying a 7 seater for a long time...but in the end practicality won....
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