2009 Nissan Maxima 250 ST-L and 350 Ti

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NISSAN HAS HAD A BUSY YEAR with new model launches in 2009. This year TMR has road tested the new 370Z, Micra, Dualis, Navara and face-lifted Murano, all with positive results.

Now it’s the turn of one of Nissan’s more venerable model lines, the all-new Maxima sedan.

Styling

For 2009, Nissan has taken a definite step forward with the design of the new Maxima.  Compared to the previous model, the face of the new model makes a bolder style statement with its raked-back xenon headlights and large front grille.

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Minor styling accents around the body such as chrome trimming, LED taillights and indicator door-mirrors add a welcome touch of class, thankfully without making the car look tacky.

To complete the luxury styling theme, all models in the Maxima line-up ride on a set of elegant ten-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels.

It’s fair to say that previous versions of the Maxima are hardly what one would call ‘exciting’ in the design department. The latest Maxima however will turn a few heads while not scaring away repeat buyers with any over-the-top styling changes.

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Interior

Interior space is another area where the Maxima shines. There’s ample space all round, offering decent leg room for the tallest of rear passengers and a high ‘ceiling’, even on the sunroof equipped Ti model.

While the boot looks small from outside, it’s a pleasant surprise that it offers 506 litres of stowage space and can easily swallow enough luggage for a family weekend away.

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The leather multi-function steering wheel is comfortable to the grip and with all steering wheel controls logically and easily used.

Unfortunately, wheel adjustment is restricted to tilt only and not reach. We also found the steering wheel size – it’s a tad big – a bit cumbersome when executing tight turns quickly.

It’s also a letdown that the Maxima suffers from a very plain-looking centre console and gear surround.

A spongy gear shifter button and some afterthought design decisions, such as having the heated seat controls placed inside the central armrest compartment, leaves us wondering if Nissan could have done a better job here.

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On the higher-spec models such as the Ti, the navigation and display screen is recessed into the dashboard with the controls sitting below the screen.

While there is nothing wrong with the way it works, it’s not as elegant a solution as BMW’s iDrive system, which positions the controller at easy reach ahead of the central armrest.

Equipment and Features

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