Owner’s Log: 2010 Nissan Maxima, Update 2

It’s been another 3 months with the 2010 Nissan Maxima, so it’s time for another update, complete with statistics and more observations.  For a refresher, read the review I wrote and the first update.  Click past the jump for what’s been going on for the last 3 months.

Stats:

Time Period: 6/16/2010 – 9/15/2010
Miles Driven: 3,034 / 7,259 (this update / total)
Average MPG: 20.4 mpg (reported by on-board computer)

Costs:

Maintenance Costs: $105.72
Total Cost (non-fuel): $105.72

Services Performed:

7/13/2010 – $105.72 – First oil change, using Nissan OEM filter and Mobile 1 Synthetic, as well as a tire rotation.  Performed at a local automotive repair shop.

7/20/2010 – $0.00 – Dealer performed upgrade on Navigation / Infotainment firmware, as per an official Nissan recall.

Summary:

Click to see article about tire pressure

I mentioned in the review that the handling of the Maxima was “competent, even above average.”  I’m going to rephrase that statement to be “above average, only lacking proper tires to really excel.”  It’s been a fun few months, with lots of warm weather and opportunities to really get to know the Maxima.  Lots of corners were taken, and since the tire pressures were dropped from 39 to 35 PSI (click here or image at right to read accompanying article), the car handles even better.  To put it in layman’s terms, when really cornering hard, the lower tire pressure causes a more gradual and predictable loss of traction, so the car doesn’t snap out of the driver’s control.  This is important, especially if said driver has not completed any high-performance driver’s education.

You may notice that the overall gas mileage is a bit down from the previous update, and that’s due to a hot and humid DC-area summer.  The climate control was run almost every day in the last 3 months, which caused the lower MPG.  I took less road trips this quarter, so there is less highway mileage mixed in, although a long weekend to the beach and back netted 24.9 MPG, including some traffic there and closer to home.

Removed Lettering on trunk lid (Click to see article)

If you’ve been keeping up with Road Reality, you will have seen the article I wrote about removing the “MAXIMA” lettering from the trunk lid.  If not, click here or the image to the right to read up on it.

Maxima key fob and rubber jacket

A common complaint from owners over at Maxima.org is that the buttons on the key fob are not recessed into the fob enough to prevent accidental clicks while in your pocket, and I have to agree with them!  To that end, several people on the Maxima owner’s forum mentioned The Jacket Store, so I surfed on over and bought two of their silicone rubber jackets to try and fix the problem.  They work, so I posted my review of their product.

Dated Notes:

  • 8/9/2010 – Took a road trip to the beach for the weekend.  The navigation system’s new software calculates routes faster, recalculates after missed turns faster, and did not crash at all during the 300+ mile trip.
  • 8/9/2010 – Removed the “MAXIMA” letters on the trunk lid (see article).
  • 9/13/2010 – Reviewed the rubber jackets I ordered to prevent accidental button clicks on the key fob (see article).

General Observations:

  • The interior “mood lighting” is a nice touch, although a choice of colors would be good.  Still, the red matches the rest of the lighting, so Nissan would have to allow the driver to change all the colors if they added this functionality.
  • Using the “Ds” (Drive Sport) mode seems to reduce gas mileage, but makes the car feel faster.  At slower speeds, the car may actually be faster, but instrumented testing done by the major magazines found that plain old Drive mode is the fastest for the Maxima.
  • After ignoring the “sport” mode of the transmission, using it feels clunky – I’ve grown far too used to the smoothness of the CVT.

by John Suit

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