Owner’s Log: 2010 Nissan Maxima, Update 6 (Final)

Originally, this update was going to be for just the last quarter, but a delay in finishing it means it’ll be the final update for my 2010 Nissan Maxima.  As of October 19th, I no longer own it.  I’ve traded it in on a 2011 Ford F-150 Lariat EcoBoost, the review of which you’ll see here on Road Reality soon.  Read on for the last review of my Maxima.


Time Period: 6/16/2011 – 9/15/2011
Miles Driven: 2,287 / 20,282 (this update / total) (2,805 last update)
Average MPG: 20.9 mpg (reported by on-board computer)

2nd Time Period: 9/16/2011 – 10/19/2011
Miles Driven: 1,271 / 21,553 (this update / total)
Average MPG: 20.2 mpg (reported by on-board computer)


Maintenance Costs: $88.20
Total Cost (non-fuel): $329.89

Services Performed:

9/3/2011: Oil & filter change, plus tire rotation.  Oil was Mobile 1 Full Synthetic, filter was Nissan OEM.  Oil change was performed at 20,211 miles.


While the summer baked, and alternately poured, the Maxima soldiered on, despite the dreaded “rocking driver’s seat” and an intermittently-operating rear power sunshade.  The former is a condition in which the driver’s seat “rocks” forward and back with acceleration and braking, a feeling which does nothing for confidence.  While this problem appeared closer to the 10,000 mile mark, it was intermittent, and became worse only during the last reporting period.  The latter issue presented itself right before a vacation, and was frustrating, but after about a dozen tries, the sunshade closed itself properly, which is where I left it from then on.

The next issue is more subjective, stemming from the CVT (continuously variable transmission) in the Maxima.  In its quest for ever-greater fuel mileage, the CVT keeps the RPMs low, which when combined with a sporty exhaust like on the Maxima, can cause a slight vibration in the body shell of the car.  For most people, this is a minor annoyance, and it’s even true that Nissan has issued a TSB (technical service bulletin) for a new transmission program which mitigates this.  For me, it was a major detractor to what is otherwise a decent car.

Once the weather started turning colder, squeaks and rattles began popping up, leading me to question Nissan’s build quality on my car.  Already the roof structure had come loose and the sunroof motor had died, both of which were fixed under warranty.

While I have my complaints, Nissan used very nice materials for its interior, gave it an excellent exterior, built a very nice engine with both power and economy in mind, and made it handle pretty well, even given its front-wheel drive setup.  For someone in the market for a family-hauling sporty sedan, I would recommend they test drive the Maxima.

When all the issues with my specific car are combined, however, I became increasingly upset at the Maxima, and since I have plenty of uses for a truck, I began searching for one.

Now that I’ve purchased my new truck, you can bet I’ll be keeping track of its statistics in much the same vein as with the Maxima.  Stay tuned for quarterly updates on the 2011 Ford F-150.

Dated Notes:

  • none

General Observations:

  • Nissan got a lot of things right on the latest-generation Maxima, but failed in a few key areas.  Hopefully they can do better on the next iteration of their 4-door Sports Car.

by John Suit



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