The Nissan Maxima has been around for a long time, dazzling people since the early 80s. Today, it’s classified as one of the most reliable vehicles manufactured.
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However, even the most superbly manufactured vehicles have a few not-so-magnificent models in the bunch.
These cars are some of the best and worst production years for the model.
Use this list to make smart decisions when shopping for your next vehicle.
The Best and Worst Years for Nissan Maxima Are:
The best years for the Nissan Maxima are 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021, and 2022. The worst years are 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009, and 2010.
Pay close attention to the details given about these vehicles before you purchase a new or used Nissan Maxima model.
What Nissan Maxima Years Are the Most Reliable?
Reliability is one of the most critical factors to look for in a vehicle. Thus, you’ll want to choose from the top Maxima models in the realm of reliability.
These are some of the most reliable options you have for a Maxima car:
1. 2017 Nissan Maxima
The 2017 Nissan Maxima is an all-around positive model to choose for your next used vehicle.
It has a perfect 10 for a safety score; therefore, you’ll know you’re getting the highest quality your money can buy. J.D. Power felt as though the vehicle was reliable and high-quality enough to give it four stars out of a possible five.
Consumers raved about certain aspects of the vehicle as well.
Their favorite point of discussion was the strong engine and infotainment options.
2. 2018 Nissan Maxima
The 2018 Maxima was a good model but did not have the same quality score as the 2017 model. Instead, it has a 3.5 score and an overall score of 8.3 points.
That’s still way above average but not as high as the previous year’s model.
Consumers also enjoyed owning this Maxima.
They chiefly praised it for its safety features and innovative technical components.
Some users also noted that the cabin was made of high-quality materials and was a comfortable place to be.
3. 2019 Nissan Maxima
The 2019 Nissan Maxima was another excellent year for consumers and vehicle owners. This model had a very high safety score of 9.8 and a critic’s rating of 8.0 out of a possible 10.
The second highest feature category was the model’s interior.
That means drivers and passengers felt comfortable inside the vehicle and appreciated the features they had access to. Consumers loved many different things about this model Maxima.
One thing they enjoyed was the infotainment and other innovative technical features.
They also appreciated the safety features and how they protect them from harm. The unfavorable features they discussed were the lack of headroom and the small trunk.
4. 2021 Nissan Maxima
The 2021 Nissan Maxima was on the newer scoring system from J.D. Power.
Instead of getting up to 10 points for a reliability score, vehicles now get up to 100 points for quality and reliability.
The 2021 Maxima has a score of 93 points for its safety score.
The critics rated it with 7.8 points, while the consumers gave it a solid 8.0. Most of the consumers who said good things about it talked about its powerful engine and long features list of items.
The infotainment center was a big area of conversation as well.
5. 2022 Nissan Maxima
The 2022 Maxima had a 9.3 safety score and a 93-point score from J.D. Power for quality and reliability.
Thus, you can feel pretty confident about purchasing one of these vehicles.
The consumers mostly loved it for its strong engine.
Certain Maxima models have a high-performing engine, a smooth ride, and a responsive accelerator pedal.
Many vehicle owners noticed that.
Some of the vehicle owners talked about its elegant cabin setup, and others mentioned that the vehicle had an attractive infotainment system. Another fantastic thing about this year’s model is that it won an award on U.S. News for being the best new car for teens out of many competitors.
You can’t go wrong by selecting one of these cars for yourself or a teen in your household.
What Nissan Maxima Years Should You Avoid?
Some models were a lot less desirable than others.
These are the top Nissan Maxima models that you might want to think twice about purchasing:
6. 2004 Nissan Maxima
The 2004 Nissan Maxima garnered more than 1,000 complaints from the owners who drove it daily.
The most problematic area in this vehicle seemed to be the transmission, and the second most common problem was the engine.
Paint and body problems took a strong third.
Consumers who owned the model complained of experiencing jerking and slipping of the transmission. Some people experienced 100 percent failures, while others had less minor issues like:
- temporary freezing,
- and stuck gears.
This model Maxima also had two major recalls: one for the sunroof assembly and the other for the power adjust feature.
7. 2005 Nissan Maxima
The 2005 Maxima had just as many issues as its predecessor, if not more.
The largest area of concern was the transmission, with the engine coming in at a close second.
The third most problematic area of this model was with the interior accessories.
This year’s engine seemed to be noisy, causing many customers concern. Some also had issues with premature timing chain guide wear and motor mount issues. A few owners also heard whining and saw the “check engine” light, which is scary to some people.
Most complaints about the transmission were general.
Vehicle owners claimed that it didn’t work properly. Some had specific complaints, such as:
- rough shifting,
- and slipping.
The two most common recalls for the 2005 Nissan Maxima are for the child seat latch and the front assembly power adjustment.
8. 2006 Nissan Maxima
The 2006 Maxima had more than 850 complaints from various people.
Thus, its complaint history wasn’t as rich as the two previous years, but it was still more extensive than other models.
The transmission and engine seemed to cause the most difficulty in this year’s models, and paint problems made up the third-highest category.
The transmission issues ranged from slips and jerks to hard shifts, fluid leaks, and failure to shift.
People also experienced:
- motor mount failures,
- timing chain slipping,
- and “check engine” light activation.
Both the engine and transmission issues were costly to repair unless the vehicle owners experienced them while under warranty.
Some recalls existed for the 2006 model as well.
The top two were for the rear suspension and front seat power adjusts feature. The suspension problem had to do with a subframe that was manufactured incorrectly.
This incorrect manufacturing caused stability issues for certain vehicles and made them more susceptible to accidents.
The other issue was related to the writing harness for the lumbar support system getting pinched during operation. This problem was due to incorrect routing.
9. 2009 Nissan Maxima
The 2009 Nissan Maxima had its fair share of issues, with most of them being in the realm of electrical problems. The vehicle also had issues with interior accessories and steering.
The electrical system problems consisted of the vehicle failing to:
- turn over,
- a constantly draining battery,
- and a fire issue.
The interior and accessories experience some very serious issues.
One problem that occurred in this year’s model was a melting dashboard, and a substantial number of people experienced the issue.
Others had issues with the power tilt not working and the electronic steering column locking up on them.
The 2009 Maxima model had one recall for a suspension-related issue. The problem was with the strut insulators. They may not have been manufactured to the correct specifications, and that may have caused some of the insulators to crack.
A cracked strut insulator can lead to the strut mounts coming out of position, and that problem can lead to an accident.
10. 2010 Nissan Maxima
The 2010 Maxima seemed to have a new brand of problems.
This year’s model mostly experienced steering issues, electrical issues, and problems with the transmission. The most prevalent steering issue was a failure with the electronic steering control.
Another issue the model had was shaft failure. Some drivers experienced a general failure of the power steering system as well.
The electrical problems mainly involved engine starting failures. However, some people experienced an unexplained rapid battery drain.
The 2010 Maxima had the same recall that the previous model had with the ill-manufactured strut insulators.
What Are Some Typical Problems With the Nissan Maxima Models?
As you can see from the variety, the Nissan Maxima has quite a few common problems.
Here we have a full rundown of the most seen problems with the Nissan Maxima.
Many issues existed within the electrical system and transmission.
Other common issues that occurred with Nissan Maxima models appear to be with the braking system and electrical components.
We have also seen problems with the camshaft sensors and other electric parts of the Maximas.
You now know what some of the best and the most awful years for the Nissan Maxima are.
Use this list of the best and worst models to help you decide. You can’t go wrong if you’re aware of the years to avoid and the ones likely to give you many years of satisfying service.
ⓘ The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.