>> When does a Nissan leak up into Infiniti territory? Some folks ponder that when they drive the 09 Maxima SV. Let's take it for a ride, check the tech and try and find that line.
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>> Now inside our Maxima I am less convinced than some people that it's kind of like a baby Infiniti. There's still an essential cheapness to this car. For example this metal surface is not a full carbon fiber or an engine turn finish, it's just silk screen printed metal. That doesn't mean it's an ugly car inside. Let's start with the head unit which has got some real nice Infiniti DNA. You recognize that controller with the spin wheel four compass buttons, additional pointers in the mid-corners and an Enter button right in the center. And if that's not enough you've also got voice command on this system and if that's not enough, it's also a touchscreen. As you can see I'm in a 3D bird's eye view right now, which has always been kind of an Infiniti thing. You can move around through cities and kind of get this fly through building representations. Now, the music input sources on this car are quite voluminous because we're optioned up of what's called the sport and technology package. For example, go to the AM/FM and you got the obvious stuff. You've got satellite radio of course here that would be XM on this car, but things get really interesting here on the disc aux button. That will take us through the iPod connector which lives in the console, next to that you'll notice we have auxiliary jacks both stereo audio and video. Here's the music box, 9.3 gigabytes of devoted storage for you to rip your music to. I put a couple of them on there and again touchscreen access and things happen quickly because it's hard drive-based. Here's your CD player 6-disc internal. Be careful when you option this car. It is possible to get the navigation head unit and be bumps down to a one-slot CD. You've got to get the right packages lined up to get nav and 6-disc. Compact flash is an odd ball, lives down here with the exception of a few high-end digital SLRs. We don't use compact flash for cameras anymore, so you're either a photo buff and you use that or you got some old compact flash cards from back in the day. Now, when any of the packages that include the 7-inch color LCD you can get the rear view camera hooked up. By the way you don't have to have nav to have that 7-inch color LCD. There are configurations of this car that use it solely as an information panel and backup camera. And of course XM radio tells us we have XM nav traffic as our live traffic source.
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>> Another basket of tech that separates this car from an Infiniti is the fact that the Maxima doesn't offer lane departure technology, adaptive cruise control or Infiniti's around view monitor. One-engine only a healthy version of the Nissan corporate 3.5-liter V6 turning out 290 horse power in this car and 261 foot pounds of torque. Your only gear box in this guy is a CVT electronic CVT with a sport mode and all that blah, blah, blah. Generally you'll find the shift patterns have been nicely revised and are one of the best CVT's we've driven especially with a relatively roary motor. You've also got blessedly so, column-mounted paddles up here that don't fly around with the wheel they stay where you can get them. The engine-trainy combination delivers 19/26 as the mpg, but more importantly it delivers a real willingness to run. This CVT gearbox has been really well programmed. It feels engaged, some things CVT's don't always do. Shifts are quite sharp and punchy when you take control of yourself simulating real gears fairly well. Of course the Maxima is front-wheel drive, while Infiniti's are rear-wheel drive in case you're still trying to make the comparison. Our car has a sport package that gives at a firmer though not adaptive suspension, as well as 19-inch wheels and 40-series tires. Now, let's price this '09 Maxima SV. It starts about 33,500 for this particular model, but then you get to this bewildering array of sometimes overlapping packages and they're pretty chunky so not a lot of a la carte going on here. Let it suffice to say you're going to spend somewhere between $5,000 and $6,000 I would say to get this car nicely loaded with all the tech and comfort choice.
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