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Believe it or not, the Nissan Maxima has been around for over 40 years. Of course, not every model year was the picture of dependability, but many of them are as reliable as other midsize sedan options. In fact, some used model years, like the 2014 and 2013 Nissan Maxima, boast a scarcity of owner complaints compared to other versions.

Is the Nissan Maxima reliable?  

RepairPal gave the Nissan Maxima a 3.5 out of 5.0 for reliability, ranking it below average for midsize and full-sized sedans. Moreover, late model Maximas earned the No. 9 spot out of 12 for segment reliability. 

However, the Nissan model’s average annual ownership costs are around $540. That figure puts the Nissan sedan below average for maintenance costs in the segment and the industry. 

Which used Nissan Maxima model years are the best?

The Maxima model years with the fewest owner complaints are 2014, 2013, 2012, and 2008. As a result, drivers who choose one of these model years tend to have a reasonably straightforward ownership experience. 

 According to Car Complaints, the four model years earned a “Seal of Awesome” for their relatively drama-free ownership. For instance, the 2014 and 2012 Maxima’s most complained-about categories have just six and three owner complaints, respectively. Considering Nissan sold around 50,401 units in 2014, saying the issues are infrequent is an understatement. 

Is the 2014 Nissan Maxima a reliable car?

The 2014 Nissan Maxima is one of the most reliable used options in the model’s recent history. Its most common owner-reported issue on Car Complaints pertains to improper transmission operation. However, with just six reports, it’s an infrequent issue. 

A blue used 2014 Nissan Maxima cruises city streets.
The side profile of a 2014 model | Nissan

Moreover, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says the most common owner complaints cite powertrain issues. However, at just 18 reports, the 2014 model is a reliable used car option.  

Does the 2013 Nissan Maxima have transmission problems?

The 2013 Nissan Maxima’s most common complaint is transmission-related. Specifically, the 2013 model could exhibit improper operation between 74,500 and 90,000 miles. However, with just four reports on record, it’s a sporadic issue.   

A used 2013 model year Nissan Maxima corners on back roads.
2013 Nissan Maxima | Nissan

Is the 2012 Maxima a reliable used model?

The 2012 Maxima is a reliable used car option with very few owner complaints. RepairPal says some examples may develop a low-pressure AC hose leak or rare transmission operation issues. However, with few reports and a $558 annual maintenance cost, the 2012 model year is cheap and dependable. 

What are common problems with the 2008 Nissan Maxima?

The most common owner reports for the 2008 Maxima are body and paint problems. While the rust and corrosion issues could be irritating, the 2008 model is mechanically reliable. For instance, the 2008 Maxima has 21 NHTSA complaints about premature rust, specifically in the vehicle’s floorboards.

That puts the 2008 model on par with the infrequent number of complaints on comparable models like the 2012 iteration. The most common single-category issue for the 2012 model resulted in 26 NHTSA complaints.


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