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by Tim Beissmann

The 2012 Nissan Maxima is now on sale in Australia. The 2012 model year update retains the old prices and brings a number of technology upgrades across the range.

The Maxima 250 ST-L and 350 ST-S now get Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity with steering wheel controls. The system does not support audio streaming.

The 350 Ti benefits most from the update. Headlining the upgrade is Nissan’s Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS). The system automatically turns on the car’s low beams and adjusts their angle based on the steering wheel inputs to improve visibility at night. The left-hand low beam also pivots to illuminate the chosen direction of travel when the driver is stopped at an intersection, based on the position of the indicator.

The top-spec Maxima also includes a Side View Camera, which is integrated into the passenger side mirror. The camera is designed to increase visibility and make parking easier by giving the driver a view of the front left side of the car through the satellite navigation monitor.

The final addition to the Maxima 350 Ti is a rear sunshade. It can be raised and lowered at the press of a button and retracts automatically when reverse is selected.

Mechanically, the 2012 Nissan Maxima is unchanged. The entry-level 250 ST-L is powered by a 134kW/228Nm 2.5-litre V6, returning combined cycle fuel consumption of 9.5 litres/100km. The 350 ST-S and Ti models score the larger 185kW/326Nm 3.5-litre engine, which uses 10.2 litres/100km combined. Both engines are teamed with a continuously variable transmission that sends power to the front wheels.

Sales of the Maxima have remained steady in Australia in 2011. In total, 1471 have found new homes in 2011 compared with 1492 over the same period in 2010. The Maxima’s share of the large sub-$70,000 class has increased to 2.4 per cent this year, putting it fifth behind the Holden Commodore, Ford Falcon, Toyota Aurion and the Honda Accord.

2012 Nissan Maxima manufacturer’s list prices (excluding government and dealer charges):

  • 250 ST-L – $33,990
  • 350 ST-S – $37,990
  • 350 Ti – $46,990



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