Contrary to Nissan's "4DSC" marketing campaign, the Maxima is no four-door sports car in my eyes. It's definitely a sporty four-door, but it feels too heavy to be a true sports car. The 290-hp V-6 does make the front-wheel-drive Maxima quite peppy, but a consequence of this is that there's a fair amount of torque steer under hard acceleration. It doesn't help that a CVT (the only available transmission in this car) is the least sporty type of transmission out there. The CVT does its job pretty well, although the engine takes a while to wind out in "first gear" when you're shifting manually through the six simulated ratios of the CVT (selectable via the console shifter or the column-mounted paddles).
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