The Nissan Maxima is a full-size sedan marketed as a sports car. It is one of Nissan's premium luxury offerings in its four-door segment. With such power, you might ask if the Maxima tow a trailer? Well, in this article, we have scoured the internet and asked the experts the same question, and we will tell you what we found out.
According to the Maxima users manual provided by Nissan, the Maxima is not designed and is not intended to pull or tow a trailer. Even though there are hitches and towing are wires available in the aftermarket that is compatible with the Maxima, experts still recommend not using this specific vehicle for towing purposes, especially pulling a trailer.
Continue reading as we discuss other related questions about the subject matter such as, what Nissan sedan can tow a trailer, what is tongue weight, how long does a Nissan Maxima last, are Nissan Maxima reliable cars, and many more. We will also be suggesting related articles at the end that could help you further understand the topic. So stick around and finish it.
Can a Nissan Maxima tow a trailer?
The Nissan Maxima is only rated to tow 2,245 lbs, making it below the average weight of small travel trailers which are weighing at around 2,800 lbs. Although there are very light and compact trailers (some only 300 pounds and below), we still suggest following the manufacturer's suggestion.
As we mentioned earlier, the Maxima is being promoted as a street sportscar; these types of cars are built for performance and going fast. They are not meant to pull and tow heavy objects, and naturally, sedans have never been intended to be used like that.
With the Maxima, the components used to build and assemble this car are more luxurious and expensive compared to an ordinary four-door sedan, so you wouldn't want those amenities that come with the vehicle to wear out immediately. This would result in the car's value being affected, which we will tackle later on.
This would also result in an uncomfortable situation for the driver. The ride quality would surely be horrible as the ground clearance of the Maxima is not tall enough. You will feel all the bumps and uneven surfaces on the road. Your vehicle would squat at an angle too low that parts of your vehicle might start scraping against the road as you drive.
The hitches that you see on the Maxima and other similar vehicles are used to tow or carry very light loads like bike racks for recreational use.
Do you need a tow hitch to tow?
You can find tow hitches on vehicles that are designed or capable of towing. Tow hitches make towing more stable and help the car give out more power efficiently when pulling.
While you can still tow and be towed without a hitch, this is not recommended, especially if you will be doing this constantly. This is less secure and can cause damage to the part that you are attaching your tow to. This is especially true with heavier loads.
If you often find yourself towing something, it might be time for you to upgrade or buy another vehicle rated to do such work. This would make your situation better and help prolong your vehicle.
What Nissan Sedan can tow a trailer?
All Nissan sedans can tow a trailer as long as you find one within its towing capacity. Other Nissan sedans like the Altima, Versa, and Sentra all can tow trailers.
Again, as we mentioned earlier, sedans can tow but only very light. Take the Altima for example, one of the most famous and common Nissan sedans that you can see on the road. It is only rated to tow a dry weight of 500 lbs.
The main reason why sedans are not made for towing purposes is that the power that their engines produce is just not enough. With towing, you would need a higher torque rating. Small vehicles simply just don't need that much torque as they are lighter compared to SUVs and pick-up trucks.
We tackled the build of sedans, their chassis design, and how they are not designed for pulling heavy objects. This also applies to their engines. Although the engine on a Maxima is a 3.5-liter V-6 that makes 300 horsepower that produces 261 lb-ft of torque, these power outputs are intended for giving the car speed and performance along the road.
What Nissan is the best for towing?
If you are looking looking for a towing machine but still want to stick with Nissan, then your best bet is to go with their half-ton pick-up truck, the Nissan Titan.
The 2021 Nissan Titan comes standard with a 5.6-liter V8 that produces 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque. This is then coupled with a nine-speed transmission. The Titan has one of the best tow rating capacities in its segment. They are rated to tow a hefty 9,310 lbs. Upgrade to a Titan XD and watch that tow-rating balloon up to 12,710 lbs.
This makes the Nissan Titan very capable of towing trailers, gooseneck, and fifth wheels. But even with this heavy pulling capacity, you should still be careful of towing very heavy-duty objects. As of the writing of this article, Nissan only offers half-ton trucks.
If you see yourself towing much heavier loads, you might have to switch manufacturers as some vehicles have higher rated towing capacity and offer more heavy-duty trucks such as a quarter-ton and a one-ton.
What is tongue weight?
The tongue weight is the static force that the trailer tongue is applying on the hitch ball of your vehicle. Here is an example: a 3,000 lbs trailer is loaded with 1,000 lbs of cargo, so your tongue weight should measure anywhere between 400 lbs-550 lbs. This would calculate to 10%-15% of the trailer's total weight and the load, which is 4,000 lbs. (Trailer weight is 3,000 lbs plus cargo of the trailer is 1,000 lbs.)
An easy way to calculate the tongue weight of your tow is by taking the gross weight of your vehicle (indicated on the sticker on the driver side door) and then subtracting it with the weight of your vehicle, this time with the trailer attached. The difference from this would be your vehicle's tongue weight.
Knowing your tongue weight is crucial for multiple reasons. The number one concern about this is your safety and other motorists around you on the road. Excessive tongue weight can ruin the hitch of your vehicle and cause your load to detach mid-travel.
Another example of going over the limit of your tongue weight is your car squatting too much that could result in your front-wheel rising. Sometimes you can avoid overloading your tongue weight by knowing how to properly load your trailer, that is why you should also know how to place a payload.
How long does a Nissan Maxima last?
A Nissan Maxima will last about 200,000 miles on average, depending on how well it is maintained. As the average miles driven in the US is anywhere between a thousand miles per month, this gives you 13-16 years of service. But with proper maintenance taking care of your Maxima, you can easily surpass this mark.
How well does a Nissan Maxima hold up in value?
According to Caredge, a Nissan Maxima will depreciate 49% after 5 years and have a 5-year resale value of $19,580. These computations are based on the parameters that the vehicle is in good condition, with the average miles driven per year and a selling price of $38,094 brand new.
The biggest part in affecting the value of your car is the condition. As we said, a Maxima that is used for towing would show wear and tear signs that could heavily affect its value negatively.
Abused vehicles, even those that are designed to be abused will still have a lower value compared to those that are in pristine condition. Most likely these types of vehicles would have repairs and parts changed.
Are Nissan reliable cars?
Based on reliability ranking, Repairpal grades Nissan a solid 4 out of 5 reliability score, ranking ninth out of the 32 car brands that they have reviewed. This is not a surprise as Japanese car brands like Nissan, Toyota, Honda, and Mitsubishi are all notorious for their reliability.
A great example of this Nissan reliability is a million-mile 2007 Nissan Frontier from Ringwood, Illinois.
You can tow using a Maxima but only very very small and light objects. The Nissan Maxima is designed and marketed as a sports car and you do not tow things with a sports car, plus, it is also not recommended by Nissan themselves. If you often see yourself needing to tow objects, find a dedicated car for pulling trailers. This will make your driving better and make your car last longer.
Here are some articles that we have previously written that might interest you, give them a read.