Completely redesigned for 2009, the new sportier 4-door Nissan Maxima gets updated styling, a more upscale interior and a higher performance engine, a 3.5L V6 good for 290 hp and 261 lb-ft of torque. A Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT) is provided that can be overridden by six driver-selectable "gear" ratios, which on the SV trim are controlled from paddle shifters mounted on the steering column. Of special mention is the standard power steering that was enhanced to improve the "driving feel" coupled to the front-wheel drive. Maxima fuel economy is EPA estimated to be 19 mpg city/26 mpg hwy and 22 mpg combined. Standard Nissan Maxima safety features include stability and traction control, antilock disc brakes, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and front and rear active head restraints. Accommodating five passengers, the newly-designed Nissan Maxima is a high-quality entry-level luxury sedan that, when fully loaded, seriously competes with the name-brand badges.