best cold air intake for nissan maxima
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Best Cold Air Intake for Nissan Maxima Review

According to statistics, full-size cars aren’t as popular as mid-size and compact vehicles. Still, they represent a considerable share of the automobile market, mainly thanks to sedans like Nissan’s Maxima. It has been around since 1982 – for almost four decades – and is currently in the 8th generation. With a powerful engine (320HP and 261 pound-feet of torque) and decent acceleration (0-to-60MPH in 5.9 seconds), it’s a pretty capable ride.

And if you want to make it even stronger and increase the powertrain’s lifespan, consider cashing in for the best cold air intake for Nissan Maxima. As you might already know, aftermarket air intake kits greatly improve the air filtration/flow in the engine bay and maximize performance. The following list includes three high-rated, dyno-tested, and, overall, worthy picks from leading brands. Let’s take a good look!

Best Cold Air Intake for Nissan Maxima (Updated October, 2021)

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Editor’s Choice

aFe TR-3005P Takeda Cold Air Intake System

1) aFe TR-3005P Takeda Cold Air Intake System

  • Best Features:
    • Crafted from clear-coat anodized aluminum
    • Guarantees an impressive boost in HP and torque
    • Designed and assembled in the US
  • Filter Type: Dry
  • Power Increase: 32 HP and 35 lbs x ft Torque
  • Fits Models: 2009-2019 Nissan Maxima 3.5L

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K&N Cold Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Guaranteed to Increase Horsepower: 2009-2019 Nissan Maxima

2) K&N Cold Air Intake for Nissan Maxima

  • Best Features:
    • Premium-grade materials – built to last
    • Sounds great, especially during acceleration
    • Installs in less than an hour hassle-free
  • Filter Type: Oiled
  • Power Increase: 13.25 HP and 13.25 lbs x ft Torque
  • Fits Models: 2009-2019 Nissan Maxima 3.5L

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Spectre Performance 9068 Air Intake Kit

3) Spectre Performance Nissan Maxima Air Intake

  • Best Features:
    • Synthetic media + steel mesh and urethane
    • Backed by a will-not-void warranty
    • A good choice for Maxima drivers on a budget
  • Filter Type: Oiled
  • Power Increase: 50% More Air Flow
  • Fits Models: 2009-2019 Nissan Maxima 3.5L

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Best Nissan Maxima Cold Air Intake Review

1. aFe Takeda Cold Air Intake System for Nessan Maxima

aFe TR-3005P Takeda Cold Air Intake System

As a US-made product, aFe’s Takeda was designed for optimal performance on the American highways, city streets, and even suburban off-roads. It was also heavily dyno-tested before becoming available for regular drivers. So, thanks to meticulous engineering, it provides an incredible boost to the horsepower and torque. We’re talking about 32 HP and 35 lb.-ft. of torque, which is a market-leading result, by the way.

Another standout feature is the clear-coat, anodized aluminum tube. The finish will never oxidize, and you’ll get to enjoy this air intake kit for a very long time. The only downside has to do with the installation. While the whole process is pretty straightforward and hassle-free, the provided breather hose is too small and doesn’t fit the factory tube box. You’ll probably have to get an adapter to make this work.

Product Rating
Performance Increase
5
Mileage
5
Easy to Install
5
Value for Money
5
Result
5
Pros & Cons
Anodized aluminum tube – protected against oxidation
Provides a large bonus to the engines HP/torque
Designed, produced, and dyno-tested in the USA
The breather hose is a bit too small

Verdict
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Designed, crafted, and tested in America, this aftermarket cold air intake takes the Maxima engine to another level. First of all, it features high-quality parts (like an anodized aluminum tube) that last forever. Secondly, it greatly improves the HP/torque. The air filtration will be perfected as well, of course.

2. K&N Cold Air Intake for Nissan Maxima

K&N Cold Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Guaranteed to Increase Horsepower: 2009-2019 Nissan Maxima

And what can you expect from the famous K&N? What does its air intake system have to offer to the regular Nisan Maxima owner? Well, first of all, I gotta mention the steep price-tag: it’s slightly above the market average. Let’s talk about the pros next so that you have the full picture in your head. I was impressed by the build and material quality. The filter, the air tube, the hardware – everything was built to last. The installation won’t be a drag, either.

It took me approximately 30 minutes to do it on my own. On average, installation can be done in an hour, or even less. Last, but not least, this cold air intake completely changes the engine’s sound, making it a lot more aggressive (that’s a good thing). So, do these advantages outweigh the one disadvantage (high cost)? If you’re on a really tight budget, the answer is no. But if quality is your #1 priority, then yes, this will be a good investment.

Product Rating
Performance Increase
5
Mileage
5
Easy to Install
5
Value for Money
4.9
Result
5
Pros & Cons
Boasts superb material and build quality
Sounds like a beast when you hit the throttle
Effortless installation (takes +/- 60 minutes)
Will cost you a pretty penny

Verdict
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Rather expensive, but worth it – that’s the best way to describe K&N’s performance-oriented cold air intake. It features top-notch parts and hardware, sounds like a beast (especially on low RPM), and will be an easy, bolt-on installation. And that leaves the high price as the biggest con.

3. Spectre Performance Nissan Maxima Air Intake

Spectre Performance 9068 Air Intake Kit

If the other two aftermarket air systems seem a bit too steep to you, Spectre may be right up your alley. This company’s cold air intake is significantly cheaper and is backed by a no-void warranty. Plus, the filter is crafted from a mighty mix of steel mesh, synthetic media, and urethane. You’ll get excellent protection against dust and debris, which means higher efficiency and more protection for the engine.

The installation process can be a bit tricky for a novice, though. Again, for the most part, it is straightforward, especially if you follow the instructions. But, the MAS air sensor might not fit easily, depending on your Maxima’s model year. Try grinding it down a bit – that should help with the fitment.

Product Rating
Performance Increase
5
Mileage
5
Easy to Install
4.7
Value for Money
5
Result
4.9
Pros & Cons
Premium-grade filter with a steel mesh
Includes Spectre’s no-void guarantee
A highly affordable purchase
The MAS sensor might not fit easily

Verdict
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Affordability is this air intake’s biggest selling point. With that, it also features decent-quality parts and includes a no-void guarantee. Add up to 50% more airflow and +/- 10% more HP, and you’ll get yourself a bargain.

Conclusion

To remain a strong competitor to flagship nameplates like Chevy Impala and Toyota Avalon, Maxima is constantly evolving. However, the most recent generation that was released in 2016 turned out to be only a modest improvement over the 7th gen. The powertrain migrated without any significant changes in HP/torque, acceleration, or fuel economy. But, all of that can be fixed if you get a top-notch third-party cold air intake kit.

As we learned today, they make a big difference not only in the airflow efficiency, but also performance. If you’re not ready to spend big bucks on aftermarket gear, pay extra attention to Spectre’s air intake. K&N, in contrast, is all about quality over price. Finally, the fans of the golden middle will probably like what aFe has to offer.

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