Nissan engineers have taken a nice, comfortable, luxury sedan and turned it into a glamourous, inviting, technologically advanced, and luxurious sport sedan.
This eighth-generation flagship vehicle has a lighter and more rigid chassis that is motivated by an updated 300 hp 3.5 L V6 with a new performance-oriented Xtronic CVT. This stylish, futuristic Maxima delivers 261 lb-ft of torque with an economical mileage of 22/30/25 mpg city/highway/combined.
Maxima is Nissan’s long-running model, having sold over 2.9 million in the U.S.
The model lineup starts with the base S priced at $32,410, climbs up the ladder steps of SV, SL, SR, and finally ends with the newest upscale Platinum for $39,860. The Platinum will be my focus since it was my test vehicle.
The Maxima will compete with Toyota Avalon, Buick Lacrosse, Ford Taurus, and Chrysler 300 among others. Having driven all but one of these vehicles, Maxima is definitely at the top of this group.
The Maxima is a 4-Door Sports Car (4DSC) concept. In fact, “4DSC” is embossed within the headlights and tail-light reflectors. The profile is low, and its front is adorned with a V-Motion grille, and boomerang LEDs. The stance is wide, doors are tastefully designed, and the C-pillar is raised with a “floating” roof. In terms of length this model has grown 2.2 inches from previous models.
The rear has large dual exhaust pipes and LED lights. The test Maxima had 19-inch diamond-cut machine-finished alloy wheels with a sport-tuned suspension featuring advanced technologies. This not only looks good inside the cockpit (Command Center), but provides a quality ride, offering excellent braking and handling.
The center stack slants toward the driver. Premium Ascot leather seats are luxurious and fitted snuggly. A liquid chrome faceted interior trim, column-mounted paddle shifters, plus the Integrated Dynamics-control Module (IDM) chassis management combine luxury and sportiness.
An 11-speaker Bose Premium Audio System, ambient lighting, and climate-controlled front seats introduce you to the interior. The rear seat has a standard 60/40 split fold-down design for providing an abundance of storage space.
There is a massive multi-touch control monitor with voice recognition. The new Display Commander knob behind the gear shifter gives you all-access controls over the on-screen functions. The physical dial allows easy scrolling through menus and making selections on the screen.
Maxima is standard-equipped with a rear-view monitor, but the Around View Monitor was most impressive. It uses four cameras to give you virtually 360-degree bird’s-eye view of your vehicle, with selectable split-screen close-ups of the front, rear, and curbside viewing.
A parking sonar with sensors on the four cameras provides more assistance when parking. You get an audio warning when they detect you are too close. With all this assistance for parallel parking and straight-in parking, that task becomes a breeze.
Nissan safety shield technologies consist of items like—Predictive Forward Collision Warning, Forward Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and the Around View Monitor already mentioned.
My Maxima exterior was bathed in a beautiful Coulis Red and Charcoal Leather interior. There are eight other exterior colors, such as Super Black and Storm Blue, to choose from. In the interior you could choose cloth that comes in cashmere or charcoal, or leather that is presented in charcoal, camel, and cashmere.
The Maxima has strong acceleration and responsive brakes, backed up by a 4-wheel ABS. The steering takes on the flavor of a European style, which is speed-sensitive and light.
The cockpit was quiet, enhanced by laminated glass on the windshield, and front doors. City driving was made safer by outside mirrors with turn signals.
Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or firstname.lastname@example.org
Overall length 192.8
Overall width 73.2
Overall height 56.5
3-year/36,000-mile New Vehicle Limited Warranty
5-year/60,000-mile Powertrain Warranty