On Sunday, November 10th the Miami Auto Show concluded its 49th year.
Miami Auto Show’s 50th anniversary event will move to 2021, set to run February 19-28. The 50th anniversary show will celebrate a milestone in the newly renovated Miami Beach Convention Center, where the event has been held for the last few years.
The 2019 show was presented by the South Florida Automobile Dealers Association. It comprises nearly 200 dealerships in Miami-Dade, Boward, Palm Beach, and Monroe counties.
The South Florida Automobile Dealers Association began in 1933. For more than 40 years this association has donated over $7 million to numerous charities. Beneficiaries include American Cancer Society, YMCA, and the Historical Society of Fort Lauderdale.
This year’s show featured the southeast debut of the 2020 Hyundai Sonata, 2020 Toyota Highlander, and 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo. Along with new production Jeep Wrangler 305 and Jeep Gladiator 305.
“The crowds were strong and enthusiastic throughout the show,” said Rick Baker, auto show manager. “We focused on stepping up the entertainment experience throughout the show.”
Along with the return of Camp Jeep came new, interactive games like Carpool Karaoke, and a family exhibit area for exotic and race cars named the South Florida Fast Lane. This new experience contributed to a more than 10 percent increase in paid attendance.
The 2019 show presented several hundred new cars, crossovers, and SUVs from major manufacturers. Major announcements were made in Miami by Nissan, Genesis, Hyundai, Toyota, and Jeep.
I had the good fortune to be one of the more than 200 domestic and international journalists invited to attend media day on November 1.
The official show car of the 49th edition auto show was the 2020 Hyundai Palisade, and the giveaway car was the 2020 Hyundai Sonata.
Each year when I attend the show I try to select a car that was the most impressive to me personally. Then take it for a one week test drive. For this adventure I chose the 2020 Nissan Maxima.
Definition of Maxima is “something that is the greatest or highest possible attained.”
The 2020 Nissan Maxima SR is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that delivers 300 horsepower and 261 lb.-ft. of torque. The Xtronic CVT with paddle shifters helps the powertrain to hit gas mileage ratings of 20 mpg city and 30 mpg highway, for a combined 24-mpg. Actually, for my week of driving the Maxima netted me a 29-mpg average. Drive Mode Selector toggles between Normal and Sport modes, prioritizing between efficiency and performance.
The cabin is elegant and stylish, with standard features like semi-aniline leather surfaces, and 8-way power-adjustable Zero Gravity front seats that are climate controlled. These quality materials go handsomely with the sensible placement of controls, turning the available Remote Engine Start with Intelligent Climate Control and dual panel panorama moonroof a natural part of your daily life.
The genuine stitching on the dashboard, doors, and console were awash in beautiful ambient LED lighting.
Bose Premium Audio System with 11 speakers clears your mind and sets your toes tapping. The 8-inch color touch-screen is powered by NissanConnect with Navigation, and supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. I would have preferred a larger screen.
The multi-touch screen provides a command pathway to HD Radio, Bluetooth hands free phone and audio streaming, Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant, and a SiriusXM suite of Satellite Radio, Travel, and Traffic Link.
The Maxima SR rests on 19-inch gloss black aluminum alloy wheels, and its sheet metal is covered in Sunset Drift Chromaflair paint ($395). These are complemented by sport spoilers, splash guards, pocket panel molding, and an attractive rear bumper. All these elements blend together to make for one handsome exterior.
Maxima recently received from IIHS a “Superior” rating for the front crash prevention system in mid-size sedans.
Standard driver assist features on the Maxima are numerous. However, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning (Intelligent Lane Intervention on the SR), and High Beam Assist are features I found most worthy.
The sport seats are a little tight and Maxima sits low. Nice sport characteristics unless you are a little old man like me.
Today is a Sunday afternoon. Sunshine has driven away the falling temperatures of recent nights. Now only a slightly cool wind is left of a frigid night.
Interstate Highway 20 West is a straight concrete ribbon out of Dallas, hours later linking to Highway 10 headed toward El Paso and my destination. Maxima’s big engine seems to enjoy the 80 mph pace that will be a common diet for the next few hours. Traffic is light, appearing immobile as I flash by. The cabin temperature is just right, music is mellow as Frank Sinatra searches for his heart in San Francisco. All is well with my soul! Thanks Maxima!
The Maxima starts at $34,250 for the base S model. The $41,450 SR trim is three levels up, and sits just below the Platinum models.
Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this newspaper or firstname.lastname@example.org.