Even though the Nissan Maxima had a near-death experience it has now returned with a badass vengeance. The Japanese automaker has gone back to the drawing board with their latest Maxima. Nissan’s longest running U.S. nameplate has now reestablished its sedan as an aggressive and seductive looking, performance-oriented ride but is it a real contender in a game belonging almost exclusively to German participants?
Some might find the 2016 Nissan Maxima’s architecture a bit polarizing but then again, what do they know! Drama is the word that best describes the eighth incarnation of Nissan’s largest sedan—aerodynamic styling to the hilt, longer, lower roofline and lower to the ground, slimmer with raised front fenders, plunging grille, swoops, chrome touches and a power bulge in the center of the hood.
The Nissan Maxima offers no options, buyers can select from five trim/equipment levels: S, SV, SL, SR and Platinum. High praise isn’t reserved exclusively for the exterior styling of the Nissan, the Maxima is also home to a scrumptious mix of interior embellishments such as supple leather with quilted Alcantara-inserts (in higher trims), soft touch surfaces and neat contrast stitching. Door panels and dash are trimmed with a riveting wrap-around diamond-faceted nickel on higher trims. A real driver-centric cockpit! The Maxima’s aggressive looking and tailored console design angles buttons, knobs and dials right within the driver’s line of sight. The super comfy, supportive seats are inspired by the curve of the human spine in zero-gravity to eliminate driver fatigue. Rear seating is also given equal treatment by way of comfort that welcomes road trips, however space is. The interior’s front cockpit design that includes a racing-inspired D-shaped steering wheel, places the driver in a commanding position that totally encourages aggressive driving. Blacked out A, B, and C-pillars sort of create a “floating roof” design to mimic the canopy of a fighter jet. The Bose stereo system in the Maxima is also audiophile quality.
The Maxima has loads of safety technology that includes your run-of-the-mill antilock braking system, airbags, traction and stability control, blind spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert and adaptive cruise control. Step up the ranks and you’ll find predictive collision warning and mitigation system with automatic braking and the very clever surround camera system with moving-object detection and drowsy driver monitor. The instrument cluster has a standard 7.0-in color display and the center control stack incorporates an 8.0-in touchscreen for NissanConnect with standard navigation that is incredibly intuitive and easy-breezy Bluetooth pairing. A noteworthy feature and necessary one for those folks, who suffer from night blindness is the projection of the Maxima’s low beam headlights (Halogen) that have got to be the best ever.
All of the Maxima’s trim levels benefit from the sporty sedan’s 3.5 liter V6 engine with 300 hp and 261 lb-ft of torque. The sedan’s engine has more than 60 percent new parts including sodium-filled exhaust valves, which run cooler. A point of continuing controversy surrounds the CVT (continuously variable transmission), as it always gets mixed reviews from industry folks and the like. Gotta hand it to Nissan however, as they have pretty successfully demonstrated, how the Xtronic CVT in the Maxima can be an accepted transmission for a performance car. The Maxima has lots of motor muscle that offers nice road connection with acceleration that is strong from a stop. The peppy performer has more than enough get-up-and-go for merging and passing, but power and acceleration tell only part of the performance story. The other aspect of performance centers on the Maxima’s handling characteristics–nimble, smooth, precise steering and enthusiastic twisty-road-taker. The bottom line is that the Nissan Maxima is just plain old fun to drive!
The 2016 Nissan Maxima offers looks and spirited driving dynamics that are sure to hit a car buyer’s sweet spot! Overall, Nissan did a great job in combining power and practicality in a sporty family sedan that sets it own unique style on the road. Could it be, has the four-door sports car truly made a comeback?
Prices start at $32,410. Need more info? www.NissanUSA.com