- Completely redesigned for 2016
- Drastic new styling that modernizes the sedan
- Standard navigation system and leather upholstery
Getting one of the most comprehensive redesigns we’ve seen for 2016 is the Nissan Maxima, whose much needed changes completely update the “four door sports car” inside and especially out.
The Maxima competes with larger sedans like the Toyota Avalon and the Ford Taurus, but claims to offer a sportier driving experience than its contemporaries. Its styling is unlike anything else you’ll see on the road, with a futuristic look that is bold and a complete departure from the previous model’s staid appearance. The front grille dips low, all the way to the bottom of the front bumper and is flanked by sharp headlight clusters with angular details. In profile, the Maxima’s beltline undulates and leads back to a unique pinched rear window design with a high rear decklid. The new Maxima is both shorter and longer than the outgoing design which makes it look more aggressive and low-slung.
Under the hood is a 300-hp, 3.5-liter naturally aspirated V-6 that is mated to a CVT. The Maxima is front-wheel drive only. For 2016, Nissan says that they’ve widened the ratio range on the transmission, translation: better acceleration off the line. Also new are two selectable drive modes, Normal and Sport. Moving the Maxima into sport adjusts the throttle response, tightens up the steering, and keeps the engine higher up in the rev range for better responsiveness. Fuel economy is estimated at 22/30 mpg city/highway, an improvement over the previous model.
Nissan offers the Maxima in a variety of trim levels, starting with the S, then moving up SV, SL, SR, and Platinum. The SR is the most performance focused of the bunch, getting stiffer suspension tuning and 19-inch alloy wheels.
Inside, the Maxima has a new center console that is now slightly tilted towards the driver for easier access. Nissan has improved materials as well as they try to keep the Maxima at the top of its passenger car offerings, so you’ll find more soft-touch material on common touch points like the top of the doors and there are also Nissan’s “zero gravity” seats up front. Standard features include Bluetooth connectivity, two USB ports, HD radio, navigation with an eight-inch touchscreen display, power front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, and push button start. Moving up the trim levels adds features like leather upholstery, active noise cancellation for a quieter ride, and a Bose premium audio system.
Standard safety equipment includes six airbags, an electronic stability system, a rearview camera, and antilock brakes. Nissan’s Around View Monitor system is optional; it uses four cameras located around the Maxima to provide a top-down view of the car which is useful for maneuvering in tight spaces. Other safety technology is also available, including drowsy driver alerts, blind sport warnings with rear cross-traffic alerts, and adaptive cruise control.