2016 Nissan Maxima Slated For Execution Four Years Earlier

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
2016 nissan maxima slated for execution four years earlier

Though the 2016 Nissan Maxima will make its showroom debut June 2, there was a time when the Maxima was slated to meet the guillotine.

As the auto industry was still feeling its way out of the Great Recession in early 2012, Nissan vice president of North American product planning Peter Loing said while most believed it was all but certain a new Maxima would come, “the foregone conclusion at that moment was that there would not be another Maxima,” Automotive News reports.

Loing took his current position in January 2012, where his first task was to make the case for a car whose fan base was almost entirely in the United States before an automaker who preferred global platforms to minimize costs.

Loing’s case hinged on the longevity of the Maxima name — having been on the marketplace without a break since 1981 — thus garnering a multigenerational consumer base who knows the nameplate better than Nissan’s own name. The model’s marketing boss, Eric Ledieu, added the Maxima also did well in pulling in consumers close to making the jump toward luxury brands like BMW and Mercedes.

When Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn greenlit the eight-gen Maxima back then, Nissan North America vice president for vehicle engineering and Maxima program boss Takeshi Yamaguchi opted to dial the styling up while also boosting its luxury appeal and enhancing performance. Yamaguchi said he was proud of the results, not only of the fact the Maxima went “beyond where it was” instead of going more conservative, but the fact it was given another chance to see the sun rise.

[Source: Mark Stevenson/ The Truth About Cars]

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  • Sector 5 Sector 5 on May 27, 2015

    I wouldn't be rushing out June 2nd. Beware early production flaws. Should be okay by the fall. I'm sure this Maxima is a good car. But do you really want a warranty marathon? It'll be trial & error for the dealer techs to begin with. Nothing more annoying than a cracking/popping suspension because a bushing wasn't seated properly at the factory.

  • Spartan Spartan on May 27, 2015

    The Maxima is as close as we're going to get to a 2004-2008 Acura TL. I just wish it had a torque converter automatic. They can keep the 6 speed manual. I'm glad they kept it. Many people who bought Altimas in the past have graduated to the Maxima and many don't want to go to Infiniti because it costs quite a bit more to get into a Q70 since the Q50 is a bit smaller than the Max.

    • Astigmatism Astigmatism on May 27, 2015

      "The Maxima is as close as we’re going to get to a 2004-2008 Acura TL." Wait, what? This massively over-sculpted try-too-hard is comparable to the under-the-radar sneaky-luxurious sleeper scalpel that was the 04-08 TL how, exactly?

  • Alexdi Alexdi on May 27, 2015

    Some interesting narratives here. None of them conform to reality, but that hardly seems to stop anyone. For a certain set of priorities, the Maxima is a very desirable car. The styling is avant-garde, and in the current generation, pretty. Moreso than the Chargers and Taurus SHOs of the world, and certainly just about every other four-door 'family' sedan except the Mazda6. Maybe you don't think so, but plenty of people do. It's overpowered. Delightfully so. The 5-60 street start numbers are 6 flat or better, which means it has real-world grunt. More than a GTI, more than a V6 Mustang, and when it was introduced, more than any other FWD sedan. That makes it fun on the highway. It's smooth and isolated. They used aluminum suspension parts and more sound deadening. It's a better, quieter ride than any of the comparables. The CVT is a boon here; you can run from 5 to 70 at 2000 RPM the whole time. The interior was also a class above those same comparables. It's cheap. I bought one for $25K before taxes and the like, which was less than a lot of loaded 4-cylinder Altimas. No one pays MSRP or anything close to it; while it's ostensibly lined up against various German makes, the actual transaction prices are $10-15K lower for the Maxima. Put succinctly, the car has always been good value. Is it a 4DSC? No more than Jack's 6MT Accord, and probably less. Would I have bought it if it was? No, probably not. This new one has, to my eyes, polarizing styling and a beautiful interior. Still plenty of power, but with an even more responsive CVT and a wider gear spread. It'll be fun up to 7/10s, which is as far as any sane person is likely to push it anyway. It'll be a winner for anyone who gets behind the wheel, even if the 'best and brightest' can't see past the sheetmetal.

    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on May 27, 2015

      Truecar estimated 26 for a "new" S model V6 (MY15 I suppose) so this is a good point.

  • Tosh Tosh on May 28, 2015

    "...there was a time when the Maxima was slated to meet the guillotine." And now it IS the guillotine!