By on February 4, 2016

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2016 Nissan Maxima SR

3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve V-6 (300 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm; 261 pound-feet @ 4,400 rpm)

Xtronic CVT transmission with paddle shifters

22 city/30 highway/25 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

27.8 (Observed, MPG)

Tested Options: Sport floor mats, trunk mat and net — $255

Base Price: $33,345* (S, U.S.)/$37,700* (SV, Canada)

As Tested Price (SR): $38,750* (U.S.)/$43,344* (Canada; Sorry Canadians, Nissan will charge you $300 for the Deep Blue Purple paint.)

All pricing includes $825 destination fee (U.S.) or $1,800 destination fee, PDI and A/C tax (Canada).

Like cockroaches scattering in the light, Americans are fleeing sedans for the upright comfort and wagon-like space of crossovers.

The full-size sedan segment has recently been hit hard, Maxima included. Since 2012, the auto market has expanded 20 percent, while full-size sedan sales have contracted 14 percent. Based on an aging design and the entrance of Korean rivals, the Maxima’s 12-percent market share in 2012 dwindled to eight percent in 2015.

There is a fair chance no more than six people will read this review, and five of those readers will be future doctoral students deconstructing the final days of the sedan. Does that mean no matter how good the Maxima is — or could be — it’s doomed to fail?

The Maxima, now in its eighth generation, was introduced in 1981. In 1989, it graduated from compact to mid-size, coinciding with the introduction of its 4-Door Sports Car (4DSC) branding. The 2015 redesign returns the car to a competitive footing and builds on its sporting legacy. Overall length is stretched 2.2 inches, mass reduced 82 pounds, and torsional rigidity increased 25 percent. The familiar 3.5-liter V-6 has been goosed to a more psychologically alluring 300 horsepower, though it lacks direct injection. The new car also includes some 4DSC Easter Eggs, if not the real BMW-fighting DNA of the third to fifth generation cars (see The First Seven Generations of Maxima, Ranked).

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Exterior
The 2016 Maxima stands out with a sporting look consistent with its 4DSC branding, as well as Nissan’s current design language. Its V-Motion front-end, in Nissan-speak, is one of its most distinctive design elements. And kudos to Nissan for avoiding the en vogue over-use of LED lighting and instead designing a striking “boomerang” headlight arrangement. The A- and B-pillars receive a black-out treatment that extends through a horizontal band on the C-pillar, giving the impression of a floating roof. The car is attractive from most angles, with coherent lines and tastefully restrained bright work.

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The car also benefits from continuing wheel inflation. The SR sports sharp 19-inch alloys on 40-series rubber. The 1.3-inch height reduction for 2015, along with its tight wheel gaps, gives this full-sizer an athletic stance. The rear end is inoffensive. Nissan took some risk when it gave the Maxima its aggressive presence, but it paid off. Whether you like the Maxima’s exterior or not, you won’t mistake it for another full-size sedan.

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Interior
The sporting theme extends into the cabin, but this is a mature interpretation of the sports sedan genre. There are no bright cross-stitched sports seats or carbon fiber accents. And, of course, a third pedal is completely absent. The driver’s oriented cockpit is logically organized and well constructed with materials fit for an Infiniti from not long ago. The center stack is subtly tilted toward the driver and flows into a mildly elevated center console. Combined with the relatively high window line, the interior provides the sense of being in the car, rather than on it. Additional sporting details include aluminum pedals, steering wheel mounted paddle shifters, and a handsomely sculpted flat-bottom steering wheel. Unique “liquid chrome” cross-hatched trim transitions from mid-dash to the forward half of the doors. And subtle trim elements pull the V-Motion theme inside the car.

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The Ascot leather shod seats with quilted Alcantara inserts are a comfortable and attractive premium touch, though they require elevating to the SR. The Alcantara inlays on the steering wheel are an attractive element on an already handsome wheel, but my 4,000 mile press car was already showing wear on the deluxe material. Maxima drivers get a comfortable 10-way power heated and cooled perch, besting most of the competitors’ 8-way non-cooled units. Together, the driving position offers a visually cohesive, well appointed place to be.

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These cars will ferry everything from kids to octogenarians, so rear seat access and comfort are important. And it’s in the rear where it becomes clear why the EPA rates the Maxima as a mid-size. This car is the shortest in its peer group and rear-seat legroom suffers, measuring one to five inches less than the competition. If you plan to haul kids under two, the NHTSA recommends a rear-facing car seat. You need to either be short or anticipate moving the front seats forward to accommodate young ones.

The sloping roof-line puts the Maxima at a rear headroom disadvantage, where it is roundly bested by the competition. Thankfully, Nissan did not succumb to the egregious stoop-inducing transgressions of the Mercedes CLA or BMW Gran Coupes, and access is satisfactory. The attractive Ascot leather with quilted Alcantara continues in the rear, where attractive details, such as liquid chrome accents, abound. The rear is far from punishing. My 6-foot-1-inch frame fit just fine in the outboard positions.

The Maxima features a 60/40 folding rear seat, opening into a 14.3 cubic foot trunk. The boot is wide and usable, but somewhat less spacious than the competition. The Maxima is the shortest overall in the segment by three to eight inches. Its trim dimensions carry through to the interior. By no means does it feel confined, but it’s still the smallest interior in its class at 99 cubic feet. The interior is a balanced execution of driver-centric sporting luxury, but if you are an Uber driver, this is probably not your car.

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Technology
Using the technology in this car is shockingly easy. It took 15 minutes, without the aid of an owner’s manual, manufacturer rep, or YouTube to gain proficiency with its myriad features.

The infotainment system is centered on an 8-inch screen with touch, voice, rotary, and steering wheel mounted controls. I gravitated toward the dial, thanks to its relaxed location aft of the shifter where one’s hand naturally comes to rest. Navigation is standard across trims, as are hands-free text messaging and a rear-view camera. Voice navigation inputs are rapidly recognized; not once did I need to repeat an address. And transitioning calls from phone to Bluetooth was a refreshingly rapid, dead-spot free exercise.

The 11-speaker Bose audio system delivers a full sound devoid of the shrill highs and non-existent lows of lesser audio systems. The sound quality is above average for the segment and its ease of use across radio, satellite, USB, and Bluetooth is excellent. The Maxima offers branded audio integration with two to five more speakers than the competition. For audiophiles shopping this segment, this may be your car.

The 2015 Maxima update enabled Nissan to plug in all its available safety and security technologies. The car offers the de rigueur Vehicle Dynamic Control and traction control from the base S up. Moving to the SL gets you a slick blind-spot warning system, rear cross traffic alert, Predictive Forward Collision Warning, and Forward Emergency Braking. Most of these systems went untested, but IIHS destroyed several Maximas and made it a Top Safety Pick.

Winning the award for the most delightfully useful, easy-to-operate system is Intelligent Cruise Control (standard from the SL up). When activated, the system cruises at the speed selected. When approaching slower traffic, it matches their speed. In Sport Mode, Active Sound Enhancement plumbs a pleasantly sporting indication of speed into the cabin. However, on the freeway where cruise control is most likely to be used and Sport Mode is not, this well insulated car does not conspicuously communicate velocity. Thus, when following a slower vehicle using cruise control, you may not realize you have shed several miles per hour. Be that as it may, you want Intelligent Cruise Control in your next car. It works in more densely spaced traffic than standard systems and reduces driver fatigue.

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Drivetrain
Every Maxima gets Nissan’s reworked 3.5-liter VQ-series engine sending power to the front wheels. Sixty percent of its parts have been replaced, and sodium filled valves from the GT-R have been added. The update delivers 10 additional horsepower at the same 6,400 rpm peak, and an identical 261 lbs-ft of torque. Motor Trend clocked the 2016 Maxima at the same brisk 5.8 second on a 0-60 mph run as the previous generation car. Regardless, Nissan marketers now have a more eye-catching horsepower total to work with.

The drivetrain is sector competitive, falling a few horsepower below Impala and Genesis, and above Avalon. The story is similar for torque, though the Maxima peaks lower in the rev range, aiding in off-the line acceleration. According to Motor Trend, the Maxima is a half second faster to 60 than both Impala and Avalon.

Nissan has been working with CVTs for over 20 years, so the Xtronic CVT in the Maxima is a mature unit. For gear-heads, Nissan tuned the CVT with what it terms D-Step shifting logic. This is intended to simulate a conventional automatic, with rapid shifts as well as the ability to hold revs through high-G corners, enabling more rapid exits. For those who can discern the difference between this and a traditional automatic, you may be disappointed. For the remaining 99 percent who are unaware of the technical aspects of corner entry and exit, the Xtronic CVT works just fine.

The CVT, in conjunction with the car’s relatively low mass, delivers good fuel economy. The Maxima is rated by the EPA at 22/30/25 (city/highway/combined), edging out Genesis, Avalon, and Impala at 22 to 24 mpg combined. The Maxima SR tester delivered 27.8 miles per gallon during a heavy footed, highway-intensive 829 mile test-cycle.

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Drive
Gone are the days of full-size sedans with one-finger steering and rear-ends disassociated from front-ends. Modern cars don’t lurch through corners and wallow across interstates like a Crown Victoria. The Maxima is no exception. It is every bit a modern car and a match for any of its competitors on the road.

The car is suspended on a strut/coil spring arrangement at the front and an independent multi-link double wishbone in back. The SR gets more aggressive suspension damper tuning, a larger front stabilizer bar, and a chassis damper to quiet the NVH that comes with its more aggressive setup. In an effort to lower the SR’s center of gravity, Nissan deleted the dual panel panoramic moonroof. However, its omission is confusing, as consumers looking for a hard-core performance sedan will already have been turned off by the front-wheel drive and CVT. Regardless, if you want the most sporting Maxima, you won’t be enjoying the stars from above.

In a land of SUVs, the Maxima drives small and is as easy to place on the road as it is in a parking lot. Steering inputs stimulate confidence and body roll is consistently held in check across a variety of road surfaces. The car was at home cruising Interstate 15 from San Diego to Las Vegas. Its 10-way powered comfort, easy to operate intelligent cruise control, and intuitive infotainment system make it a good place to oscillate between engaged driving and the distraction of a good audiobook.

The return route from Las Vegas to San Diego went through Death Valley. The area is known to forego rain for an entire year. Extremes aside, the park averages 0.39 inches of the wet stuff each January. This year, it recorded January’s total on the day I drove through. This is flash-flood country, where the ground does not possess good water absorbing qualities. Within minutes there was standing water on the road, later deteriorating to running water.

The conditions enabled an exploration of the car’s limits in the wet. Descending the gently sloping alluvial fan on Beatty Road onto the valley floor was a joy. Long sweeping transitions, combined with lengthy sight-lines and limited traffic, safely accommodate high speeds. If you had a five-speed manual and were in a hurry, this would be 3rd, 4th, and 5th gear country. It was an ideal route for the Maxima. Sport Mode was engaged, paddle shifters actuated, and brakes authoritatively employed. The car is eager to attack curves at speeds well above posted advisory signs.

But water eventually got the best of the Maxima’s 245/40R19 all-season Goodyears. There were moments of lost adhesion, but the car was generally planted, its steering communicative, brake fade non-existent, and driving position comfortable. The Maxima is somewhat less composed when negotiating tight canyons, but that’s what the 370Z and GT-R are for.

The Maxima is as sporty as one can get in a full size, front-wheel-drive sedan. But, best of all, its sporting tendencies do not require compromise during less spirited operation.

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Pricing
Nissan keeps it simple. There are five trim levels and virtually no options. The base S starts at $32,510. The trim ladder continues through SV, SL, SR, and finally Platinum. Pricing tops out at $39,960, plus destination. When compared against the full-size alternatives, Maxima is competitive.

Shoppers seeking wide open spaces in their full-size sedan may want to look elsewhere. Likewise, this car is not ideal for the driver seeking anonymity — Maxima is an extrovert in a conservative segment. But with its one-year-old redesign, the Maxima offers a compelling mix of sector leading technology and a top safety rating, along with an easy to live with driver-first philosophy.

If the bright lights have not sent you scurrying for a crossover and you need some fun in your next full-size sedan, put the Maxima on your shopping list.

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131 Comments on “2016 Nissan Maxima SR Review – The Impurist’s Sports Sedan...”


  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Suffice it to say that I’m pretty impressed with this new Maxima, and it’s a car I’d actually buy, having test-driven it. Fit-and-finish and materials choices are impeccable, especially for that price range. For me, though, the biggest argument against it is the upcoming Fusion Sport with the 2.7-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost and AWD. That should basically make it the sedan counterpart to the latest Edge Sport, a vehicle whose driving dynamics I’m already fond of.

    Whether or not the Maxima is truly dead remains to be seen. I do know that customers typically want a roomier car in that price territory, so it wouldn’t have hurt Nissan to stretch the wheelbase a couple of inches.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      I could not live with that CVT drone. The sound of running through the gears with an intake and exhaust on my 99 Maxima was easily the most enjoyable aspect of that car. Unfortunately that too was ruined by the awful gear shift quality.

      I think we reached peak Maxima with the 6th gen (2004-2008?). It was a little heavy, but it had the IRS instead of that poverty spec beam, the better 6 speed MT and enough interior room to have a party. I think this Maxima would benefit a lot from a DCT option, along with AWD and maybe some turbos…. but that would make it a heavy overwrought beast. It’s a tough call, particularly with a Q50 starting in price below where the Maxima tops out….

      • 0 avatar
        NetGenHoon

        I agree with you on the Q50 thing, but I have to disagree with the 6th gen. I had a 2005 with the manual and nothing else. The seats were comfortable and the engine sang.

        Aside from that the car was terrible. I bought it used where the only manuals to be found are cheaped out base models without the LSD. That car would spin it’s tires if one was looking at a puddle and the traction control would cut engine power causing you to both squeal tires and stall at the same time. Miserable.

        Maybe the SL was a better car, but I wasn’t sorry to see the manual option go.

        • 0 avatar
          Eiriksmal

          Eh, you should have compared that to the ferocious 5.5 gen! I had an ’02 and loved it to pieces. It was rocket, handily crushing Mustangs and even surprising a 350Z (with a passenger to my empty car) from a stupendously stupid 70 -> 140 MPH (indicated) 3rd to 5th gear interstate pull.

          But the torque steer and wheel hop were horrendous. Launching the car took more skill than I could ever muster. It FELT ludicrously fast, but that was simply the power being wasted.

          After totaling it (T_T), I found a loaded-to-the-gills ’05 6MT. Bose. Elite package with 4 heated leather buckets, rear console, and rear power sunshade. Navigation. Sunroof. Power folding mirrors. Heated steering wheel. Bi-xenon lamps, instead of the ’02’s xenon lows and halogen highs.

          The 6th gen is noticeably slower, but with better ride quality and, arguably, better handling in turns. It’s about 200 lbs heavier, with a small 10 HP bump not covering the difference, but they really did a number to the front suspension in an effort to make up for the additional weight, like using aluminum control arms and a thicker anti-roll bar.

          I think it worked. There’s considerably less torque steer and the IRS working in conjunction with the completely revised front suspension allows the wide 245/45 DWS Contis more lateral grip before understeer takes over.

          It’s not nimble and snappy like the light 4th gens, by any means, but it definitely pulls harder through corners than my ’02. The ’02 was great for straight-line shenanigans that put surprised looks on Mercedes C-class owners’ faces, but not as adept at hauling it around corners before the front plowed wide.

          Oh, both cars have to do three-point turns in every parking lot everywhere. I could never figure that one out. The 6th gen is a monster, but the 5.5 gen was reasonably sized, so I’m not sure what about the suspension geometry makes it have a 42′ turning radius, as bad as full-sized SUVs.

          My biggest complaint with the 6th gen is the stupid deign of the front air vents. I’ve broken like every single one with their inane mimicry of BMWs (if I recall) where one control alters both airflow and horizontal air direction. Everything else is okay, if suffering in build quality from the Japanese-made ’02. More intermittent rattles and squeaks, for sure. The wheel, shift-knob, and arm rest are nice to touch, which is all that matters to me.

      • 0 avatar
        3rdeyemedia

        I love my 2016 Maxima SR. I looked at the 2016 Q50 and to get it in a v6 with sport package was going to run $43K. However, although it has rear wheel drive and non CVT 7 speed transmission it still only has 300HP. I stayed away from cars with AWD and turbo as this induces higher maint. cost as the car ages. For the money I think the 2016 Maxima SR with all the new advanced technologies like FEB and BSW is kind of hard to beat. I also think it looks a lot better than an Infinity especially knowing I got an extra 10k in my pocket.

    • 0 avatar
      VW16v

      I do agree the fit and finish is impeccable. Very impressive interior. The feelings towards cvt’s is becoming mute. Cvt’s are more efficient and are built with less parts than say a 9 speed transmission. Since owning a Subaru with a cvt and using it on a daily basis, my assumptions have changed.

      • 0 avatar
        Felis Concolor

        Having thoroughly enjoyed my love’s C-Max when I’m the one tasked with driving it – and especially in the recent snow/slush/hardpack conditions along the Front Range – I couldn’t care less whether there’s a stack of planetaries or sliding cones in the transmission case now.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          I’m in the “CVTs are OK for many cars” camp, but planetary power transfer devices such as the one in that C-Max are way better than the conventional belt-driven variety. They’re mechanically dead simple and reliable (unlike belt-driven CVTs), they allow the engine to stop altogether, and they don’t have the occasional judders that most existing CVTs do.

          • 0 avatar
            Featherston

            General question for TTAC readers that I’ve asked once or twice in the past: What is the highest mileage that anyone’s gotten on a Maxima-style CVT? (As dal20402 points out, we know the CVTs in the Prius, C-Max, etc. are reliable.)

            A friend got about 115,000 miles of trouble-free service from the 3.5/CVT combo in a Murano. Though it still worked fine, one of the reasons he traded it in was nervousness about owning the CVT out of warranty. Has anyone gone beyond this?

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            My brother-in-law has a first-gen Murano with about 125k that has seen some light towing. So far so good.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            What are the MYs for the CVT Maxima?

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            2007+ has CVT!

          • 0 avatar
            Eiriksmal

            An estimated 10% of the 2002-2003 VQ35-powered sex machines had sticks. An even smaller percentage of the 2004-2006s had sticks. I look in every Maxima I pass and have yet to see another 6MT 6th gen in 6 years of driving either of my Maximas.

          • 0 avatar
            3rdeyemedia

            In my 2002 Maxima SE I had 291,000 miles on original engine and transmission and it was still fast when I sold it two weeks ago. Could no longer pass smog because it finally needed a new catalytic converted. PS my car had never been to a auto repair shop. I did all the maintenance to that car myself for 13 years of ownership. And it already had 86,000 mile when I bought it. It was soooo good to me I bought a brand new one this time and couldn’t be happier. Got a 72 months 0% interest loan with no payment for 90 days. Damn! pretty good deal.

      • 0 avatar
        tonycd

        VW, you mean “moot” as in “no longer relevant.” If your feelings were “mute,” we wouldn’t have heard them.

  • avatar
    philipbarrett

    “Like cockroaches scattering in the light, Americans are fleeing sedans for the upright comfort and wagon-like space of crossovers.”

    Because station wagons aren’t cool but they are actually the most practical family vehicles ever created without the size, bulk or (lack of) driving experience afforded by the minivan or SUV. So in a stroke of marketing genius we christened them Crossovers so everyone can have the benefit without the stigma!

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Yep, driving with your butt on the ground, not being able to haul tall items, and bumping your head every time you get in or out sure is practical. Those wily marketers sure are to blame for selling a non-dynamic vehicle to a populace with no interest in driving dynamics in the first place! It couldn’t possibly be that CUVs are just what the people wanted.

      • 0 avatar
        sirwired

        You seem to have wagons confused with a Miata. I would hardly call the average family-car as “driving with your butt on the ground” and I’ve never bumped my head getting out of a standard car.

        If you are that immobile and clumsy that you have a hard time sitting in and getting in/out of a standard car, then I guess a nice, tall, vehicle is for you, but most of the population do not have such requirements.

        And while the “sport wagons” can’t handle tall items, the traditional wagons have a quite high load area, with the same height as most CUV’s (and they generally have a longer cargo compartment, so they can haul more stuff than pretty much any CUV on the road), all while getting superior mileage, driving better, and costing less.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          “I’ve never bumped my head getting out of a standard car, therefore no one else in the world ever has and CUVs are thtoopid.”

          When you grow up in minivans and pickups, anything less than a compact CUV is driving with your butt on the ground in comparison. But thanks for the insults.

          I suppose “most of the population” isn’t aging to the point where they’ll need a car they don’t have to step down into either?

          • 0 avatar
            hubcap

            “When you grow up in minivans and pickups, anything less than a compact CUV is driving with your butt on the ground in comparison.”

            Kinda like how some Harley riders refer to any motorcycle that isn’t a Harley as a scooter.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I disagree. I drive a wagon, but crossovers have easier ingress/egress, a commanding view of the road that people seem to like, and few—if any—handling drawbacks when driven properly. I don’t know where this whole holier-than-thou wagon-superiority thing comes from…but it’s ridiculous. It’s not a stigma thing; people just prefer crossovers, and for good reason.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        “I don’t know where this whole holier-than-thou wagon-superiority thing comes from”

        it’s a smug way to act like “I know more than you because I want a car I can’t get here.”

      • 0 avatar
        tonycd

        Kyree, I still think a lower center of gravity is an advantage for those times when I want to drive my car improperly.

        I recall the CR-V used to have a warning page near the front of the owner’s manual. It talked about the cargo carrying and ground clearance advantages of the SUV body style, then cautioned “These advantages come at a cost”: the increased risk of tip-over during brisk cornering. All engineering is a compromise; there’s no need for me to hurl frothing invective against any body style in order to acknowledge that.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        All I can say is drive a 3-series wagon back-to-back with the same generation X3 and get back to me about how the CUV has no disadvantages. In order for a taller, heavier, vehicle to go around corners as well as a shorter, lighter one, the suspension HAS to be stiffer. Which ruins the ride. Simple physics. More frontal area means worse gas mileage, as does the added weight.

        Cheap CUVs mostly suck to drive – they either pitch and wallow, or ride like buckboards, depending on the brand. The only ones that ride AND drive nicely have air suspension, and you PAY for that, upfront and long term.

      • 0 avatar
        tankinbeans

        The holier than thou attitude comes from the same place as those exagerrating their driving prowess while saying things like, “if you can’t drive a manual, you’re just steering.” The same people who think all cars that aren’t of their prefered brand are appliances. Those who don’t need any driver assists because they “know how to drive.”

      • 0 avatar
        swilliams41

        I do not drive a crossover because I do not like to sit up high ( I am 6’2″ so why bother?). I like sedans because I can carry friends and family without complaint and I like a low center of gravity because I drive ’em like I stole ’em sometimes and transient response and roll moment on a tall veichle is strange to me. I have rented an Edge Limited and was very impressed with its handling for a CUV but a Fusion sedan is better! I hate the Maxima exterior styling but the interior is nice and I would buy one all day over the Altima.

    • 0 avatar
      Aquineas

      You will change your mind should you ever decide to have kids.

      • 0 avatar
        seth1065

        I have three kids and drive a Jetta wagon, it is tight if I have all three in the back but that happens twice a year maybe no issues with two kids in the back at all. I think I would have the same or less room if I had a CUV, as far a back seat size goes, I think I have more storage room in the wagon.I am saying in a CUV not an SUV, we have a Pilot for taking everyone somewhere. I like the wagon because there are not that many of them on the road and it is a oil burner, Hey VW you gonna let me know one of these days when the fix is for my Car) I am a car guy not a CUV/truck guy but to each their own. Tough to be smug driving a VW polluting wagon that maybe 1% of people buy.

      • 0 avatar
        swilliams41

        Raised 2 kids, One is 24 and the other 19. We drove Honda Odyssey and sedans when they were growing up. From the smaill 1st gen Odyssey to the 2002 model which was our last van. Good vehicles albeit loud and noisy. ( To me anyway.) My 19 year old is in college and drives my wifes car and the son works for GM and drives a pristine Acura NSX. He wants a Chevyrolet SS but….even with employee pricing!

    • 0 avatar
      zamoti

      I had a CUV, and I did not like it; I got rid of it because it did a few things poorly, nothing very well. It held seven people, but only four of them were comfortable. It was hard to get into the 3rd row (moreso with child seats bolted in place) and when you needed to haul stuff, nothing really fit because of the hatch’s low overhang and the odd shape you had to work with when putting things in. Open the hatch of any modern CUV and you’ll notice that the resultant shape is a squircle of sorts. Try shoving a fridge into that–talk about a square peg in a round hole. Sadly, wagons have gone the same route, but at least they’re still honest. You’re not fitting a lot of people in, but at least you have more cargo space than a comparable sedan. You’re just not fooling yourself into thinking you have a do-it-all vehicle. CUVs don’t do it all, they do some of it and they don’t do it very well.
      I ended up dumping the CUV and got a nice long sedan with lots of backseat room. I also have a set of roof bars that I can use for additional cargo space when I need to bring home small amounts of lumber, the occasional ladder or a place to mount the roof box.
      I never did feel terribly planted in any CUV, but I sure do in a sedan. However, there’s no fighting the war of the CUV; the fearful drivers have spoken with their wallets which is why we don’t have a Civic wagon, Accord wagon, Focus wagon, Corolla wagon, Camry wagon or Maxima wagon. We now have CR-Vs, Pilots, Escapes, RAV4s, Highlanders and Muranos. They want to be up high and feel safe.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        I don’t feel like my Golf SportWagen is all that much more practical than a crossover from a cargo standpoint, although I’m told it has more cargo room in some configuration or another than the larger Touareg. But it is a “sport wagon”. All I know is that it works for me.

        I think the most useful wagons are things like the Flex (which is sort of a crossover), the Outback (also kind of a crossover), and the upcoming V90. Oh, yeah, and the E-Class wagon. Most other wagons aren’t going to be any better than a similarly-sized crossover. There are a lot of compact crossovers (like the CR-V) that roundly trump my wagon for usable space and still have reasonably-low loading floors.

        By the way, I really want an E63 AMG wagon (don’t we all?).

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          I have no interest in an E63 AMG. I just want a 328d wagon without AWD. I might even settle for the autotragic, since it really does work well with BMW’s diesel. Or alternatively, a 328i wagon with 6spd stick and RWD. The new one is usefully improved over mine in several ways. Faster, more economical, and usefully larger.

          Though somehow I doubt they will build me another 328!. :-)

        • 0 avatar
          3rdeyemedia

          An E63 AMG sounds marvelous. Putting the word “wagon” behind that seems sacrilegious. AMG means “Sports Car” “wagon” means soccer mom. The two just don’t seem to go together. An E63 AMG is probably in the top 10 of most expensive Benz’s to own. Why would anyone buy that in a station wagon? This is why anyone who has a E63AMG also has other cars.

      • 0 avatar
        NetGenHoon

        Which CUV did you have? I’m with you against 3-row mid-sizers of any type (however the Hyundai Santa Fe with the 2nd row captain’s chairs might change my mind). To maximize either passenger or cargo capacity, a van or truck is better.

        That doesn’t mean that this CUV trend is without it’s perks. Compared to a similar priced sedan, in a CUV you get:
        -Easier ingress/egress. This is a big boon for working with both child seats and the elderly.
        -Hatchback-like utility
        -Better passenger compartment packaging due to raised seating position
        -Shorter overall length
        -Better visibility due to raised seating positon
        -300lbs extra weight
        -2-ish mpg less efficient

        Choosing the CUV over the sedan for a family is the rational choice.

        In light of this, it makes sense that sedans, are styling themselves away from being spacious people carriers. So we see the swooping rooflines and difficult to enter back seats.

        That said, personally, I’m happy that fast compact cars like the Focus ST are available, because that’s what I like.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      99.9% of the car buying public doesn’t give one damn about “driving experience.”

      • 0 avatar

        I firmly believe that for a large segment of the know not much population they have a car for five years. They then somehow drive a newer one (service loaner). The loaner car has fresh swaybar bushings, fresh shocks, and the brakes are not warped and the tires are factory balanced, not semi trained monkey balanced. While they don’t know squat about parts or why, the new one just feels better and the old one feels junky now….and they buy a new car.

        The Maxima exists to be an impulse buy at the Nissan store.

        • 0 avatar
          3rdeyemedia

          Not for me. I researched the 2016 Maxima for two years. I was looking at it even before it came out. My 2002 Maxima SE ran great for 13 years and 291,000 miles so I wanted another one. There is not a whole lot of cars that compete with the Maxima’s 300hp in this price range. My experience, is that Nissans are super easy and cost effective to maintain. The new safety features like Forward Emergency Braking alone make the car totally worth it as if you rear end another car you are almost always at fault.

  • avatar
    GS 455

    Ride quality?

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      Seriously. How can one begin to grasp why large sedans are dying if it doesn’t even occur to jot a brief note about ride quality in an ostensible review of one?

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        There’s a little bit:

        In a land of SUVs, the Maxima drives small and is as easy to place on the road as it is in a parking lot. Steering inputs stimulate confidence and body roll is consistently held in check across a variety of road surfaces.

        So, it doesn’t feel big, and doesn’t lean a lot.

        • 0 avatar
          GS 455

          I saw the bit about body roll held in check and I kind of figured it was reviewer code for “if you live in a city with glass smooth roads it’s tolerable and if not you’ll hate your daily commute even more”. I just think that if several paragraphs can be devoted to an analysis of exterior and interior styling then a little bit more should be included about how it actually rides.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Heh.. you’re a braver man than I.

            My response was something like “well, since the only thing he cites about ride is a bad thing, I’m guessing this Maxima is about as cushy as a warehouse cart”.

            But I demurred out fear of a humorous savaging by Corey for my OCD.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            LOL

            I just translated it as “The Maxima rides well in cities with roads similar to Phoenix and Palm Springs.”

    • 0 avatar
      3rdeyemedia

      The Maxima SR rides absolutely great in all conditions. I have the 19″ rims and sports suspension. However, I am spoiled coming from a 2002 Maxima SE which also had sports suspension. I added better struts, brakes, stabilizers, etc. With that being said I did not like the handling ] ride of the base model 2016 Maxima at all. It was not as good as my 2002 Maxima SE. However, I absolutely love the ride and handling of the 2016 SR.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    No reason to choose it over the (roomier) V6 Altima other than “look at me!” styling. On the other hand, I bet these will loose residual value like crazy and be screaming used deals.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Ever since I did online marketing—which wasn’t even my job—for a car dealership, I can’t stand the term “screaming deal”…lol

    • 0 avatar
      Eiriksmal

      The Maxima and Altima share a platform, but they don’t use the same suspension components. The ride and handling is thoroughly different. Altimas are for people who hate cars. Maximas are for people who want a “sporty” car, but are afraid of stick-shifts or oversteering or are just a Nissan loyalist. The two suspensions are tuned accordingly, with a huge difference between the sporty Maxima trims, containing items such as thicker anti-roll bars and more aggressive spring rates than the “luxury” Maxima trims, to the sad, generic 4-cylinder Altimas you see everywhere.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    It’s not a sports sedan. It’s just a sedan.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      A bloated overwrought sedan.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      I don’t know which review to believe. C/D tested this Maxima and said it plows like an Ohio farmer when you push it.

      As a former 3G Maxima owner, I want to like the Maxima. I wanted to like the last generation of it, and even did after a brisk test drive. Renting one for a week cured me of that. It looked and sounded sporty, but when you drove it for a while it was just a family sedan with a big engine. At least this time they’ve purged the interior of the parts-bin feeling the last edition had.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        Shows you how much Car and Driver (or really, Americans in general) know about farming. Almost nobody actually does deep plowing anymore. Except for when we tear up the alfalfa after 3 years, we never do. It’s just too invasive, and it exposes the topsoil.

    • 0 avatar
      energetik9

      “It’s not a sports sedan. It’s just a sedan.”

      This!! This is exactly why I gave up interest in these years ago. It’s just a sedan, and importantly, it’s a CVT equipped, bloated, FWD sedan at that. Nissan hasn’t given this car serious consideration in the last three body styles. I’ve rented a few of the previous generation and have never been impressed.

      What started as a desirable 4DSC is sadly no more.

    • 0 avatar
      3rdeyemedia

      Completely disagree. the 2016 Maxima SR is absolutely a sports sedan. The only reason people are saying it is not sporty is because it has a CVT transmission. I would bet that with my 2016 SR I could take a similar equipped car with a regular automatic or a manual shift car with no problems. It is all about HOW you drive not what you drive that wins a race. If you can’t win with 300hp, 19″ inch rims, sports tunes suspension, paddle shiftes and very quick acceleration and steering I don’t know what else tell you. I whooped a Mustang with ease yesterday wasn’t even a race. Oh, maybe you can ONLY win with AWD and 8 speed transmission and 460HP. Then you will probably just wreck.

  • avatar
    cgjeep

    My how TTAC is changing: “wallow across interstates like a Crown Victoria”. Never thought I would hear a disparaging word about a Panther in a TTAC review.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      This is change I can believe in.

    • 0 avatar
      dividebytube

      As an ex-Grand Marquis driver, the car was not a wallower. My old Roadmaster – now that car could wallow – but even that, with the towing package, was better than a base MY91 Caprice.

      The Marquis actually had a pretty firm/choppy ride compared to the Roadmaster. At least to me the MGM felt more like a first generation Avalon or a stretched out Camry but with RWD.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        I suppose this is like the $1M/year orthopedic surgeons who are always pleading poverty in the New York Times — there’s always someone richer, or wallowier, to compare to.

    • 0 avatar
      Seth Parks

      cgjeep – I’m glad you brought up the Panther. As a former Marauder owner and life-long fan of the Crown Vic and its cousins, it pained me to put them in a negative light. That said, they have been eclipsed in every way, save perhaps ease of maintenance, character, and on road presence by today’s crop of full-sizers. That said, I’d have another in a heartbeat, but that is a different article.

  • avatar
    thelastword

    I curiously test drove the SR as my first 4-door was the ’89 4DSC. Loved that car. But I found this ride far too stiff and bumpy–even in Comfort Mode compared to more refined sports sedans. The car overall is a pretty good value at its price point and the exterior is pleasingly unique, but my passengers constantly complained it felt jumpy and near jarring over anything but the smoothest roads.

    And, I agree not providing an optional sunroof in the SR is mystifying. The SR is nice but hardly uber sporty. I can’t imagine having glass overhead is a performance deal breaker for Nissan’s target audience.

    • 0 avatar
      3rdeyemedia

      I added aa aftermarket sunroof to mine. However, I understand that if I ever roll the car at high speed I will not be as safe as I would have been had I not cut a hole in the roof. Other reasons to not cut the roof as it reduces structural rigidity and adds weight above the center of gravity. I also found before cutting the roof the car was absolutely silent inside. I destroyed that silence and now here much more wind noise. Kind of wish I had not cut it but sometimes the sunroof is worth it.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    The deletion of the sunroof from the SR is just stupid. I at least in theory could be a target buyer for the Maxima — I have no problem with front-drive on a large V6 sedan, and I like a balance between comfort and sport — but I would not buy one because I couldn’t get the sunroof and good suspension together. I mean, really? You’re going to lower the CoG by half an inch in a big, heavy, FWD sedan and it’s going to matter?

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    The biggest threat to the Maxima isn’t shrinking demand, it’s the Altima. I can go to a Nissan dealer today and walk out with a fully loaded V6 Altima for $30k. Leather, nav, sunroof, etc all there. Sure it may be a little smaller, but its pretty darn close in terms of real world usability.

    There just isn’t much incentive to pick a Maxima over an Altima these days. I date this to the 2006 model year.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      The difference between the Maxima and Altima isn’t really a practical one. It’s that the Altima feels as cheaply built as a Versa and the Maxima feels at least acceptable in terms of refinement (although not up to luxury brand standards).

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        Ford proved with the Fusion that it could make a mid-size competitor in both the “fleet” and “sporty” categories in one model. If the Altima increases its level of refinement and adds a sporty version, the Maxima could be moved up to compete with the Taurus, Impala, and other “full-size” sedans whose names escape me.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          I doubt that would be a good move. You’d be moving from a slowly shrinking but still large category into a rapidly dying one. Large-sedan sales were off by something like a third last year. Those buyers are either dying off or moving to a higher ride height.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          But didn’t Ford effectively kill the Taurus by creating the current Fusion? The Fusion Sport and Platinum are the final nails in the Taurus’ coffin.

      • 0 avatar
        2drsedanman

        Agreed. The same goes for a loaded v6 Camry versus an Avalon. For the little price difference, the Avalon is a lot more car, which is why I bought one last year. Someone mentioned the CVT drone. I traded in a 2013 Altima on the Avalon and the CVT was a huge part of the reason. Nothing like proven drive trains. I would probably get another Sienna or Highlander based on this v6/transmission combo alone.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Lengthwise, the Altima might be smaller, but it has more interior space than does the Maxima.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Yea, I agree with dal here (for once?). The better tactile quality of Maxima would be worth the price increase for me.

    • 0 avatar
      zamoti

      They should have killed the Max yesterday instead of refreshing it. It lands in the strange space between a nice Altima and a crappy G37 or Q50. Not sure who this thing is for.

    • 0 avatar
      VW16v

      You can probably drive out of a Nissan dealer with a loaded Altima v6 for around $26,000. Nissan seems to putting tons of cash on all their sedans.

    • 0 avatar
      3rdeyemedia

      I got a fully loaded 2016 Maxima SR for $32K and they added the sunroof with lifetime warranty for free. It has a more powerful engine better suspension, interior and looks way better. Why would you spend 30K on an Altima when you can spend 2k more and get a much better car? They are really really very different cars. If you deliver pizza for a living or work for Uber get an Altima. If you have any hopes of going on a date one day get a Maxima. There are too many feature that are not apparent from the outside to cheat yourself by not upgrading to a Maxima.

  • avatar
    v8corvairpickup

    Some of my favorite places are shown in this review! The Goldwell exhibit, Rhyolite NV and the Amargosa Opera House are treasures. But what I really want to know is if the Maxima was able to drive down Titus Canyon Rd.

  • avatar
    maxxcool7421

    If your going to call it a 4dsc, then don’t *artificially* restrict the RPM range to 6500-max. Give the VQ35 back its additional 900RPM range and bill it right. they may call it a DE but is has the right valve train, liners and rings to run up to the 7500RPM limit the HR has because of all the parts sharing with the HR and VHR designs.

    I wonder if the CVT doesn’t like having 350hp thrown at it ..

  • avatar
    tylanner

    I was skeptical of this car when it transitioned from concept to production. But after seeing one in person, the design is pleasing, or at a minimum, very interesting.

    Most striking feature: The cabin/interior is bright with its proportions and aesthetics featured by the large windows and thin frames (a structural feature that can balloon in size from concept to production).

  • avatar
    ajla

    After driving it, I was much more impressed with this generation than I expected. I liked it more than the Impala, Cadenza, Passat V6, or Avalon.

    I felt the FCA cars were more fun, but I personally know that the ownership of those isn’t always a joy. I haven’t driven a new V6 Genesis or Azera so I can’t compare. TLX V6 was a tossup.

    I do wish it had about 30 more horsepower, a real exhaust note, and that the SR’s performance enhancements were available on the S version (I think the quilted seats look hokey and I’m not that interested in most of the extra luxury features on the SR).

    Once some incentives pile on it might be worth serious consideration when I get rid of my Dodge, especially with Infiniti cars going turbo-only.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      ajla, I’m guessing the Genesis is the most serious alternative on that list, especially now that Hyundai finally swallowed their pride and went outside to fix the damn suspension. If only it weren’t quite so anonymously styled and heavy/thirsty (I guess that bargain pricing has to come from somewhere), it would be practically perfect.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    I love the looks of the Maxima. And I love everything about it.

    Except the terrible drivetrain. I don’t want a CVT, and I don’t want FWD.

    Yes, I realize I want an Infiniti Qwhatever, but I like the looks of the Max and I don’t think the Infiniti is worth $50k. If only the drivetrain didn’t suck so badly.

    • 0 avatar
      VW16v

      Test drive a new Maxima. You could be surprised on the drivetrain. You are correct on the over priced Infiniti. And you will lose big money in any New Infiniti just driving it off the lot.

    • 0 avatar
      3rdeyemedia

      I drove both and purchased the 2016 Maxima SR and absolutely love it. The drive train / CVT trans is not bad at all. The Infinity gives you RWD and a 7 speed regular trans but is still on 300HP even with the twin turbo. Turbo cars will not last as long and will be more expensive to maintain if you plan on keeping it for a long time. I plan on keeping this car 10 -15 years as I did my 2002 Maxima which I just sold still running great. The CVT with paddle shifters and sports suspension runs like a bat out of hell. Man. this thing runs great and handles even better. Got mine for 32K 72 months 0% interest.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Is there any wonder why full size car sales are down?

    $32,5 for a pedestrian car with a V6, CVT, FWD, and it’s technically not even full size?

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    When I see them in person, I really don’t care for the styling. They come off as awkward on the move, especially in lighter colors where all the panels and details in design show off.

    The quilty inserts look like an old moving blanket – they might as well be brocade. Not tasteful.

    And what’s with the felt under the hood? That looks like a hot mess. Sort of like the sueded door panels, which don’t match anything else.

    Honestly, when you choose one of these new you need to keep in mind you can get something from Infiniti which is nicer, RWD/AWD, very lightly used, and has a better 3.7HR with a real transmission.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      I’d absolutely love a G37X or EX 37 (or whatever the Q they call them these days).

      Nissan lost the plot on styling since they ruined the Altima in 2013. The Micra and Sentra are currently the best looking new Nissans!

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Now correct me if I’m wrong, but I recall you eliminated Infiniti products from your list of potentials early on, before ultimately choosing the Buick.

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          I eventually decided to use dealer financing on a new car, which was leading me to Jetta GLI, Accord, or Verano. A niced use G37X is not cheap, and would have been harder to finance, as I didn’t have quite that kind of cash on hand. That, and I figured the Infiniti, while obviously not a German, might be more expensive for parts and running than a Buick, VW or Honda. The Buick doesnt really have any parts that are not part of the generic GM parts bin.

          I really think the G37 is a beautifully styled car with a great powertrain. And for some reason I really like the shape of the EX. Its a fantastic looking little tall wagon.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Ahh I gotcha. I bet they’re willing to deal on the EX now that the name has changed and they’ve got leftovers. I imagine the EX will die soon anyway, without replacement. You can go up to the JX, FX, or down to the Q30x.

            They’re def not more expensive to run than a VW!

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Ugh ugh guh no. The FX has always been supremely ugly to my eye (which is why it surprises me how much i like the EX), the JX is an oversized blob of a Pathfinder, which I’ll never need something that big, and the Q30 is also hideous, a gussied up GLA if I’m not mistaken.

            No, G37 and EX37 look to be my first and last Infiniti loves.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I do like the original FX, and I think it was ahead of it’s time, style-wise. I don’t like the early gen 2 version, which had the more “W” shape front lamps, and a weird grille. They toned it down after year 1 or 2.

            The JX is awful and I hate it, and it shouldn’t exist in its format.

            The EX is fine but dated, and I can see how it fills a unique niche.

            QX30 is indeed a little GLA and I wouldn’t touch one with a 10-foot stripper pole.

            The QX56/QX80 looks scary, but is actually -VERY- nice inside, and a value in the segment against the likes of the LC/LX and especially the Escalade. If they’d just tone down the front end, sales would shoot right up.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            The EX is now the QX50, and got a slight refresh for 2016 that included a wheelbase stretch and more ground clearance, solving my two main problems with it. A used 2016 QX50 Deluxe Touring is probably going to replace my Forester as soon as they are relatively common on the used market. Infinitis depreciate too much for me to take the first hit.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            I actually like the body mods they did to the EX for 2016. I just refuse to call it the QX whatever.

    • 0 avatar
      3rdeyemedia

      Yes, and will cost you about 10K more for a car that looks exactly the same on the inside and not as good on the outside has the same 300HP but doesn’t get as good of gas mileage. The Infinity does 0-60 in 3.4 seconds the Maxima 3.7. Again, one cost $10,000 more. If I were going to spend that much more I would just get a Lexus IS 350 or GS450, or even a Nissan 350Z. Infinity will also cost you like a BMW or Mercedes in maintenance costs.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    “Gone are the days of full-size sedans with one-finger steering and rear-ends disassociated from front-ends.”

    As are the days of most families wanting one.

  • avatar
    carguy

    There are some serious incentives on the 2016 SR model. Edmunds puts the current incentives and discounts at about $4,000 which makes it a much more attractive proposition.

    • 0 avatar
      seth1065

      This car may be a nice buy as a CPO but seems to be lost in the value mix vs some others cars, my neighbor has one and I swear he must be on his 7th one he just leases and replaces every two years with another.

      • 0 avatar
        carguy

        @seth1065: All cars are better value once they are CPO. What I meant was that a $33k transaction price for the SR makes it a viable proposition. It delivers full size space, decent driving dynamics and a near-luxury interior at a price point usually associated with top-spec mid-sizers such as the Accord Touring.

        However, at $37K it makes very little sense.

      • 0 avatar
        3rdeyemedia

        I looked at this route. However, CPO interest rate was going to be 6% or higher. Buying brand new got $4000 in rebates sunroof installed with lifetime warranty and 0% financing for 72 months. Car was only 32K for the 2016 Maxima SR. 2016 Honda Accord was like 35K.

  • avatar
    06V66speed

    Great quality of interior materials… OK. Fit and finish is amazing. And it likes to gobble up the highway.

    It’s a loser in rear headroom. It’s a loser in rear legroom.

    But they want how much for this car??

    What happens when all of those electronics start to show signs of aging? Or when that CVT starts overheating?

    Our 2010 Maxima is already showing signs of dementia. When we get out of the car, it beeps at us, telling us the “key” (fob, rather) is still in the cabin.

    Don’t get me started on my other gripes with it. Those electronic gizmos take a dump, one at a time, and you’ll be up sh*t creek.

    “Dis ain’t no Toyota”.

    But it looks aggressive! So does your pal’s Kia Optima.

    And… and and 0-60 in 5.8!!

    Blah. Go eat some lunch.

  • avatar
    readallover

    I had a 1990 Maxima, a great car. Today, I drive what I consider to be the spiritual successor to that car: a Mazda 6.

  • avatar

    CVT plus FWD at this price point ? Pass.

    19 inch wheels with 40 series on a daily driver ? Pass #2

    This car is a huge upsell to a non enthusiast who comes in looking for an Altima but has a high credit score, or can’t understand 15% interest.

  • avatar
    legacygt

    The problem with the Maxima over the past 10-15 years is summed up in one word: Altima. Since the Altima grew into and along with the Mid-Sized class, the Maxima has been nothing more than a styling exercise. All the marketing (and the references in this review) about how the Maxima is Full Size is just baloney. The Altima shares the same wheelbase as the Maxima and is bigger in most dimensions. By failing to control the growth of the Altima, Nissan has made the Maxima largely irrelevant. (They did something similar with the Murano.) It’s a shame because the Maxima was really once something special and unique in the marketplace. Now, it isn’t even unique in the Nissan showroom.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      The difference between the Altima and Maxima is not about size but quality and dynamics. The Altima feels cheap in every level while Maxima offers near luxury quality and a much better driving experience. Given the $4,000 discounts and incentives on the 2016 Maxima SR model, it probably makes for a better value proposition than a loaded Altima.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        The previous gen Maxima sure didn’t have “near luxury quality and a much better driving experience”. This one must be MUCH improved. I am sure I will start getting them as rentals any day now.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “The interior is a balanced execution of driver-centric sporting luxury, but if you are an Uber driver, this is probably not your car.”

    Translation: The interior space sucks.

  • avatar
    MWolf

    I’m not at all opposed to driving a sedan, I would happily buy one if I didn’t have to choose only one vehicle to buy. I like my SUV for its ability to haul things and ots capabilities in snow. If I didn’t have a second car (a Toronado that, for some reason, I am restoring), yeah, I’d get a sedan. Something sporty and fun to drive on summer days with the sunroof open, with decent power and an interior on par with the Maxima shown above. But I have to choose one or the other, and SUV/CUV fits the bill a bit better for all around functionality.

    I know some will say how a sedan can, in some ways, do all these things. But I’ve had sedans, too. My decision is based off of my own words, “it’s a great car, but an SUV is better for me”. Better for trips with lots of luggage better (if it’s not one that’s low to the ground) for snow, better for hauling a loveseat bought on a whim.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I’m just the opposite. I have no use at all for a sedan. My garage contains a coupe, a convertible, a wagon, and a big SUV. There is nothing that a sedan can do that one of those can’t just as well, and lots of things that the sedan can’t do as well. If I could only have ONE car it would be the wagon, as it can do everything the rest of them can do other than tow as much as the SUV. Well, and let me be lazy about blowing the driveway after a blizzard.

      If I had more garage space I could MAYBE see having an older luxury sedan too like a 560SEL or a Phaeton. Just for going out to dinner in. But realistically, the Range Rover does that just as well if not better for two couples, and the M235i or Spitfire does it better for me and a date.

    • 0 avatar
      TOTitan

      Ive got a sedan that is about as good as it gets for road trips….BMW 335d. 425 lb ft @1700 in a 3 series is just amazing. For short trips around town we have a 16 Golf sportwagen SE tsi, and for towing/hauling a 04 Nissan Titan upgraded with big brakes, 20″ Momos, air bags and Bilsteins. I think we’ve about got it covered.

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      @ MWolf – What year Toronado? Love the ’66s and ’67s.

      youtu.be/ziYJVoaOeiI?t=304

  • avatar
    MWolf

    Khrodes1, exactly. A sedan would merely be a “fun” car for me. Purely optional. A wagon would also be acceptable to me as an every day car, but SUV is where I ended up, mostly for winter driving reasons.

  • avatar
    RHD

    Speaking of impurist… why does the silhouette of the gold miner have a penguin tagging along with him?

  • avatar
    Seth Parks

    Good question RHD. The best I can do is right from Goldwell Museum website:

    “Word has it that Bervoets wanted to include in his sculpture an indication of how “alien” he felt in the Nevada desert. The penguin was the most out-of-place entity the artist could think of to represent his own feelings of displacement under the Mojave sun, a self-portrait then as a penguin in the desert.”

  • avatar
    dougjp

    Nissan CVTs and front end design language have kept Nissans off my shopping list for years. Nothing has changed with this one.

  • avatar
    Alexdi

    If you drive this car, you’ll like it. It’s very well-executed and, like the last version, looks better in person in than in pictures.

    But I own the last version and it’s been a maintenance nightmare. There’s no chance this powertrain is bringing me back for another go.

  • avatar
    John

    Sixty percent of the engine parts were replaced for a 3.45% increase in horsepower, and 0% increase in torgue? Law of diminishing returns strikes again?

  • avatar
    ericb91

    Ya know, it’s really not a bad car. The styling is attractive, it’s got all the features you could want in what is essentially a family sedan, and it’s quick.

    The top-of-the-line Platinum model (MSRP around $41,095) can be had for close to $33k at dealers near me. That’s pretty excellent. $33,000 for a car that can more than keep up with traffic and provides you with all of the bells and whistles? Not bad at all.


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