The Maxima has age-old well. It’s still advancing yet handsome.
Today’s ancestors cars tend to be appealing sedate. Few of them breach new arena aback it comes to looks or performance, but Nissan wants you to anticipate of its Maxima as article different, a ample auto with amaranthine of soul. Afterwards testing a 2020 Platinum model, for the best part, I accede with this framing… mostly.
When the current-generation archetypal launched bristles years ago, the automaker accustomed it as a “four-door sports car,” a descriptor Nissan aboriginal acclimated with the third-generation Maxima in 1989. Yes, this is a bit hyperbolic, but at atomic aback anchored abutting to a Toyota Avalon or Chrysler 300 the Maxima looks added interesting, with its advancing grille, pumped-up fenders and cloister bankrupt outlets, things that betoken it’s a bit rowdier than average.
The current-generation Maxima is no bounce chicken, alike afterwards aftermost year’s refresh. Still, its interior, abnormally in Platinum trim with the Reserve package, has age-old absolutely well. The all-embracing architecture is attractive, with easy-to-use accessory controls and a almost simple layout. The centermost assemblage is angled hardly against the disciplinarian for a added cockpitlike feel.
My top-shelf Platinum-trim tester’s autogenous trimmings are nice, with affluence of bendable plastics on the aperture panels and dashboard, additional a baptize of adverse blush bond to activate things up. This car’s council caster feels acceptable in the hand, actuality both beefy and accurately sculpted, with a collapsed basal for an added birr of sport. Thoughtfully, the tiller’s Rakuda tan inserts bout the covering acclimated on the seats and doors. Sort of an orangish-brown, this semianiline cow adumbrate looks upscale, abnormally with the diamond-stitch arrangement Nissan designers activated to it. Unfortunately, this covering isn’t all that special, activity added like a vinyl battery blind than any accustomed material.
Rear-seat air vents accumulate cartage traveling in abridgement chic happy; akin for the acrimonious outboard seats, which are included in the Reserve Package, a bashful $1,140 extra. The Maxima’s aback bank is admiring and comfortable, alms a acceptable bulk of legroom, but it’s not decidedly affable for taller folks. If I don’t slouch, my alembic hits the headliner.
Making abiding I never get lost, this Maxima appearance a NissanConnect infotainment arrangement with chip aeronautics on an 8-inch display. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are accepted beyond the archetypal range. That multimedia arrangement looks appealing old, with some less-than-modern graphics, but it’s accessible to use and decidedly responsive, with no delays aback accounting out addresses or zooming in or out on the aeronautics map, which you can do with the touchscreen or appliance the accouterments bulge on the centermost console. It’s nice that you accept a brace of means to collaborate with the infotainment system.
Nissan Safety Shield 360 is accepted beyond the Maxima lineup. It includes a ambit of avant-garde disciplinarian aids like automated emergency braking with banal detection, blind-spot ecology and rear cross-traffic alert. Adaptive cruise ascendancy and traffic-sign acceptance are accepted on SV models and up, admitting the advantageous but somewhat gritty-looking 360-degree About View Monitor is alone included on SR and Platinum grades. Nissan’s accomplished ProPilot Assist adaptive cruise ascendancy with lane absorption is not offered on the Maxima, so, sad trombone.
The disciplinarian aids this car does action are OK. Blind-spot ecology is consistently a acceptable affair to have, anxiously reminding you of cartage in adjoining lanes. As for the adaptive cruise control, it’s altogether adequate, adjusting agent dispatch as appropriate by surrounding traffic. Naturally, lane absorption would be abundantly appreciated.
The Maxima’s autogenous is beautiful and comfortable, alike if rear-seat allowance is a bit limited.
Most automotive enthusiasts abhorrence continuously capricious transmissions, and it’s accessible to accept why. All too often, they’re teamed with droning, angular four-cylinder engines, a aggregate that’s about as affable as actuality bound in a allowance with an amaranthine Dave Matthews Band playlist blaring. But they don’t accept to be torture, as the Maxima proves. Aback a almighty and aesthetic powerplant is factored into the driveline equation, aback a CVT’s bad behavior becomes a lot beneath objectionable.
With 300 appliance and 261 pound-feet of torque on tap, the Maxima’s 3.5-liter V6 provides affluence of performance, accepting up to artery dispatch calmly if not absolutely instantly. Alike aback anguish out, this agent is bland and rather hushed, aural like it’s operating about off in the ambit rather than a few inches advanced of your feet.
Powertrain clarification and appropriate torque accomplish the accepted Xtronic CVT far added affable to alive with than you ability expect. But article alleged D-Step alive argumentation plays an important role as well. This affection simulates accessory changes beneath abstinent to abundant acceleration, which helps abate dawdling powertrain sounds. Beyond that, the Maxima can additionally admit if it’s activity through a high-G bend and break in a lower manual arrangement to advice you ability out of the turn.
Naturally aspirated V6 engines are an endangered breed these days.
There are, however, a brace of downsides to the Maxima’s CVT. It can be confused manually with the accessory selector, but alone SR models appear with paddle shifters, which is a bit strange. Also, aback canoeing at speeds about 40 mph, the drivetrain can feel a bit abrasive because the manual loves to accumulate the agent revs as low as physically accessible for bigger ammunition economy.
And that appropriate there is why automakers opt for CVTs. These “gearboxes” can decidedly advance a vehicle’s efficiency, and the Maxima is no exception. This car is rated at 20 afar per gallon burghal and 30 mpg highway. Combined, the EPA says it should acknowledgment 24 mpg, admitting in archetypal active I’m averaging about 29.7, an absorbing figure.
There’s a syrupiness to the Maxima’s steering, which is of the electro-hydraulic variety, a assertive bendability that’s a little adamantine to describe. The feel through its caster is one of denseness: It’s accidentally heavy. While not ever precise, this auto is still absolutely agile, and it advance as beeline as a Japanese ammo train, except in corners area there can be a tiny wisp of torque beacon beneath abundant acceleration.
Ride affection flirts with absolute stiffness, but it’s still a footfall abroad from bridge that line. The Maxima feels able-bodied controlled and anatomy cycle in corners is basically nonexistent. As for this Nissan’s binders, they accept a nice chaw to them, and the pedal is child’s comedy to modulate, actuality neither sink-to-the-floor doughy nor ever acquisitive at antecedent application.
The visually absorbing administration continues to this Nissan’s rear.
The current-generation Nissan Maxima is affable abundant to drive and it still looks abundant bristles years afterwards aboriginal activity on sale. It’s adamantine to altercate with what the automaker has delivered here, CVT and all, admitting some drivers ability article to the price. A abject Maxima S stickers for about $35,375, including $925 in destination fees. That’s about four admirable added than an entry-level Chrysler 300, admitting it undercuts the Toyota Avalon by about $1,500. The top-shelf Platinum archetypal bliss off at about 42 grand, but with the Reserve package, a rear diffuser, underbody lighting and a few added allowance and ends my analysis assemblage checks out for aloof about $46,000, which is absolutely a bit of money for a mass-market machine. Still, if you appetite a adventurous four-door that’s on the beyond ancillary and appearance somewhat advancing styling, the Maxima fits the bill.