I first met the Nissan Maxima in 1985 when my friend rolled up in a brand new one. Just hired out of college by Marriott Hotels as the new comptroller for the Dallas region, she felt the Maxima would reflect well on her status as a young executive. I was amazed at its plushness and those colored keys under the driver’s side exterior door handle for programming the locks.
Nissan recently ventured to Dallas, Texas to introduce the eighth generation of its “four-door sports car.” The all-new 2016 Maxima lives up to its halo status. For starters, it’s a beauty. The “energetic design” including the signature V-Motion grille, jet fighter-inspired zero gravity front seats with sport bolstering, and floating roof embodies its four-door sports car moniker from Nissan.
Available in five as-is trim levels (there are no optional packages or features), S, SV, SL, SR and Platinum, it will make shopping simpler but may also frustrate buyers who would like to add features like a dual panoramic sunroof, available only on the SL and Platinum trim levels. Some factory installed accessories, like splash guards and spoilers are available.
All Maximas include a seven-inch Advanced Drive-Assist Display, a 60/40 split fold-down rear seat, HD radio, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, a CD player (you can still get a six-CD player on S and SV models) Bluetooth hands-free phone system, a rear view monitor, Nissan Intelligent Key with push button ignition, and NissanConnect with navigation and an eight-inch touchscreen.
At the launch, the top-of-the-line Premium trim was featured. Inside, quilted leather seats and faceted finishes on knobs, etc. added to its plushness.
Powered by an improved 3.5-liter V6 with 300 horsepower matched to a new performance-oriented Xtronic transmission, the Maxima’s expected to improve in fuel economy, earning 22 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.
For better performance, the Drive Mode Selector (Sport and Normal modes) adjusts throttle response, steering feel and transmission tuning. On the test drive, there was a noticeable difference in Sport mode, including tighter steering.
The new Maxima also offers an extensive range of safety, security and driving aids, including Predictive Forward Collision Warning Intelligent Cruise Control, Forward Emergency Braking, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Blind Spot Warning. However, these features are not standard on all Maximas, only the SL, SR and Platinum grades.
Like its predecessors, the new Maxima packs a lot of punch and features in an elegant package with sporty performance.
Pricing will start at $33,235.