The 2016 Nissan Maxima Review: When Nissan began selling Datsun’s in the United States in the mid 1960s, the cars were tiny sedans and pickup trucks. In the 1970s, Datsun expanded. It wasn’t until 1981 though, that the first Maxima arrived, offering a real step up from basic transportation.
With a modest 2.4-liter inline six from the 240 Z sports car making all of 145 horsepower, the early Maximas weren’t barn burners, but they developed into midsized sedans that Nissan marketed as “The 4-door Sports Car,” the poor man’s BMW.
Through the years the Maxima grew and grew, and today’s all-new 2016 8th generation car is a large midsize car. It boasts a 3.5-liter V6 that makes a formidable 300 horsepower and 261 lb.-ft. of torque.
Sometime in the mid 1990s, I received a Maxima test car. I’ll never forget how when I first applied my right foot to the accelerator, that car surged forward like someone had stung it on the behind. Nissan’s VQ Series V6 engines have been winning industry awards for years, and the latest version is upgraded with more than 60 percent new parts. It benefits from lessons learned while developing the GT-R supercar.
Despite its greater power, the new engine notches a 15 percent improvement in highway mileage. EPA figures are 22 City, 30 Highway, and 25 Overall. Those are numbers formerly associated with four-cylinder economy cars like the Nissan Sentra. I averaged 21.6 mpg overall, although a lot of my time was spent in town and stuck in slow commute traffic. Green scores are a midrange 5 for Smog and 6 for Greenhouse Gas.
Nissan offers five ascending levels: S, SV, SL, SR, and Platinum. The S is well equipped, but step up to the SV and you’ll get leather seats, heated in front, and heated outside mirrors too. The SL provides a dual panel moonroof, heated steering wheel, ambient lighting, and more.
The SR model, like my Deep Blue Pearl test car, brings in a raft of performance features. With suspension tuning, a performance chassis damper (to limit vibration), a D-shaped steering wheel covered in racy Alcantara (suede), and upsized 19-inch wheels, it’s the bona fide sportiest member of the family. Platinum is what you’d expect, at the top of the family tree, with rain-sensing wipers, a power sunshade, and real luxury car features.
You don’t need to go for the Platinum level to get safety. The SL, SR, and Platinum all provide the latest safety technology acronyms, such as Predictive Forward Collision Warning (PFCW), Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC), Forward Emergency Braking (FEB), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and Blind Spot Warning (BSW). You’re much less likely to run over or hit anything or anybody with these features on board. The Platinum even offers Driver Attention Alert, which somehow notices if you appear to be getting drowsy and sounds an alarm to wake you up. I didn’t get to experience this first hand.
Nissan’s plan with the Maxima is to offer five versions with specific levels of equipment, and leave the options to a minimum. Want more? Step up to the next higher level. The few options include little things like floor mats and trunk pads.
Someone must have slipped something into the Nissan Design Studio’s water cooler, because its latest designs, epitomized by the new Murano crossover and now the Maxima, are just a bit strange looking. With the bold V-Motion styling up front, floating roof panel, and wildly animated side panels, the cars look like they are about to leap up and bite you. They are not boring, at least, you’ve got to give Nissan credit for that.
Stepping above the ordinary involves digging deeper into your bank account. The S starts at $33,235, with the Platinum topping out at $40,685. My SR tester came to $38,750. And all prices include the $825 destination charge. By Steve Schaefer © AutoWire.Net
The 2016 Nissan Maxima Bottom Line Review provided by: Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
The Bottom Line: There’s no doubt that the 2016 Nissan Maxima is no ordinary car. Besides the extra power, the interior has been made especially demonstrative of strength and luxury combined. Despite not being in Nissan’s Infiniti luxury division, the driver’s position in the Maxima feels upscale and the console is “walled” to keep whatever you put there in place. The metallic trim and seat cushions wear a jaunty diamond pattern, the vents on the corners of the dash protrude assertively and the arm rests roll up dramatically into the doors.
That took some careful thinking, and apparently, some lighthearted imagining. Some where between point A to point B motoring, and true luxury cars, is that place where all the goodies are included. The materials are premium quality, and you stand out a little from the crowd. That’s where the Maxima lives, and the complete package is meant to make you feel good about being there. And maybe, just for those reasons alone, you should “Drive one, Buy one, Today ©”. Bottom Line Review provided by: Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
“Tony the Car Guy” is an automotive writer, editor and publisher in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you have a question or comment for Tony send it to TonyLeo@pacbell.net or visit AutoWire.Net at www.autowire.net - And remember: “You Are What You Drive ©”
Column Name: The Maxima is no ordinary car
Topic: The 2016 Nissan Maxima
Word Count: 933
Photo Caption: The 2016 Nissan Maxima
Photo Credits: Nissan Maxima Internet Media
Series #: 2016- 09
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2016 Nissan Maxima
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