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Nissan Maxima Review

John Mengel

With sufficient comfort to please a luxury buyer, enough athleticism to keep an enthusiast driver engaged, and ample gadgetry to appeal to tech connoisseurs, the Nissan Maxima is a well-rounded full-size sedan. Its sporty, aggressive lines add visual punch and invite attention. The Maxima makes a value play, too, as many of its virtues are standard across the range—including touchscreen infotainment, in-dash navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and automated emergency braking. A powerful and fuel-efficient V-6 is under the hood, and an optional sport-tuned suspension turns up the heat in corners without punishing occupants when driving over rough roads. Compared with the other well-equipped full-size sedans available, the Maxima offers the most balanced mix of style, luxury, and sport.

What’s New for 2018?

Nissan’s posh full-size sedan sees few changes for 2018, but chief among them is the addition of Android Auto joining Apple CarPlay as standard equipment across the range. A pair of rear-seat USB charge ports are now available on SL, SR, and Platinum trims, a freshened color palette now includes Carnelian Red, and all Maximas see a slight visual freshening with the addition of black accents on the grille. Forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking were added as standard to 2017 models late in the production cycle and are also standard on 2018 Maximas.

What was New for 2017?

Having been completely redesigned for the 2016 model year, the Maxima received minimal updates for 2017. Most notably, Apple CarPlay became standard on all trim levels, allowing iPhone users to connect and control their devices from the Maxima’s 8.0-inch touchscreen. (Android Auto, however, was not included in this update.) Also new were the Medallion and Dynamic accessory packages. Both included 18-inch wheels, illuminated door sills, and a rear spoiler. The Medallion package added interior and exterior accent lighting, while the Dynamic package included unique lower door sill moldings.

Trims and Options We’d Choose

Last year’s pick—the sporty SR trim—sees a slight price increase of $510 to $39,165 for 2018, but it’s still our favorite. Its performance-oriented bent endears it to enthusiast drivers like us and includes equipment we find exciting:

• A sport-tuned suspension
• 19-inch wheels
• Leather seats with faux-suede inserts
• Sport mode for heftier steering and sharper throttle response

These options get the Maxima as close as possible to the sporting ethos for which it was once known, and they provide a welcome dash of athleticism without compromising ride quality or overall luxuriousness.

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