2016 to Present: Nissan Maxima
Introduced for the 2016 model year, the eighth-generation Nissan Maxima makes a bold visual statement, with a futuristic design that stands out even in a crowd of more expensive competitors from premium brands. The Maxima’s design adopts Nissan’s “energetic flow” concept that first debuted on the 2015 Nissan Murano.
The Nissan Maxima is a full-size sedan that’s powered by a competent 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 300 horsepower. A sport-tuned continuously variable transmission (CVT) is standard, and programmed with “steps” to provide a shifting sensation that mimics the behavior of a traditional automatic. The transmission is designed to come alive when the Maxima is driven aggressively, but it also offers optimal fuel efficiency under light driving conditions.
The current Nissan Maxima provides a premium level of comfort and luxury. The NASA-inspired “Zero Gravity” seats are attractive, comfortable and supportive. Taking inspiration from a jet fighter, the driver-centric cockpit is a near perfect balance of visual aesthetics and useful ergonomics.
Thanks to the sport-tuned suspension, a powerful V6 engine and precise steering, the Maxima is an excellent handling and well-balanced car that accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in less than 6 seconds.
The base Maxima comes with a wealth of standard features, including keyless entry and push-button ignition, remote engine start, power-adjustable front seats, Bluetooth and two USB ports. A navigation system also arrives as standard equipment. Higher trim levels include leather upholstery, a dual-panel panoramic moonroof and advanced safety features like blind spot monitoring and predictive forward collision warning.
Earlier Nissan Maxima Models
The Maxima made its U.S. debut in 1982 as a five-passenger midsize sedan that was initially sold under the Datsun brand. The first-generation Maxima is powered by a 2.4-liter six-cylinder engine that’s paired with a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic.
The second-generation Maxima arrived for 1985 as a front-wheel drive compact sedan and later as a five-door station wagon. It’s powered by a 3.0-liter V6 engine and a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. For 1989, the Maxima grew to become a midsize sedan, which was praised by critics and consumers alike.
The fourth-generation Maxima arrived for the 1995 model year and the fifth-generation began in 2000. The new models were again powered by a 3.0-liter V6, which gained power with each new generation. The fourth- and fifth-generation Maximas were praised for their refined interiors and excellent performance, earning numerous awards.
The sixth-generation Maxima launched for the 2004 model year, this time powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 265 horsepower. These models are available in two trims: the sport-themed SR and the luxury-oriented SL. The 2007 Maxima was the first to be offered with a standard CVT.
The seventh-generation Maxima was built from 2009 to 2014. It shares a platform with the Nissan Altima and Murano, but its exterior design has more in common with models from Infiniti, Nissan’s luxury brand. The seventh-generation Maxima is powered exclusively by a 290-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 and CVT. It is available in S, SV and SV Premium trim levels. Additional option packages were added throughout its six-year run.
The seventh-generation Maxima is nicely appointed with plenty of standard features including 18-inch alloy wheels, power windows and door locks, a power moonroof, an eight-speaker audio system, dual-zone climate control, keyless start and much more.