Intertwining performance and luxury elegantly.
By: Cam Benty
Nissan’s Maxima has some tough competition in a very crowded market segment including Toyota’s Avalon, Acura TXL and the BMW 3-series. With a legacy of high-powered sedans tied to impressive handling as a result of advanced suspension design rather, Maxima is an impressive machine. With 11.6 lbs. per pound (300 HP), the Maxima is a stand out performer and considerably higher powered than the competition. So the question stands – it is the best car of the four?
The center mounted 8-inch touch screen monitor is well organized and easy to read with full controls of navigation, comfort levels, phone calls, and audio entertainment. The Nissan Connect app allows the driver easier access to these functions noted above along with Security and maintenance features. Vehicle health reports are easily accessed to ensure that elements are working as designed and signals regular maintenance intervals.
The most striking interior element of the newest Maxima is the diamond stitched, camel colored seating and surrounding upholstery– a marked color change from the Sapphire Blue exterior body color. The cool interior is befitting the unique and aerodynamically designed exterior with swoopy fender curves and angular front grille work. Some say the GT-R had some design influence, regardless, it is better looking sans the angry look of its faster cousin.
While the interior sports an assortment of amazing technology, its most impressive feature is easily missed – this interior is mind numbingly quiet. Exterior sound is removed from the equation and filled with one of the most impressive full surround sound audio system. Some of the credit falls to the acoustically laminated interior glass and the rest is the well-placed positioning of sound deadening materials.
Despite the four-door utility that contrasts the performance legacy, the Maxima rolls on 19-inch wheels that exude performance messaging. Adjustable electronic interior mounted handling levels make subtle changes to the handling but also adjusts transmission shifting points, increases steering effort, and enhances throttle response. The SR level is more sporty, as the designed, the Platinum trim delivering a softer, luxury ride. Regardless, the Maxima drives well at low speed and has the power to get you in an out of hard corners and away from the light with impressive zest.
Overall the Maxima delivers a solid blend of performance styling and decent power along with luxury interior comfort and technological advancements that are state of the art for its segment. Sales for the 2016 Maxima were significantly improved over the last four model years clearly showing that the current version appeals to this audience of buyers. The 2017 model is largely a carryover so year-two should continue the trend. It is packed with the right stuff and those who get behind the wheel will reap the rewards of an experience that with confirms that the newest Maxima is certainly the best ever.