What Is It?
Although Nissan previewed it earlier this year in a Super Bowl ad, the 2016 Nissan Maxima is being revealed in full for the first time at this year’s New York Auto Show. It signals the beginning of the car’s impressive eighth generation, which started under Nissan’s former Datsun brand in the early 1980s.
But the latest model is a far cry from the 1980s. Styling is all new for 2016, giving the Maxima a bolder, more fluid look and a far more futuristic appearance than today’s model. There are sculpted character lines down either side, along with a huge grille, distinctive alloy wheels, large pointed headlights and a unique C-pillar design that distinguishes the Maxima from virtually every other sedan on the road.
Inside, the latest Maxima is also dramatically updated from its predecessor, with a cockpit-like style that focuses more on performance and technology than the outgoing model’s more conservative look. For example, there’s a flat-bottom steering wheel and a larger infotainment screen.
Although Nissan claims the 2016 Maxima is 60 percent new under the hood, the most obvious change is a 10-horsepower bump compared to last year’s model, bringing the grand total to 300 horses. That’s not a huge power increase, but it’s still a strong figure, especially since it’s paired to an updated continuously variable automatic that Nissan says will offer better performance.
New features include a wide range of the latest safety technologies, such as forward-collision alert, adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic alert and a blind spot monitoring system, along with a novel new gadget that monitors steering inputs to help determine when a driver is being inattentive.
Although Nissan hasn’t announced full pricing, the automaker says the 2016 Maxima will start at $33,235 with shipping.
When Can You Get It?
Add It to Your Shopping List Because…
Nissan used to call the Maxima a “4-door sports car,” and there’s a good reason why the automaker is bringing back that moniker with the all-new model. There’s more power, better acceleration and a bold new design that helps the Maxima stand out from notoriously staid full-size sedans. If you’re looking for a full-size sedan with distinctive styling and a sporty character, the 2016 Maxima will almost certainly be up to the job.
Other Cars to Consider
2015 Ford Taurus — The full-size Ford Taurus doesn’t offer the Maxima’s pizzazz or its sense of style. But the high-performance SHO model will likely outperform the Maxima, thanks to its 365-hp turbocharged engine. Plus, the Taurus offers all-wheel drive, which isn’t available in the Maxima.
2015 Nissan Altima — Nissan’s own Altima offers similar styling to the Maxima, though its look doesn’t go quite as far. There’s also a 270-hp V6 and many of the same gadgets and features you’ll find in the 2016 Nissan Maxima. If you don’t quite need the Maxima’s interior room, the Altima might be a good compromise.
Used Hyundai Genesis — The recently redesigned Hyundai Genesis can’t touch the Maxima for standout styling, but it offers more power, rear-wheel drive and a luxurious demeanor. But since prices start around $38,000, you may want to consider a pre-owned model.
Used Infiniti Q50 — Infiniti’s midsize Q50 sedan is a little smaller than the Maxima. But it’s also a bit more powerful, and it offers sportier rear- or all-wheel drive to the Maxima’s front-wheel drive. Prices are higher, though, so you may want to consider a used or certified pre-owned model.