2016 Nissan Maxima: Really? A 4-Door Sports Car?

2016 nissan maxima

The 2016 Nissan Maxima has a new look, improved road manners and a dramatically reinvented style. Does the completely redesigned, 8th generation Maxima live up to Nissan’s marketing hype?

The mid-size, 5-passenger sedan has been engineered with a lighter and more rigid chassis that is powered by an updated 300 horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine paired with an Xtronic transmission. The designers gave the new Maxima a bold, futuristic look and what Nissan calls a “class-above, bespoke, crafted” interior that is on par with some luxury sedans. Inspiration came from the Blue Angels fighter jets when molding the exterior and laying out the ergonomics of the interior. The outside copies the Nissan Sports Sedan Concept, penned with a lower profile, a wider stance, a V-Motion front-end and boomerang LEDs, sculpted doors, and a floating roof. Finishing off the rear are C-pillars that flare upwards and large, dual exhaust pipes. A subtle sign of the Maxima’s aspirations is the “4DSC” nomenclature stamped within the LED headlights and taillights.

The Maxima’s 300 horsepower V6 has been re-engineered and has more than 60 percent new parts. It is good for 261 lb-ft of torque @ 4400 rpm and is paired to a new CVT (continuously variable transmission), with manual shifting mode, wider gear ratios, and an all-new D-Step shift logic for a quick shifting, sporty driving experience. A 15 percent improvement gives the new Maxima an EPA estimated fuel economy of 22 mpg in the city, 30 mpg on the highway, for a combined 25 mpg.

2016 nissan maxima interior

Inside Nissan’s flagship sedan is the “command-central driver’s cockpit” with the center console stack angled towards the driver. A flat bottom steering wheel adds to the sporty nature of the cockpit. A floating higher console makes important controls easy-to-reach. The console is trimmed with soft-touch material on the sides featuring contrasted stitching that accents doors and panels throughout the interior.

The two USB inputs have music playback capability in the media bin on the console, which can fit an iPhone 6 Plus. Available is an 11-speaker Bose audio system, ambient lighting, premium Ascot leather seating surfaces with diamond-quilted inserts, unique faceted finishers, and material choices like Alcantara, more often found on high-end exotic vehicles. Heated and climate-controlled front seats and steering wheel are standard depending on grade level. The rear seat is now a standard 60/40 split fold-down design.

The 2016 Nissan Maxima starts at $32,410 and comes in five grades: Maxima S; SV; SL; the new sport-themed SR trim; and the new upscale Platinum level. Each grade is well equipped and, although there are a few accessories, there are no options. The all-new 2016 Maxima is due to go on sale early summer 2015.

What are Roman’s impressions after driving the 2016 Nissan Maxima at the full-size sedan’s media launch in Nashville, Tenn.?

2016 Nissan Maxima Specs At-a-Glance:

  • Engine: 3.5L DOHC V6
  • Power: 300 hp @ 6400 rpm
  • Torque: 261 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm
  • Transmission: Xtronic w/manual shift mode, D-Step logic and sport tuning
  • Drive layout: front engine / front-wheel drive (FWD)
  • EPA estimated fuel economy (mpg): 22 city / 30 hwy / 25 combined
  • MSRP:
    • Maxima S, $32,410
    • Maxima SV, $34,390
    • Maxima SL, $36890
    • Maxima SR, $37,670
    • Maxima Platinum, $39,860