While full-size sedans represent a small slice in the Canadian market for new car buyers, the segment is packed with unique choices. While all offer spacious cabins, powerful engines, and comfortable cabins, each player offers something a little different. Chevrolet’s Impala proves traditions American values can keep up with the times, while Toyota’s Avalon has turned a leaf with sharp, head-turning styling. Likewise for the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger which ooze with character. And then there’s the Maxima, Nissan’s flagship four-door sports car.
New for 2017 is a base trim level, though, given its high level of standard equipment, it can hardly be considered basic. Navigation is standard, as are power seats and a push-button start. From the outside, the Maxima S looks very much like any other Maxima, with LED-accented headlamps and taillights, and 18-inch wheels. Drivers only lose out on some top-notch premium features, and leather upholstery is swapped out for cloth trim.
Since its launch last year, the Maxima has earned its way onto Ward’s 10 Best Interiors list. The cabin is certainly a sight to behold and is unlike anything else in the segment with a centre stack that is heavily canted towards the driver to put commonly used controls at hand. Though the Maxima wears a Nissan badge, its cabin is finished in Infiniti-grade materials. Available quilted leather or Alcantara upholstery, neat liquid-chrome trim, and a standard large touchscreen display give it the look and feel of a much more expensive automobile. Despite the fact that the Maxima is bigger on the outside than the model it replaces, its trunk and back seat area are more in line with those of a midsize sedan than those of its full-sized rivals.
The Maxima comes powered by a 3.5-litre V6 engine that’s paired to the front wheels via a CVT with paddles for manual-mode shifting. While it may not have direct injection or turbochargers, the V6 produces 300 horsepower and 261 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy is better than expected too, thanks to the Xtronic CVT – city fuel consumption is 10.9 L/100 km, which dips to 7.8 on the highway.
Although Nissan has long described the Maxima as a Four-Door Sports Coupe (4DSC), it’s more adept as an engaging long-distance hauler. Nissan has split the Maxima range into models with standard suspension tune (S, SV, SL, Platinum) and sport (SR). The latter offers firmer springs and dampers, paddles for manual shifting, 19-inch wheels and tires, beefier anti-roll bars, and something called Integrated Dynamic-control Module which uses the brakes to provide a level ride over bumpy roads.
Depending on trim, the Maxima is available with Nissan’s latest active safety technology; mid-grade trims include blind-spot monitoring, radar cruise control with emergency autonomous braking, and forward collision warning. The range-topping Platinum trim adds a 360-degree parking camera with Moving Object Detection, which can pick up on, well, moving objects, ensuring the safety of those inside and outside the car.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed