The Nissan Maxima is a mid-sized cum full-sized car sold primarily as a sedan from 1984 forward. It serves as the Nissan brand's flagship sedan. The Maxima has seen a lot of evolution during its thirty-plus years on the market and has earned a reputation for being upscale and as a solid driver.The Maxima entered the market in 1982 as a Datsun-branded vehicle, replacing the Datsun 810. In 1984, the Datsun name was dropped in favor of parent company Nissan. This first-generation of the Maxima was a compact vehicle.The second-generation came in 1985 and grew a bit in size. It was offered with a four-cylinder and six-cylinder engine in both sedan and wagon formats. Still considered a compact car, the Maxima pushed the limits of that size designation.The third-generation Nissan Maxima grew to midsize status for 1989 and the four-cylinder engine option was dropped in favor of a V6. A five-speed manual or four-speed automatic were offered for transmissions. This was the first time that the Maxima was called a "four door sports car," a title that would return several times through its generations.The fourth-generation Maxima entered the market in 1995 with a new V6 engine, which became the predecessor for every V6 in the Maxima since. A fifth-generation followed in 2000, with a newer version of the engine and updated transmissions. Nissan once again emphasized the "sports sedan" idea.The sixth-generation Nissan Maxima entered the market in 2004 and is commonly seen on the used car market today. The V6 saw another upgrade and a new manual transmission and new-generation continuously variable transmission (CVT) were offered. The seventh-generation Maxima came in 2009 and, for the first time, had no manual transmission offering. A modern body style and new-generation CVT were featured. The current-generation Nissan Maxima came in 2016 and once again emphasized the "sports sedan" motif. A four-cylinder was re-introduced and the V6 carried through with some upgrades. The CVT saw extensive changes as well. The Nissan Maxima is generally considered upscale and even premium compared to most competitors in the full-sized sedan market. Most complaints center on the transmission from the first two model years of the sixth-generation (2004-05). Generally at high mileage. The car otherwise enjoys a solid reputation for reliability.
Test Drive Reviews
2018 Nissan Maxima
The 2018 Nissan Maxima is unusual in the segment in that it competes on both the standard, workaday level of mid-priced sedans and on the more premium level of upper-crust sedans. The Maxima is also larger than a midsize sedan, but not quite as large as a full-sized offering.
Chief among the Maxima's many strengths are its upscale looks, sporty appeal, and versatility as a sedan. There aren't a lot of changes for the 2018 model year, but Nissan did add a new SR Midnight Edition with blackout styling looks, and the forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking that became standard mid-year in 2017 carries forward as standard for 2018 as well.
The 2018 Maxima is more upscale and sporty than most sedans in its segment. This five-seat, nearly full-sized sedan is sold in five trim levels, from the base S to the top-level Platinum.
The 2017 Nissan Maxima carries on with the newest generation of the sedan, bringing upscale looks, a sporty appeal and sedan versatility as its primary strengths. The Maxima was completely revamped from the ground up last year and carries on this year with little change.
The 2017 Maxima is a beautiful sedan meant to be a more upscale, premium option for the full-size market. The Maxima's appeal lies in its design and handling dynamics. This is a sports sedan without the luxury-level pricing most often associated with that moniker.
The 2017 Nissan Maxima is a 5-seat full-size sedan sold in five trim levels.
The 2016 Nissan Maxima is all-new for this model year. Nissan took the previous generation Maxima and tossed it in the bin, starting from scratch for an entirely new experience in full-sized sedans. The only holdover from the old Maxima is its tried-and-true V6.
The 2016 Maxima is a showcase of design. Nissan calls it, with a straight face, a sports sedan and anyone who questions that has not likely driven a Maxima. It may not have the power and speed of others with that description, but it definitely has the handling engagement and road appeal required to carry that title.
The Maxima's highlights include a premium exterior look, a very upscale interior experience, and excellent road manners. This is a five-seat sedan offered in five trim levels, nearly all of which offer a lot of value for the dollar.
The 2013 Nissan Maxima is a midsize family sedan that's aimed at families seeking a little more luxury than the automaker's other midsize offering, the Altima. Its understated exterior styling is a cloak for the high-quality interior and many standard features. Precise steering and quick acceleration are other highlights.