Tuesday, May 31, 2016

2016 Nissan Maxima SR: The Alternative To An Infiniti?



Highlight: The vehicle only offers one powertrain and one engine.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $38,860 (base S model $33,345)

Seating Capacity: Five

Standard Safety Features: airbags; ABS; electric parking brakes; LED daytime running lights; hill launch assist; electronic brake force distribution; a stability control system; and a tire pressure monitoring system

Standard Equipment (Base Sport model): 18-inch wheels; automatic headlights; a leather wrapped steering wheel; an 8-inch screen; cloth seats; dual zone temperature control system; a push button keyless ignition starter system; a navigation system; a tilt/telescopic steering wheel; and a rear view camera

Standard Equipment (SR Model): 19-inch wheels; a Bose sound system; paddle shifters on steering wheel; a sport-tuned suspension; a Yamaha Performance Damper; heated outside mirrors; LED low beam headlights; outside mirrors with turn indicator; aluminum sport pedals; heated/ventilated front seats; driver’s seat manual thigh support extension; driver’s seat power lumbar support; a heated steering wheel; leather seats with diamond quilted Alcantara inserts; blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert system; a forward emergency braking system; a predictive collision braking system; front and rear parking sensors; and a radar-activated cruise control system

Optional Features On Test Vehicle: sport floor mats, trunk mat and trunk net

Other Trim Level:

S; SV; SL; and Platinum

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: an 8-speaker AM/FM/CD/HD/Satellite radio

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

USB Connectivity: Yes
                                                                                                    
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 3.5-liter, 6-cylinder/300-hp

Recommended Fuel: Premium

Standard Fuel Mileage:

22-city/30-hwy


What’s New: The all-new eight generation Maxima returns with a new design and the latest high tech advancements.

Why: The seventh-generation Maxima was a little long on the tooth. It literally stayed around too long. The eighth-generation Maxima, with its bold curves and aggressive styling, provided us with the adrenaline rush that was missing from the previous generation. The front-wheel drive Maxima is available in a variety of trims, with an engine that pushes out 300 horses and has a fuel driving range of 450 miles, before the tank empties, according to fueleconomy.gov.

And, depending on if one is seeking comfort, luxury or a performance-oriented feel, there is a Maxima for everyone. Unlike the other large cars in the segment, the Maxima is a standout, as it relates to both the styling and the driving experience, especially, for those opting for the sport tuned suspension of the SR.


Moreover, for buyers looking for more of a luxury car experience, they can opt for the top of the line Platinum model. The top of the line trim includes leather seats, an automatic dimming side outside mirror, an outside mirror with a tilt down feature for backing up, a rear power sunshade, an around view camera for monitoring and a rain detecting wiper system.

Added to that, to solidify its luxury status, the vehicle is also outfitted with a memory setting to control the driver’s seat, the outside mirrors and the steering wheel.

Lastly, Nissan’s new signature zero gravity front seats are definitely designed for comfort and support. With the user friendly infotainment, which incorporates a CD player, the Maxima is definitely a winner on our list.

But: While the SR model is tuned for driver enthusiasts, for a large family, the sedan lacked such optional features as heated rear seats and a sunroof. While we can forego the heated rear seats, it is just a sin not to offer a sunroof on the SR trim. And this is a true large family sedan. Don't expect a 4-cylinder, a hybrid or an all-wheel drive configuration.

Also, the rear seat leg room isn’t as spacious as a number of its competitors.

Moreover, because of the swoopy design, with the long hood and high end rear deck, it takes an extra effort for the driver to avoid running over a curb or backing into something.

Lastly, why does this vehicle require premium fuel?


Verdict:  The 2016 Maxima, with its jet-inspired interior and its athletically designed exterior and its bulging curvaceous curves, reminds us of why we fell in love with Nissan’s flagship sedans of the past. While this is the last of the large vehicles to go through a major makeover, it was well worth the wait. The vehicle has evolved, making it a standout in the large car segment, with its powerful 300-horespower engine and the latest high-tech advanced safety features. The new Maxima makes one question why they should step up to an Infiniti -- besides for the longer warranty.

Competition:  Buick LaCrosse; Chevy Impala; Chrysler 300; Dodge Charger; Ford Taurus; Hyundai Azera; Kia Cadenza; and Toyota Avalon

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