The 2016 Maxima repositions its halo for the Nissan brand. During a week-long test drive, the completely redesigned Maxima delighted occupants with an Infiniti-like interior that’s flush with soft-touch materials and regal accents. Front wheel drive Maxima’s powerful engine, athletic handling, and smooth ride make this 8th-generation car a complete package. Compared to the predecessor, Maxima is 2.2 inches longer and 1.3 inches lower. The redesigned platform employs high strength steel (HSS), including the first use of 1.2 GPa for a Nissan sedan. Maxima’s HSS usage reflects a 25% torsional rigidity improvement and an 82-pound weight reduction versus the prior sedan.

Powering the 2016 Maxima is a revised 3.5-liter V6 engine that releases 300 horsepower at 6400 rpm and 261 pounds-feet of torque at 4400 rpm. The powerplant mates to an Xtronic continuously variable transmission with manual shift mode. The 109.3-inch wheelbase sedan has hydro-electrical power assisted steering, an independent front suspension, and a multi-link rear suspension with ZF Sachs monotube shock absorbers. For the first time, Maxima is equipped with a Drive Mode Selector that alters the steering feel and adjusts powertrain-related tunings to match the selected sport or normal driving mode. Maxima is sold in five trims: S, SV, SL, SR, and Platinum. The test driven Nissan Maxima SL collects estimated mpg of 22 city/30 highway and has a suggested base price of $36,890.