The Maxima has been mildly refreshed for the 2019 model year in order to keep this current with new entries like the Toyota Avalon and, of course, the Kia Cadenza. This segment is actually shrinking a little bit in America because we no longer get the Hyundai Azera. Part of that is because crossovers are really booming in America, and part of that is because the overall mission of the sedan in America seems to be changing. Sedans are now focusing a little bit more on overall styling and, of course, a little bit more on overall performance, letting the crossover us take the duties of the former family sedan and that’s actually something that long has described the Nissan Maxima as well, because this is Actually, a little bit smaller than some of its direct competition instead of looking at this as a full-size Nissan sedan, you might want to look at this as a more premium alternative to something like the Altima. As I said, 2019 is a refresh the Maxima, not a redesign of the Maxima.
So all the hard points have remained the same. We don’t really see much in the way of sheetmetal changes. Instead, we get a new front end, look a new rear, end, look butthe matically, they definitely are still in tune with the rest of the Nissan lineup. We have new headlamps here.
These are reflector LED modules. Very much like we see in some of the current Acura models. We get the classic bar right here that Nissan has used in their crossover vehicles for a while a little bit more black work at the bottom and then fog lamps down there at the bottom of the bumper, as I typically say, with refreshes. If you didn’t care much for the original Maxima, the Maxima refresh may not be exactly your cup of tea.
But if you like the Maxima before then you’re – probably really going to like what they’ve tweaked for 2019. In theory, the Maxima plays in a shrinking segment in America, the mainstream full-size sedan segment. We no longer have entries like the Buick LaCrosse or the Cadillac XTS. Those have actually been canceled for the 2019 model year.
So this is designed to compete with entries like the Kia cadenza and the toad Avalon that are remaining dedicated to this segment, but the Maxima is going after this segment a little bit differently, because this is not actually larger than the Nissan Altima. In fact, this is actually 1/10 of an inch order. Part of that, of course, is because the Altima has continued to grow generation, / generation and the Maxima. Here it’s been a while since they’ve completely redesigned it, but part of that also is the fact that the maxima is trying to march to a slightly different drummer than the Avalon or the cadenza itself.
Those vehicles are definitely trying to give you more room. More luxury features, etc. Then, the smaller sedan counterpart in the lineup, whereas the Maxima is trying to give you more style, more handling ability and a nicer interior, but not necessarily more room. The rear of the Maxima has also been updated for 2019, mainly with these new tail out modules, which now feature full LED elements.
These are LED, reflectors, again sort of like what we see in Acura models, only we’re seeing those back here in the rear as well. We actually have an amber turn signal up top and then the brake light down below there. Also a few tweaks lower on the bumper down. Here we get these quad exhaust tip openings on the bumper, but, interestingly enough there is only one actual exhaust tip inside there and then they’re.
Just these dual openings in a way, I feel a little bit cheated, but at least these openings are actually open to the exhaust rather than those really fake ones that we see in modern outies. If you want a v6 engine in your Nissan sedan, you now have just one option: the Maxima for 2019, because the Altima now gets a 2 liter four-cylinder turbo, not a v6 anymore. This is the tried and true 3.5 liter, Nissan v6 tuned to 300 horsepower and 260 1 pound-feet of torque. Interestingly enough, basically, the same v6 engine that we find in the Murano.
Only we get more power under this hood. All that power is channeled only to the front wheels. We don’t find an all-wheel-drive option in the Maxima, like we do see in the new Altima that helps fuel economy come in at 25 miles per gallon, combined, that’s two above the Kia cadenza, but about equal with the Toyota Avalon. One of the key differences between the Maxima and the average midsize sedan in America really can be found in the tires.
Not only are the 245 with tires wider than we find in the average family sedan in America, but these are also a grippier tire compound as well, and that’s part of why the Maxima handles better than the Altima Nissan is calling their holistic suite of active safety Technologies, their safety shield 360 package that includes autonomous emergency braking, backup emergency braking. We also have lane-keeping, as since automatic high beams, pedestrian detection, etc. Now, unfortunately, this suite of active safety systems is not standard on the Maxima. It is optional until you get to the very top and trim, and only there does it become standard that is definitely different than what we find in the Toyota Avalon, because the Avalon includes all of totus latest safety systems standard in every model, as I’ve come to Expect out of Nissan these front seats are very comfortable for my body shape, but also, as we expect from Nissan, we don’t have the same kind of adjustability that we find in some of the competition most notably.
We only have a two-way adjustable lumbar support, not a four-way, adjustable lumbar support like we do find it some of those options, Nissan giveth and Nissan taketh away. So we get a powered tilt, telescopic steering column, which is something that we don’t find in all the competition. Its memory linked over there on the door, but we don’t have a power passenger seat with the same range of motion as the driver’s seat. It is lacking the 2 way lumbar support.
With a combined legroom figure of 79 point 2 inches. We actually have a little bit less leg room back here than something like a toda Camry, which is theoretically a sim. I step down from the Maxima and that’s thanks to the overall size of the Maxima and just how big the Accord the Camry etc have gotten. In their latest generations, sitting right here behind myself at 6 feet tall, I still have a few inches of legroom left.
But if you’re looking to put things like rear-facing child seats back here or larger adults, there’s going to be less room, then even in something like the Nissan Altima, because of the overall sexy side. Styling that we find in the Maxima headroom suffers a little bit as well, although I still have enough Headroom that if I lean my head all the way back and put my head on the headrest, my head is just barely touching the ceiling. That actually means we find a little bit more Headroom back here than in some of the slinky ER shaped mid-size sedans. If I move to the middle seat, then we do get a drastic reduction in head room and my head is actually bopping.
This second pane opening there for the sunroof. If I move all the way over to the right, this front seats all the way back in its tracks, and you can see that my knees are actually digging into the seat back. If I were to try and put them right there in front of me on the plus side, passengers get a softly patted center, armrest right there and the overall fit and finish back here, is basically the same as it is up front, which means it’s a definite Upgrade above the average midsize sedan because of the overall size of the maxima and the fact that this is actually a little bit smaller than the Altima. It shouldn’t really be too much of a surprise that the cargo area is also a little bit smaller than what we find in the Altima at fourteen point three cubic feet.
However, this is still a very square cargo area and that’s something that we definitely have seen from Nissan and a lot of their vehicles before, and that means that if you have twenty two inch roller bags, these are the largest size you can carry onto a domestic Flight, you can actually leave them in that upright position and still very easily close the trunk, and this is not something that you can do in many mid-size sedans in terms of overall cargo practicality that helps put the Maxima, notably above some of the competition now, depending On the size of your bag, you might be able to put it in this position as well and still close the trunk lid, but it is a little bit too big of a squeeze for this particular bag. However, again, this still makes this cargo area definitely more accommodating than the average midsize sedan. That’s because Nissan prefers very square trunks that tend to be very tall and also very wide and, like other Nissan models, that extra cargo area height does not come at the expense of a spare tire. We still find one down there in the Maxima and there might be enough room down here to put a full-size spare tire if you were to try and get one after market taking a quick look around the inside.
We have this interesting dual pane moonroof, rather than a single panoramic design and the shades actually roll out and in from the middle, between those two panes right there. Looking rearward in the car, you can see that the dual pane design is not quite as large as some of those large panoramic moonroof. In fact, the rear passengers heads in some ways are actually just above the rear window itself, rather than that moonroof moving back up front, the driver and front passenger get height, adjustable shoulder belts and two-way adjustable headrests. One of the changes for 2019 are some new upholstery options, so we now have this quilted leather design.
In the seats we see that on the front, seatbacks and seat bottom cushions, as well as the rear seat back and bottom cushions overall bolstering is a little bit more aggressive up front than you find in the average midsize sedan in America, because this does have sporty. Your intentions in mind and then we find more premium materials on the front door than we find in the average midsize sedan as well. There’s a soft touch upper section right: there soft touch inserts the middle and a very soft armrest, although we still find harder plastics down towards the bottom of the door like that bottle, holder right there behind the speaker, grille the doors and dashboard feature an imitation stitched Design this is actually an injection molded piece that has then been after stitched to look like separate pieces of material. From this thing, you can also see the Bose tweeter right there in the front door.
This overall design is executed very well inside the Maxima, they’ve, even molded, in some of the puckers that you generally see when you start stitching multiple pieces of material together. This is not a metal trim right here on the door or on the dashboard. This is actually a plastic designed with sort of a geometric pattern stamped or molded into it. It is quite glossy, so it’s a little bit difficult to actually take a picture of here.
You can see, as we move on over to the dashboard, that that faux stitching continues, gives it kind of a nice touch right over here at the top of the dashboard. This model has the orange stitching to contrast a little bit more with that injection molded dashboard component. The glove compartment is a very large combination, bin and slot style. Compartment you’d have no problem fitting larger tablet: computers inside for 2019, the Maxima gets a refresh of the infotainment system that now supports apple carplay and android, auto there’s still an available factory navigation system.
So we can choose to use that mapping interface or we can choose to use the one. That’s right there. In our smartphone interface below the infotainment screen, we find dual zone automatic climate controlled the engine start/stop button, a small storage cubby right over here, where we can stow our smartphones or other media devices. The cables sometimes make this compartment a little bit more difficult to open and close, but we do have just barely enough room to stow a larger smartphone in there, and we also have a USB C and regular USB media interface, along with an auxilary input.
The gear shifter is a pretty typical design for Nissan drivers. All the way back there manual mode is over to the left. We push away from the driver for gear up pull towards the driver for gear down. There are two large cup holders right here and then we find another way to interact with that multimedia system there in the dashboard.
This controller is again very similar to what we see in a lot of Infiniti products. We have a direct access button for the map home menu back button. Then we can scroll around and choose options with this controller now, but also toggles up down side to side and clicks down to okay. We then have a sport mode button right.
There traction control off button and then we have knobs to control the available seat, heating and ventilation between the front seats. We find a padded Center armrests that opens to reveal a moderately sized storage compartment because again we don’t have all fuel drive in this model, so it is a little bit larger than some of those rear-wheel drive options. The instrument cluster is a pretty typical Nissan design. We find a very clean tachometer over on the left and a speedometer on the right.
Then a color multifunction display between the two that display is controlled via controls on the steering wheel. It allows us to toggle between readouts for the infotainment system, our typical trip, computer readouts, vehicle, active safety systems, tire pressure, monitoring, warning messages and, of course, certain vehicle settings as well. The Maxima gets a steering wheel, it’s a little bit different than other Nissan’s in America. It’s a flat bottom design with sport grips up top and the model that we’re driving has this two-tone leather going on I’m kind of surprised that we don’t find paddle shifters on the back of the steering wheel, you have to use the shifter in the center console For that, on the left side, the wheel, we have volume up/down these two buttons right here, change between pages and that multifunction LCD.
You can see right behind the steering wheel and then, depending on what screen you’re on you can use this toggle to either interact with that display or actually do track up and down. We then have a source button right there and then the controls for our cruise control system over here on the left. This model does have the radar adaptive cruise control system. We also have a dedicated phone button and a voice command button, because the Altima has grown in its recent incarnation, and the Maxima has of course stayed the same as this is refresh, not a redesign.
The overall positioning of the two vehicles is now a little bit interesting because you don’t really get more interior room, as I said before, in the Maxima. Instead, you get sort of a different nature behind the wheel. This definitely feels sporty er. We have that v6 engine under the hood rather than a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
Of course we still have that CVT as well, but we also get much wider tires on the Maxima than you get in the Altima. The result is that the Maxima has an overall sporty or feel to it. That’s not the same thing. That’s going on in something like moving from a Kia Optima to a Kia cadenza, because the cadenza is a little bit bigger than the Optima.
It’s designed to be more of a Avalon and Lexus es350 competitor, all in one vehicle, so it definitely feels softer sprung. It feels more luxurious, more laid back. This feels a little bit more eager out on the road. Instead, we haven’t been able to 0 to 60 test this out here in Northern California, yet so be sure and stay tuned for our complete review once we get our hands on it for a week for those official, but at the moment I’m gon na say this Is probably going to be in the five point, four to five point: five second range, so basically about the same as the new two-liter turbo Accord and, of course, the v6 Camry, that’s also quite logically, about the same zero to sixty time that we got in the Last v6 Altima that we tested, because this is relatively light – we get basically that same 3.5, liter v6 engine, but we actually a little bit more power out of the engine when it’s under the hood of the Maxima.
I’m a little bit sad that this generation of the Maxima still hasn’t received all-wheel-drive, whereas the new Altima finally has. I think that would really add to the overall sporty demeanor of this vehicle and separate it definitely from the likes of the Avalon and the cadenza. But even without all-wheel-drive, this is still a very well sorted vehicle. We get a minimal amount of torque steer thanks to the overall design of the CVT and, of course, the front differential and definitely a good amount of grip thanks to the 245 with tires.
These are definitely wider than the average mid-size family sedan, so overall handling is definitely a step above something like the camry of the kia, optima etc. As a result of the overall handling mission, the suspension is definitely tuned firmer than what we find in the cadenza. I would actually say this is definitely firmer than what we find in the Avalon as well. Even if you were to get the top-end Touring Avalon and put the vehicle into sport mode with its adaptive suspension, the Maximas goal is to try and inject a little bit of extra fun into your 4-door experience.
And that’s certainly what’s going on in this vehicle and in that way, it’s differently designed than the alternatives that exist in this segment. Remember, of course, that General Motors is now leaving this segment, so we no longer have something like a Chevy Impala or a Buick LaCrosse to compete with this. The only other real alternatives to this, if you wanted a little bit more fun, would be something like a Chrysler 300 and that’s not really the same thing as a Maxima in my head. Our cabin noise scores will, of course, have to wait, but I can say that out here on these rougher roads in Northern California, we still get a relatively quiet cabin.
Both Road and wind noise are well controlled in the Maxima, but one of the real wins here is overall fuel economy, as we’ve come to expect from Nissan’s with their continuously variable transmission. That’s definitely one of the reasons that you might want to get a vehicle like this over something with a more traditional step. Automatic fuel economy is definitely high for this category, much higher than you’ll find in something like the Dodge Charger, or the Chrysler, 300 and decently. Above something like the Kia cadenza as well now, if you want the best fuel economy in this segment, you will find an available hybrid system under the hood of the Avalon.
But I think that the Trax kind of a different shopper, because the Avalon hybrid is gon na be a lot more softly sprung than this. It’s gon na be a little bit more relaxed and definitely less powerful. It’s about a hundred horsepower less than we find in this overall. I think it’s a little bit too easy for some of us to dismiss the Maxima off hand, because it seems like it’s about the same size as an Altima, but it’s a little bit more expensive.
It seems like it has relatively similar feature content as well, but the overall nature of the vehicle is a little bit different and I do find these driver seats to be more comfortable. I especially like the extending thigh cushion, because I have a little bit longer legs than some of the folks out there. So if you’re looking for more support, this is definitely going to be that option. We also have an interior – that’s just put together better than the average midsize sedan, even though this doesn’t feel quite as fresh as the new Altima.
The new Altima has a very nicely done, interior, it’s very competitive against the camry and the Accord, and even though the Maxima is a little bit older than that, it actually still feels a step. Above and overall, I think the Maxima strikes the right balance between trying to be a slightly sporty-er option in this segment, but also trying to be a slightly more premium option as well and now with the change of scenery. Let’s talk about pricing for 2019. The Maxima will start at 33,000 950 for the base S trim.
We do get the v6 engine standard continuously. Variable automatic transmission, apple, carplay and android, auto on the inside, but notably absent on the Maxima, is the same level of active safety tech that we find standard in something like the Toyota Avalon. If you want those active safety, gadgets and gizmos, you will have to step up to the 38,000 440 SL trim and then add that as an option package or step all the way up to the platinum model, which is what we’re looking at right here at 41,000. 440, although we don’t get that same level of active safety tech on this vehicle, it is worth noting that it’s about $ 1,500 less than a Toyota Avalon. So that means that in base form, it actually is still just about as good of a deal as that.
Toyota, but the Maxima marches to a slightly different drummer than the Avalon or the other direct competitor in this segment. The kia cadenza. This is about $ 1,000, less expensive than a kia cadenza in base form, but by the time you’ve got it fully loaded than this. It’s actually about $ 2,000, less!
That’s because the Avalon, the cadenza and the are going after three slightly different customers. The Maxima is theoretically for someone. That’s looking for a sporty er vehicle, something that has that v6 engine performance under the hood. This is actually faster. 0 to 60 than that kia cadenza, but also a sporty ER feeling interior than what we find in the cadenza.
That’s definitely targeted more of an alternative to a Lexus ES. Meanwhile, the Avalon is in a way trying to be everything to everyone all. At the same time, and as a result slots somewhere between the cadenza and the Maxima overall, as always, you’ll have to wait until we can get our hands on the Maxima for complete week. So we can run it through our usual battery of comparisons, pricing, analysis etc.
But I can’t say that, if you’re looking for something that’s sporty-er than the average vehicle in this segment, the Maxima should definitely be on your shopping list in comparison, the cadenza and the Avalon Lexus ES, etc. They definitely feel lazy compared to the Maxima. They feel a little bigger a little bit heavier out on the road. This has a more dynamic feel be sure.