2020 Nissan Maxima review: Not your typical four-door

The Maxima has aged well. It’s however intense nonetheless handsome. Craig Cole/Roadshow Today’s spouse and children automobiles have a tendency to be rather sedate. Few of them crack new ground when it will come to seems or performance, but Nissan needs you to consider of its Maxima as some thing […]

2020 Nissan Maxima Platinum

The Maxima has aged well. It’s however intense nonetheless handsome.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Today’s spouse and children automobiles have a tendency to be rather sedate. Few of them crack new ground when it will come to seems or performance, but Nissan needs you to consider of its Maxima as some thing diverse, a massive sedan with masses of soul. Just after testing a 2020 Platinum model, for the most element, I agree with this framing… generally. 


  • Respectable infotainment tech
  • Sleek, strong V6
  • Brisk acceleration

Will not Like

  • Confined rear-seat headroom
  • Iffy leather-based quality
  • No ProPilot Help

Sporty seems inside and out

When the present-generation model introduced five several years back, the automaker touted it as a “4-doorway sporting activities vehicle,” a descriptor Nissan to start with used with the 3rd-generation Maxima in 1989. Of course, this is a bit hyperbolic, but at minimum when parked up coming to a Toyota Avalon or Chrysler three hundred the Maxima seems more interesting, with its intense grille, pumped-up fenders and quad exhaust shops, items that imply it is really a bit rowdier than regular.   

The present-generation Maxima is no spring rooster, even following last year’s refresh. Continue to, its interior, specially in Platinum trim with the Reserve bundle, has aged very well. The overall design is attractive, with straightforward-to-use secondary controls and a comparatively straightforward structure. The center stack is angled slightly towards the driver for a more cockpitlike come to feel.

My leading-shelf Platinum-trim tester’s interior trimmings are awesome, with a good deal of tender plastics on the doorway panels and dashboard, in addition a sprinkle of distinction colour stitching to liven items up. This car’s steering wheel feels superior in the hand, currently being each chunky and nicely sculpted, with a flat base for an excess sprint of activity. Thoughtfully, the tiller’s Rakuda tan inserts match the leather-based used on the seats and doors. Sort of an orangish-brown, this semianiline cow hide seems upscale, specially with the diamond-stitch sample Nissan designers applied to it. Sad to say, this leather-based isn’t all that specific, feeling more like a vinyl shower curtain than any all-natural materials. 

Rear-seat air vents retain travellers traveling in overall economy course joyful ditto for the heated outboard seats, which are bundled in the Reserve Package deal, a modest $one,one hundred forty excess. The Maxima’s again bench is supportive and comfortable, offering a superior sum of legroom, but it is really not particularly welcoming for taller people. If I don’t slouch, my noggin hits the headliner. 

Tried using-and-legitimate tech 

Making absolutely sure I hardly ever get shed, this Maxima functions a NissanConnect infotainment process with integrated navigation on an eight-inch display. Apple CarPlay and Android Vehicle are standard across the model vary. That multimedia array seems rather previous, with some much less-than-modern-day graphics, but it is really straightforward to use and astonishingly responsive, with no delays when typing out addresses or zooming in or out on the navigation map, which you can do with the touchscreen or applying the components knob on the center console. It’s awesome that you have a couple of ways to interact with the infotainment process. 

Nissan Protection Protect 360 is standard across the Maxima lineup. It involves a vary of highly developed driver aids like computerized emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-location monitoring and rear cross-site visitors warn. Adaptive cruise handle and site visitors-signal recognition are standard on SV styles and up, even though the beneficial but rather gritty-hunting 360-degree Around Check out Monitor is only bundled on SR and Platinum grades. Nissan’s fantastic ProPilot Help adaptive cruise handle with lane centering is not made available on the Maxima, so, sad trombone. 

The driver aids this vehicle does give are Ok. Blind-location monitoring is generally a superior factor to have, attentively reminding you of site visitors in adjacent lanes. As for the adaptive cruise handle, it is really completely satisfactory, altering motor vehicle speed as demanded by bordering site visitors. Normally, lane centering would be considerably appreciated. 

2020 Nissan Maxima Platinum

The Maxima’s interior is attractive and comfortable, even if rear-seat headroom is a bit limited.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

CVTs get a poor rap 

Most automotive fanatics detest constantly variable transmissions, and it is really straightforward to realize why. All also frequently, they’re teamed with droning, malnourished 4-cylinder engines, a mix that’s about as enjoyable as currently being locked in a place with an limitless Dave Matthews Band playlist blaring. But they don’t have to be torture, as the Maxima proves. When a strong and refined powerplant is factored into the driveline equation, instantly a CVT’s poor conduct gets a lot much less objectionable. 

With three hundred horsepower and 261 pound-feet of torque on tap, the Maxima’s 3.five-liter V6 presents a good deal of performance, finding up to highway speed easily if not very instantaneously. Even when wound out, this motor is smooth and rather hushed, sounding like it is really functioning somewhere off in the length rather than a couple of inches in advance of your feet. 

Powertrain refinement and respectable torque make the standard Xtronic CVT far more enjoyable to are living with than you could anticipate. But some thing referred to as D-Action shifting logic plays an significant position as well. This element simulates gear modifications less than reasonable to significant acceleration, which assists cut down droning powertrain appears. Over and above that, the Maxima can also understand if it is really going via a significant-G corner and keep in a lessen transmission ratio to aid you electricity out of the convert. 

2020 Nissan Maxima Platinum

Normally aspirated V6 engines are an endangered species these days.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

There are, even so, a couple of downsides to the Maxima’s CVT. It can be shifted manually with the gear selector, but only SR styles occur with paddle shifters, which is a bit peculiar. Also, when cruising at speeds close to forty mph, the drivetrain can come to feel a bit gritty due to the fact the transmission loves to retain the motor revs as reduced as physically probable for enhanced gas overall economy.  

And that suitable there is why automakers opt for CVTs. These “gearboxes” can appreciably enhance a vehicle’s performance, and the Maxima is no exception. This vehicle is rated at twenty miles for each gallon city and thirty mpg highway. Put together, the EPA claims it ought to return 24 mpg, even though in normal driving I’m averaging close to 29.7, an remarkable determine. 

Competent dynamics 

You will find a syrupiness to the Maxima’s steering, which is of the electro-hydraulic wide variety, a specific viscosity that’s a little difficult to describe. The come to feel via its wheel is one of denseness: It’s unexpectedly significant. Though not extremely specific, this sedan is however very agile, and it tracks as straight as a Japanese bullet teach, other than in corners the place there can be a little wisp of torque steer less than significant acceleration.  

Ride quality flirts with outright stiffness, but it is really however a step away from crossing that line. The Maxima feels well controlled and system roll in corners is mainly nonexistent. As for this Nissan’s binders, they have a awesome bite to them, and the pedal is kid’s perform to modulate, currently being neither sink-to-the-ground squishy nor extremely eager at original application.  

2020 Nissan Maxima Platinum

The visually interesting styling carries on to this Nissan’s rear.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Continue to a handsome, sporty-ish 4-door   

The present-generation Nissan Maxima is enjoyable adequate to push and it however seems terrific five several years following to start with going on sale. It’s difficult to argue with what the automaker has shipped here, CVT and all, even though some motorists could item to the selling price. A foundation Maxima S stickers for about $35,375, which include $925 in place service fees. Which is about 4 grand more than an entry-stage Chrysler three hundred, even though it undercuts the Toyota Avalon by about $one,500. The leading-shelf Platinum model kicks off at close to forty two grand, but with the Reserve bundle, a rear diffuser, underbody lights and a couple of other odds and finishes my evaluation unit checks out for just about $forty six,000, which is very a bit of dollars for a mass-market device. Continue to, if you want a sporty 4-doorway that’s on the more substantial facet and functions rather intense styling, the Maxima fits the bill.

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