The 2016 Nissan Maxima: Better in every way than the average

The 2016 Nissan Maxima is a total makeover of the company’s largest and priciest car. It’s still a midsize sedan with a 3.5-liter V6, front-wheel drive, and a CVT, but it’s a few inches longer and lower.

It maintains its middle ground between economy and luxury sedans thanks to its plush interior, long list of optional extras, and respectable performance.

The Maxima has always been Nissan’s flagship luxury vehicle, but its conservative design and resume too similar to that of the Altima have made it a hard sell in recent years.

Nissan has revised the Maxima for 2016 in an effort to make it more distinguishable from both mainstream family sedans and entry-level luxury vehicles.

The 2016 Nissan Maxima is, without a doubt, one of the most visually arresting midsize cars to hit the market this year. The new model is 1.3 inches lower to the ground and 2.2 inches longer, making it more aerodynamic and giving it a more streamlined appearance.

Nissan claims that the decreased curb weight and increased structural rigidity contribute to the vehicle’s enhanced economy and responsiveness. Nissan has tweaked the Maxima’s 3.5-liter V6 engine to make 10 more horsepower while using the same amount of gas.

The 2016 Nissan Maxima: Better in every way than the average
The 2016 Nissan Maxima: Better in every way than the average. Image source: Nissan Global

The 2016 Nissan Maxima models

Five passengers may ride comfortably in the 2016 Nissan Maxima, a midsize sedan that comes in S, SV, SL, sporty SR, and luxurious Platinum trim levels.

S models come standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights and foglights, keyless ignition and entry, automatic climate control with separate controls for the driver and front passenger’s zones, power front seats with eight-way driver and four-way passenger adjustments, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, a rearview mirror that automatically dims, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

There are numerous electronic conveniences available, such as a huge gauge cluster display, an 8-inch touchscreen display, a navigation system, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio, two USB ports, and an eight-speaker sound system with satellite radio, HD radio, and a six-disc CD changer.

Leather upholstery, heated front seats, extended thigh support, and power lumbar for the driver are just some of the SV trim’s perks.

Adaptive cruise control, a premium 11-speaker Bose sound system, a panoramic sunroof, a heated steering wheel, and ambient interior lighting are all standard on the SL trim. It also incorporates various new safety measures.

The sporty SR comes standard with 19-inch wheels and available summer performance tires, as well as active features such as active engine braking, which helps slow the car when heading aggressively into corners or approaching a stop, and active Ride Control, which uses the brakes to quell body motions over bumps.

Moreover, the SR includes heated and ventilated front seats, premium leather upholstery, faux suede interior trim, and LED headlights. However, the SR does not have a panoramic sunroof. The SR may be outfitted with the Midnight Edition visual upgrade, which adds a new set of wheels, a gloss-black roof, and rear diffuser spoilers.

LED headlights, a power-adjustable steering wheel, driver memory settings, premium leather upholstery, automatic wipers, a motorized rear sunshade, a 360-degree parking camera system (with moving object recognition), and a driver attentiveness alert system are all new to the Platinum compared to the SL. Nissan Link is included with the Platinum as well.

The 2016 Nissan Maxima Overview

The 2016 Maxima’s interior has also been updated. The quality of the interior design and the materials used have both increased. The leather and faux suede seats up top really set off the luxury and sporty vibe of the Maxima. Another improvement this year is the addition of a rotary controller in addition to the touchscreen interface, giving the driver more options for how they like to interact with the system.

In reality, the 2016 Maxima occupies a peculiar middle ground between market niches. It shares a logo with the larger Buick LaCrosse, Dodge Charger, Hyundai Azera (and the Kia Cadenza it is based on), and Toyota Avalon, and it costs around the same, but it has a significantly smaller trunk and rear seat.

While cheaper and slightly more capacious than similarly equipped midsize sedans like the Honda Accord and Mazda 6, it has a far more comfortable cabin and superior performance.

The Acura TLX, the Audi A4, and the BMW 3 Series are two examples of entry-level luxury sedans that are comparable to the Maxima, except that they come with a premium label whereas the Maxima does not.

Since the Maxima doesn’t belong to any particular category, we can’t assess it according to similar vehicles. Alternatively, the 2016 Nissan Maxima, which earned a “B” rating from Edmunds, is deserving of serious consideration if any of the aforementioned vehicles pique your interest.

The 2016 Nissan Maxima: Expert Review

If you want something with more style and panache than a regular family sedan but without breaking the bank, the revised 2016 Nissan Maxima is worth considering. Find out everything else you can about the new Maxima by reading on.


  • The cabin is as well-built and stylish as that of any premium-brand sedan,
  • Simple technological interfaces,
  • Great value for the price,
  • Excellent handling dynamics,
  • Top-notch results in the event of a crash.


  • Considering the price, the car’s back seat and trunk are cramped,
  • The price is considerable for a car of this size and with the Nissan nameplate,
  • SR model’s stiff suspension,
  • There is no all-wheel-drive configuration.

The 2016 Nissan Maxima: Performance

The 2016 Nissan Maxima retains the tried-and-true 3.5-liter V6 engine of previous years, but with some minor tweaks, it now generates 300 horsepower (up 10 from last year). The 261 lb-ft of torque is unaffected. The front wheels are propelled by a single transmission, a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

The Platinum model of the Maxima went from 0-60 mph in 6.1 seconds, which is about par for a sedan in its class equipped with a V6 engine. The combined EPA fuel economy rating of 25 mpg (22 city/30 highway) is higher than that of most of its competitors.

The 2016 Nissan Maxima: Safety

Anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control, front seat side airbags, side curtain airbags, and a rearview camera are all standard on the 2016 Nissan Maxima. With the SL trim level and above, a forward collision warning and mitigation system with automated braking is standard equipment.

In addition, the Platinum trim comes standard with a 360-degree parking camera system that includes a moving object recognition system that emits a warning tone and displays a visual alert on the dashboard monitor whenever any object, no matter how small, is detected moving anywhere near the car. Nissan Link with automatic collision notification, remote starting, emergency dialing, and stolen car location is standard on the Platinum.

The 2016 Maxima received the maximum possible rating of five stars in government crash tests, with a perfect score of five stars for both frontal impact safety and side impact safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) had nothing but excellent things to say about the Maxima, as well.

It received a “good” grade in all of the IIHS’s crash testing, from moderate to minor frontal offset to side impact to roof strength to seat and head restraints. The Maxima’s front crash prevention system was also evaluated by the IIHS, and it was given a “superior” rating.

A Maxima Platinum equipped with all-season tires had respectable results in Edmunds’ braking testing, stopping from 60 miles per hour in 122 feet.

One of the best parts of the 2016 Maxima is its comfortable and tastefully appointed cabin.
One of the best parts of the 2016 Maxima is its comfortable and tastefully appointed cabin. Image source: edmunds.com

The 2016 Nissan Maxima: Interior

The Maxima may not be a luxury brand, but it certainly feels like one inside. Soft-touch surfaces are used on most of the primary contact areas to ensure that passengers feel the best.

The innovative “Zero Gravity” chairs made by Nissan are also included. These help keep you in place, but we didn’t find them to be quite as plush as the Altima’s seats. The bin in front of the transmission reduces the extended high-rpm droning that has given CVTs a bad name.

The outcome is satisfactory, since the CVT mimics the operation of a standard automatic transmission quite well without sacrificing the efficiency for which it is known.


The 2016 Nissan Maxima, which has been remodeled extensively and in a peculiar fashion, raises some questions. Although it looks and is labeled as a full-size sedan, it has less passenger volume than other vehicles in its class.

In all other respects, the Maxima compares favorably to many other entry-level luxury automobiles. Despite claims made in the advertising that it drives and handles like a sport sedan, it really has a front-wheel-drive layout with a continuously variable automatic gearbox (CVT).

The SR trim, which is aimed at sports enthusiasts, provides a very uncomfortable and jarring drive. In any case, it doesn’t belong here and may be an intriguing alternative to the other possibilities.

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