?2016 Nissan Maxima?
The Four-door Sports Car re-energized
Nashville, TN – Nissan?s Maxima sedan has long been overshadowed by the sportier and thought to be by many, better looking Nissan Altima. The 2016 Nissan Maxima is poised to change that perspective with the launch of the 8th generation Maxima. A Nissan dealer friend, when told that I was going to attend the national press launch of the 2016 Maxima, stated that ?It?s about time ? it?s been long overdue for an update?. No argument here.
The code used for the campaign of this latest Nissan Maxima is ?4DSC?, which stands for ?Four Door Sports Car?. 4DSC is even embossed into the headlight and taillight lenses.
While a groundbreaking presence is exactly what you?d expect of a sports car wrapped in a 4-door sedan body, Maxima?s global design team went far beyond expectations. For inspiration in designing a sports sedan with exciting innovation, Nissan designers visited the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels? . The cockpit design of their aircraft is echoed in the Maxima?s wrap-around theme. Externally, Maxima is lowered, sculpted and streamlined to project a sweeping aerodynamic profile. A special metal stamping technique was developed, to add the distinctive powerful gesture to its bodyline and deeply scalloped doors. Maxima?s bold front end combines Nissan?s signature V-Motion grille and new lighting features that enhance its defining presence on the road. The boomerang-style headlights include standard LED Signature Daytime Running Lights. Out back, two-piece taillights with their own integrated LED signature complete the lighting theme.
Maxima?s bold, athletic profile comes from its floating roof appearance with blacked-out A-pillars similar to those of the Nissan GT-R. The same blackout treatment is applied to the B and C pillars, creating a wraparound canopy appearance. The 2016 Maxima?s canopy look is accented with an available Dual Panel Panoramic Moonroof (standard on SL and Platinum grades), which gives front and rear occupants an expansive view of the sky overhead.
The Maxima?s futuristic appearance finishes off with large dual exhaust chrome tailpipe tips and 18-inch machined aluminum-alloy wheels (Maxima SR adds 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels that use a unique a diamond-cut machined finish).
The interior of the new Maxima has also been totally redesigned featuring a ?command central? driver?s cockpit. The focus on the driver begins with a center stack that angles seven degrees toward the driver ala the legendary GT-R and a floating console that sits higher than before, putting key controls within easy reach. The standard Nissan Intelligent Key? start switch is now located on the console and pulses when the driver enters the cabin. The console now also provides luxurious padding on the sides with contrasted stitching.
A new Display Commander control on the console allows fingertip control of the center display. Maxima?s interior execution offers genuine stitching on the instrument panel, doors and console, available ambient lighting, available premium Ascot leather seating surfaces with diamond-quilted inserts, unique faceted finishers and a sporty D-shaped (flat-bottom) steering wheel.
The design team turned to unique material choices like Alcantara?, typically found on higher priced luxury vehicles, to achieve premium quality. Nissan?s unique Zero Gravity front seats with sport bolstering are standard (8-way power adjustable driver?s seat and 4-way power-adjustable front passenger?s seat) and offering increased comfort provided by a new three-layer foam design. They?re offered in premium cloth, leather-appointed or premium Ascot leather-appointed seating surfaces. Heated and Climate-Controlled front seats and steering wheel are available depending on grade level.The rear seat now features a standard 60/40 split fold-down design. As with the exterior, interior colors were carefully considered to fit with Maxima?s sporty image. The new Maxima SR is offered with an additional deep, rich Camel interior, and even the standard Charcoal color seating features blue contrasting stitching.
The 2016 Nissan Maxima is available in five levels of trim: the base Maxima S, SV, SL, SR and Platinum. The SL model is expected to be the volume sales leader. All equipment is grade standard and no options are offered, which simplifies meeting Maxima customers? needs.
The motive force for all models is a front, transversely mounted, 3.5-liter, DOHC, 24-valve VQ35DE V6 engine with sequential mult-port electronic fuel injection that delivers 300 horsepower at 6,400 rpm, while generating 261 pound feet of torque at 4,400 rpm. Power is channeled to the front wheels via an Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission with manual shift mode, D-step logic and
sport tuning, along with VDC featuring a Traction Control System. The engine utilizes more than 60 percent new parts (compared to the previous generation 3.5-liter V6), applying technology found in the Nissan GT-R such as sodium filled valves, to achieve a high specific output of 85.7 horsepower/liter. The re-engineering effort resulted in a 15 percent increase in highway fuel economy, to an estimated 30 miles per gallon. City fuel economy is estimated at 22 mpg.
Only pre-production SL and SR models were available to drive during the national press launch. My Chicago-based driving partner and I began our new Maxima driving experience in an SL version with a Coulis Red exterior and a Black interior. Its base sticker read $36,890 while the final price registered $37,715 after adding the Destination and Handling charge. Standard key content included: a Dual panel panoramic moonroof, Bose sound system, Predictive Forward Collision Warning, Forward Emergency Braking, Active Noise Cancellation, Active Sound Enhancement, Blind Spot Warning with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, heated steering wheel and Ambient LED lighting under the dashboard and door finishers. Our second test unit was an SR model, finished outside in Bordeaux Black, with a Black interior as well. The starting price was $37,670, which with the $825 Destination and Handling fee, came to $38,495. The standard fare included: Sport-tuned suspension, power tilt/telescopic steering column, premium Ascot leather appointed seats with Diamond-quilted Alcantara inserts, 19-inch ?diamond cut? machined aluminum alloy wheels, 245/40R19 All-Season tires, integrated Dynamics-control module, Active Ride Control, Active Trace Control and Active Engine Brake, Yamaha performance dampers, paddle shifters, climate-controlled front driver and passenger seats, LED low beam headlights, premium Ascot leather-wrapped steering wheel with Alcantara insert, ?Liquid Chrome? faceted finishers and aluminum sport pedals.
SUMMARY: The 2016 Nissan Maxima is longer, lower, lighter and tighter than the previous generation Maxima. To be more specific, it is 2.2-inches longer, 1.3-inches lower, 82 pounds lighter, and the torsional rigidity is improved by 25 percent.
Driving these latest Maximas over some of the twisting back roads of Tennessee delivered an exhilarating and rewarding experience. It is adequately powerful, remarkably stable and exceptionally comfortable and quiet. It exudes all of these qualities in what genuinely comes across as a four-door sports car with luxurious appointments. The quiet is partially enabled by the application of laminated glass, not only on the windshield but also on the front door windows, and an Active Noise Cancellation system that works much like noise canceling headphones to help reduce unpleasant low-frequency sounds. On the other side of the equation, a new Active Sound Enhancement system enhances the existing engine sound from the 3.5-liter V6 into the cabin, delivering a stirring soundtrack. Engaging the ?Sport? mode takes the engine note a step beyond with the system allowing an even higher engine note amplitude in the cabin.
Safety technology, entertainment and connectivity are not forgotten in the new Maxima ? it is loaded with state-of-the-art levels in all categories. Included is: NissanConnect with standard navigation on all trim levels. The 8.0-inch color display features multi-touch control for intuitive smartphone-like gestures such as swiping and pinch-to-zoom. Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant (Android only) and Nissan Voice Recognition for navigation and audio are also standard. Along with SiriusXM Satellite Radio and SiriusXM Travel Link? applications (Sirius XM subscription required, sold separately), Online Search with Google? and other connectivity features, the system is paired with an also standard 7.0-inch Advanced Drive-Assist? Display within the instrument cluster.
The ADAD display provides two screens – a Home screen that shows navigation routing, digital speed and audio information on the same screen, giving the driver all requisite information at a glance without having to scroll through separate screens. A Sport screen offers the Maxima driver a unique ?Power? meter, which shows actual engine output, flanked by gauges that display oil pressure and transmission oil temperature respectively for the discerning enthusiast. Swipe to-
Navigation is another hidden feature this system offers, allowing the driver to set a route on the navigation screen and then swipe towards the ADAD to bring up the directions.
The available 11-speaker Bose? audio system was developed to deliver the ultimate premium audio experience for the flagship sedan. Technologies include Bose? Center Point? Surround Stage technology, which can deliver a surround sound experience. All Maximas are equipped with two USB inputs with music playback capability enabled through either port. These ports are housed in the media bin on the console, which is large enough to fit an iPhone? 6 Plus.
All things considered, the new 2016 Nissan Maxima represents a huge forward step, bringing it to a true flagship status. It is now sexier with its svelte, sleek new form than the Altima. Yes Virginia, the Maxima really is a four-door sports car.
The Maxima is assembled in Smyrna, Tennessee, with engines assembled in
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?[wptabtitle] SPECIFICATIONS: 2016 Nissan Maxima SL & SR [/wptabtitle]
|Base Price:||$36,890. – SL / $37,670.-SR|
|Price as Tested:||$37,715. – SL / $38,495.-SR|
|Engine Type and Size:||3.5-liter, DOHC, 24-valve VQ35DE V6 with sequential mult-port electronic fuel injection.|
|Horsepower (bhp):||300 @ 6,400 rpm|
|Torque (ft./ lbs.):||261 @ 4,400 rpm|
|Transmission:||Xtronic CVT with manual shift mode, D-step logic and sport tuning. VDC with Traction Control System.|
|Drive Train:||Transversely mounted front engine / Front-wheel drive.|
Front – Independent strut w/ coil springs, ZF Sachs twin-tube shocks and 24.2 mm diameter stabilizer bar (26.2 mm SR).
Rear – Multi-link independent, ZF Sachs monotube shocks 26.5 mm diameter stabilizer bar
(SR comes with Sport-tuned suspension, including Yamaha Performance Damper and Integrated Dynamics-control Module with Active Ride Control, Active Trace Control and Active Engine Brake.)
|Brakes:||Power-assisted four-wheel discs (vented front) with ABS, BA and EBD.|
|Tires:||Continental ContiProContact245/40 R19 mounted on 5- stylized “V” spoke aluminum alloy wheels.|
|Length Overall:||192.8 inches|
|Curb Weight:||3,471 lbs. – 3,593 lbs. (S – Platinum)|
|Fuel Capacity:||18 gallons|
|EPA Mileage Estimates:||22-mpg city / 30-mpg highway|
|0 – 60 mph:||Not tested|
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles as well.