Experienced by Leon Brittain
Let me take you back to the mid ‘80s when the Nissan Maxima was the talk of the town and the ride to be seen in with its unforgettable squared body type and luxurious interior featuring then innovations such as automatic shoulder belts, a digital instrument panel and voice warning system to name a few. Also, I cannot forget about the optional rear-deck spoiler which reminded the competition that this was no ordinary premium vehicle, but one with the soul of a sports car.
“As our flagship sedan, Maxima is an important contributor to the Nissan brand,” said Dan Mohnke, senior vice president, Sales & Marketing and Operations, Nissan Division U.S., Nissan North America, Inc. “Maxima is our longest running nameplate, having thrilled owners for four decades with style, performance and quality.”
Flash forward to 2019 and we find the refreshed Maxima is once again turning heads, garnering attention and receiving thumbs up from onlookers. Yes, this happened several times during my seat time in our 2019 Carnelian Red Tintcoat hued Nissan Maxima Platinum with that gorgeous Rakuda Tan interior. The flagship sedan from Nissan immediately and decisively attracts viewership with its sharp aerodynamic design, a more aggressive grille and 19” Hyper Silver spins (if you go with the Platinum Reserve Package) that clearly speaks to its performance attributes. Additionally, the vehicle’s rear end has been redesigned and incorporates integrated quad exhausts tips and a restyled rear spoiler.
The Maxima is powered by a heart-pumping 3.5-liter 6-cylinder kicking out 300-horsepower and 261 lb-ft of torque and rolls on 19” aluminum alloy rims. I’m a patient driver these days but the Maxima definitely had me flying around town as if I drank from the fountain of youth. The engine is linked to Nissan’s familiar Xtronic transmission with Adaptive Shift Control and both Normal and Sport modes. Depending on the grade you select your Maxima can be had with steering wheel paddle shifters and a sport-tuned suspension. Maxima’s high-tech FWD platform includes an Integrated Dynamics Control Module encompassing Active Ride Control, Intelligent Trace Control and Intelligent Engine Braking. In other words, this Japanese sedan has the right stuff to provide the responsiveness required when it’s time to feed your need for performance.
Step inside the cavernous interior and you’re greeted with that opulent aura found in higher-end vehicles. All-the-while, the Maxima still maintains a sporty balance with defining contrast stitching and diamond quilted leather seating for the delight and comfort of both front and rear passengers. Protecting you while out and about is the very responsive and comprehensive Safety Shield 360 inclusive of Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, High Beam Assist, Rear Automatic Braking and Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection. Adding to the allure and grandiose feel is the dual panoramic moonroof bringing the outside within. There will never be problems keeping your devices connected and charged with a multitude of USB and 12v ports including the fast charging USB-Cs. This was key since my three kids are always fighting over the one cord usually offered in the rear of standard vehicles.
At the centerpiece of the cabin is an 8” multi-touch control infotainment center that houses the 11-speaker Bose Center Point Surround Stage audio system, apps and one of the most intuitive and interactive navigation systems I’ve had the fortune to evaluate. It literally expands from your local neighborhood to global positioning at the twist of the rotary dial. The integrated real-time voice traffic and weather updates were most helpful as well and eliminated the need to rely on my mobile device, which in-turn helped me consolidate and focus on the road while driving.
The 2019 Nissan Maxima is available in five trim levels — S, SV, SL, SR and Platinum — as well as a specific Platinum Reserve model available with the Platinum. MSRP starts at $34,050 while my trim tipped the scale at $45,255. Dully note that the Reserve Package upgrades you to the max with Rakuda Tan semi-aniline leather seats with embedded diamond-quilted leather inserts, Charcoal headliner and pillars, Satin Bronze interior faceted finishers and more. Expect 20 city and 30 highway miles per gallon.
Times may have rapidly changed but one constant remains, and that’s the fact that the Nissan Maxima is still on top of its game.