The Maxima occupies an attention-grabbing area of interest within the automotive world. Nissan describes its Maxima because the “four-door sports activities automobile,” slotting above the midsize Altima, and supposedly providing larger doses of efficiency and premium touches. There’s loads to love, do not get me fallacious. However regardless of a slight refresh for 2019, the Maxima is previous, and would not pack sufficient sport or luxurious to essentially stand out from the gang.

Brisker face

With the present eighth-generation Maxima initially launching in 2016, it is about the proper time for just a little midcycle pick-me-up. For 2019, the Maxima features a extra distinguished “V-motion” grille, up to date bumpers, wheels, normal LED headlights and quad exhaust tip finishers. Together with a snazzy new Sundown Drift Chromaflare paint possibility, my SR check automobile appears engaging and aggressive with an imposing entrance finish, flowing aspect character strains, rear haunches, “floating” roof and reworked spoiler.

Solely minimal alterations happen inside, with all Maximas receiving upgraded supplies and accent stitching for a barely extra premium really feel. Within the SR, the seats now characteristic diamond-quilted Alcantara inserts and a charcoal headliner. The “Zero Gravity” seats themselves stay comfy and supportive and all of the wrapped surfaces do make the environment really feel a notch above the Altima. And whereas there’s sufficient house for adults in each rows, legroom within the backseat is snugger.

Tech tweaks

Like earlier than, the Maxima will get an easy-to-use NissanConnect system to quarterback infotainment capabilities. It is managed by both a responsive Eight-inch touchscreen flanked by giant, clearly-marked shortcut buttons, or a dial on the middle console. The SR comes normal with navigation, a rocking 11-speaker Bose audio system and each Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. To some, the button- and knob-laden heart stack could also be a bit busy, however I desire it over being distracted by digging by way of quite a few screens.

The addition of USB Sort-C ports is new for 2019, with one becoming a member of a USB Sort-A port within the media bin up entrance. One other USB Sort-C and Sort-A outlet may be discovered on the again of the middle console for people within the rear to cost telephones and tablets. Disappointingly, a Wi-Fi hotspot nonetheless is not accessible from the manufacturing facility, however one may be had as a $450 dealer-installed possibility that may assist as much as 5 gadgets.

NissanConnect’s Eight-inch touchscreen is attentive to inputs and intuitive to work by way of.

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A bolstered security know-how menu now contains rear door alert that honks the horn to remind folks to verify the backseat for gadgets or kids after turning off the automobile. Site visitors signal recognition can be added to offer a helpful reminder of pace limits, which is an merchandise I am a giant fan of. These be a part of beforehand accessible gadgets equivalent to adaptive cruise management, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning with lane-keep help and rear-cross site visitors alert. After all, a rearview digicam can be normal as required by legislation, however picture decision is frustratingly poor.

Sportier performer

The Maxima’s drivetrain troopers on unchanged, which is each good and dangerous. It is good in that the VQ three.5-liter V6 is muscular and sounds nice, churning out 300 horsepower and 261 pound-feet of torque. That is lots of giddy-up to soundly merge onto crowded expressways and move slower site visitors, and returns a not-so-horrible, EPA estimated 20 miles per gallon within the metropolis and 30 mpg on the freeway.

The dangerous half, nonetheless, is the repeatedly variable transmission that principally ruins the expertise. When taking it simple round city, the CVT behaves advantageous with simulated gear modifications and principally disappears into the background. Issues change when driving enthusiastically, even with the automobile in Sport mode. It is a buzzy affair and ratio modifications are lazy in each auto and guide modes alike. Do not even hassle with the steering wheel-mounted paddles.

I’ll say the Maxima SR is a reasonably composed, three,582-pound automobile. Due to a handful of dealing with enhancements like stiffer shocks and comes, a thicker entrance antiroll bar and retuned stability electronics, the massive sedan swiftly turns in and hangs on tight round corners with some preliminary physique roll at entry. Credit score additionally goes to the 19-inch Goodyear Eagle F1 Uneven All-Season 245/40 tires, which are not the best in mild snow, however grippy on clear pavement. Steering weight is heavy sufficient within the automobile’s Regular mode and brake muscle is on level to confidently scrub off pace.

With out the luxurious of adaptive dampers, all of the modifications that ship sharper reflexes within the Maxima do have a adverse impact on journey consolation. Impacts from virtually each bump and rut get channeled into the cabin. It is to not the purpose of being overly jarring, however the too-firm habits possible will get tiring on an extended highway journey. For a each day commuter, it will be tolerable to anybody keen to surrender some journey high quality in alternate for tighter dealing with dynamics.

How I would spec it

As tempting as a Maxima SR initially sounds with the dealing with upgrades and slicker cabin particulars, I finally would find yourself constructing an SV mannequin. With a $35,960 base worth, not together with $895 for vacation spot, it would have the choices most vital to me like heated entrance leather-based seats, navigation and blind-spot monitoring. The extra compliant normal suspension and 18-inch wheels with barely taller sidewall tire will even higher deal with dreaded Michigan roads. Tacking on $140 ground mats brings my automobile to $36,995, which is much more inexpensive than the $40,960 SR mannequin pictured right here.

The $40,960 as-tested worth for this 2019 Nissan Maxima SR is just a little too wealthy for my blood.

Nick Miotke/Roadshow

A compromised flagship

There is definitely stuff to love concerning the Nissan Maxima, such because the engine, exterior design and well-trimmed cabin. Sadly, the 2019 updates do not handle the flagship’s shortcomings that forestall it from being an interesting “four-door sports activities automobile.” I can not assist however marvel what a great torque converter computerized gearbox can be like in right here to liven issues up rather than the CVT. Sadly, that is possible a pipe dream with Nissan’s strong dedication to CVTs in most of its merchandise. As is, calling it a “four-door sports activities automobile” appears fairly inappropriate.

At $34,845 for a Maxima S base mannequin, there’s some enchantment to the Nissan for anybody in search of a strong, mildly entertaining sedan. Any trim degree above bumps the value tag as much as a degree the place you could possibly spring for a V6-powered Acura TLX that is simply as, if no more athletic, makes use of a standard computerized transmission and is much extra comfy and luxuriously appointed. The Acura isn’t as engaging because the Nissan, however I will fortunately surrender some type for not having to cope with a CVT.

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