The Nissan Maxima is esteemed in the industry. Some compare it with Audi and BMW performance sedans. People also respect its powerful V6 engine and excellent braking and cornering abilities. But the new Nissan Altima returns better fuel economy, has more interior space, delivers almost the same performance, and is less expensive. Is it possible that Maxima’s greatest opponent comes from Nissan itself?
NEW FOR THE 2014 MAXIMA
- standard xenon headlights, satellite radio, rearview camera, 7-inch touchscreen display and USB port on the Maxima SV
- S Limited Edition Package
UNDER THE HOOD
Powering the 2014 Nissan Maxima is a 3.5-liter V6 engine that puts out 290 horsepower and 261 pound-feet of torque. A continuously variable transmission or CVT distributes the power to the front wheels. The EPA figures show that the 2014 Maxima returns 19 city mpg, 26 highway mpg and 22 combined mpg.
ON THE ROAD
With its front-wheel drive system and CVT, the Nissan Maxima is fun to drive. You probably won’t have any problem with the handling as well: Steering is accurate and the suspension is firm. Highway cruising is smooth. Under the hood, the 3.5-liter V6 engine is powerful and allows the Maxima to accelerate with authority.
The optional Sport Package gives the Maxima a sport-tuned suspension and larger wheels which make the ride quality firmer. You might want to forget about getting this option if you care about experiencing maximum ride comfort.
INSIDE THE 2014 MAXIMA
The 2014 Maxima’s interior feels upscale. The quality of the materials and the standard features are impressive for the sedan’s starting price of over $30,000.
The seats are well-contoured to give enough comfort and support. There’s also plenty of room all around. The optional rear bucket seats make the Maxima stand out among its rivals because it is one of the few non-luxury vehicles that offer luxury-car-like seating in the back.
The trunk offers a decent 14.2 cubic feet of space. Not bad for the Maxima’s size but its rivals offer more.
Nissan offers two trim levels—the S and the SV—for the 2014 Nissan Maxima.
The S trim level automatically equips the Maxima with 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, LED taillights, dual-exhaust system, power sunroof, trip computer, Bluetooth, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, auto-dimming rearview mirror, smart key with push-button ignition, tilt/telescoping steering column, rear-seat armrest with cup holders, power front seats, 60/40 split fold-down rear seatbacks, cloth seat trim, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, 8-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3/WMA audio system, and auxiliary audio jack.
The Maxima SV adds USB port/iPod interface, auxiliary audio/video jacks, satellite radio, xenon headlights, fog lights, LED turn signals integrated in side mirrors, 7-inch touchscreen color display, rearview monitor, leather seats, and power lumbar support for driver’s seat.
Here are some of the packages available:
S Limited Edition Package: 18-inch dark-finish alloy wheels, metallic interior trim, dark-finish sport grille, rear spoiler, fog lights, xenon headlights
SV Tech Package: Bluetooth audio straming, Zagat Survey restaurant reviews, navigation system with voice recognition
SV Premium Package: rear-seat pass-through, rear bucket seats, driver memory function, power steering column, heated steering wheel and front-passenger seat, climate-controlled driver seat, 9-speaker Bose audio system, wood-tone interior trim, dual-panel sunroof
SV Sport Package: sport suspension, 19-inch alloy wheels, rear spoiler, metallic interior trimdark sport grille, smoked headlights
Photo credit: nissanusa.com