Certainly, the 2016 Nissan Maxima is one of the more dramatic-looking sedans to come out this year. The new model is 2.2 inches longer and sits 1.3 inches lower than its predecessor, enabling sleeker styling and better aerodynamics. Overall curb weight is down slightly, while structural rigidity has increased, changes that Nissan says contribute to improved efficiency and handling. There are incremental gains under the hood, too, as Nissan has revised the Maxima's 3.5-liter V6 to produce 10 extra horsepower while using less fuel. Changes can be found on the inside of the 2016 Maxima as well. The interior design looks more luxurious than before, and most materials are high quality. In particular, the upper trims' leather and simulated suede upholstery give the Maxima a premium and sporty feel. A new touchscreen technology interface with a separate rotary controller, allowing the driver to choose his or her favorite way to operate the system, is another welcome change this year.
Standard features of the base S model include 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglights, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, power front seats (eight-way driver and four-way passenger), a 60/40-split folding rear seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Electronics features include a large 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.
Under the hood, the 2016 Nissan Maxima features a familiar 3.5-liter V6, but it is updated this year to produce 300 horsepower (up 10 from last year). Torque stays the same at 261 pound-feet. The lone transmission is a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that drives the front wheels. EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings check in at 25 mpg combined (22 city/30 highway), which is a bit better than most of its rivals.
Standard safety features on the 2016 Nissan Maxima include antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and a rearview camera. Standard on the SL and above are a blind-spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert and a forward collision warning and mitigation system with automatic braking. The Platinum model also adds a 360-degree parking camera system with a moving object detection system that sounds a beep and gives video alerts on the center screen when even small objects are moving anywhere around the vehicle. The Platinum also includes a driver drowsiness monitor and Nissan Connect, which includes automatic collision notification, remote starting, emergency calling and stolen vehicle locating.
In government crash tests, the 2016 Maxima earned an overall score of five stars (out of a possible five), with five stars for total front-impact safety and five stars for total side-impact safety. The Maxima also earned top scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, receiving a "Good" rating in the moderate- and small-overlap frontal-offset impact tests as well as a "Good" rating in the side-impact, roof-strength and seat/head restraint tests. The IIHS also tested the Maxima's forward collision mitigation system and awarded it a score of "Superior."
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