My buddy won some prize at a local Nissan dealer, so I went with him to try and get a review on the new Nissan Maxima SR. What followed was a lesson in how NOT to go about selling a car to someone.
The salesman was rude and awkward The car was still covered in delivery tape (hence my lack of real photos), and the seats were still wrapped in plastic. Our drive also consisted of just driving a few blocks around town instead of a real test drive on varying types of roads. Even if I were serious about buying this car, I sure as hell wouldn’t have bought it from this place.
Despite all of this I made due in the situation and found out enough about the new Nissan Maxima to know I don’t need to drive it further to render my verdict.
The new Maxima is actually a really nice car for what it is.
I really like how the car looks on the outside, with its sleek futuristic design.
Inside the seats are surprisingly comfortable, like even more so than my VW CC. The interior is pretty nice too, but still in an economy car kind of way.
Performance is pretty good both in speed and in fuel economy. This is a 300hp car that can achieve 30MPG. It’s got nice lively steering, and sharp initial handling that will be fun for casual fun driving. I also like the way the CVT works with the engine to deliver crisp response and linear power delivery.
Having said all that, the Maxima really just amounts to a marginally nicer package in its own segment. It’s a little more fun and just a tad less vanilla than a Chevy Impala or a Toyota Avalon, but it’s still just an everyday family sedan when it comes down to it.
Nissan tries to market it as a “4 door sports car”, but that’s a load of bullshit. It’s a big heavy front drive car, and it’s initially nimble handling gives way to understeer pretty quickly if you really throw it into a turn. A true “4 door sports car” is a Subaru WRX or a Mitsubishi Evo, not this. Don’t be fooled.
So the new Maxima is a nice everyday sedan with a little extra polish, not a bad car by any means overall, but certainly not what they try and sell it to be.
Then, after I got out of the car, I made the mistake of looking at the price tag in the window… $42,000 for this Maxima SR!
$42 grand is a massive amount of money for a car, and really we’re in luxury brand territory as soon as the 3 turns to a 4.
There are countless better ways to spend that kind of money. At this price the Maxima is a total ripoff, and you’ll lose it all to depreciation. Not to mention the questionable reliability record of. Nissan’s CVT transmissions.
To me, this Nissan Maxima SR is a very nice car at the $30-35k price point, but it’s actual price was more than 20% higher than that.
If you still really want a new Maxima, I’d recommend forgetting the SR model and go for the Maxima SV. The Maxima SR is trying to be a “sports car” that it just isn’t, so it’s not worth spending extra money for a half-assed effort. The Maxima SV costs around $35k and has some nice options, so it’s the best value Maxima overall.
So while the new Nissan Maxima does have some good aspects, it isn’t anything all that special. I can’t really recommend it, though, based its pricing alone. Even the $35k Maxima SV costs a lot for what it is in my opinion. There are far better ways to spend this sort of money.
MoM Score: 2016 Nissan Maxima
Primary Function: Practicality: 2
Secondary Functions: Performance(1) Luxury(1) MPG(1): 1
Visual Appeal: 1.5…. nice lines, a little over-styled
Build Quality: 1…. questionable CVT reliability
Value for Money: 0
Final Score: 5.5 /10