If the 2018 Nissan Maxima was going for an in-your-face look, the front end’s grille design certainly achieves that.
It’s definitely a bold look and one that is sure to divide consumers — and experts — about the styling choice taken by Nissan.
Introduced with the 2015 redesign, the full-sized sedan’s grille received some minor modifications for the 2018 model year.
Pricing for the Maxima starts at just under $37,000 for the SV trim, while the Platinum tester comes in at $46,315 once all the fees are added in.
When you are behind the wheel, the Maxima does have quite a bit of zip to its game thanks to the 3.5-litre V6 under the shapely hood.
With its 300 horsepower and 261 ft-lb of torque, the Maxima has good power numbers and accelerates quickly off the line. Power is moved to the wheels through an Xtronic continuously variable transmission.
The Maxima is rated for a fuel efficiency of 9.6 litres per 100 kilometres, but the average after a week of testing came in at a disappointing 12.1 L/100 km.
When you look at the Maxima from the front, the roof seems to be floating thanks to the black A pillars that blend into the roof and its panoramic sunroof.
Other exterior design highlights include a chrome accent piece that runs the length of the vehicle below the glass of the doors and some noticeable haunches over the front wheels to give the Maxima a sporty appearance.
Inside, the cabin has a nice look and feel to it.
The heated and cooled seats feature diamond-quilted Alcantara in the leather upholstery. In fact, there’s leather aplenty in the Maxima’s interior, with the dash, upper part of the door, armrests, the (heated) steering wheel and centre console all covered in the material.
The interior mood is enhanced at night by LED accent lighting.
The back bench is a 60/40 split for when you need to maximize the Maxima’s storage capabilities, which is 14.3 cubic feet in the trunk.
One issue we experienced several times over the course of a week with the Maxima was that when winter temperatures turned bitterly cold, the interior windows were iced up – once to the point where they had to be scraped off before driving.
Thankfully, despite the icy interior, the eight-inch screen that is the hub for the Maxima’s infotainment system never froze.
NissanConnect is standard on the Platinum trim, and it also includes a navigation system, satellite radio, SiriusXM Travel Link, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
There are two USB ports up front and another two for rear passengers, so you won’t be fighting for plugs on long family road trips.
The touchscreen was easily operated and allows control of many systems, which can also be controlled by buttons on the centre stack if you prefer.
Large knobs for temperature control, volume settings and radio tuning are also welcome.
And as winter temperatures god absurdly cold in early January, a feature that was also welcome was the automatic starter on the Platinum trim.
Driving around in the Maxima is an overall pleasant experience. The engine power is sufficient to allow for quick acceleration and the CVT experience is better than what has been experienced in other Nissan models in the past.
While some CVTs sound like a rubber band that just never breaks, this one didn’t overpower the cabin with the annoying droning on from the transmission,
The Maxima also has a Drive Mode selector which allow you to toggle between normal and sport mode.
In sport mode, the throttle response is increased, the transmission is more aggressive in shifting and the steering becomes stiffer.
The Maxima also has what is called Active Sound Enhancement, which pumps engine noise into the cabin, with the volume turned up in sport mode.
2018 Nissan Maxima Platinum
Price as tested: $46,315.00
Configuration: Front engine/Front-wheel drive
Engine/transmission: 3.5-litre V6/ Xtronic continuously variable transmission
Power/torque: 300 horsepower/ 261 ft-lb of torque
Fuel (capacity): Regular (68.1 L)
Combined fuel economy ratings (L/100 km): 9.6 L/100 km
Observed fuel economy (L/100 km): 12.1 L/100 km
Warranties: 3-years/60,000 km (basic)
Competitors: Toyota Avalon, Dodge Charger, Honda Accord, Volkswagen Passat
- Audacious styling
- Loaded with features
- Comfortable interior
- Not an overly large trunk
- No all-wheel drive option
- Front-end grille might not appeal to everyone