Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures
The eighth generation of Nissan’s flagship in the U.S. market went through a mild facelift in 2018. It was unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
The Nissan Maxima turned from a large sedan to a sport sedan. The car was unveiled in 2015 and it was improved to look like a sport sedan, despite being a front-wheel-drive vehicle. The mass distribution and the power to weight ratio were good.
The 2019 model-year featured new headlights with full-LED. The grille was reshaped and looked more aggressive than before. For the side view, the floating roof design was kept and enhanced with a minor chromed detail on the C-pillar. In the rear, new LED taillights were installed. The 19” light-alloy wheels have received a new design.
Inside, there was a new diamond design for the top trim level. Other than that, the 2019 Maxima offered more safety features in the Safety Shield 360 package. That included the Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, High Beam Assist and Rear Automatic Braking. It was a standard fit for the Platinum and part of the SR Premium Package.
Under the hood, there was the same 300 hp 3.5-liter V6 engine mated to a CVT transmission. The steering and suspension were reworked for better cornering speed
The Nissan Maxima reached its eight-generation in 2015 when it was unveiled at the New York Auto Show.
The presentation was made by the Renault-Nissan Alliance, Mr. Carlosh Ghosn.
There was a new, dramatic change in the car’s design. Its whole concept was different than on its predecessor. The new design language included the V-Motion front end, boomerang lights, and C-pillars with floating roof appearance. It was an idea that was adopted from the smallest Micra model up to some of the Nissan SUVs.
Despite the increase in size when compared to the previous generation, the 2016 Maxima was lighter due to the use of aluminum on the hood, roof, and trunk lid. The new model was 2.2” (53.3 mm) longer and 1.3” (33 mm) lower than its predecessor, enabling sleeker styling and better aerodynamics.
For the interior, Nissan Maxima offered five trim levels, starting from the base S and going up to the top-line Platinum. The car could feature a panoramic roof, a new infotainment system with active sound enhancement, a premium 11-speaker Bose audio system and adaptive cruise control.
The new Maxima’s 3.5-liter VQ-series V6 has been redesigned with more than 60 percent new parts (compared to the previous generation 3.5-liter V6). It offered 300 hp and it was mated with an Xtronic transmission, the Nissan’s name for its CVT gearbox.
Nissan made the seventh generation of the Maxima as a sport sedan, shortening the wheelbase and increasing the tracks for both axles, thus increasing the car’s handling.
Introduced in 2008, the Maxima A35 confirmed its status as a sportier, shorter sedan than its bigger sibling Altima. Nissan tried and convinced its customers that the Maxima was for families with spirited drivers, while the Altima was the mid-size sedan designed for comfort. The Maxima was more on the sports side in every technical detail and a few interior features.
The exterior look featured a catamaran-style front end, with two raised areas above the fenders and a bulge on the hood. Its wrapped-around headlights resembled those installed on the Z370, with their horizontal V-shape on their outer side. From its side, the cab-rearward design was classic for a rear-wheel-drive vehicle, but the Maxima was front-wheel-drive. At the back, the design team spoiled the car’s, otherwise, sporty look with a large bumper, but the LED taillights smoothed the design.
Inside, the high-bolstered bucket seats at the front featured hand-stitched leather upholstery for the upper trim levels and promised good side support during high-speed cornering maneuvers. At the back, the carmaker added an option for heated seats and a separate climate control panel hidden in the center folding armrest. For the driver, Nissan installed a beautiful layout in the instrument cluster with a speedometer in the middle flanked by the tachometer on the left and the fuel and coolant temperature gauges. Chromed surroundings adorned the three-dial display.
Under the hood, Nissan installed the VQ35 engine that provided 290 hp, 35 more than its predecessor. It paired it with a CVT gearbox. The carmaker added a pair of paddle-shifters behind the steering wheel that selected six pre-set gears.
Nissan introduced the sixth generation of the Maxima lineup in 2003 as 2004 for most of the markets, including Australia and the U.S.
Introduced above the Altima lineup but sharing its underpinnings with it, the Maxima was already a known and appreciated vehicle. However, Nissan thought it could stand better against Honda’s Accord and Toyota’s Camry if it fit it with just one engine and thus decrease its production costs. Moreover, it added some unique features and, most importantly, it built it with independent suspension in all corners.
The rounded shape of the Maxima revealed a cab-rearward design, which left the impression of a rear-wheel-drive vehicle, but it wasn’t. At the front, the Nissan 350Z-inspired headlights featured vertically mounted lamps and turn signals under the same clear lens. A vertical slat cut the grille in two, sporting the Nissan chromed badge. In addition, the carmaker added a unique feature for the car named SkyView, which was a fixed glass panel narrow and longitudinally mounted above the front and rear seats. At the back, the C-pillar was even thicker than on the previous generation, creating a stronger image for the vehicle.
Inside, Nissan offered the Maxima in two trim levels: SE and SL, with the former being the sportier and the latter its more luxurious sibling. In addition, the carmaker offered it with an option for four seats, with a center console that crossed the cabin from the dashboard to the seatback of the rear seat. Customers could choose between cloth or leather-wrapped seats with aluminum or wood trims.
Under the hood, both versions received a 3.5-liter V-6 powerplant paired with a standard five-speed automatic. The SE was available with an option for a six-speed close-ratio manual.
2000 saw the introduction of a refreshed Maxima, with more tweaks than any other previously released models.
The body-shell was significantly redesigned while the engine line-up was broadened through the introduction of a new 3.0L V6 gasoline plant with a max power output of 222 hp. As the previous generations, the new Maxima came with a choice of three trims, GXE, SE and GLE, with the first being the base equipment level and the last the luxury version. The GLE later became the base for the development of the high-end Infiniti i30, product of Nissan’s luxury division.
Nissan released the fourth generation of the Maxima in May 1994, just in time to catch the Forrest Gump movie on the silver screen and earn the top spot in Ward’s Best Engine.
Just like Forrest Gump, the Maxima was a long-distance runner with a strong, fuel-efficient engine. Nissan built it on a new platform and dropped the previously used rear independent suspension, which affected the rear-seat comfort. It was within the same price range as its main competitors, Honda Accord and Toyota Avalon, but slightly cheaper. With some help from the Cray supercomputer, Nissan’s engineers found better solutions to stretch the 1995 Maxima and make it lighter.
Its exterior design featured a front fascia with sharp inner corners and softened edges for the headlights and a grille that mimicked angel wings (that’s what Nissan said). The wrapped-around plastic bumper sported a black rubber strip to prevent scratches in the parking lot. It worked well against dumpsters as well. The cab-rearward design hid the front-wheel-drive transmission, while the optional rear wing spoiler warned the bystanders that the Maxima could run quite fast for its segment.
Inside, the base trim level featured cloth upholstery, a cassette player, power windows, and air-conditioning, but the leather seats, the Bose sound system, and the sunroof were on the options list. Its long wheelbase allowed comfortable seating for four, with a raised center tunnel to reinforce the bodywork.
The platform was the one that stood apart from the crowd. It featured urethane bushings at the front suspension and stiffer suspension, transforming the Maxima into a swift cornering machine. It’s 0 to 60 mph (0-97 kph) in seven seconds flat was on the hot-hatch territory.
The 1990 Maxima was introduced as an upgrade on the model who’s history had begun in 1976.
Redesigned as a larger sedan with am emphasis on comfort, the Maxima was a success. Despite having been based on the Nissan Bluebird, which was a fairly unreliable car, the new model was a hit. Although it saw a significant size increase from previous generation models, the Maxima paradoxically lost weight in the process, becoming a roomier and lighter ride. The engine of choice for this Maxima was a 3.0L V6 unit with a amax power output of 170 hp that could drive the car to a top speed of 137 mph.