2020 Nissan Maxima review: Not your typical four-door

2020 Nissan Maxima Platinum

Maxima had a good age. It is still aggressive yet beautiful.

Craig Cole / Roadshow

Today’s family cars are very popular. When it comes to looks or performance, but something new breaks out of them, but Nissan You want to see its Maxima as something different, a big sedan loaded with soul. After testing the 2020 Platinum model, for the most part, I agree with this framing … mostly.


  • Decent Infotainment Tech
  • Sleek, powerful V6
  • Fast acceleration

do not like it

  • Limited rear-seat headroom
  • Iffy Leather Quality
  • No ProPilot Support

Sporty looks inside and out

When the current-generation model was launched five years ago, the automaker called it a “four-door sports car”, a descriptor Nissan first used in 1989 with the third-generation Maxima. Yes, it’s a bit hyperbolic, but at least when parked next to one Toyota avalon or Chrysler 300 The Maxima looks more interesting with its aggressive grille, pumped-up fenders and quad exhaust outlets, things that are a bit roar than average.

The current generation Maxima is no spring chicken, even after last year’s refreshments. Nevertheless, its interior, especially in the platinum trim with reserve package, has aged quite well. The overall design is attractive, with easy-to-use secondary controls and a relatively simple layout. The center stack is slightly angled toward the driver for a more cockpitlike feel.

The interior trimmings of my top-shelf Platinum-trim tester are nice, with plenty of soft plastic on the door panel and dashboard, plus a splash of contrast color stitching to make things shine. The steering wheel of this car feels good in the hand, both chunky and well crafted, with a flat bottom under the water of the game. As a result, the tucker’s Rakuda tan inserts match the leather used on the seats and doors. Like an orangeish-brown, this Semilinen cow hide looks upscale, especially with the diamond-stitch pattern Nissan designers applied to it. Unfortunately, this leather is not all that special, feeling more like a vinyl shower curtain than any natural material.

Rear-seat air vents keep passengers happy to travel in economy class; Ditto for heated outboard seats, which are included in the reserve package, is a modest $ 1,140 extra. The Maxima’s back bench is supportive and comfortable, offering a good amount of legroom, but is not particularly suited for tall people. If I don’t slip, my noggin hits the headliner.

True and true technique

This maxima is a feature while making sure I can never give up. Nissanconnect infotainment system With integrated navigation on 8-inch display. Apple carplay And Android Auto Models are standard in the range. This multimedia array looks very old with some less-than-modern graphics, but is easy to use and surprisingly responsive, there is no delay when typing addresses or zooming in or out on the navigation map , Which you can do with the touchscreen or using a hardware knob on the center console. It is good that you have some ways to interact with the infotainment system.

The Nissan Safety Shield 360 is standard in the Maxima lineup. It includes a series of advanced driver aids such as automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind monitoring and rear cross-traffic alerts. Adaptive cruise control and traffic-sign recognition are standard on the SV model and above, although a useful but somewhat grit-looking 360 degree surround view monitor is included only on SR and Platinum grades. Excellent nissan ProPilot Support Adaptive cruise control with lane centering on the Maxima is not offered, hence, the depressed trombone.

The driver offers this car is fine. Blind-spot monitoring is always a good thing, carefully reminding you of traffic in adjacent streets. For adaptive cruise control, this is entirely sufficient, adjusting the vehicle speed required by the surrounding traffic. Naturally, the lane center would be greatly appreciated.

2020 Nissan Maxima Platinum

The Maxima’s interior is stylish and comfortable, even though rear-seat headroom is slightly limited.

Craig Cole / Roadshow

CVT gets a bad rap

Most automotive enthusiasts hate the continuously variable transmission, and it is easy to understand why. All too often, they are a combination combined with the droning, malnourished four-cylinder engine, which is as enjoyable as being locked in a room with an endless Dave Matthews band playlist. But there is no need to torture them after Maxima proves. When a powerful and sophisticated powerplant is split into the driveline equation, the bad behavior of CVT suddenly becomes much less objectionable.

With 300 horsepower on tap and 261 pound-feet of torque, the Maxima’s 3.5-liter V6 delivers considerable performance, easily reaching high speeds, if not immediately. Even when the wound comes out, this engine is not smooth nor smooth, it seems to be running somewhere in the distance rather than a few inches ahead of your feet.

Powertrain refinement and decent torque make the standard Xtronic CVT more enjoyable than you expect. But something called D-step shifting logic also plays an important role. This feature simulates gear changes under moderate to heavy acceleration, helping to reduce droning powertrain sounds. In addition, the Maxima can also identify if it is going through a high-G corner and helps you stay in proportion to the low power.

2020 Nissan Maxima Platinum

Naturally aspirated V6 engines are an endangered species these days.

Craig Cole / Roadshow

However, there is some drop in Maxima’s CVT. It can be moved manually with the gear selector, but only the SR models come with paddle shifters, which is a bit awkward. Also, when the speed is increasing at a speed of around 40 mph, the drivetrain can feel a bit gritty as the transmission likes to maintain the engine at least physically for better fuel economy.

And this is the reason vehicle manufacturers opt for CVT. These “gearboxes” can greatly improve a vehicle’s efficiency, and the Maxima is no exception. The car is rated at 20 miles per gallon city and 30 mpg highway. Combined, the EPA says it should return 24 mpg, although in average driving I average around 29.7, an impressive figure.

Capable mobility

The Maxima has a syrup for steering, of the electro-hydraulic variety, a certain viscosity that is a little hard to describe. Feeling through its wheel is one of denseness: it is unexpectedly heavy. While not overly accurate, this sedan is still quite agile, and is upright like a Japanese bullet train, except in corners where torque steer may have a short stab under heavy acceleration.

The ride quality flirts with outright stiffness, but it is still a step away from crossing that line. The Maxima feels well controlled and the body roll in the corners is basically nonexistent. For the binders of this Nissan, they have a good bite, and child play to modulate the paddle, which is neither sink-to-floor squishy nor keen on initial application.

2020 Nissan Maxima Platinum

Visually interesting styling continues behind this Nissan.

Craig Cole / Roadshow

Still a beautiful, sporty-ish four-door

The current-generation Nissan Maxima is pleasant enough to drive and looks great even five years after it went on sale. Although it is hard to argue about what the automaker has given here, CVT and all, although some drivers may have objected to the price. A base Maxima S is a sticker for $ 35,375, the destination fee also includes $ 925. This is nearly four times higher than the entry-level Chrysler 300, although it sells the Toyota Avalon for about $ 1,500. The top-shelf Platinum model kicks off at around 42 grand, but with a reserve package, a rear diffuser, underbody lighting, and a few other obstacles and my review unit ends up checking out for just $ 46,000 Is a mass-market machine, which is a lot of money. Still, if you want a sporty four-door, which is on the larger side and features some aggressive styling, the Maxima fits the bill.

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