2019 Nissan Maxima

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2019 Nissan Maxima Test Drive Review: New Look, New Tech, Same Performance

The 4-door sedan market has seen automakers push towards sportier and more athletic styling in an effort to remain relevant as crossovers continue to dominate the American market. Toyota's usually boring looking Camry has benefitted from an athletic makeover and Honda's usually handsome styling has been given a sporty coupe-like roofline for the new generation. Nissan has joined the party with its larger offering for the 2019 model year refresh. This no outright sports sedan though, but it's no slowpoke either.

The Maxima is also feature-packed to tempt the crossover crowd into something closer to the ground. The safety-conscious will appreciate the standard suite of driver-assistance features while everyone should appreciate the touchscreen infotainment featuring both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Power through the range comes from an older but strong V6 engine and a slick CVT that's well behaved until its limits are pushed.

Read in this review:

6.8
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2019 Nissan Maxima Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2018 Maxima?

Nothing has changed mechanically for the 2019 Maxima, but Nissan has given it a dose of extra style. The body has been touched up for the new year with chrome detailing on the front bumper and a larger grille, with Sunset Drift paint being added to the premium color palette. The rear has been lowered slightly and now features four exhaust tips. Newly designed LED headlights are now standard, complementing the newly revised LED taillights. The quality of the interior has improved somewhat with new orange stitching features on the SR, while the Platinum Reserve Package on the top trim adds Rakuda Tan semi-aniline upholstery. The tech has been updated with revised SiriusXM and Nissan Door-to-door navigation, as well as the integration of Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Rear door alert is also standard on all trims.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros:
  • Strong V6 engine
  • Decent handling for a larger sedan
  • Well-built and designed cabin
  • Diverse array of easy-to-use features
  • High reliability and safety scores
  • Cons:
  • Lacking ride comfort
  • Rear seats and trunk are not spacious
  • High starting price and cost of ownership
  • Not as sporty as it appears

Best Deals on 2019 Nissan Maxima

2019 Nissan Maxima Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
S
3.5L V6 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$34,050
SV
3.5L V6 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$36,060
SL
3.5L V6 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$38,540
SR
3.5L V6 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$39,630
Platinum Reserve
3.5L V6 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$41,540
See All 2019 Nissan Maxima Trims and Specs

2019 Maxima Exterior

2019 Nissan Maxima Front Angle View CarBuzz
2019 Nissan Maxima Side View CarBuzz
2019 Nissan Maxima Rear Angle View CarBuzz
See All 2019 Nissan Maxima Exterior Photos

Dimensions

  • Length 192.8 in
  • Wheelbase 109.3 in
  • Height 56.5 in
  • Max Width 73.2 in
  • Front Width 62.4 in
  • Rear Width 62.4 in
  • Curb Weight 3,552.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Super Black
  • Deep Blue Pearl
  • Brilliant Silver Metallic
  • Gun Metallic
  • Carnelian Red Tintcoat
  • Pearl White Tricoat
  • Sunset Drift Chromaflair
  • Sunset Drift Chromaflair

2019 Maxima Performance

2019 Nissan Maxima Front View CarBuzz
2019 Nissan Maxima Rear View CarBuzz
2019 Nissan Maxima Engine CarBuzz

Engine and Transmission

  • Engine
    3.5L V6 Gas
  • Transmission
    Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
  • Drivetrain
    FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

Nissan's reluctance to replace the Maxima's 3.5-liter V6 engine means we're familier with its strong performance. There are no fireworks, just a healthy amount of grunt that makes it one of the better launchers off the line to freeway speeds in its class. When it comes to living up to the sporty styling, the CVT lets the engine down. Around town and out on the highway though, the CVT starts to shine and keeps the revs in the right place.

For highway cruises, there's a very little complaint as the chassis and engine work together. We also noticed cabin noise, or rather the lack of it. The active noise cancellation featured on our tester did a stellar job in a tricky area that some other competitors in the segment often fall down on.

Considering its size, the Maxima handles well and, for spirited driving, the damping is firm and chassis lean is well limited in deeper corners. However, as a daily driver the suspension isn't compliant enough for what the car is going to be for most people, even in our Platinum trimmed tester model.

Where things fall apart for the Maxima driving experience is in the numb steering that has little interest in communicating with the driver. The brake pedal is less than inspiring with its mushy feel, and between the two they disappoint in what should be a solid all-round package.

2019 Maxima Interior

2019 Nissan Maxima Steering Wheel CarBuzz
2019 Nissan Maxima Front Seats CarBuzz
2019 Nissan Maxima Rear Passenger Seats CarBuzz
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Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 45.0 in
  • Front Head Room 39.4 in
  • Rear Leg Room 34.2 in
  • Rear Head Room 36.7 in

2019 Maxima Trunk and Cargo Space

2019 Nissan Maxima Front Angle View 1 CarBuzz
2019 Nissan Maxima Rear Angle View 1 CarBuzz
2019 Nissan Maxima Trunk Space CarBuzz
  • Trunk Volume
    14.3 ft³

2019 Maxima Safety and Reliability

Warranty

  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2019 Nissan Maxima a good car?

There's nothing blatantly wrong with the Maxima but it does disappoint in areas such as rear passenger space and the overall driving experience. The engine is strong, but the Maxima's new sporty poise doesn't live up to the new look. However, the interior is up to scratch and going up the trim levels they become remarkably pleasant places to be when stuck in traffic considering the Maxima isn't filed under the Luxury Car heading.

It's fair to say that with its mix of a great interior, strong engine, but mushy steering and brake feel, the Maxima leaves us conflicted when it comes to giving a verdict. It really is a car thats choice boils down to exactly what the buyer wants from it. Ultimately, the Maxima is compromised but it is a solid sedan if interior, looks, and a proven engine are the most important ingredients for a buyer.

2019 Nissan Maxima Comparisons

Nissan Altima Nissan
Honda Accord Honda
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Nissan Maxima300 hp20/30 mpg$37,840
Nissan Altima 188 hp28/39 mpg$24,900
Honda Accord 252 hp22/32 mpg$26,520

2019 Nissan Maxima vs Nissan Altima

The Maxima is a decent contender within the full-size sedan segment, but the Altima is perhaps the best sedan Nissan has made to date. The Altima's 2.5-liter turbocharged engine isn't as strong as the Maxima's V6, but the mid-size sedan still keeps its big brother on its toes. However, the so-called mid-size Altima offers a more spacious interior and trunk than the full-size Maxima. Add to this the fact that the Altima is quite a bit cheaper at around $25,000, and you can overlook a few of the luxury features it is missing, since it doesn't lack in safety or infotainment. In terms of value for money, it is hard to beat the Altima, and impossible for the Maxima to do so.

See Nissan Altima Review

2019 Nissan Maxima vs Honda Accord

While the base Accord doesn't have the power output of the Maxima, it boasts exceptional handling characteristics, and if you opt for the larger turbo four-cylinder engine, you can get a competitive 252 hp. Add to this the array of driver aids that come standard and the Accord offers an enjoyable and reliable ride. The optional manual gearbox also promotes a more engaging driving experience, while the more spacious interior also offers a more comfortable ride for both the driver and passengers. The Accord's much larger 16.7-cubic-foot trunk and better fuel economy make it a great day-to-day vehicle, and the high-quality interior is a plus. But the Maxima has a few tricks up its sleeve, with more intuitive infotainment being chief among those. With a low MSRP of around $24,000, the midsize Accord seems like the better buy, offering comparable space at a much cheaper price.

See Honda Accord Review

2019 Nissan Maxima Popular Comparisons

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