We so wanted it to be, for the record.
Nissan has always made a sincere effort to makes its Maxima sedan different from its direct competitors, namely the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. Since the first generation debuted back in 1981, the Maxima has grown from a mid-size to a full-size sedan, with the Altima taking its place in the former segment. And we’re sure you’ve heard Nissan call the Maxima a "four-door sports car" at some point over the years, but here’s the thing: it’s really not.
At one time, yes, but despite Nissan’s best marketing efforts and our own hopes, the redesigned, eighth generation Maxima is really a better luxury sedan than a sporty one. Built on the same platform that underpins the Altima, Murano, and Pathfinder, the Maxima is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 making 300 hp and 261 lb-ft of torque that’s paired to a CVT.
Nissan claims to have programmed that CVT to act like a regular automatic, but there’s still a slight power delay. Exterior styling? Either you’ll like it or you won’t. There’s very little middle ground here. We were extremely impressed, however, with the interior and overall build quality. In fact, it’s worth questioning whether it’s even worth opting for a more expensive Infiniti. Despite that, the 2017 Nissan Maxima has proven to us beyond all reasonable doubt that it’s way more exciting than a Chevrolet Impala or Buick LaCrosse. Special thanks to Future Nissan of Folsom for letting us film the car.