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Launched initially as Datsun 810, the Maxima received its name in 1981. With over a million units sold since then, which is the best year Nissan Maxima?

If you are looking for a sedan that can comfortably seat four passengers with ample features and luxuries and you expect it to perform like a sportscar, look no further than the Nissan Maxima. The Maxima is often dubbed a four-door sports sedan and is among the favorites of many car enthusiasts thanks to its powerful engine and agile handling.

2016 is considered the best year Nissan Maxima. This model has received the highest overall safety ratings in all tests conducted by a federal testing agency. The car is also packed with modern features and comes in five trim levels to suit your needs. It is also priced reasonably for its class.

For decades, the Nissan Maxima has appealed to sedan shoppers thanks to its performance and reliability. The four-door performance sedan is enjoyable to drive for the enthusiast and at the same time offers a lot of utility as a family car. Moving into its eighth generation, the Maxima has kept itself up to date in terms of aesthetics, modern features, and performance.

Many expert car reviewers have termed the 2016 Nissan Maxima a reliable luxury car. The vehicle is a complete package of luxury and performance with many advanced features, especially on the SL and Platinum trims. Car experts believe that the Maxima symbolizes safety and reliability, which has improved itself over the years. These safety features can be seen in the various tests conducted by federal agencies.

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2016 Nissan Maxima

2016 was the launch of the eighth generation of the Maxima. It flaunted attractive looks and a charming driving experience, making it stand out from other vehicles in the category, and more importantly, from Nissan's own Altima.

The Altima had grown in size over the years, making buyers wonder why they were asked for a higher price for a similar-looking Maxima. However, in 2016, Nissan put the identity back into Maxima and ended the prolonged identity crisis.

2016 Maxima Style

For the Maxima to make its place in the market, Nissan had to differentiate it from the lower-priced Altima, which shares a lot with the Maxima in terms of powertrain and design. In 2016, Nissan succeeded and redesigned the Maxima to look nothing like the Altima.

The key feature of this Maxima is its design. The car needed to stand out amongst other mid-sized sedans and does that brilliantly. The sports sedan flaunts a trapezoidal grille, surrounded by angular elements, giving it an aggressive look. The headlights are uniquely shaped to match the aggressive theme.

The sculpted lines on the front and rear fenders give the car a unique ready-for-action look. The already high window sill line takes an upward turn as it approaches the end of the backdoor, where it bends back down sharply to match the slope of the roofline. The slim pillars with black trim make the roof look like a floating canopy. The sedan's tail seems to blend in with the rooflines from the rear.

From the headlights and taillights alone, it is evident that Nissan has not forgotten the "Four-door sports sedan" tagline associated with the Maxima years ago.

On the inside, more features exhibit the sports sedan look. These include the steering wheel with a flat bottom and shiny metallic trim laid on the dashboard. The 2016 Maxima comes with a standard eight-inch touchscreen bordered by a few controls, which are much more advanced and adventurous than those on the Altima.

2016 Maxima Performance

The Maxima is powered by a 3.5-liter V6, which can produce 300 hp and 261 pound-feet of torque. The powerhouse of an engine is coupled with a continuously variable transmission, which features wide ratios. The transmission shifting pattern can get quite aggressive if the gas pedal is kept hard pressed. The car can be operated in Normal and Sport driving modes.

The Maxima is Front-wheel-drive and rides on a fully independent suspension. It has disc brakes on all four and comes with 18-inch standard rims on most trims and 19-inch rims on a few. The Maxima maintains traction quite well on twisty and hilly roads and feels very stable at the speed limit.

The most performance-oriented trim is the Maxima SR, which houses paddle shifters, a better-tuned suspension, and a chassis damper similar to the 370Z. The braking performance on the SR is also tweaked to deliver better cornering stability.

The ride quality and handling of the maxima are quite good, and the transmission seems to control a lot of traction, especially during high-speed cornering. The ride appears well-balanced as the suspension seems to eat up a lot of dips and crests.

The engine seems too loud for a family car, especially when floored. But it delivers a neck-breaker of acceleration, making the Maxima hit 60 mph in under six seconds. The car crosses a quarter-mile in just 12 seconds at a speed of 100 mph. Maxima's top speed is 120 mph, with a safety speed limiter in place.

The engine seems to be asking for a better transmission than the CVT mounted on the Maxima. Although the CVT is quite responsive and even comes with paddle shifters on some trims, it still performs like a, well, CVT. The CVT is extensively focused on comfort and smooth ride. However, many enthusiasts find it to shift much slower than other transmissions. A dual-clutch transmission can significantly increase the throttle response of this car. Even today, enthusiasts are looking forward to a DCT Maxima.

2016 Maxima Comfort and Quality

The sporty theme on Maxima's exterior carries on inside the cabin, featuring a cockpit-style dashboard with the controls oriented towards the driver. Adding to the sporty aesthetics is the flat bottom of the steering wheel.

The cabin is spacious and can easily seat four six-footers for hours with occasional coffee stops. The front seats are well-bolstered and feel comfortable even on uneven country roads. Power adjustable front seats are standard on all Maxima trims, while some trims receive heating and ventilation in the seats.

The rear seat area is also spacious, and the floating canopy-style roof covers a lot of it without compromising on ease of access to the back seat. However, the middle passenger in the back seat will notice a lack of support, legroom, and headroom. But the left and right spots are comfortable and spacious, and even tall passengers can ride comfortably for hours without getting tired.

There is a lot of storage space in the 2016 Maxima. The boot is quite spacious, and there is a collection of storage bins and pockets all over the cabin. The cupholders can be adjusted to hold large and small drinks, and there is a large pocket in the front end of the center console designed to hold cellphones. Right next to the pocket are multiple USB ports, which can be used to charge devices.

2016 Maxima Safety

All trims of the Maxima come with standard safety features, including roof, side, and seat-mounted airbags. However, you can find a 2016 Maxima with optional driver-assist features such as:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Forward collision warning system with emergency braking
  • Distracted/Drowsy driver alert
  • Rear crossing traffic alert
  • Blindspot monitors

According to tests carried out by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), the 2016 Nissan Maxima received a "Good" overall evaluation, which is the top score given by this federal testing body. The Maxima's frontal crash prevention system earned the vehicle 2016's Top Safety Pick+ award.

The Maxima SR adds to these safety features. The vehicle uses ABS and stability sensors to help the car remain stable during high-speed cornering by using complex programming of the ECU. The system can variate the braking pressure between wheels to maintain a better line. It can also cut power to the engine in cases of hard braking, and it can apply rear brakes when the car goes over a bump to maintain traction on the smoother surface.

2016 Maxima Features

The 2016 Maxima is available in five trims: the S, SV, SL, SR, and Platinum. The base variant, S, is equipped with many features, including:

  • Remote Start
  • Climate Control
  • Cruise Control
  • Power windows, mirrors, and locks
  • Navigation
  • Rearview camera
  • Satellite radio
  • Audio system with Bluetooth connectivity and two USB ports
  • 18-inch rims
  • Eight-way power seat for the driver and a four-way power seat for the front passenger

On the SV, Nissan has added rear and front parking sensors, leather upholstery, and heated front seats.

The SL further adds:

  • A panoramic moonroof
  • Forward collision warning system with brake control
  • Blind-spot monitors
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Ambient lighting
  • 11-Speaker Bose audio system

The Platinum is the most luxurious of all trims, and in addition to those mentioned above, it features:

  • Surround-view cameras
  • Woodgrain trim
  • Memory seating and mirrors
  • Power tilt and telescoping steering wheel
  • NissanConnect data services

Finally, the SR trim deletes the moonroof but adds the following:

  • Quilted Alcantara and leather seats
  • Front seat ventilation
  • Alcantara trim on steering wheel
  • LED headlights
  • Shift paddles
  • 19-inch alloy wheels

Nissan offered a few accessories from their dealership, such as splash guards, spoiler, and kick plates.

2016 Maxima Fuel Economy

The Maxima is powered by a V6 engine, and the fuel economy numbers are quite impressive for the 3.5-liter engine. The Maxima earns an EPA rating of 22 miles per gallon in the city, 30 miles per gallon on the highway, and 25 miles per gallon on combined roads.

How Much Does the 2016 Maxima Cost?

The 2016 Maxima can cost anywhere between $18,000 and $29,000, with an average price of $24,000. These prices vary according to location, mileage, trim level, and, most importantly, car condition.

What Are the Running Costs of 2016 Maxima?

An average user is expected to spend around $5,300 on the vehicle. This amount covers the costs for fuel, maintenance, repairs, and insurance.$5,300/year higher than what you would require for the Acura TLX or the Toyota Avalon.

Insurance Costs of the 2016 Maxima

Many factors play a role in determining the cost of insurance for a vehicle. These include, but are not limited to, the coverage level, insurance type, your age, driving history, and credit score. It is best to check with insurance companies to get an accurate estimate.

Is the 2016 Maxima Reliable?

J.D. Power has awarded the 2016 Maxima a four on a scale of five. It rates the Maxima "Better than Most," which is very good compared to the vehicle's major rivals.

How Many Recalls Did the 2016 Maxima See?

There has been a total of six recalls for the 2016 Nissan Maxima. Two of these recalls were due to airbag issues. One recall was for a probable fuel leak, which could have resulted in a fire. The remaining three recalls had to do with brake performance or brake fluid issues. Make sure to confirm that these issues have been resolved when purchasing a 2016 Nissan Maxima.

Why 2016 Is the Best Year Nissan Maxima?

The previous generation of the Maxima ended in 2014. That vehicle had a lot of issues, including safety concerns. However, the new generation of the Maxima was redesigned to be safer and more feature-packed, 2016 model is considered to be the safest among the rest, and therefore it is the best year Nissan Maxima.

2016 Maxima Vs. Competition

Maxima vs. Avalon

The Avalon is equipped with a powerful engine and handles quite well. However, it does not match the Maxima in terms of performance. Both vehicles provide plenty of modern features, which are easy to understand and use.

The Avalon outshines the Maxima in terms of the rear seat and boot space. However, the Maxima has a much higher safety rating than the Avalon.

Maxima vs. Acura TLX

The Acura TLX is a less popular rival of the Nissan Maxima. It features a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine. It delivers more power and torque as compared to the Maxima. However, the TLX is quite expensive and compromises range, cabin volume, and trunk capacity.

Best Year Nissan Maxima

About The Author

Charles Redding

Charles Redding

I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.

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