A full-size sedan doesn't have to be uninteresting to look at and boring to drive, especially when it's the 2022 Nissan Maxima. Its sharply styled exterior wraps around a spacious cabin that pushes the idea of mainstream fairly close to the luxury realm. Drivers who like some fun behind the wheel will find it with the Maxima, although expectations should be set well below the sports-car benchmark. Unlike other large sedans such as the Chrysler 300 and the Dodge Charger, the Maxima is offered only with a 300-hp V-6 and front-wheel drive. Modern tech conveniences—including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a host of standard driver assists—are present and accounted for. The Maxima is a good choice for anti-SUV drivers who need space for passengers and appreciate the comfort of a large car.
What's New for 2022?
Only one change has been made for 2022: The high-end Platinum trim now comes standard with heated rear seats.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
We think the Platinum trim is well worth the increase in price, since it adds a power-adjustable steering column, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a power-operated rear sunshade, full leather seats with diamond-quilted inserts, heated rear seats, and wood interior trim. If you're feeling spendy, an extra $1140 buys the Reserve package and maximizes the Maxima with a charcoal-colored headliner, a two-tone leather-wrapped steering wheel, and exclusive 19-inch wheels.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Maxima is one of the quicker full-size sedans, and its V-6 engine sounds good when it's pushed hard. The 3.5-liter V-6 makes 300 horsepower and moves the Maxima along with purpose. The continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), however, detracts from the Maxima's sports-sedan mission. In our testing, a Maxima Platinum sprinted from zero to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds, outaccelerating rivals such as the Volkswagen Arteon and V-6-powered models of the Dodge Charger. The Maxima handles well for its size. The suspension is nicely damped and firm to the point of being perhaps too stiff for the class. The Maxima exhibits little body lean in aggressive cornering maneuvers, and in our testing, the Maxima SR easily outhandled its rivals.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
With good fuel-economy ratings of 20 mpg city and 30 mpg highway, as well as above-average results in our real-world testing, the Maxima's powertrain proves itself adept at blending performance and efficiency. Its long highway cruising range also makes it a perfect long-distance companion. During our 200-mile highway fuel-economy test route, we exceeded the Maxima's EPA rating, achieving an impressive 32 mpg. For more information about the Maxima's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Maxima offers room for five in a well-executed cabin that's full of soft-touch materials, simple controls, and tons of high-end features. Front-seat legroom is among the best in the class, while headroom is average. Rear-seat space is not as generous as it is in larger rivals such as the now-discontinued Toyota Avalon. Power-adjustable driver and front-passenger seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, dual-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and push-button start are standard across the board. One of the smallest trunks in the category means the Maxima starts with a disadvantage in cargo hauling, however, its larger cubbies are convenient places to stash everyday items, and its rear seatbacks fold down to accommodate larger items.
Infotainment and Connectivity
An 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system is standard across the Maxima range, and we found it easy to use. The infotainment system can be used as a touchscreen, but there also are redundant buttons on the center stack for quick access to common adjustments such as audio volume and climate control. The system also provides vehicle monitoring, remote access, and emergency services. Parents of teenage drivers may appreciate the speed, boundary, and curfew alerts, and the system automatically contacts emergency services when the airbags deploy after an accident. Being able to track the Maxima's location in the event of theft is handy, as are remote start and door-lock access.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Basic driver-assistance features are standard; more advanced tech is available on the SR and Platinum models. For more information about the Maxima's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking
- Standard forward-collision warning
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Nissan offers an entirely average protection package. Additional coverage is available at extra cost through dealerships, but the standard periods—a three-year or 36,000-mile limited warranty and a five-year or 60,000-mile powertrain warranty—should suit most buyers.
- Limited warranty covers 3 years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 5 years or 60,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance