2016 Nissan Maxima SR Review 

But what impressed me the most was the fuel economy for such a large car.

  • Nissan Mazima SR main
  • Nissan Mazima SR engine
  • Nissan Mxima SR wheels
  • Nissan Mazima SR inter
  • Nissan Maxima SR seating
  • Nissan Maxima SR paddle
  • Nissan Maxima SR cargo
3.5L V-6 FWD
300hp @ 6,400RPM
1,603 kg
261 lb.-ft. @ 4,400RPM
7.8L/100 km


    • What’s Good: Ride and handing are first rate as is fuel economy.
    • What’s Worst: Styling makes it hard to judge where the body’s corners are. AWD would be a welcome option.
    • What’s Interesting: Despite its full size, Maxima is a sports sedan once again.

Nissan calls the 2016 Maxima the “Four-Door Sportscar” with some justification.

It got that moniker over a decade ago when the Maxima was available with a potent 3.5-litre V6. Coupled to a short throw manual transmission, it was more than a match for just about anything on the street.

But, for some reason, Maxima lost its punch especially when you consider the trimmer and lighter Altima also came with the same engine.

But that’s all changed for all-new 2016 Nissan Maxima firmly at the top of Nissan’s product walk as the flagship model.

Power has been increased to 300 hp but it is also 80 lb lighter with a 15 per cent increase in fuel economy.

As I noted when I did the press launch earlier this year, Nissan put the Maxima up against some stiff competition on the track and found it was 1.8 seconds faster than a BMW 2.8i, 2.1 seconds faster than an Acura TLX and 2.7 seconds faster than an Audi A4.

The engine remains the tried and true 3.5-liter DOHC V6 but now with 61 per cent all new parts. In addition to the 300 hp, it has 261 lb/ft of torque.

Driving the front wheels (AWD not available) is a standard CVT transmission but with a wider “gear” spread for a fuel rating of 10.9/7.8/9.5L/100 km city/highway/combined. Nissan claims the combined 9.5L/100 km represents the best economy of any V6 competitor.

The CVT transmission was re-tuned for more sporting stepped shifts at higher rpms. It also uses a G-sensor that takes into account pedal pressure, brake operation, lateral Gs, acceleration Gs, braking Gs and speed to determine optimum shift points.

The unibody platform rigidity is up 25 per cent, thanks to much more high strength steel.

There are four trim levels – SV ($35,900), SL ($38,950), SR ($41,100 and Platinum ($43,900) with each building on the previous sedan.

Tested here is the 2016 Nissan Maxima SR considered to be the sportiest of the lot with sports suspension, 19-inch alloy wheels and a splendid 11-speaker sound system.

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The styling is radical, and all new, starting with the now signature “boomerang” lights front and rear, wraparound windshield and a thin blackout on the C-pillar that gives the impression of a floating roof.

But even more dramatic are the changes to the interior that was heavily influenced by frontline fighter jet cockpits. Nissan calls it the Maxima’s command centre.

With the centre stack angled toward the driver with its eight-inch touchscreen and seven-inch main instrument cluster monitor, the driver has no less than 15 inches of combined viewing with only 10 switches compared to 25 beforehand.

Like a smartphone or tablet, the centre touchscreen has pinch and swipe features that allows the driver to take info and swipe across to the driver information screen with a simple gesture all of which you can do without distraction for the road ahead.

I put something like 800 km on the SR driving around town and down to Plymouth, MI, for the launch of the 2016 mid-size Altima sedan.

Most of it was highway driving but I also drove a lot on the back roads from London to Sarnia where I crossed into the U.S.

The suspension starts with ZF monotube dampers known for their response and high temperature fade resistance. There is a MacPherson strut system at the front. At the rear instead of the usual and less expensive multilink suspension, the 2016 Nissan Maxima gets double wishbones which is superior in terms of grip and ride quality.

Using the very large paddle shifters, the CVT’s “stepped” manual mode engages instantly unlike the old days where CVT “rubber banding” made spirited drive impossible.

On some twisty back roads I know with lots of elevation changes, the big sedan took it all in stride with tons of grip and the paddle shifters giving near instant changes.

On Michigan’s interstate system, I placed my trust in the navigation system which gave plenty of notice about highway changes ahead.

But what impressed me the most was the fuel economy for such a large car.

I filled up near Sarnia then went to Michigan, returned and it wasn’t until Kitchener when the fuel level needle came off the peg.

As noted at the press launch, my overall impression is how good the 2016 Nissan Maxima would be on a drive across the continent.

Yes, the Four-Door Sportscar is back.

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 2016 Nissan Maxima SR at a glance

BODY STYLE: Full-size performance sedan

DRIVE METHOD: Front-engine, front-wheel-drive, mated to a CVT with manual shift mode

ENGINE: 3.5-litre 24-valve DOHC V6 (300 hp, 261 lb/ft of torque)

FUEL ECONOMY: 10.9/7.8/9.5L/100 km

CARGO CAPACITY: 14.3 cu ft

PRICE: SV, $35,900; SL, $38,950; SR, $41,100; Platinum, $43,900

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