Sedans, it appears, are fading away. But some manufacturers are hanging on, bringing out new vehicles, such as the 2021 Nissan Maxima, that carry on the segment’s historic traditions with a solid measure of panache.
The 2021 Nissan Maxima boasts a list of elements the end users in this segment require, including styling, solid performance, comfortable cabin, and a serious presence both at the curb and out in traffic.
Moreover, the Maxima comes by its appeal quite naturally, having made a name for itself in the rough and tumble of the North American market during the past four decades. The latest iteration of the Maxima stands up well in the face of the adverse sales trends and underscores fundamental appeal that have made the cars so popular with so many buyers for so long.
Nissan enjoys a strong design tradition, and the Maxima is one of the vehicles that has always benefitted from the company’s careful attention to shapes and details. Overall front fascia seems quite complicated but gives the car a distinctive identity thanks to the handsome grille and the artful fixtures housing the LED headlights and daytime running lights as well as the LED fog lamps on the Platinum model.
The strong face is complementary to a sleek roofline that sweeps back from the windshield all the way to the rear edge of the car. The lines running down the side of the car from the headlamps through the doors to rear fascia add plenty of character.
The strong shapes of the exterior sheet metal give the Maxima an elegant appearance that sets it apart from the other designs that seem to dominate the traffic today. The stylish wheels and panoramic moonroof also bolster the distinction inherent in the Maxima’s exterior design.
One of the first things you observe after settling in behind the wheel of 2021 Nissan Maxima is the luxurious nature of the interior. The Maxima, with its plush furnishings and upscale selection of materials, including the metals finishes and varied textures used throughout the Platinum trim level, exudes the feel of a luxury car from just a few years ago.
The luxury performance segment has moved up in terms of presentation and overall comfort. In addition, the interior is neatly laid to place the critical controls within easy reach.
The leather-wrapped steering wheel contains the controls for the cruise control and entertainment system. Meanwhile the controls for the heating and cooling system are within easy reach on the center console and the information presented on the center-stack screen is presented in a clean, easy-to-read manner.
“… The strong shapes of the exterior sheet metal give the Maxima an elegant appearance that sets it apart from the other designs …”
There are plenty of crannies for storing items such as a phone and the visibility from the driver’s seat is excellent. In addition, the seats in the Maxima are quite comfortable, and there is also plenty of space for your left foot – something is sometimes missing in the cabin of utility vehicles. The lighting scheme both for the instrument clusters and throughout the Maxima’s cabin during a night drive are also first rate.
The 2021 Nissan Maxima Platinum is powered by a 3.5-liter, 24-valve V-6 with double overhead cams that is matched up continuously variable transmission with a manual shift mode and paddles. The powertrain produces 300 horsepower and 261-foot pounds of torque.
The Maxima also is equipped with drive-mode selectors with two settings, sport and normal, and is also equipped with integrated dynamic control module, active ride control, intelligent trace control and intelligent engine braking. The fuel economy is 24 miles per gallon on the Environmental Protection Agency’s combined rating, which includes 20 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.
Safety and Technology
Features loaded on the Maxima include safety technology such as automatic emergency braking, rear automatic braking in case something is behind the vehicle as well as front- and side-impact airbags as well as side curtain airbag for protection in a rollover accident.
The Maxima also comes with blind-spot detection, lane-departure warning, high-beam assist, traffic-sign recognition as well as Nissan Connect, Nissan door-to-door navigation, Bluetooth, voice recognition and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also is equipped with Bose sound system, Sirius Radio connection and USB connections in both the front and rear seats and a Wi-Fi hotspot.
The 300 hp, coupled with the sophisticated engine control module, made the 2021 Maxima Platinum a great deal of fun to drive. The transmission never seemed to miss a beat. The car had more than enough power for any kind of situation whether darting just ahead of traffic out on a busy suburban street or cruising past other vehicles on the freeway.
The suspension on the Maxima was first rate and the steering was very sharp, and the car’s four-wheel disc brakes had more than enough stopping power. They also stopped smoothly and quickly even during a hurried application of the brakes. The Maxima also was very maneuverable for a relatively large automobile and surprisingly easy to park even in relatively tight quarters. The quiet cabin with its noise cancellation technology also made it a relatively stress-free vehicle to drive any distance.
The 2021 Nissan Maxima is very good sports sedan with a load of technology and old-fashioned motoring spirit. It looks handsome and can car passengers if you like but the version, I drove was pricey, costing $45,850, including the $925.
With the average price of a new vehicle hovering around $40,000 these days anyone looking for a brand-new vehicle and willing to look beyond the hefty price tags, has an awful lot of choices. The problem for Nissan is that given the big price tags cars carry these days, the Maxima could easily be overlooked because it is a sedan and not a utility vehicle, which would be too bad because it is a very good automobile.