Image credits: © Nissan.

2017 Nissan Maxima

2017 Nissan Maxima adds standard Apple CarPlay™, continues to offer unique combination of performance and refinement

2017 Nissan Maxima
Nissan's flagship 2017 Maxima offers Apple CarPlay™ as standard equipment on all grade levels – provides easy, convenient control of music, navigation, phone, texts and more than a dozen popular third party apps2017 Nissan Maxima
'4-Door Sports Car' Maxima features a 300-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 and responsive suspension, bringing sports car-like acceleration and handling to large sedan segment
Standout styling showcases Nissan's dramatic design language – including V-Motion front end, signature boomerang lights, kick-up C-pillars and unique floating roof appearance
Premium class-above, bespoke crafted interior, anchored by a command central driver's cockpit, rivals luxury vehicles

2017 Nissan Maxima
The eighth generation Nissan Maxima, which was completely revised for the 2016 model year, is enhanced for 2017 with the addition of standard Apple CarPlay™ iPhone® connectivity, becoming the first Nissan vehicle to add the industry standard in smartphone connectivity. In addition, two new accessory value packages, the Medallion Package and Dynamic Package, join the previous Midnight Edition in offering buyers a convenient way to customize their Maxima straight from the dealership.

2017 Nissan Maxima
As the flagship of Nissan's popular sedan lineup, Maxima sets the standard for style, performance and technology. In 2016, Maxima was recognized by leading automotive media for its style, performance and driving enjoyment – including being named to WardsAuto's '10 Best Interiors,' MotorWeek's 'Drivers' Choice Awards' and WardsAuto's '10 Best Engines.'
The 2017 Maxima is available in five well-equipped models: Maxima S, SV, SL, SR and Platinum.

2017 Nissan Maxima
vA Sports Car in Sedan Clothing
While the 2017 Maxima's exterior projects a distinctive upscale look through its low profile and wide stance, the heart of this newest generation 4-Door Sports Car is its 300-horsepower 3.5-liter VQ-series V6 engine and performance-oriented Xtronic transmission. (posted on The engine utilizes more than 60 percent new parts (compared to the previous generation 3.5-liter V6), applying lessons learned from the Nissan GT-R such as sodium filled valves, to achieve a high specific output of 85.7 horsepower/liter. Torque is rated at 261 lb-ft.
The comprehensive re-engineering effort also resulted in a considerable 15 percent increase (versus the previous generation) in highway fuel economy to 30 miles per gallon*. City fuel economy is rated at 21 mpg.

Well-matched to the engine is an advanced Xtronic transmission, which, with its lack of fixed ratios, affords the specific advantage of always being in the right gear at the right time. A wide gear ratio range allows for strong acceleration from a standing start and the D-Step shifting logic allows rapid shifts at high throttle openings. The shift logic holds rpm when it detects high-G cornering, allowing for smooth re-acceleration on corner exits. 

The 2017 Maxima also features a Drive Mode Selector (Sport and Normal modes) that adjusts throttle response, transmission tuning, steering feel and Active Sound Enhancement tuning. In Sport mode, the engine throttle response increases, the Xtronic transmission programming changes for more aggressive shifting under braking and gear holding, the steering weight increases and the Active Sound Enhancement system further amplifies the engine note in the cabin.

The foundation for the refined Maxima handling and ride comfort starts with a platform that features use of high strength steels, including 1.2GPa high strength steel. This allows the Maxima to not only boast a 25 percent improvement in torsional rigidity, but also contributes to an 82-pound weight reduction (versus the previous generation). 

Vital Stats and Specifications
Vital Stats
Engine : 3.5 L., 6-cylinder
Power: 300 hp
Torque: 261 ft-lbs

The suspension is an independent subframe-mounted strut/coil spring design in front. In the rear is an independent multi-link double wishbone design with ZF Sachs dampers. The rear dampers feature a monotube design, often found in performance applications, for enhanced performance and fade resistance. Large stabilizer bars are found in the front (26.0 mm) and rear (26.5 mm).
Responsive braking is provided by 4-wheel power-assisted vented disc brakes, standard 4-wheel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA). Steering is provided by a vehicle speed-sensitive hydro-electric power-assisted steering (HEPS) steering system. Maxima comes with standard 18-inch machined finish aluminum-alloy wheels with painted inserts and 245/45R18 all-season tires.
Taking the sporty look and feel to a higher level is the SR trim. The Maxima SR-exclusive hardware starts with unique suspension damper tuning and a larger front stabilizer bar. In addition, the Dual Panel Panoramic Moonroof offered on Maxima SL and Platinum grades was eliminated to help lower the SR's center of gravity and further enhance torsional rigidity (versus moonroof-equipped models).

And, along with special Alcantara® seating inserts and steering wheel insert for high-grip at key touch points, Maxima SR's Integrated Dynamic-control Module (IDM) system adds an extra element of electronic chassis management. For example, Active Ride Control (ARC), a feature within the IDM system, uses targeted brake applications after the vehicle encounters a bump or undulation to immediately improve the level of the body, allowing the SR to offer a ride quality that defies its sporting intention.

A Design Masterpiece, Inside and Out
The 2017 Maxima's distinctive exterior stands out in a field of cookie cutter sedan designs. Maxima's body is low, sculpted and streamlined to achieve a sweeping aerodynamic profile that has more than a little jet fighter look to it. To bring all this inspiration to life, a special metal stamping technique was developed, adding the distinctive powerful gesture to its bodyline and deeply scalloped doors.

The bold front end combines Nissan's signature V-Motion grille and lighting features, which add to its defining presence on the road. The boomerang-style headlights include standard LED Signature Daytime Running Lights. In the rear, two-piece taillights with their own integrated LED signature complete the distinctive lighting theme. The highly distinctive Maxima profile comes from its floating roof appearance with blacked-out A-pillars similar to the Nissan GT-R. Combined with the same blackout treatment applied to the B- and C-pillars, it creates a wraparound canopy appearance. The upper canopy look is accented with an available Dual Panel Panoramic Moonroof (standard on SL and Platinum grades), which gives front and rear occupants an uninhibited view of the sky. 

The futuristic appearance is finished with large dual exhaust chrome tailpipe finishers and 18-inch machined aluminum-alloy wheels. Maxima SR adds 19-inch machine-finished aluminum-alloy wheels. One of the most distinctive design aspects is the '4DSC' embossed within the taillight reflectors and headlights, a subtle reminder of the Maxima signature 4-Door Sports Car heritage.
The 2017 Maxima is available in nine exterior colors: Bordeaux Black, Storm Blue, Super Black, Brilliant Silver, Gun Metallic, Pearl White, Deep Blue Pearl and two Maxima-exclusive exterior colors – Forged Bronze and Coulis Red.

The performance luxury-style interior of the 2017 Maxima is anchored by a 'command central' driver's cockpit and a premium bespoke style crafted execution. The focus on the driver begins with a center stack angled seven degrees toward the driver (a lesson learned from the legendary GT-R) and a floating console that sits higher than the previous generation Maxima design, putting key controls within easy reach. For example, the standard Nissan Intelligent Key™ start switch is located on the console and pulses when the driver enters the cabin. The console also features luxurious padding on the sides with contrasted stitching. The Display Commander control on the console allows fingertip control of the center display as befitting a premium sport sedan. (concept carz)
The Maxima interior is  designed to rival those of luxury vehicles. It offers genuine stitching on the instrument panel, doors and console, available Interior Accent Lighting, available premium Ascot leather seating surfaces with diamond-quilted inserts, unique faceted finishers and a sporty D-shaped (flat-bottom) steering wheel. The interior includes unique material choices like Alcantara®, typically found on high-end exotics, to deliver on the premium promise.

Nissan's unique Zero Gravity front seats with sport bolstering are standard (8-way power-adjustable driver's seat and 4-way power-adjustable front passenger's seat) and offer increased softness provided by a three-layer foam design. They are offered in premium cloth, leather-appointed or premium Ascot leather-appointed seating surfaces. Heated and Climate-Controlled front seats and steering wheel are available depending on grade level. The rear seat features a standard 60/40 split fold-down design.

As with the exterior, interior colors were carefully considered to fit with Maxima's exclusive sports-premium personality. While most large sedans stick with black and beige motifs, the Maxima SR is offered with an additional deep, rich Camel interior. Even the standard Charcoal color seating features blue contrasting stitching and the Cashmere (beige) seat color is lighter than usual, offering a higher contrast with the black surface areas.

Next-Generation Technology – Standard, of Course
The next-generation premium-level Maxima technology features include NissanConnect with Navigation featuring Apple CarPlay™ on all trim levels. In addition to Apple CarPlay™, the system includes an 8.0-inch color display with multi-touch control, two front illuminated ÚSB connection ports for iPod®interface and other compatible devices, Nissan Voice Recognition for navigation and audio, SiriusXM® Traffic™ and SiriusXM® Travel Link™ (SiriusXM®subscription required, sold separately), Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, Streaming Audio via Bluetooth® and Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant.

Apple CarPlay™ is compatible with iPhone® 5 or later models. Once connected by the ÚSB cord, iPhone®'s display is translated to an automotive-appropriate interface. The Maxima's touchscreen, knobs and switches can all be used to control the iPhone®'s apps, including music, maps, messages, podcasts and audiobooks. Pressing and holding the 'talk' switch provides access to Siri® voice controls. Third party apps supported by the Maxima Apple CarPlay™ system include iHeartRadio, At Bat 2 (, Spotify, Stitcher, CBS Radio, Overcast,, Audible, Pandora, Slacker Radio, Vox, Clammr, Downcast and NPR.

The NissanConnect with Navigation featuring Apple CarPlay™ system also features 'swipe to meter' functionality, which allows the driver to swipe the navigation map from the center display to bring it up in the standard 7.0-inch Advanced Drive Assist Display (ADAD) within the instrument cluster.

The ADAD display features multiple screen selections, including a Home screen that shows navigation routing, digital speed and audio information on the same screen, giving the driver all requisite information at a glance without having to scroll through separate screens. A Sport screen offers the Maxima driver a unique 'Power' meter, which shows actual engine output, flanked by gauges that display oil pressure and transmission oil temperature respectively for the discerning enthusiast. Swipe-to-Navigation is another hidden feature this system offers, allowing the driver to set a route on the navigation screen and then swipe toward the ADAD to bring up the directions.

Maxima Platinum models include standard NissanConnect with Navigation and Services featuring Apple CarPlay™. The system's wide range of features includes automatic collision notification, remote start via smartphone, emergency call, stolen vehicle locator and more (six-month free trial; services subscription required, sold separately).

NissanConnect Services links users to Cloud Services in three ways – beamed in through radio and satellite, brought in through smartphone and built in with a cellular network embedded telematics control unit (TCÚ). That means in the case of an emergency, a touch of a button can connect the user to a live person for assistance. In the case of an accident severe enough to deploy the air bags, the NissanConnect Services agents will connect with the vehicle occupants to determine the level of assistance needed and call for help. Roadside assistance can also be dispatched to your location, whether for a flat tire, out of gas or other situations.

Convenience Services range from Connected and Assisted Search, destination directions downloaded right to the navigation system and even journey planning – with routing of up to five waypoints and destination. Remote Access** is another key feature, with help accessible through a compatible computer or smartphone. Services include remote door lock and unlock, remote engine start and remote horn and flashing lights to help find the Maxima in a garage or parking lot.

The system also offers customizable alerts via email, text message or automated phone call. Alerts include vehicle speed, curfew (with available notification to the driver 20 minutes before the curfew alert), valet alerts (more than two miles from drop-off) and geographical boundaries.

Maxima entertainment systems include an available 11-speaker Bose® audio system, which was created to deliver the ultimate premium audio experience befitting Nissan's flagship sedan. (concept carz) The development team benchmarked luxury sedans several classes above Maxima with the goal of delivering the highest audio fidelity experience in the segment. Enhancements (versus the previous generation audio system) include a more optimal placement of the tweeters to enhance staging, addition of more speakers and introduction of sound processing technologies. These technologies include Bose® Center Point® Surround Stage technology, which can deliver a surround sound experience from even a two-channel audio source, and a driver's seat optimization mode that allows for a driver-centric audio stage.
All Maxima models are equipped with two illuminated ÚSB inputs with music playback capability enabled through either port. These ports are housed in the media bin on the console, which is large enough to fit an iPhone® 6 Plus.

The luxury-level interior quietness is enabled by the application of laminated glass, not only on the windshield but also on the front door windows – the latter being a hallmark of upscale luxury vehicles. An Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) system works much like noise cancelling headphones and helps reduce unpleasant low-frequency sounds (available with Bose® audio system only).
To help provide an authentic engine note in the cabin during spirited driving, while simultaneously reducing unwanted noise, Maxima incudes an Active Sound Enhancement (ASE) system that works by enhancing existing engine sound from the legendary VQ35 V6 powerplant into the cabin, delivering a stirring experience. Engaging 'Sport' mode takes the stirring engine note a step further with the system allowing even higher engine note amplitude in the cabin.

Convenience features befitting a luxury vehicle are part of the suite of available equipment – including a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel with an 'Easy Entry' system, heated steering wheel, Around View® Monitor, Remote Start via Key Fob and a power rear sunshade.

Advanced Safety, Security and Driving Aids
Maxima offers an extensive range of safety, security and driving aids – many included as standard equipment (depending on grade level). For example, Predictive Forward Collision Warning (PFCW), Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC), Forward Emergency Braking (FEB), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and Blind Spot Warning (BSW) are all standard equipment on the SL, SR and Platinum grades.

Additionally, the Maxima Platinum grade features Nissan's innovative Around View® Monitor with Moving Object Detection (MOD) that provides a 360-degree 'surround view' of the vehicle.
Maxima Platinum also offers standard Driver Attention Alert (DAA) system***, which helps alert the driver when drowsy or inattentive driving is detected. Studies have shown that drowsy driving is involved in as much as 21 percent of fatal car accidents (Automobile Association of America Study, Nov. 2014). The Driver Attention Alert system provides an audible and visual warning if the system judges that the driver may not be attentive (using analysis of steering inputs to detect changes in the driving behavior).

Maxima comes equipped with standard Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) for the driver and front passenger seats, which includes supplemental front air bags, seat belt sensors and an occupant classification sensor (for the front passenger seat), front seat-mounted side-impact supplemental air bags and roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags with rollover sensor for front and rear outboard occupant head protection.

Also standard are 3-point rear seat belts for all seating positions, front seat belts with dual pretensioners, load limiters and adjustable upper anchors, emergency inside trunk release, Zone Body construction with front and rear crumple zones, LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with Easy-Fill Tire Alert. Maxima also features standard Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with Traction Control System (TCS).

Five Models, Three Accessory Packages
The 2017 Maxima is available in five well-equipped models: Maxima S, SV, SL, SR and Platinum.
The Maxima S includes standard NissanConnect with Navigation featuring Apple CarPlay™, with 8.0-inch display paired with the 7.0-inch Advanced Drive Assist Display in the instrument cluster, Remote Engine Start via Intelligent Key, dual illuminated ÚSB ports, SiriusXM® Satellite Radio and SiriusXM® Traffic™ and SiriusXM® Travel Link™ applications (Sirius XM® subscription required, sold separately), LED Signature Daytime Running Lights, 18-inch machined finished aluminum-alloy wheels, 8-way Power Driver Seat and 4-way Power Passenger Seat, Dual-Zone Automatic Temperature Control with front and rear vents, HomeLink® Úniversal Transceiver and more.

Maxima SV adds leather-appointed seating, heated front seats, driver's seat power lumbar support and manual thigh support extension, front and rear parking sensors and heated outside rearview mirrors with turn signal indicators.

Maxima SL adds the Dual Panel Panoramic Moonroof, Bose® audio system with 11 speakers, Predictive Forward Collision Warning (PFCW), Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC), Forward Emergency Braking (FEB), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and Blind Spot Warning (BSW), heated steering wheel and LED Interior Accent Lighting. This grade is notable for its long list of standard safety and driving aids that are typically found at a much higher entry price point on competitors.

The Maxima SR offers a sport-tuned suspension, Integrated Dynamics-control Module (IDM), premium Ascot leather-appointed seats with diamond-quilted Alcantara® inserts, Climate-controlled front seats, Ascot leather-appointed steering wheel with Alcantara® insert, paddle shifters, aluminum sport pedals, Liquid Chrome faceted finishers, LED low beam headlights, 19-inch machined finish aluminum-alloy wheels and 245/40R19 all-season tires developed uniquely for Maxima.

The Maxima Platinum grade includes an extensive array of premium equipment, including Dual Panel Panoramic Moonroof, power tilt and telescoping steering column with easy access feature, premium Ascot leather-appointed seats with diamond-quilted leather inserts, premium Ascot leather-wrapped steering wheel, Around View® Monitor (AVM) with Moving Object Detection (MOD), rear window power sunshade, driver-side memory seat, outside mirrors and steering wheel, rain detecting windshield wipers, Driver Attention Alert, NissanConnect with Navigation and Services featuring Apple CarPlay™ (services subscription required, sold separately), mahogany wood-tone faceted finishers, auto-dimming driver-side outside mirror, and outside mirrors with reverse tilt-down feature.

Three factory installed accessory value packages are offered for 2017. The Midnight Edition (SR grade) features a sport spoiler, rear diffuser, 19-inch gloss black aluminum-alloy wheels with center caps. The new Medallion Package (Platinum grade) includes premium spoiler, 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, illuminated kick plates, interior accent lighting, exterior ground lighting. The new Dynamic Package (SV grade) offers premium spoiler, 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, illuminated kick plate, side rocker molding.
Additional accessories include splash guards, illuminated kick plates, Premium spoiler, sport spoiler (SR only), 19-inch summer tires with full-size aluminum-alloy wheel spare (SR only) and unique 18-inch alloy wheels.

The 2017 Nissan Maxima is assembled in Smyrna, Tennessee, with engines assembled in Decherd, Tennessee.

Source - Nissan
The recipient of the AutoPacific Best in Class Vehicle Satisfaction award, the Maxima is a full-size car manufactured by Nissan that was introduced in 1976. Marketed as the ‘four-door sports car', the Maxima was originally an upscale version of the Bluebird that spun into its own line 1981 and had been made continuously since then. Prior to 2004, most Maximas were built in Oppama, Japan, they are now being assembled in Smyrna, Tennessee. In various markets the Maxima models are also known as Nissan Cefiro or Nissan Laurel.

One of the longest running mid-size sedans on the American automobile market, the Maxima is still considered to be one of the most affordable luxury models on the sales lot today. It wasn't until 1985 that the Maxima branched off into its own model and with a great number of changes and upgrades the Maxima has continued on in its own right. Beginning its run as a square two-door coupe, the Maxima has blossomed into a sinewy, sporty four-door sedan today that is not only eye catching, but economical.

Known in the U.S. as a trim level of the Datsun 810 from 1976 until 1979, the Maxima was known as a variant of the Bluebird to European consumers. The badge 'Maxima' was only known to the European Market. Nissan introduced the 810 Maxima to the United States in 1982 which featured a 2.4L I6 and the option of either a five-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission.

In 1981 the first car to wear the Maxima name was introduced and was basically a Japanese-maret Bluebird 910 with a 3.9 inch longer nose. This first year it was offered as the 810 Deluxe or 810 Maxima but the following all 810s became Maximas. The final year of the first generation Maxima in 1984, American Datsuns begn carrying the 'Nissan' badge also. Toyotas response to this was the introduction of an upmarket sibling, the Cressida.

The Maxima became a standalone badge in '85 equipped with a 157 hp 3.0L V6 engine. For both 1987 and 1988 model years a Maxima station wagon was available, but following '88 the Maxima's exterior was ‘tightened up' and listed as a compact sedan. The square exterior was smoothed into a sleeker more sinewy design for the 1989 model year. The Maxima also grew a few inches and re-established itself as a mid-size sedan in America. The vehicle sported a unique feature; a phonograph-based voice warning system that alerted the driver when a door was opened; etc and was relayed through the mini phonograph and played for the driver to hear. The 1981 models were the first ever ‘talking car' sold in the U.S. and at the time only offered one warning; ‘Please turn off the lights' in a female voice.

During the fall of 1984 the first ever front-wheel drive Maxima was introduced, available with a 154 hp 3.0 L VG30E V6 engine and either a 4-speed automatic or 5-speed manual transmission.. This was the same engine in the naturally aspirated 300ZX and the Japanese market Nissan Gloria/Nissan Cedric, and the initial V6 engine to be mass produced in Japan. The final year for the station wagon was 1988 which had been available since the Datsun 810 days, and the second generation was assigned the compact status. The 1987 Maxima was debuted in late 1986 with a freshened exterior and interior that included automatic shoulder-belts on both wagons and sedans built after February 1987.

Trim levels were renamed GXE and SE, and featured digital touch entry system on the driver and passenger side door panel, power windows, locks, seats, remote trunk release, voice warning side, an optional Electronic package and an optional power sunroof. Standard on the Maxima were 15' alloy wheels and an exclusive option for '88 was the Sonar Suspension System that replaced the trip computer that was offered previously. Utilizing sonar waves to monitor the road conditions ahead and adjust the shocks accordingly this system ensured the most controlled ride.

The previously standard digital touch system offered on the GXE sedan became part of the Electronic package option as well in 1988 while the SE offered a five-speed manual transmission, dual power seats, 3-way shock adjust suspension, a factory-installed security system and front and rear windshield defroster. The SE featured a small rear spoiler, black side rear view mirrors, 4-wheel disc brakes and body molding. The main competition for the Maxima was the similar Toyota Cressida which remained rear wheel drive. The Maxima had a simple combination of both luxury and sport-like features, while the Cressida was seen as a luxury car.

The third generation of the Maxima was debuted in 1989 as the J30 model. The second Japanese sedan sold in the U.S. that was considered a 'mid-size', the Maxima featured bigger dimensions and was also the first Japanese car to exceed Japan's 67 inch width restriction. This made it very comfortable for three seat passengers, and surprisingly brought the overall weight down slightly from the previous generation. This new Maxima was dubbed a -4-Door Sports Car and was even given a '4DSC' window decal showing this.

Now the model featured a 160 hp 3.0 L V6, with a 190 hp VE30DE engine standard on the SE model starting in 1992. This engine was one that had been used in the previous Maxima along with the first generation Nissan 300ZX. The digital touch entry system on the GXE was a unique feature that allowed the windows to be lowered and the moonroof opened without the key in the ignition. All 1989-1994 GXE models and 1989-1991 SE models used the VG30E in the U.S. which featured a variable intake manifold on both automatic and manual transmission models. This third generation Maxima was fitted with an independent rear suspension.

Exclusively available on the 1992-1994 Maxima SE, the VE30DE engine showcased a variable intake manifold and variable intake valve timing, plus a limited-slip differential. Other differences between the SE and the GXE were found in the white-faced gauges, body-colored grille, twin-tip mufflers, twisted-spoke turbines, factory-tinted tail lights, firmer spot suspension, black trim replacing chrome and optional 5-speed manual transmission. A contemporary compact unit from Jatco, the automatic transmission on all GXE models featured ‘sport' and ‘comfort' modes that deviated at different points. The '92-'94 SE model received an optional automatic transmission that kept the 2 modes but had stronger internals. The GXE had body-color side mirrors while the SE sported a rear spoiler and black side mirrors. This was the first year that the Maxima was introduced to the European market, superseding the Laurel with the model range; 3.0, 3.0 S, and 3.0SE.

For 1990 the Maxima SE was showcased on Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list. As an alternative to the automatic transmission standard in North America in Australia, versions sold in Japan, New Zealand and Europe had manual transmission option. All Australian models had automatic transmissions and the VG40E engine only. During this period until the introduction of the Nissan Bluebird U13 another Bluebird Maxima continued on as a Nissan Bluebird U12 and exclusively as a station wagon with the VG20ET engine. The Avenir replaced the Bluebird wagon.

The fourth generation of the Maxima was redesigned in 1995 as the A32. The only engine option available for the North American market was a new VQ30DE 190 hp, 205 lb/ft torque 3.0 L V6. This engine was placed at the top of Ward's 10 Best Engines List, and the VQ has now been found consecutively each year since its introduction. A lighter and less expensive torsion bar solid axle system replaced the independent rear suspension of the earlier generation. After 1992 model year the Toyota Cressida (Maxima's biggest competitor) was discontinued and replaced with the FWD Avalon; a stretched out version of the Camry in 1994.

For 1997 the exterior of the Maxima was updated with the addition of new 5-spoke alloy wheels, a moderately different front and rear fascia with newly designed taillights, plastic headlights instead of glass, a smoother trunk to match the taillights, redesigned badge designs and fog-lights. Body colored grille insert was added for SE models and a chrome grille insert for GLE's. On the inside the Maxima sported a new steering wheel and CD player along with front seat-mounted side impact airbags added as an option for '98 and '99 SE and GLE models. Enhancing crash worthiness for the '97 to '99 Maxima models were various structural modifications. On the inside the '99 Maxima also received some updates that included an Anti-Theft Engine Immobilizer using a chip in the ignition key along with minor body trims. This year was the only 4th generation offered with optional traction control.

The '99 SE was offered with a Limited Package which consisted of Titanium tinted SE-Limited emblems on the front doors, titanium tinted 16' alloy wheels and titanium tinted trunk emblems. On the inside the gauge cluster was also titanium tinted and optional leather seats were perforated and embossed with SE on the backrests as well as the front floor mats.

The 4th generation GLE Maxima featured a Bose Sound System which had a 6 speaker sound system or the option of a Clarion system instead. This generation gained many accolades for its roomy interior. For 1995 this generation was Motor Trend's Import Car of the Year, and once again the Maxima SE made Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list for both '95 and '96.

The '95 VQ30DE engine produced 190 hp and 205 lb/ft of torque and with the manual transmission the Maxima could reach 0-60 mph in just 6.6 seconds. The top GLE with four-speed automatic transmission achieved 0-60 mph in just 7.6 seconds. One of the few 4-door V6 cars at the time with an option for a manual transmission, the Maxima fell into an elite category compared to the automatic-only Mazda Millenia, Dodge Intrepid, Chevy Lumina and Toyota Avalon.

This fourth generation was sold in Japan as the Nissan Cefiro A32 which had earlier been its own higher specification model with rear-wheel drive vehicle. A Cefiro-badged station wagon was offered for the Japanese market and one version of the Cefiro was sold in the US as the Infiniti I30 but there were slight differences that included different fog light arrangements, a few assorted engine options and one-piece headlights. In Europe and other parts of the world this generation was also sold as the Maxima QX and only had a few subtle trim differences from the Japanese Cefiro.

The fifth generation of the Maxima was designed in 2000 and was a refreshed version of the previous vehicle designed at La Jolla, a California design studio. Dubbed A33, this generation is often remembered for it being the fastest years of the Maxima. The engine was a 222 hp 3.0 L VQ30DE V6, and this variant was referred to the VQ30DE-K. This generation had three models; GXE, GLE and SE with the ‘GXE' being the base model and the GLE the 'luxury' model with 16 inch wheels.

The '01 Maxima is the special edition of the SE model which celebrates the 20th anniversary of this particular Nissan. This version has the Infiniti I30's engine in addition to the usual SE luxuries, unique side skirts all around the lower perimeter, and a few special touches to the interior. The model also had drilled metal 'brushed metallic' pedals, a 'brushed metallic' shifter, and stainless steel door sill plates with the name Nissan Maxima. The leather that was optional is perforated in contrast to the regular SE. The special edition model offered 'SE Comfort and Convenience Package' which includes 17' wheels, a sunroof and a few other things as standard.

The Maxima received a new engine throughout the whole lineup in 2002; a 3.5 L VQ35DE that produced 255 hp and 264 lb/ft of torque. The model also received an update that included a larger grille opening, a six-speed manual transmission with optional helical Torsen limited-slip differential, headlamps with high-intensity discharge low beams, updated 17' six-spoke wheels on the SE models, new 17' seven spoke wheels on the GLE models, and clear taillights.

A special Titanium Edition package was debuted in 2003 that featured special wheels and interior treatment along with a Meridian Edition package that came with heated seats and steering wheel and a GPS navigation system. This Edition was available in a variety of colors but a new car was only available with the Titanium Edition; Polished Titanium. The final generation Maxima was the inspiration for the Infiniti I35. The Maxima is sold as the Nissan Maxima QX in Russia and Europe.

The sixth generation of the Maxima was introduced in 2004 and was assembled in Smyrna, Tennessee. Dubbed the A34, this version was only available for purchase in the United States, Mexico and Canada. The U.S. version came with the time-worn VQ35DE, a DOHC V6 engine that was capable of 265 hp at 5,800 rpm and 255 lb/ft of torque at 4,400 rpm. It also featured a standard SkyView fixed glass paneled roof that coursed down the center of the room from front to back, or a traditional style moonroof option.

This generation was sold in two trim levels; the sporty SE which came standard with 18' alloy wheels, stiffer suspension, rear spoiler, P245/45R18 V-rated tired and an optional 6-seed manual transmission and the lush SL that came standard with 17' alloy wheels, wood interior trim, 6-disc CD changer, leather seats, Bose stereo, HID headlights and P225/55R17 H-rated tires. The suspension in the SL model was tuned for a softer ride and manual transmission was never offered on this vehicle. The rear independent suspension returned to the lineup for all models, and this time it utilized a multilink setup similar to the Altima.

The Maxima was offered with a standard Xtronic CVT, similar to the CVT found in the Murano, as the only transmission option for 2007. Manual transmission was taken off the table completely, though the CVT did feature a manual mode. This year the Maxima now sported a fresh front fascia minus the center block, and a new grille that was very similar to the Altima of the same year. Around the edges the headlights were now more squared. On the inside the '07 Altima received a new center console, it now featured an Intelligent Key system with integrated ignition tab, and new white-and-orange gauges as opposed to the older plain orange ones.

The following year the fuel economy in the Maxima dropped from 21/28 to 19/25 because of new EPA measurement methods. Also new this year was a Platinum Edition package of convenience added on both SL and SE trim levels.

The Australian Maxima, dubbed J31 continued on with the same engine, but the maximum power was set to only 228 hp and shared the VQ engine. Originally it only came with a four-speed automatic transmission, and had quite obvious style differences to the North American version and was instead based on the Nissan Teana. For 2007 this version received an all new CVT automatic transmission and underwent a minor facelift.

For 2009 Maxima rolled out the Seventh Generation of the Maxima with a debut at the 2008 New York International Auto Show newly redesigned. This newest generation was built on the Nissan D platform shared with the fourth generation Nissan Altima and second generation Murano. Similar in design both on the outside and inside, the Maxima resembled the Infiniti G and Infiniti M with an optional USB interface system that works with the main console monitor and steering wheel controls and updated navigation interface.

A revised variation of the VQ35DE engine was fitted in the '09 Maxima capable of producing 290 horsepower and 261 lb/ft of torque. The only transmission offered was the updated version of Nissan's Xtronic CVT with paddle shifting. This generation was offered in S and SV trims with various premium and technology packages. Today the Maxima's design is all sleek futuristic style and curves rather than height and length, though the width has been increased slightly. This newest model uses a high-tech push button to start and stop the engine. Nissan aims this newest generation of Maxima to the younger consumer with its innovative redesign.

By Jessica Donaldson

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