2016 Nissan Maxima breaks cover with impressive design, starts at $32,410

Article by Andrew Christian, on April 2, 2015

Visitors at the 2015 New York Auto Show will be able to see the brand new 2016 Nissan Maxima, company’s latest 4-door sports car inspired by the Sport Sedan Concept. As you can see from the photos, the 2016 Maxima looks absolutely impressive and according to the company, it was created by driving enthusiast for driving enthusiasts.

Promising to set a new standard in the large segment in terms of style, performance and technology, the 2016 Maxima features Nissan’s new design language and comes with several elements such as the V-Motion front end, signature boomerang lights, kick-up C-pillars as well as the unique floating roof appearance.

The interior rivals luxury vehicles and features a flat-bottomed sports steering wheel wrapped in leather and fitted with paddle shifters, a 7-inch Advanced Drive Assist Display offered as standard, contrast stitching for the dashboard, seats wrapped in premium Ascot leather appointments with quilted leather inserts on the Platinum model (SR model has quilted Alcantara inserts).

The standard NissanConnectSM with navigation arrives with an 8.0-inch touchscreen, as well as SiriusXM Satellite Radio and SiriusXM Travel Link applications, Online Search with Google but also other connectivity features.

The 2016 Maxima is powered by a 3.5-liter VQ-series V6 petrol engine, redesigned with more than 60 percent new parts, which develops 300 hp. Bolted to a performance-oriented Xtronic transmission which features a wider ratio range, the new Maxima is expected to return a fuel economy of 30 mpg on the highway (EPA estimated).

When it comes to safety, the 2016 Maxima will offer plenty of systems such as Predictive Forward Collision Warning (PFCW), Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC), Forward Emergency Braking (FEB), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (CTA) and Blind Spot Warning (BSW). Still, these features are available on Maxima SL, SR and Platinum grades.

Pricing starts at $32,410 for the 2016 Maxima S, excluding the $825 destination and handling charges. The 2016 Nissan Maxima SV costs $34,390, while the Maxima SL is priced at $36,670. 2016 Maxima SR costs $37,670, while the 2016 Nissan Maxima Platinum is priced at $39,860. Of course, pricing doesn’t include the $825 destination and handling charges.

Nissan says that the new Maxima comes as standard with the NissanConnect with navigation and available 11-speaker Bose premium audio system, NissanConnect Services powered by SiriusXM, and Around View Monitor (AVM) with Moving Object Detection (MOD). These features are available on Maxima SL, SR and Platinum grades. [source: Nissan]

Press Release

The all-new Nissan Maxima

Nissan unveiled the all-new Nissan Maxima at the 2015 New York International Auto Show. Making the presentation was Nissan President and CEO Carlos Ghosn, who addressed a range of topics including Nissan's $10.1 billion investment in the U.S. in the past three decades.

The dramatically styled 2016 Maxima, created by driving enthusiasts for driving enthusiasts, looks like nothing else on the road today - and drives like nothing in the segment. It not only resets Maxima's iconic "4-Door Sports Car" positioning, it sets a new standard for style, performance and technology in the large sedan segment.

Maxima's styling showcases Nissan's new design language -including V-Motion front end, signature boomerang lights, kick-up C-pillars and unique floating roof appearance. Inside, Maxima's premium class-above, bespoke interior is anchored by a driver's cockpit that rivals luxury vehicles.

The new Maxima's 3.5-liter VQ-series V6 has been redesigned with more than 60 percent new parts (compared to the previous generation 3.5-liter V6). With 300 horsepower, Maxima has a high specific output of 85.7 horsepower/liter. The revised engine helps Maxima achieve an anticipated 15 percent increase in highway fuel economy to an EPA estimated 30 miles per gallon.

Complementing the revised powerplant is a new, performance-oriented Xtronic transmission featuring a wider ratio range, which allows for stronger acceleration from a standing start and an all-new D-Step shifting logic that provides rapid shifts at high throttle openings.

Maxima's next-generation technology features include a standard NissanConnectSM with navigation, featuring an 8.0-inch touch-screen display, along with SiriusXM® Satellite Radio and SiriusXM Travel Link™ applications (Sirius XM subscription required, sold separately), Online Search with Google® and other connectivity features. The NissanConnect system is paired with a standard 7.0-inch Advanced Drive Assist Display (ADAD) within the instrument cluster.

The new Maxima also offers an extensive range of safety, security and driving aids, including Predictive Forward Collision Warning (PFCW), Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC), Forward Emergency Braking (FEB), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (CTA) and Blind Spot Warning (BSW). These features are available on Maxima SL, SR and Platinum grades. Maxima also offers an available Driver Attention Alert (DAA) system, which monitors steering input patterns to establish a baseline and helps alert the driver when drowsy or inattentive driving is detected (Maxima Platinum only).

The all-new Maxima, now offered in five grade levels including new SL, SR and Platinum grades, goes on sale in early summer 2015 with a $32,410 starting MSRP - including standard NissanConnect with navigation, 8.0-inch touch-screen display, Remote Engine Start, RearView Monitor and more.

Design of the all-new 2016 Nissan Maxima combines new architecture with exotic sports car sensibility

The goal was simple: Create a high performance, top-end sedan for the Nissan brand. As the flagship sedan in Nissan's product lineup, Maxima has long had a loyal following of owners who appreciate its unique combination of sports car style with premium elegance. For the new Maxima, Nissan's global design team was tasked with a challenge to bring to market inspired design elements, inside and out, that impress and captivate at the first glance.

"The New Maxima is another concept-based production vehicle following the 2015 Nissan Murano crossover, which debuted here last year," said Shiro Nakamura, Senior Vice President and Chief Creative Officer, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. "The bar was set even higher for the team to achieve our brand promise through design."

Designers went all out with sheer excitement. They quickly filled image boards on the studio walls with keywords and inspirational images. Phrases like "passionate exotic" and "brutal yet sophisticated" appeared. Photos of stealth jets, aviator helmets, speedboats, and high-style products like furniture, shoes and watches soon followed. Other images, like classic exotics from an era of bespoke interiors, handcrafted leather seats, tailored instrument design and premium surfacing, also joined the walls.

As they developed sketch themes, built design prototypes and brought the project all way to production design data release, the designers kept reminding themselves to surprise people, create excitement for the senses, be aggressive, and always a question in mind: "Is it worthy of the Maxima name?"

"Ultimately, history will decide where the new design fits in the legacy of the previous seven generations of Maximas that have gone before," said Mamoru Aoki, Executive Design Director, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. "But one thing is certain, there will be no mistaking the 2016 Maxima for any other 'mid-size sedan-plus' in the segment."

New Exterior Architecture

At the core of the new Maxima design is what its creators call "sweeping powerful body gestures." Unlike the traditional approach in the sports sedan segment of adding big wheels and tires to a linear, slab-sided design, the Maxima offers wraparound forms and crisp slipstream edges. The exterior doesn't just hint at the performance underneath, it shouts it out from the captivating stare of the front signature lighting to the wide boomerang taillights.

"The new Maxima shares the key elements of Nissan's new design language, which shook up the personal crossover segment with its introduction in the stunning 2015 Nissan Murano," said Shinichiro Irie, Design Director, Nissan Design America, where the new Maxima design was executed. "But while both Murano and Maxima utilize the aggressive V-Motion front end, boomerang lights and unique floating roof, Maxima takes the new form vocabulary in a different direction - a direction fitting its sports car-like proportions."

The floating roof, which is created in part through the use of thin, blacked-out pillars, helps bring the mass of the vehicle visually lower. Combined with the visor windshield and available Dual Panel Panoramic Moonroof, a cockpit feel is created inside the vehicle. The roof also strongly echoes the canopy feel of a fighter jet.

Another key to the aggressive Maxima exterior is the premium exotic-style wheel-oriented fenders and stance. Standard 18-inch machined aluminum-alloy wheels fill out the powerful fenders - and even more so with the Maxima SR model's unique 19-inch diamond-cut machined aluminum-alloy wheel design. The bold hood, which gives the impression of power, adds to the muscular feel. As for its proportions, the new Maxima is 1.3 inches lower and 2.2 inches longer than the previous generation.

A choice of premium or sport spoilers are offered but not required - part of the ability of owners to personalize their new Maximas through a selection of five grade levels. The new Maxima's coefficient of drag has been improved by more than ten percent from the previous generation. Other exterior features include available outside mirrors with integrated turn signals and tilt-down features, along with dual chrome exhaust finishers.

Capping off the exterior execution is a carefully selected palette of colors, including two new hues created exclusively for the new Maxima - Coulis Red and Forged Bronze.

A Passionate, Crafted Interior Design

As with the exterior, Maxima's interior design team aimed high. Understanding that most vehicles in the mid-size sedan segment lack an emotional connection with their drivers, the designers challenged themselves to create an interior with an excess of personality, one that after a month of ownership would still provide joy and a sense of discovery.

"The team knew that it is easy to go the premium route when creating an interior," said Irie. "Edgy is a little harder. What we invoked were both automotive heritage and futuristic, jet fighter influences for inspiration. The blending of these seemingly contradicting approaches came together beautifully, especially in the driver's cockpit."

From the layout of the instrument panel to the high center console, the driver is cosseted and in control. The console was particularly challenging in that in order to raise its height to the desired level, it still needed to meet standards for knee clearance and seat movement. It was not only accomplished, but premium padding was added to the console sides, adding a sense of richness.

Another challenge was the extensive use of real stitching on the console, center stack and instrument panel - which had to be perfectly aligned so as not to draw attention for the wrong reason, especially when viewed from the rear seat.

One more decision made through the fighter jet influence was to tilt the center information display toward the driver, and to place all critical controls within short reach. The shifter lever itself is shaped to resemble an aircraft joystick and the push button start for the intelligent key has been moved to the console itself. The start button pulses when the driver enters the cabin.

Also located on the console is the Display Commander switch, which allows for fingertip control of the center display information screens. And, a special media bin is place forward on the console and includes two USB and auxiliary ports, along with room enough to hold an iPhone® 6 Plus.

Along with the high-tech feel of the instrument panel - with standard 7.0-inch Advanced Drive Assist Display (in-meter display) and Fine Vision 8.0-inch capacitive color display with smartphone-like controls (swipe and pinch-to-zoom) - the choice of interior materials leans much more toward classic motoring. Take, for example, the use of diamond-shaped faceted finishers, which offer a handcrafted feel. The tactile feel, the sense of creating a feast for the senses through use of shiny and matte finishes, carries throughout the interior, including to the seating and steering wheel.

The available premium Ascot Leather-appointed seats include diamond-quilted inserts - with Alcantara® diamond-quilted inserts on SR models. Even the unique D-shaped steering wheel is available with an Alcantara® insert, a design element intended to ignite the driver's senses when behind the wheel.

As with the new Maxima's exterior, interior colors were carefully considered. While most mid-size sedans stick with black and beige motifs, the new 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.

The last aspect of the new Maxima is how it achieved generous interior design without giving up an ounce of sports car-like driving flavor. Unlike many other segments where the goal is to eliminate as many features and equipment to save space, cost or weight, Maxima's very generous interior space did not demand an exercise in restraint. Maxima "overshoots" in terms of available features and user-focused technology.

The challenge of living up to Maxima's proud heritage is one the design team took to heart and head on. Long live the 4-Door Sports Car.

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