Yes sedan sales have been taking a hit lately, but unlike its Detroit rivals, Nissan is keen to keep the sedan alive. Nissan recently performed a study of American car where it discovered that many car buyers still consider a sedan when they are shopping for a new vehicle. “78% of American drivers who don’t own a sedan would consider buying one now or in the future.” So with stats like that, it makes sense that Nissan is still committed to building its sedan lineup, especially the full size Maxima.
The full size sedan segment has taken the biggest hit in the sedan segment, with many models recently getting the axe, like the Ford Taurus, Chevy Impala and Buick LaCrosse. Today if buyers want a near-luxury large sedan, there are very few choices with the Nissan Maxima and Toyota Avalon being the clearer options. Even if the Maxima’s competition has died off, the Maxima is alive and well. For the 2019 model year, the Maxima has received a mid-cycle refresh that aims to keep it fresh.
On the outside the 2019 Maxima gets new LED headlights and taillights, a restyled grille and an updated lower rear fascia with quad exhaust finishers. Inside the updates are smaller with higher quality materials, available Rakuda Tan semi-aniline leather seats and an upgraded navigation system. Nissan didn’t really need to do much to the 2019 Maxima’s interior, since it’s spacious and comfortable. The quilted seat pattern on the Rakuda tan seats gives it a more luxurious feel. The rear seat may be a bit more snug than we expected, but we still managed to fit three tall friends in the back without too much complaining.
On the tech front, the Maxima does come standard with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa connectivity, but Nissan’s ProPilot assist system isn’t an option.
The 2019 Maxima is powered by the same 3.5L V6, which generates 300 horsepower and 261 lb-ft. of torque, that’s mated to a CVT. The V6 packs plenty of pep and the sound is great, but it’s let down by the eco-minded CVT transmission. With a 0-60 mph time around six seconds, the Maxima is definitely not slow, but the feel of the CVT keeps it from earning that coveted “four door sports car” label.
The 2019 Maxima is rated at 20 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.
Around town the Maxima’s steering feels a bit heavy at parking lot speeds, but at higher speeds it does provide adequate feedback. Push it hard and you will notice a bit of torque steer, which makes us wish that the Maxima was available with the Altima’s new all-wheel drive system. The Maxima’s suspension does a good job of limiting the amount of body roll, but the ride is a bit firm.
The 2019 Nissan Maxima is offered in several trim levels: S, SV, SL, SR, Platinum and Platinum Reserve, with the pricing starting at $34,945.
Even if the sedan segment is largely being overshadowed by crossovers and SUVs, we have to give credit to Nissan for continuing to offer a sportier sedan, like the Maxima. The 2019 Maxima gives buyers another choice if they don’t want to drive in a me-too crossover, but want something a bit sportier and interesting to look at than a typical midsize sedan.