• Sign in to follow this  
    Followers 0

    First Drive: 2016 Nissan Maxima


    • Return of the Four-Door Sports Car?


    At the end of my review of the 2013 Nissan Maxima, I said “The 2013 Nissan Maxima is a very special car, but it's time for this 'four-door sports car' to take its final curtain call and have a new model ready in the wings.” Little did anyone know outside at Nissan that the current Maxima was possibly going to be its last. A recent report says that a next-generation Maxima wasn’t on the table due to the recession and Nissan focusing on fuel-efficient vehicles. But with a bit of convincing due to Nissan’s vice president of product planning, the Maxima was able to live on.

     

    This brings us nicely to the eighth-generation Maxima which debuted at the New York Auto Show in April. The new model is quite the departure from the last-generation Maxima in terms of looks and features available. Nissan says the 4-Door sports car is back. Well, is it? To find out, I drove two versions of the 2016 Maxima at a first drive event in Detroit.

     


    2016 Nissan Maxima SR 1


    Lets begin with the elephant in room of the Maxima - the design. Compared to past Maximas, the new one is very much a shock. Nissan graced the 2016 Maxima with the design from the Sport Sedan Concept shown at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show. Such cues as the V-Motion grille, boomerang headlights, blacked-out pillars, kicked-up belt line and a floating roof are present on the production model. A set of wheels ranging from 18 to 19-inches finish off the look. The new Maxima is very much a polarizing vehicle with a number of people who either like it or hate it. Personally, I fall into former as it gives the Maxima the ability to standout not only in the full-size sedan class, but also in Nissan’s crowded lineup.

     

    The interior also got a major revamp. During the briefing, Nissan explained the development team went down to where the Blue Angels are stationed and studied the cockpit of their jets. What they took away was how the controls and information were in easy sight and reach of the pilot. Nissan took this and some design ideas from the GT-R and placed them into the Maxima. Sitting in the driver’s seat, you find that you are surrounded by a new instrument cluster with a 7-inch color screen and a center console that is angle towards the driver - that idea comes from the GT-R. The layout makes you feel that you are one with the car.

     

    Nissan also worked making the Maxima feel more premium - an issue I had with the previous Maxima. Better quality materials such as machined-look wood and aluminum trim, more soft-touch plastics, and contrasting stitching. The base S trim gets cloth, while higher trim levels get leather or a combination of leather and real Alcantara. The use of these materials really help move the Maxima up in the full-size class. As for the seats, they are the Zero-Gravity variety found on the Altima. They come with a little bit more bolstering to keep up the Maxima’s sporting intentions. I found the seats to be quite comfortable and provided good support for the route Nissan has us drive on. The back seat is also a little bit more roomy than the last Maxima thanks to increase in overall length - about 2.2 inches.

     


    2016 Nissan Maxima SR 7


     

    The center stack boasts a new 8-inch touchscreen with navigation which comes as standard on all Maximas. It comes with a new interface which brings Nissan into the current century with a bright screen and more modern looking graphics. Nissan also falls into the pit of trying to mimic smartphones and tablets with the ability to swipe from screen to screen, and pinch and zoom on the navigation. I was worried that they system would fall apart as it would either not respond or respond slowly. The system did pretty well when it came to the swipe as the transition was very fluid and I saw no performance issues. Trying the pinch-and-zoom was another matter as it didn’t respond at all when I did the motion. There’s also a control knob near the driver which allows the driver to access more functions of the system.

     

    Power comes 3.5L VQ V6 with 300 horsepower and 261 pound-feet of torque. Compared to the older 3.5, the one found in the 2016 Maxima features around 61 percent of new parts including a new cylinder head, intake manifold, and sodium filled exhaust valves to pull heat away from the combustion chamber. Nissan also quick to point that per liter, the 3.5 in the Maxima is best in class with 85.7 horsepower. The V6 paired up to Nissan’s XTronic CVT which has been altered with a wider range of ratios, new shift logic to provide ‘shifts’ when driving exuberantly, and sport tuning. Under the skin is a redesigned platform with a lot of high-strength steel. Nissan claims that with this new platform, the 2016 Maxima is about 82 pounds lighter and 25 percent more rigid. The suspension has also been given the once-over with new rear dampers and some special goodies for the sporty SR trim.

     

    Lets move onto the drive shall we?


     

    The first Maxima I took out was the SR. Nissan is positioning the SR as the enthusiast’s choice with a number of changes in the suspension and interior. The Maxima SR’s suspension gets a set of retuned dampers, springs and stabilizer bar. There’s also a set of Goodyear F1 Eagle tires to improve grip and steering response. Inside, SR models get leather and Alcantara on the seats and the steering wheel. You’ll also notice a set of paddles to control the transmission in sporting situations.

     


    2016 Nissan Maxima SR 5


    Taking it out on the route for our drive, I was impressed how the Maxima SR drove. Put the SR into the sport mode, and it becomes a ‘sports car’. The V6 accelerates harder while the CVT enters a mode to allow for stepped shifts. I was impressed with how the V6 never felt like it was out breath no matter where it was on the RPM range. In corners, the SR’s suspension hunkered down and provided excellent stability. Steering provided good weight and feel during the enthusiastic driving period. Also impressive were the seats which were able to hold me when I put it through it paces.

     

    Putting the Maxima SR back into normal, I found that it rode smooth for the most part. I could tell that a few bumps and imperfections were making their way into the interior, but its not to the point where it will become a concern to anyone. Wind and road noise were kept to acceptable levels. As for the CVT, I found it to be ok. There was none of CVT whine that has been accustomed to previous CVTs. The stepped shifts appeared when I was making a pass on the freeway, a nice touch.

     

    After driving the SR, I took out the top of line Maxima Platinum to see how it compared. Now the Platinum is quite a luxurious model with such appointments as quilted leather, wood trim, and the contrasting stitching. Out on the road, the Platinum felt slightly more comfortable than SR as bumps and road imperfections were kept at bay. On the curvy bits, the Maxima Platinum didn’t feel out of place when compared to SR. The steering still boasts the good weight and feel in the corners. The only real difference is in the suspension where the Platinum felt a little bit softer, which does let in some body roll. But if you’re not looking for it, then you’ll really won’t notice a difference.


    2016 Nissan Maxima Platinum 3


     

    The Maxima lineup begins at $33,235 for the base S trim and climbs to $40,865 for the top-of-the-line Platinum - prices include a $825 destination charge. Interestingly, Nissan isn’t offering any options on the Maxima. Instead, the Maxima will be offered in five different trim levels with additional features on higher trims. Here’s a basic outline of how it will work.

    • S - Base
    • SV - Leather
    • SL - Panoramic Roof
    • SR - Sport Suspension and 19-inch Wheels
    • Platinum - Quilted Leather


    So is the 4-Door Sports Car back? In short, Yes. Nissan has put a lot of work in the Maxima to it bring back into the spotlight and make it a contender in the full-size sedan class. Whether this helps the Maxima in the long run remains to be seen.

     

    Disclaimer: Nissan Invited Cheers & Gears to a Local Drive Event

     

     

    Year: 2016
    Make: Nissan
    Model: Maxima
    Trim: SR, Platinum
    Engine: 3.5L VQ V6
    Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, CVT
    Horsepower @ RPM: 300 @ 6,400
    Torque @ RPM: 261 @ 4,400
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/30/25
    Curb Weight: 3,488 to 3,593 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Smyrna, TN
    Base Price: $32,410 (S)
    As Tested Price: $38,495 (SR), $40,865 (Platinum) (Includes $825.00 Destination Charge)

    0


      Report Article
    Sign in to follow this  
    Followers 0


    User Feedback


    Nice Review, glad to see the old girl get a new life. Agreed that the exterior design is polarizing. I fall into the hate it camp, do not care for it at all.

     

    Over all, I wish it all the best in competing in the market.

     

    I see the idiots in marketing are pushing HP and engineering idiots are ignoring that Torque is what moves a car.  Such a waste to have 300HP and considerably less torque to move it.

     

    Give me a decent Pushrod V8 or V6 any day over these dual overhead cam crap that weighs more and does less.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I'm happy that Nissan took a risk with the Maxima's styling. I personally think it looks great. My only problem comes from the engine and transmission. If this is supposed to be a "4-door sports car", why does it still have a CVT? I agree with dfelt that the engine needs much more torque as well. 

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I could probably forgive the design if not for the beaver teeth and mouth design of the front end. It makes Acura's worst beak designs look tame.

     

    Also, CVT.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    40K for FWD and CVT? In something marketed as a 4 Door Sports Car?? Haha, hard pass.

     

    Good one Nissan. You should have just killed this thing off like you were thinking about.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    they had so much equity in the Maxima name, good thing they kept it.  The Altima is a driving dud and at least still having this in any form keeps Nissan on the map from not being Toyota, part deux.

     

    So the trend is going to go back to driver oriented interiors again now?  instead of all the T shaped dashes that we may be all getting sick of now.  Auroras and Bonnevilles had driver oriented dashes.

     

    If all Nissan does with this is put out a 'sporty altima alternative' it will have done its job.  the interior is a big departure from the Altima.  Overall there is still a huge number of buyers who want a FWD car due to winter and want something leaning to a sport sedan so they don't have to settle for a Camry or an Accord or an Avalon.  Remember the Grand Prix and bonnevilles?

     

    The cvt has evolved but i still think one version of this car with a better auto trans would be a good idea.  No need to offer a stick with this thing anymore.  With all the crossovers being sold, i am amazed sedans are suriviving as much as they can.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I used to have a '95 Maxima. I loved it. It had minor electrical gremlins in its old age. I always liked them, and not because of their dumb 4DSC badging. The interior was solidly built, the car weighed only 3200 lbs, and the boot was huge, and had a full sized spare. It was a GLE with the classy dark green paint and tan leather. 

     

    The VQ35DE was a torquey monster for its time and 190 ponies and 210 ft-lbs torque out of 3.0L liters would have been competitive even 8-9 years ago, let alone 21. It was an exhilarating car and it did win MT's import car of the year award, even though Nissan had done aggressive cost-cutting in the generation.

     

    I see the appeal of this car, it's trying to be the really bold entry in this segment. Every auto mag review has said it's a legit car. I don't see why not. The interior is the real deal, and the exterior is a love it or hate it affair, but the same could be said of Toyota, Ford's (2016 Shanghai Taurus), Hyundai's, and Kia's segment players. Either the designs have been new and either ugly or exciting or just more of the same, boring or derivative. 

     

    I don't think it's fair to judge this CVT as a total loss, especially when both C&D and M/T were okay with it to say the least. FWD does limit the car, though. At 40k+ fully loaded sounds right for the segment too, as the Impala, Azera, Taurus, and Avalon... everyone ends just north of 40K.

     

    Do I personally plan on getting one? No, I think this Maxima has a horrendous/disgusting exterior, but there's a lot of good stuff in this car everywhere else.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I actually don't think it looks that bad. I've become desensitized to Nissan design language after the Cube apparently.

     

    That sticker price, though...

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites


    Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

    Guest
    You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
    Add a comment...

    ×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    Loading...



  • Popular Stories

  • Today's Birthdays

  • Similar Content

    • By William Maley
      Nissan Group reports November 2016 U.S. sales
      NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nissan Group today announced total U.S. sales for November 2016 of 115,136 units, an increase of 7.5 percent from the prior year and a November record.
      Nissan highlights:
      Nissan Division sold 103,024 vehicles, up 8 percent and also a November record. Overall sales of Nissan crossovers, trucks and SUVs set a November record, rising 24 percent. Rogue crossover sales set a November record at 26,629, an increase of 18 percent. Murano crossover sales also set a November record, increasing 36 percent to 7,589. Pathfinder SUV sales increased 34 percent to 6,801. Armada full-size SUV sales gained 114 percent to 1,738.
        NISSAN DIVISION
      NOV
       
      NOV
       
      Monthly
       
      CYTD
       
      CYTD
       
      CYTD
       
      2016
       
      2015
       
      % chg
       
      2016
       
      2015
       
      % chg
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      Nissan Division Total
      103,024
       
      95,389
       
      8.0
       
      1,291,585
       
      1,227,213
       
      5.2
      Versa
      7,930
       
      9,783
       
      -18.9
       
      123,296
       
      133,470
       
      -7.6
      Sentra
      14,028
       
      14,505
       
      -3.3
       
      197,672
       
      183,749
       
      7.6
      Cube
      0
       
      4
       
      -100.0
       
      15
       
      930
       
      -98.4
      Altima
      20,039
       
      20,564
       
      -2.6
       
      282,617
       
      303,936
       
      -7.0
      Maxima
      4,093
       
      3,884
       
      5.4
       
      57,377
       
      35,588
       
      61.2
      LEAF
      1,457
       
      1,054
       
      38.2
       
      12,107
       
      15,922
       
      -24.0
      Juke
      1,215
       
      1,897
       
      -36.0
       
      18,287
       
      25,163
       
      -27.3
      370Z
      340
       
      381
       
      -10.8
       
      5,545
       
      6,910
       
      -19.8
      GT-R
      58
       
      34
       
      70.6
       
      652
       
      1,021
       
      -36.1
      Total Car
      49,160
       
      52,106
       
      -5.7
       
      697,568
       
      706,689
       
      -1.3
      Frontier
      5,105
       
      5,099
       
      0.1
       
      80,857
       
      57,124
       
      41.5
      Titan
      3,329
       
      719
       
      363.0
       
      17,484
       
      11,122
       
      57.2
      Xterra
      0
       
      169
       
      -100.0
       
      38
       
      10,602
       
      -99.6
      Pathfinder
      6,801
       
      5,094
       
      33.5
       
      72,333
       
      73,675
       
      -1.8
      Armada
      1,738
       
      812
       
      114.0
       
      11,561
       
      11,581
       
      -0.2
      Rogue
      26,629
       
      22,565
       
      18.0
       
      289,427
       
      260,711
       
      11.0
      Murano
      7,589
       
      5,574
       
      36.1
       
      79,072
       
      55,824
       
      41.6
      Quest
      117
       
      953
       
      -87.7
       
      10,324
       
      9,315
       
      10.8
      NV
      1,193
       
      1,105
       
      8.0
       
      15,936
       
      15,034
       
      6.0
      NV200
      1,363
       
      1,193
       
      14.2
       
      16,985
       
      15,536
       
      9.3
      Total Truck
      53,864
       
      43,283
       
      24.4
       
      594,017
       
      520,524
       
      14.1
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      INFINITI
      NOV
       
      NOV
       
      Monthly
       
      CYTD
       
      CYTD
       
      CYTD
       
      2016
       
      2015
       
      % chg
       
      2016
       
      2015
       
      % chg
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      Infiniti Total
      12,112
       
      11,694
       
      3.6
       
      120,095
       
      118,405
       
      1.4
      Infiniti Q40
      0
       
      38
       
      N/A
       
      59
       
      8,574
       
      -99.3
      Infiniti Q50
      3,361
       
      3,782
       
      -11.1
       
      38,213
       
      39,196
       
      -2.5
      Infiniti Q60
      814
       
      206
       
      295.1
       
      2,952
       
      3,659
       
      -19.3
      Infiniti Q70
      346
       
      677
       
      -48.9
       
      5,292
       
      7,663
       
      -30.9
      Infiniti QX30
      473
       
      N/A
       
      N/A
       
      1,519
       
      N/A
       
      N/A
      Infiniti QX50
      1,442
       
      908
       
      58.8
       
      14,947
       
      4,015
       
      272.3
      Infiniti QX60
      3,196
       
      3,736
       
      -14.5
       
      37,192
       
      36,783
       
      1.1
      Infiniti QX70
      742
       
      610
       
      21.6
       
      5,175
       
      5,040
       
      2.7
      Infiniti QX80
      1,738
       
      1,737
       
      0.1
       
      14,746
       
      13,475
       
      9.4
      Total Car
      4,521
       
      4,703
       
      -3.9
       
      120,095
       
      59,092
       
      103.2
      Total Truck
      7,591
       
      6,991
       
      8.6
       
      73,579
       
      59,313
       
      24.1
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      NISSAN GROUP
      NOV
       
      NOV
       
      Monthly
       
      CYTD
       
      CYTD
       
      CYTD
       
      2016
       
      2015
       
      % chg
       
      2016
       
      2015
       
      % chg
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      TOTAL VEHICLE
      115,136
       
      107,083
       
      7.5
       
      1,411,680
       
      1,345,618
       
      4.9
      Total Car
      53,681
       
      56,809
       
      -5.5
       
      817,663
       
      765,781
       
      6.8
      Total Truck
      61,455
       
      50,274
       
      22.2
       
      667,596
       
      579,837
       
      15.1
      Selling days
      25
       
      23
       
       
       
      280
       
      280
       
       
    • By William Maley
      When I go back and look at the various Kia Optimas I have driven for Cheers & Gears, there has been one variant that I haven’t driven, the 2.0L turbo-four. But this changed back over the summer when a 2016 Kia Optima SXL came into the Cheers & Gears’ Detroit bureau for a week-long evaluation. The SXL serves as the Optima’s flagship trim with more premium materials and the turbo-four.
      As I mentioned in my Optima EX review from earlier this year, the redesigned Optima looks familiar to the previous model. But that isn’t a bad thing per say. It is still as sharp looking as the previous model and the changes done such as a new trunk lid, LED taillights, a smaller grille, and reshaped headlights. The SXL takes it a step further with a set of 18-inch alloy wheels, Turbo badging on the fender vents, and a little bit more chrome. Finished in a dark blue, the Optima SXL is damn good looking midsize sedan. You won’t find many differences in the SXL’s interior compared to other Optima’s. The key one is the seats being wrapped Nappa leather with a quilted pattern. If I am being honest, I can’t really tell difference between the Nappa leather and the standard leather used on other Kia models.  But what I can tell the difference with is the materials used in the SXL’s interior. Kia swaps the soft-touch plastic used on the dash and door panels for stitched leatherette. This is to give the impression that you’re in something more expensive and it works very well. The Optima SXL’s backseat is slightly tighter than the one found in the Optima EX. Why? The SXL comes with a panoramic sunroof as standard, which eats into headroom. Let’s talk about the engine. The SXL features a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder with 245 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic. Leaving a stop, it takes a moment for the engine to fully wake up and you can’t help but wonder where is the power. At first, I thought this new 2.0L developed a bad case of turbo-lag. But I soon realized that it was a lazy throttle that was causing this issue. This is something we have been noticing in recent Hyundai and Kia models equipped with the turbo engine. Once you get over the lazy throttle, the engine moves the Optima with some authority. Merging onto a freeway or making a pass is no problem as the turbo quickly spools up and gives the necessary thrust. It doesn’t hurt the engine is very refined. EPA fuel economy figures stand at 22 City/32 Highway/25 Combined. I achieved a not too shabby 26.1 mpg average for the week. One of my biggest complaints about the last Optima I drove was the uncomfortable ride. The tuning on the EX model let in more bumps and road imperfections inside than what I was expecting. To my surprise, the SXL featured a more comfortable ride. Despite featuring larger wheels, the SXL was able to iron out most bumps and imperfections. I can’t explain why there is a vast difference in terms of ride quality between the two trims at this time. The SXL does retain the sharp handling that we liked in the Optima EX. Body motions are kept in check and the steering provides a nice heft when turning. Some will lament that the steering doesn’t have the same feel as something like the Mazda6, but this has to be Kia’s best effort yet.  The Optima SXL begins at $35,790 and that includes every option available on the Optima as standard equipment - 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, heated and ventilated front seats, a Harman/Kardon audio system, navigation, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, surround view camera system, and much more. Some might balk at the price. But considering what the SXL brings to the table, along with its improved ride quality, it is very much worth the price. Plus, you might be able to work out a deal to where you’ll be able to cut the price. We’ve seen dealers cutting about $2,000 to $4,000 off Optima SXLs in an effort improve sales of the midsize sedan. Who knows, you might be able to get one of best equipped and decent driving midsize sedans at a surprising price. Disclaimer: Kia Provided the Optima SXL, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2016
      Make: Kia
      Model: Optima
      Trim: SXL
      Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L DOHC Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 245 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 1,350-4,000 
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/32/25
      Curb Weight: 3,594 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: West Point, Georgia
      Base Price: $35,790
      As Tested Price: $36,615 (Includes $825.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      N/A

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      When I go back and look at the various Kia Optimas I have driven for Cheers & Gears, there has been one variant that I haven’t driven, the 2.0L turbo-four. But this changed back over the summer when a 2016 Kia Optima SXL came into the Cheers & Gears’ Detroit bureau for a week-long evaluation. The SXL serves as the Optima’s flagship trim with more premium materials and the turbo-four.
      As I mentioned in my Optima EX review from earlier this year, the redesigned Optima looks familiar to the previous model. But that isn’t a bad thing per say. It is still as sharp looking as the previous model and the changes done such as a new trunk lid, LED taillights, a smaller grille, and reshaped headlights. The SXL takes it a step further with a set of 18-inch alloy wheels, Turbo badging on the fender vents, and a little bit more chrome. Finished in a dark blue, the Optima SXL is damn good looking midsize sedan. You won’t find many differences in the SXL’s interior compared to other Optima’s. The key one is the seats being wrapped Nappa leather with a quilted pattern. If I am being honest, I can’t really tell difference between the Nappa leather and the standard leather used on other Kia models.  But what I can tell the difference with is the materials used in the SXL’s interior. Kia swaps the soft-touch plastic used on the dash and door panels for stitched leatherette. This is to give the impression that you’re in something more expensive and it works very well. The Optima SXL’s backseat is slightly tighter than the one found in the Optima EX. Why? The SXL comes with a panoramic sunroof as standard, which eats into headroom. Let’s talk about the engine. The SXL features a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder with 245 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic. Leaving a stop, it takes a moment for the engine to fully wake up and you can’t help but wonder where is the power. At first, I thought this new 2.0L developed a bad case of turbo-lag. But I soon realized that it was a lazy throttle that was causing this issue. This is something we have been noticing in recent Hyundai and Kia models equipped with the turbo engine. Once you get over the lazy throttle, the engine moves the Optima with some authority. Merging onto a freeway or making a pass is no problem as the turbo quickly spools up and gives the necessary thrust. It doesn’t hurt the engine is very refined. EPA fuel economy figures stand at 22 City/32 Highway/25 Combined. I achieved a not too shabby 26.1 mpg average for the week. One of my biggest complaints about the last Optima I drove was the uncomfortable ride. The tuning on the EX model let in more bumps and road imperfections inside than what I was expecting. To my surprise, the SXL featured a more comfortable ride. Despite featuring larger wheels, the SXL was able to iron out most bumps and imperfections. I can’t explain why there is a vast difference in terms of ride quality between the two trims at this time. The SXL does retain the sharp handling that we liked in the Optima EX. Body motions are kept in check and the steering provides a nice heft when turning. Some will lament that the steering doesn’t have the same feel as something like the Mazda6, but this has to be Kia’s best effort yet.  The Optima SXL begins at $35,790 and that includes every option available on the Optima as standard equipment - 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, heated and ventilated front seats, a Harman/Kardon audio system, navigation, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, surround view camera system, and much more. Some might balk at the price. But considering what the SXL brings to the table, along with its improved ride quality, it is very much worth the price. Plus, you might be able to work out a deal to where you’ll be able to cut the price. We’ve seen dealers cutting about $2,000 to $4,000 off Optima SXLs in an effort improve sales of the midsize sedan. Who knows, you might be able to get one of best equipped and decent driving midsize sedans at a surprising price. Disclaimer: Kia Provided the Optima SXL, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2016
      Make: Kia
      Model: Optima
      Trim: SXL
      Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L DOHC Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 245 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 1,350-4,000 
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/32/25
      Curb Weight: 3,594 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: West Point, Georgia
      Base Price: $35,790
      As Tested Price: $36,615 (Includes $825.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      N/A
    • By William Maley
      Most luxury SUVs will never go fully off-road. The closest they’ll ever get is driving down a gravel road. But that doesn’t mean some automakers aren’t filling them with the latest off-road for that one person who decides to. Case in point is the LX 570. Lexus’ variant of the Toyota Land Cruiser has been updated inside and out to try and draw buyers away from the usual suspects in the class.
      For 2016, Lexus has softened the LX’s boxy-shape with some rounded edges and more imposing fenders. The front grille has grown in size to match other Lexus vehicles, though to our eyes it looks more like the head from a Cylon in the 1980’s Battlestar Galactica tv show. The rear features new taillights and a reshaped tailgate. The interior has somehow become more opulent since the last LX we drove. A new dash design features real wood trim and more soft-touch materials. Our tester featured leather upholstery that can be described as red-orange. At first, I thought it was a bit much. But over the week I grew to like the color as it adds some personality. Sitting in either the front or second-row seats of the LX is a pleasant experience. There is plenty of head and legroom for both rows, along with heat. Front seats also get ventilation as standard. The third-row seat is a bit of joke. Getting back there in the first place is quite difficult due to the small gap when you move the second-row forward. Once back there, you find legroom is almost negligible. Finally, the way the third row folds up by side walls and not into the floor hampers cargo space - only offering 41 cubic feet. Lexus’ Remote Touch interface has arrived in the LX this year with a gargantuan 12.3-inch screen sitting on top of the dash. On the plus side, the screen is vibrant and easy to read. The negative is the remote touch controller as you’ll find yourself choosing the wrong function because the controller is very sensitive to inputs. Power comes from 5.7L V8 with 383 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic and full-time four-wheel drive system. On paper, the V8 should move the LX 570 with no issue. But a curb weight of 6,000 pounds negates this. Performance can be described as ho-hum as it takes a few ticks longer to get up to speed. At least the eight-speed automatic transmission is a smooth operator and quick to respond when you stab the throttle. The LX 570 is chock full of clever off-road tech such as crawl control, hill start assist, 360-degree camera system, and multi-terrain select system that optimizes various parts of the powertrain and four-wheel drive system. Sadly, we didn’t get the chance to put any of these to the test. No matter the condition of the road, the LX 570 provides a smooth and relaxing ride. Impressive when you consider the LX is riding on a set of 21-inch wheels. Road and wind noise are kept to very acceptable levels. Lexus added a set of adaptive dampers for the 2016 LX and you can adjust the firmness via a knob in the center console - Comfort, Sport, and Sport+. The dampers do help reduce body roll in corners, giving you a little bit more confidence. Steering is what you would expect in an SUV, light and numb. This makes the LX a bit cumbersome to move in certain places such as a parking lot. Compared to the last LX 570 we drove, the 2016 model has gone up in price. Base price now stands at $88,880 and our as-tested price comes in at $96,905. This one feels a bit a more worth of price tag that Lexus is asking for, but I still think a Cadillac Escalade or Range Rover are slightly better in terms of value. If you’re planning a trip to Death Valley or the Rocky Mountains and want something that can you there and back, along with providing all of the luxuries, look no further than the LX. Otherwise, there are a number of other luxury SUVs that make more sense if you’re planning to stay on the pavement. Year: 2016
      Make: Lexus
      Model: LX 570
      Trim: N/A
      Engine: 5.7L 32-Valve, DOHC Dual VVT-i V8
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Full-Time Four-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 383 @ 5,600
      Torque @ RPM: 403 @ 3,600
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 13/18/15
      Curb Weight: 6,000 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Aichi, Japn
      Base Price: $88,880
      As Tested Price: $96,905 (Includes $940.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Mark Levinson Audio System - $2,150.00
      Dual-Screen DVD Rear-Seat Entertainment System - $2,005.00
      Luxury Package - $1,190.00
      Heads-Up Display - $900.00
      Cargo Mat, Net, Wheel Locks, & Key Glove - $250.00
      All-Weather Floor Mats - $165.00
      Heated Black Shimamoku Steering Wheel - $150.00
      Wireless Charger - $75.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Most luxury SUVs will never go fully off-road. The closest they’ll ever get is driving down a gravel road. But that doesn’t mean some automakers aren’t filling them with the latest off-road for that one person who decides to. Case in point is the LX 570. Lexus’ variant of the Toyota Land Cruiser has been updated inside and out to try and draw buyers away from the usual suspects in the class.
      For 2016, Lexus has softened the LX’s boxy-shape with some rounded edges and more imposing fenders. The front grille has grown in size to match other Lexus vehicles, though to our eyes it looks more like the head from a Cylon in the 1980’s Battlestar Galactica tv show. The rear features new taillights and a reshaped tailgate. The interior has somehow become more opulent since the last LX we drove. A new dash design features real wood trim and more soft-touch materials. Our tester featured leather upholstery that can be described as red-orange. At first, I thought it was a bit much. But over the week I grew to like the color as it adds some personality. Sitting in either the front or second-row seats of the LX is a pleasant experience. There is plenty of head and legroom for both rows, along with heat. Front seats also get ventilation as standard. The third-row seat is a bit of joke. Getting back there in the first place is quite difficult due to the small gap when you move the second-row forward. Once back there, you find legroom is almost negligible. Finally, the way the third row folds up by side walls and not into the floor hampers cargo space - only offering 41 cubic feet. Lexus’ Remote Touch interface has arrived in the LX this year with a gargantuan 12.3-inch screen sitting on top of the dash. On the plus side, the screen is vibrant and easy to read. The negative is the remote touch controller as you’ll find yourself choosing the wrong function because the controller is very sensitive to inputs. Power comes from 5.7L V8 with 383 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic and full-time four-wheel drive system. On paper, the V8 should move the LX 570 with no issue. But a curb weight of 6,000 pounds negates this. Performance can be described as ho-hum as it takes a few ticks longer to get up to speed. At least the eight-speed automatic transmission is a smooth operator and quick to respond when you stab the throttle. The LX 570 is chock full of clever off-road tech such as crawl control, hill start assist, 360-degree camera system, and multi-terrain select system that optimizes various parts of the powertrain and four-wheel drive system. Sadly, we didn’t get the chance to put any of these to the test. No matter the condition of the road, the LX 570 provides a smooth and relaxing ride. Impressive when you consider the LX is riding on a set of 21-inch wheels. Road and wind noise are kept to very acceptable levels. Lexus added a set of adaptive dampers for the 2016 LX and you can adjust the firmness via a knob in the center console - Comfort, Sport, and Sport+. The dampers do help reduce body roll in corners, giving you a little bit more confidence. Steering is what you would expect in an SUV, light and numb. This makes the LX a bit cumbersome to move in certain places such as a parking lot. Compared to the last LX 570 we drove, the 2016 model has gone up in price. Base price now stands at $88,880 and our as-tested price comes in at $96,905. This one feels a bit a more worth of price tag that Lexus is asking for, but I still think a Cadillac Escalade or Range Rover are slightly better in terms of value. If you’re planning a trip to Death Valley or the Rocky Mountains and want something that can you there and back, along with providing all of the luxuries, look no further than the LX. Otherwise, there are a number of other luxury SUVs that make more sense if you’re planning to stay on the pavement. Year: 2016
      Make: Lexus
      Model: LX 570
      Trim: N/A
      Engine: 5.7L 32-Valve, DOHC Dual VVT-i V8
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Full-Time Four-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 383 @ 5,600
      Torque @ RPM: 403 @ 3,600
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 13/18/15
      Curb Weight: 6,000 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Aichi, Japn
      Base Price: $88,880
      As Tested Price: $96,905 (Includes $940.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Mark Levinson Audio System - $2,150.00
      Dual-Screen DVD Rear-Seat Entertainment System - $2,005.00
      Luxury Package - $1,190.00
      Heads-Up Display - $900.00
      Cargo Mat, Net, Wheel Locks, & Key Glove - $250.00
      All-Weather Floor Mats - $165.00
      Heated Black Shimamoku Steering Wheel - $150.00
      Wireless Charger - $75.00
  • Recent Status Updates

  • Who's Online (See full list)