• Sign in to follow this  
    Followers 0

    Review: 2016 Nissan Maxima SR


    • The Four-Door Sports Car or just a sporty full-size sedan?

    “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.”

     

    That was how I ended my review on the last-generation Nissan Maxima. It was a good full-size sedan, but it was getting up there in age and new models were one-upping it. No one knew at the time that this could have been the final Maxima. But thanks to a few people at Nissan’s, the full-size sedan was given a reprieve. Last year, I had the chance to drive the new 2016 Maxima and came away really impressed. But I knew this short drive only told part of the story. How would the Maxima fare when I would drive it for a week? I spent a week in the sportiest Maxima, the SR and have some thoughts on it.

     

    As I wrote in my first drive, I thought the Maxima’s design was able to make it stand out not only in the full-size class, but also in Nissan’s very crowded lineup. I still believe this. The Maxima features a lot of items that we have seen on the Murano crossover, such as the V-Motion grille, boomerang headlights and taillights; dual exhaust tips, and blacked-out pillars that give the illusion of a floating roof. The SR adds a sporty flair with a set of nineteen-inch wheels.

     


    2016 Nissan Maxima SR 6


    The Maxima’s interior has undergone a massive change. There are quality materials in abundance with soft-touch plastics, contrasting stitching, and faux aluminum. SR models get a combination of Alcantara and leather wrapping around the seats. Nissan’s Zero Gravity seats feature additional bolstering to hold you in if you decide to test the validity of the ‘4-Door Sports Car’ slogan. I found the seats to provide a nice balance of comfort when driving long distances or making a quick trip, and holding you in when you feel like taking the back roads. The back seat is slightly smaller than what you might expect in a big sedan with headroom coming up short for taller passengers. Legroom is average by full-size sedan standards.

     


    2016 Nissan Maxima SR 11


     

    Nissan’s designers slightly angled the center stack towards the driver to make the area a bit more intimate. It works as it makes you feel that you are a key part of the vehicle. Controls are large and have a solid feel to them. The Maxima is one Nissan’s vehicles equipped with an eight-inch screen and the latest version of Nissan Connect. The system is pleasant to look at thanks to a new interface. You have the choice of controlling the system by either the touchscreen, buttons on either side screen, or Nissan’s ‘Display Commander’ knob in the center console. No matter which control method you choose, navigating the system is quite easy. Like the Murano I reviewed a couple of months ago, the Maxima experienced the problem of saying it lost XM signal, despite there being a signal and playing a station. I found that switching to another source and then going back to XM, the problem would be gone. A software update could fix this problem.

     

    Power for the Maxima comes from a 3.5L V6 producing 300 horsepower and 261 pound-feet of torque (@ 4,400 rpm). Nissan retains the Xtronic CVT and front-wheel drive for the Maxima. All-wheel drive was considered, but Nissan ultimately passed due to a projected low take rate. The V6 is really impressive as it moves the 3,564 pound Maxima SR with no problem. Accelerating at a normal rate, the V6 delivers power on a smooth and steady rate. Pin the accelerator to the floor and the V6 roars into life with a mean growl and moves the Maxima at an alarming pace.

     

    2016 Nissan Maxima SR 9

    Where the Maxima’s powertrain falters slightly is with the Xtronic CVT. For a sedan that’s billed as a ‘four-door sports car,’ having a CVT kinds of sours this mission statement. You expect to feel and hear the changing of a transmission for a ‘sports car’ and you don’t get that with a CVT. That isn’t to say the Xtronic CVT is bad. Nissan has done a lot of work to make the CVT bearable such as a mode that mimics the gear changes of an automatic and somehow reducing the amount of droning when the engine is spinning at high rpm. But if you are trying to promote the Maxima as the ‘four-door sports car,’ maybe putting an automatic transmission wouldn’t be such a bad idea.

     

    As for fuel economy, the Maxima SR is rated at 22 City/30 Highway/25 Combined. My average for the week landed around 23.5 MPG is mostly city driving.

     

    Nissan is positioning the Maxima SR as the sportiest of all the Maxima trims. Under the skin, Nissan made some changes to the SR’s suspension with new dampers, springs, and stabilizer bar. A set of Goodyear Eagle F1 tires improves overall grip. Out on a curvy road, the Maxima SR is quite surprising. For a large sedan, the Maxima SR is surprisingly very agile with barely any hint of body roll. Steering is nicely weighted and provides decent feel. The downside to the changes in the suspension is a somewhat stiff ride. Certain bumps and imperfections will jostle you and your passengers. At least the Maxima does quite well when it comes to road and wind noise isolation.

     

    After spending a week in the Maxima, my level of enthusiasm died down somewhat. Nissan did address a number of issues that plagued the previous Maxima and has made it a real winner in the full-size sedan class. But the fact Nissan is still calling the Maxima a ‘four-door sports car’ and saddles it with a CVT kind of nixes that image they are trying to put out there. If you want something that stands out in a full-size sedan, then the Maxima is worth a look. Just be somewhat realistic on the sporty image that Nissan is trying to convey.

     

    Cheers: Sharp Styling, V6 Performance, Sporty Handling
    Jeers: CVT kind of ruins the 'four-door sports car' image, tight headroom in the back

     

     

    Disclaimer: Nissan Provided the Maxima SR, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

     

    Year: 2016
    Make: Nissan
    Model: Maxima
    Trim: SR
    Engine: 3.5L DOHC 24-Valve V6
    Driveline: CVT, Front-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 300 @ 6,400
    Torque @ RPM: 261 @ 4,400
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/30/25
    Curb Weight: 3,564 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Smyrna, TN
    Base Price: $37,670
    As-Tested Price: $38,750 (Includes $825.00 Destination Charge)

     

    Options:
    Sport Floor Mats, Trunk Mat, and Trunk Net - $255.00

    0


    Sign in to follow this  
    Followers 0


    User Feedback




    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




  • Popular Stories

  • Similar Content

    • By dfelt
      Howdy fellow C&G forum members. This week with the debates in many different threads it got me to thinking and I decided why wait till 2017 when we are so close, I wanted to start this sooner rather than later.
      So please post what you are thankful for in regards to the forum, friends, enemy's family, life in general. Share good and bad of what has made you thankful for in 2016!
    • 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
  • Recent Status Updates

  • Who's Online (See full list)

    There are no registered users currently online