Sunday, August 9, 2020

2018 Nissan Maxima Platinum Review


The 2018 Nissan Maxima is the eighth generation of Nissan's flagship sedan. Although SUV and Crossovers are taking over a large market share, a luxury sedan is still an important statement from any car manufacturer. It sets the standard for being the most complete package the manufacturer has to offer. Courtesy of Nissan Canada, I was given the chance to find out what the 2018 Nissan Maxima Platinum has to offer. Below is my unbiased review.

The Maxima wears the new Nissan design language well. The low profile, wide stance, and the long body makes all the dynamic features look well proportioned.

In the front, the V-Motion grille and the signature boomerang lights makes the front fascia look spirited. Both the headlights and Daytime running lights are equipped with LED bulbs. Two character lines run across the front hood and transition into the belt lines of the side profile.

The side of the Maxima is sculpted to look sporty with muscular wheel wells, a floating roof, and a high shoulder line. Nissan had to develop a special metal stamping technique to achieve the sharp creases of the body panels. The 18" aluminum alloy wheels are tastefully designed, and the outside mirrors are quipped with LED turn signal indicators.

The back of the Maxima is dominated by the two wrap around LED taillights that are shaped to look slick and aerodynamic. The large dual exhaust chrome tailpipes adds to the sporty nature of the exterior. Nissan puts considerable attention into transitioning the character lines from different sides of the car. The result is a polished, upscale look that also feels sporty and fast.

The interior of the 2018 Maxima is driver-centric. The center console is slightly angled toward the driver. A high center console helps to keep the driver vision on the road. The premium Ascot leather appointed front seats are accented by diamond quilted alcantara inserts, and features sport bolstering. They are very comfortable even for longer drives, and are both heated and vented.

The Camel decorative trims are unique and add some personality to the interior. Overall the choices of material make the interior feel engaging and luxurious. The cabin is also very quiet on the road. Nissan does such an excellent job of isolating both the road and engine noise from the cabin, that the  engine sound is purposely ported back into the cabin in hard accelerations for a more thrilling driving experience.

Both the front and back seats offer plenty of leg and headroom, but the passenger sitting in the center rear seat has to endure the raised floor. The two-panel panoramic sunroof makes the interior of the Maxima feels even more spacious. It also offers excellent view form the rear seats. There is a dedicated air vent, two USB charging ports, and a center fold-down armrest in the rear cabin.

Overall, the interior of the Maxima is quiet, upscale, and very comfortable for all passengers.

The infotainment system of the Maxima centers around the 8" touch screen. It may not be the fastest interface I have tested, but the layout is intuitive. I like how Nissan places the switches and buttons right beside the screen for easy access from the driver position. The navigation system can also be controlled via the round dial behind shift stick, which makes the system even more accessible.

There is also a 7" information display in the instrument cluster for immediate access to various vehicle status and trip information. The information display is controlled via the well placed switches on the steering wheel.

The premium Bose Audio system provides impressive audio experience. It also benefits from the extra quiet cabin. Both Android auto and Apple Carplay are standard. There are two USB charting ports in the front center console, which is where you connect your smart phones for Android Auto or Apple Carplay.

Safety and Driver Assistance
Maxima offers the following safety features for all SL, SR and Platinum grades:

  • Predictive Forward Collision Warning (PFCW)
  • Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC)
  • Forward Emergency Braking (FEB)
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)
  • Blind Spot Warning (BSW)

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 alerts the driver when inattentive driving is detected.

The 2018 Maxima is power by a 3.5L V6 engine that produces 300HP horsepower and 261 lb.ft. of torque. The CVT transmission couples the engine power to the front wheels only. While not exactly in the sports car territory, the Maxima goes from 0-100 in an impressive 6.5 seconds. Hardcore car enthusiast might cringe at the CVT transmission, but in this case, Nissan does a good job of simulating gears in hard acceleration.

The steering is smooth and predictable. It is on the heavy side with ample feedback. The combination of Multi-Link Rear Suspension and McPherson Strut front suspension keeps the Maxima planted in the corners. The suspension also does a good job soaking up road bumps in the city.

The brake pedal is on the firm side, but it is easy to modulate. The Maxima returns a respectable Fuel Economy Rating of 9.6L/100km for City/Highway combined driving. It also features a Remote Engine Start trigger in the key fob for warming the car in those cold winter days.

Cargo Space & Storage
There is plenty of cargo space in the 2018 Nissan Maxima. We were doing home renovation at the time, and the 405l (14 cu.ft.) of trunk space comes in handy. Both rear seats can be folded down for additional storage space as well.

Inside the cabin, large cup holders, deep side pockets, and a storage compartment under the center armrest make storing your day to day smaller items a breeze.

As a flagship sedan, the 2018 Nissan Maxima undoubtedly offers a lot of car for the price. The exterior is not the most eye-catching, but looks polished and upscale. The interior is comfortable, quiet, and luxurious. Behind the steering wheel, the Maxima feels composed on the highway, zippy through twisty mountain roads, and refined in the city. If you are able to resist the market trend of buying SUVs and Crossovers, the Nissan Maxima is definitely not going to disappoint.

Test Vehicle
2018 Maxima Platinum
$44,450 without Destination
Deep Blue Pearl

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