The 2021 Nissan Maxima is swoopy, futuristic, and undeniably sporty. Blacked-out A- and B-pillars, along with a black strip on the C-pillar, make the roof appear to float, giving the whole car a unique appeal.
Underneath the hood rests a 3.5L V6, a revised version of the engine that powered the previous Maxima generation. Here, it makes 300 horsepower. That output is sent to the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission (CVT.) Rather than having set gears, CVTs are able to choose any ratio, essentially adapting on the go to whatever the driver is demanding, be it smooth fuel-efficient cruising on the highway or hard acceleration up an onramp.
While the outside of the Maxima is striking, the interior has received equal attention. The interior design is clean and functional but not without its little flourishes. Keeping with the sport sedan theme, the cockpit is now more focused on the driver and features hand-stitching on several of the trim pieces.
The Maxima is offered in three different trim levels: SV, SR, and Platinum.
The SV trim is a really well-equipped base level with leather seating surfaces, 18-inch aluminum wheels, LED headlights, keyless entry and ignition, Apple Carplay and Android Auto wireless connection, Dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, navigation system, 8-inch touchscreen, 8-speaker sound system, Satellite radio, rear parking sensors and additional movement settings for the power front seats. Standard safety features are Frontal collision mitigation, Adaptive cruise control, Blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, rear automatic braking, Lane departure warning, Automatic high beams, Traffic sign reader, and Drowsy driver monitor
The SR gets black 19-inch wheels, LED front fog lights, auto-dimming side mirrors, sport-tuned suspension, paddle shifters, heated steering wheel, interior ambient light, Panoramic sunroof, 11-speaker Bose audio system, stolen vehicle tracker system, Alcantara heated and ventilated diamond-stitched front seats with driver memory, and a charcoal headliner. More safety features added, front and rear parking sensors, surround-view camera system, and Lane keeping assist.
Platinum models, of course, offer the most of everything. In addition to getting the trick interior seating from the SR trim less the sport-tuned suspension and paddle shifters. Other goodies on the Platinum, power tilting and telescoping steering wheel, rain sensing wipers, rear window sunshade, and woodgrain accents for the interior. The 40th Anniversary Edition package offers satin dark chrome faceted finishes, 19-inch gloss black aluminum wheels, diamond-quilted 40th Anniversary Edition semi-aniline leather and heated rear seats.
Fuel Efficient Powertrain
Standard Driver-assistance Features
Sporty Driving Experience
Upscale Luxury Features
The 2021 Nissan Maxima launched a special 40th Anniversary Edition, which honors Nissan sportiveness in the four door sedans. The Maxima lineup is more focused now on the performance trims SV, SR, and Platinum and dropping the luxury focus trims S and SL.
The Nissan Maxima starts at a price point in the company of luxury offerings of the Mercedes C-Class, the Acura TLX and the Lexus IS. The Maxima offers more space than an equivalently priced Audi, BMW, or Mercedes, and it also offers more pace than a high-end Camry or Accord. The Maxima tries to let buyers have their cake and eat it too, reproducing the fun driving experience offered by European sport sedans, without reproducing their higher prices and smaller cabins.