2014 Nissan Maxima

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The Nissan Maxima is back for 2014 with only a handful of updates late in this model’s life cycle. A new Limited trim on the base model offers all the coolest elements from the $36,000 SV Sport package for only $31,750. Upgrades include a new dark-grey wheel design, dark grille and light surrounds and xenon low beams.

As equipped, the Maxima looks far more youthful and sporty than its tenure on the market would suggest. In fact, there is even a little bit of modern-day Infiniti Q45 about the slinky lights, giant fender arches and boxed jaw. The Nissan Maxima’s best asset is still its $31,000 base price, which holds the line for 2014. The SV trim is now about $700 more expensive, but brings big upgrades in equipment and handling.

The classic 4DSC is no longer the golden performance car that it once was, when it was a standout with its standard V-6 engine and manual transmission. Those days are gone for the Maxima in this generation, as a CVT automatic saps some of this big sedan’s hot rod charisma.

The sports sedan idol at Nissan was clearly passed to Infiniti almost a decade ago, so where does that leave this flagship in buyers’ minds versus the Acura TL or the new Chevrolet Impala ?

lick past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Nissan Maxima, with info on the latest updates and specs on the latest Limited Edition styling updates.

Exterior

Nissan Maxima

The Maxima is deceptively handsome, and it is not an instant hit versus its premium rivals, like the base Audi A4. With some time to review its features, it is quite interesting even five years after this shape’s debut.

From above, or in ’plan’ view, the Maxima is defined by its huge shoulders front and rear — more so than many pure sports cars , like the Aston Martin Rapide S. This aspect is well fit for the latest glasshouse, which ditched the previous generation’s silver roof brightwork for a simpler and classier outline. No chrome, just a slim graphic to add sportiness to the front-drive proportions.

The headlights are showing their age, and look best with either the Limited Edition appearance package or the full Sport pack on the SV. Darker trims and less chrome update the appearance nicely, which brings xenon low beams only. No LEDs up front either, despite a tasteful graphite-colored grille and fog lights.

The Maxima takes a turn for the tragic out back, where its shape has been gravely wounded by the Sentra and Altima’s shameless copies. The result leaves the big Maxima looking quite past its ’freshness’ date, despite some LED brake lights.

In fact, without the Maxima letters on the trunk, this car could trick even sharp eyes into thinking it’s a Sentra and Altima.

2014 Nissan Maxima - Exterior Dimensions:

Wheelbase (in.) 109.3
Length (in.) 190.6
Width (in.) 73.2
Height (in.) 57.8
Front Track Width (in.) 62.4
Rear Track Width (in.) 62.4
Ground Clearance (in.) 5.4
Curb Weight (Pounds) 3,568
Drag Coefficient 0.33

3.5 S Limited Edition Package ($750)

  • Sport-tuned suspension
  • 19-inch aluminum-alloy Dark Hyper Silver finish wheels with P245/40R19 V-rated all-season tires
  • Rear spoiler
  • Dark finish sport grille and smoked headlights
  • High Intensity Discharge (HID) xenon headlights

Sport Package Details ($3,250):

Nissan Maxima
  • Sport-tuned suspension
  • 19-inch aluminum-alloy Dark Hyper Silver finish wheels with P245/40R19 V-rated all-season tires
  • Rear spoiler
  • Dark finish sport grille and smoked headlights
  • High Intensity Discharge (HID) xenon headlights
  • Premium leather-appointed seats
  • Metallic trim (replaces piano-dot trim)
  • Heated outside mirrors with reverse tilt-down feature and auto-dimming driver-side outside mirror
  • Heated front seats
  • Leather-wrapped heated steering wheel
  • Leather-wrapped gearshift knob
  • Power tilt/telescoping steering column
  • Memory System - driver’s seat, steering wheel and outside mirrors (two settings, remote control-activated)
  • Driver’s seat entry/exit system
  • Rear bucket seats (3-passenger capacity) with large fold-down center armrest
  • Vehicle Information System with 7.0-inch QVGA color monitor and RearView Monitor
  • Bose audio system with AM/FM/CD, Nine speakers, SiriusXM Satellite Radio with 3-month trial subscription, USB connection port for iPod interface and other compatible devices (replaces auxiliary audio input jack)
  • Auxiliary audio/video input jacks in center console (replaces auxiliary audio input jack located on head unit)
  • Radio Data System (RDS), Speed-sensitive volume control
  • Heated outside mirrors with reverse tilt-down feature
  • Auto-dimming driver-side outside mirror
  • Climate-controlled driver’s seat (heated and cooled)
  • Parallel-seamed heated premium leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters, Parallel-seamed leather-wrapped shift knob
  • Power tilt/telescoping steering column
  • Memory System – driver’s seat, steering wheel and outside mirrors (two settings, remote control-activated)
  • Driver’s seat entry/exit system
  • Trunk chassis reinforcement, Rear-seat trunk pass-through (replaces 60/40 split fold-down seats)

2014 Nissan Maxima - Exterior Options:

Splash Guards $185
Monitor Package $700
Cold Package $400
Premium Package $3,700
Sport Package $3,250
Rear Spoiler $380
High Intensity Discharge (HID) Xenon Headlights $400
Tech Package (3.5 SV) $1,150
Tech Package (3.5 SV w/ Premium) $1,150
Tech Package (3.5 SV w/ Sport) $1,150
SV Value Package $1,000
Bose Audio $1,100
19" Summer Tires N/C
Trunk Sub-Floor Organizer w/ First Aid Kit and Emergency Kit $145
Illuminated Kick Plate $245

Interior

Nissan Maxima

The Maxima’s interior is not quite as large as some people recall, with dimensions that are great for front-seat legroom but shaded by even the Acura TL Acura TL for shoulder room. The Maxima trades huge front-seat comfort for slim back-seat legroom, but individual buckets back there at least feel nice and reclined. A new twin-pane glass roof is welcome, and offers shades to keep you cool in the sun.

Classy fixtures, like the Infiniti wheel and navigation unit, are welcome, as are the new-for-2014 inclusions, like the backup camera. Still, no active safety tech, and for every nice panel there are a few others that feel hard and scratchy. Better than the Impala, but certainly much worse than the TL.

2014 Nissan Maxima - Interior Dimensions: Competitive Info-graphic:

Nissan Maxima

The infographic compares the exterior dimensions, interior room, trunk space and warranty for the Maxima versus the Toyota Toyota Avalon, Acura TL and BMW 328i. Items circled in red indicate the best-in class performance, versus red for the worst of these four.

Drivetrain, Suspension and Brakes

Nissan Maxima

The Maxima is hobbled by its front-drive layout and CVT automatic, despite coming only in one powerful engine configuration. This makes even the cheapest Maxima’s some of the most desirable and confident midsize sedans on the road, with much more power than the Ford Fusion.

The CVT sucks most of the fun out of any drivetrain, but the 2013 Maxima still tested in the low-6-second range to 60 mph, and we expect that to carry into 2014. Despite the quick launch, the CVT makes it feel slower than it really is. The only reason the Maxima remains as quick as it is in spite of its CVT is its potent 3.5-liter V-6 that delivers 290 horsepower and 261 pound-feet of torque.

Large wheel-mounted paddles invite manual gear choices, but Maxima drivers will need to like the surge/lunge CVT driving style when you floor the gas.

2014 Nissan Maxima - Performance Details:

Engine 3.5-liter 24-valve V-6 With DOHC And VVT
Transmission Xtronic CVT Automatic
Powertrain Layout Front-engine, Front-drive
Power (Horsepower @ RPM)290 @ 6,400
Torque (Pound-Feet @ RPM)261 @ 4,400
0-60 mph 6.3 seconds, Est
Top Speed 137 mph, Est.
EPA Fuel Economy MPG (City/Highway/Combined) 19/26/22

Safety

Nissan Maxima

Despite lacking any active safety technology, the Maxima is a top-ranked scorer with a robust standard safety features list.

2014 Nissan Maxima - Safety Features:

  • Nissan Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS): Driver (dual-stage with seat belt sensor), Passenger (dual-stage with seat belt and occupant classification sensors), Front-seat side-impact, Roof-mounted curtain side-impact
  • Front Seat Active Head Restraints
  • Front seat belts with pretensioners, load-limiters and adjustable upper anchors
  • 3-point seat belts for all seating positions
  • Child seat upper tether anchors
  • LATCH system
  • Energy-absorbing steering column
  • Zone Body construction with front and rear crumple zones
  • Hood buckling creases and safety stops
  • Body side reinforcements
  • Shift interlock system
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with individual tire pressure display
  • Tamper proof door lock key cylinder
  • Steering wheel locks when key is removed
  • Vehicle Security System
  • Immobilizer
  • Child safety rear door locks
  • Power window lockout button
  • Emergency inside trunk release

Pricing and Availability

Nissan Maxima

The Maxima is available now, with the base S model holding the line versus the $700 increase for the SV versus 2013.

2014 Nissan MSRP
Maxima S $31,000
Maxima SV $34,090

Competition

2013 Acura TL

Acura TL

Another Japanese entry-luxury player nearing the end of its product life cycle, the TL actually shows up the Maxima in numerous areas of cabin tech and quality. Available as a six-speed manual in the top $45,000 Advance trim, the TL is much more popular as a speedy front-drive automatic. Though it may feel faster than the Maxima, thanks to its conventional transmission, it is slightly slower and the AWD configuration is a good bit thirstier.

Conclusion

Nissan Maxima

The Maxima is still a bold and confident machine, happy to do big miles and also scorch some tires marks in the stoplight drag race. It does admirably at mimicking a sports sedan under full throttle sprints, but really lacks the canyon composure to run with any of its luxury brand rivals.

This generation of Maxima certainly has its own charm, however, and a niche of rapid pace and a smooth ride goes well with the large cabin layout. The up side of the Maxima’s relaxed chassis and CVT woes is a really smooth and premium ride that seems happy anywhere between 75 and 115 mph all day long.

In that regard, and for its affordability versus rivals, the current Maxima is worth a second look ahead of a possible replacement for 2016 .

LOVE IT
  • Confident styling up front and most angles
  • Great front seat legroom and affordable style upgrades
  • New cabin tech is welcome
LEAVE IT
  • New cabin tech is still not at cutting edge, and bumps prices to an uncomfortable level
  • Rear end needs work
  • Performance 4DSC credentials badly bruised by CVT and old engine

Press Release

NISSAN ANNOUNCES 2014 MAXIMA U.S. PRICING

Nissan Maxima

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Nissan today announced U.S. pricing for its flagship 2014 Nissan Maxima, which is on sale now at Nissan dealers nationwide. Maxima offers sports sedan styling, a driver-oriented cockpit, ample comfort and luxury, and an advanced drivetrain led by Nissan’s 290-horsepower 3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve VQ-series V6 engine and standard Xtronic CVT® with manual and "DS" (drive sport) modes with available paddle shifters.

Enhancements for the 2014 model year include:

Nissan Maxima
  • Addition of a Limited Edition Package (on 3.5 S models), priced at $750 USD, featuring smoked appearance headlights, Xenon headlights, compass in rearview mirror, 18-inch aluminum-alloy Dark Hyper Silver wheels, rear spoiler, fog lights, outside mirrors with integrated turn signals and metallic trim treatment
  • SV grade adds standard RearView Monitor, USB connectivity and 7.0-inch color monitor with QVGA display, SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), USB connectivity and Xenon headlights
  • Two new exterior colors: Gun Metallic and Midnight Garnet (eight available exterior colors total)

Maxima’s wide range of available technology includes a Bose® premium audio system with nine speakers and Nissan Hard Drive Navigation system with NavTraffic Real-Time Traffic information and NavWeather (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately) and Voice Recognition.

Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices* (MSRP) for the 2014 Nissan Maxima:

Nissan Maxima
  • Maxima 3.5 S $31,000 USD
  • Maxima 3.5 SV $34,090 USD

Destination and Handling $810.

About Nissan North America

Nissan Maxima

In North America, Nissan’s operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency.

More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.NissanUSA.com and www.InfinitiUSA.com, or visit the Americas media sites NissanNews.com and InfinitiNews.com.

About Nissan

Nissan Maxima

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan’s second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 236,000 employees globally, Nissan sold more than 4.9 million vehicles and generated revenue of 9.6 trillion yen (USD 116.16 billion) in fiscal 2012.

Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of over 60 models under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. In 2010, Nissan introduced the Nissan LEAF, and continues to lead in zero-emission mobility. The LEAF, the first mass-market, pure-electric vehicle launched globally, is now the best-selling EV in history. For more information on our products, services and commitment to sustainable mobility, visit our website at http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/.


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