When it unveiled the 2016 Maxima at the New York Auto Show, Nissan left enthusiasts in awe. The new full-size showcased a concept-like exterior design and an interior packed with premium features previously not available in this class. It had just one fault in the fact that it didn’t have AWD. Despite that, Nissan is very optimistic about the Maxima, claiming it is one of the sportiest full-size vehicles. To prove it, the company took it to the Buttonwillow Raceway Park for a comparison against other sedans with sporty ambitions: the BMW 328i, Audi A4 2.0T, and the Acura TLX V6 Tech.

The test itself was more that just a couple of times laps. Nissan did put all four cars through their paces on the 1.8-mile track, but it used all sorts of technology to see which performed better and was fastest around corners. All cars were driven by professional racer Andy Lally, who also took his time to explain the intricacies of the test.

The result was a bit surprising, as the Maxima proved to be the quickest of the pack, beating the BMW 3 Series to the finish line by nearly a second. The reason why it’s surprising is because although the 328i is less powerful than the Maxima, it’s significantly lighter. Not to mention that, according to most tests, it’s also one of the most agile compact sedans. So what does this mean? Well, either Nisssan has pulled a fast one on us or the 2016 Maxima is simply that good!

2016 Nissan Maxima

2016 - 2017 Nissan Maxima
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Read more about the 2016 Nissan Maxima in our full review here.

Press Release

Nissan promised that the 2016 Nissan Maxima lives up to its "4-Door Sports Car" nickname when it revealed the all-new, eighth-generation sport sedan’s design at the recent New York International Auto Show. Now the certified proof – and video testing highlights – are in and posted online for everyone to see.

Called the "2016 Nissan Maxima Test Track Challenge," AMCI Testing was contacted as an objective, independent third-party testing organization to explore and certify differences in Buttonwillow Raceway closed course lap performance between the 2015 Acura TLX 3.5 (FWD) with Technology Package, 2015 Audi A4 2.0T quattro® Premium Plus Tiptronic, 2015 BMW 328i sedan and the 2016 Nissan Maxima SR.

When all laps were completed around the 1.8-mile Buttonwillow Raceway Park’s West Loop, the new Maxima was clearly the fastest:

Vehicle Seconds Margin (sec.)
Maxima SR 1:18.50
BMW 328i 1:19.48 0.98
Acura TLX 3.5L 1:20.58 2.08
Audi A4 2.0T Quattro 1:21.21 2.71

"We expected the all-new 2016 Maxima, with its re-engineered engine, transmission and chassis to do well, but frankly even we were surprised by the head-to-head test results against some very well-established luxury sports sedans," said Pierre Loing, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America. "Following the adage that ‘seeing is believing’, the video highlights that the 2016 Maxima’s drivetrain and powertrain combination is well optimized for performance, meeting the challenge offered by the well-regarded rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive and front-wheel drive competitors."

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