• The 2023 Nissan Maxima Could Finally Be A Step In The Right Direction

Will the 2023 Nissan Maxima turn the boring Sedan into an exciting sporty Proposition, or is It destined to remain a bland fleet Car?

You probably know the Nissan Maxima as the brand’s bland sedan, destined to be a fleet car for a rental company or a taxi service. Over the years, the car did have a few decent versions, among which the SR, which was supposed to be a sportier variant of an otherwise unremarkable mid-size, front-wheel-drive sedan. To make things worse, the Maxima dropped the manual option in 2008 and, ever since, the potent 3.5-liter V-6 had to work with a lame CVT unit. However, the 2023 Nissan Maxima has the potential to be an exciting proposition. Here’s why.

SUVs may not replace sedans after all

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It was initially believed that the current, eighth-generation of the Maxima would be discontinued sometime over the next two years. This belief was further reinforced by the declining sales of large sedans, in response to the rising demand for crossovers and SUVs. However, data suggests that not all car owners are jumping on the SUV/crossover bandwagon.

For example, 42 percent of Ford Focus and Chevrolet Cruze owners did not upgrade to a high-riding vehicle. Instead, they went for another similar vehicle from another carmaker, those often being the Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic.

Despite the crossover/SIV craze, sedans, whether they are compact, mid-size, or full-size, still make for a substantial percentage of the automotive market. In addition, sedans have become more versatile than ever. So, how does the Nissan Maxima tie in?

An opportunity to fill an empty niche as a global model

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The Maxima hasn’t been offered in Europe, for nearly two decades, but this might change. Given that compact sedans have become larger than ever before, certain models have become obsolete. For example, Toyota discontinued the Avensis, which was positioned above the Corolla, in favor of the smaller (not much smaller nowadays) Corolla. This in turn leaves room for a bigger model, which is why the Toyota Camry returned to the European market in 2018, after a long absence.

This means that the 2023 Nissan Maxima could, once again, become a global model. Moreover, the Maxima already went through a mid-cycle refresh, in 2019, so you can bet it’s going to be around for a while longer. Hopefully, not as long as the GT-R and 370Z. According to a Motor1 article, 2022 could also spawn a fully electric version of the Nissan Maxima. However, this may not happen until 2025, which is when the model is said to undergo a complete redesign.

A sportier Maxima?

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The current-generation Nissan Maxima looks quite a bit sportier and much more distinctive than previous generations, some of which had a very conservative styling. If the 2023 Maxima is, indeed, influenced by the Nissan V-Motion concept, this would mean a more futuristic and sportier interpretation of the current design. The Maxima could also become a four-door coupe or a liftback (hatchback) at some poit, similar to the Kia Stinger or the Peugeot 508 Fastback. However, this would most likely happen after 2025.

One thing is certain, the Maxima has definitely become a fairly quick car, even with a CVT. The 0 to 60 mph time of the current generation is 5.7 seconds and on a good day, the Maxima proves it could run with a Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R.

The 2023 Nissan Maxima Could Finally Be A Step In The Right Direction Exterior
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As for the engine, the Maxima is still expected to have the 3.5-liter VQ35DE V-6 engine, potentially scoring a slight bump in power. A present, the engine makes 300 horsepower and 261 pound-feet (354 Nm). The biggest weak point of the Maxima is considered the gearbox, which is a CVT. While great for the fuel economy, it doesn’t quite fit the car’s sportier pretensions.

Here come the bad news. While Nissan currently has options when it comes to automatic transmission options, the 2023 model could still feature a CVT gearbox. Nissan did come up with a heavy-duty, toroidal CVT that has a greater torque capacity, but it might only be featured on pick-up trucks and SUVs. We still think the Maxima should have the option of a manual or at least a proper automatic like the Mercedes-derived, nine-speed automatic.

Conclusion

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Now, more than ever, it would make sense for the Nissan Maxima to, once again, become a global model. With Nissan’s current pricing strategy, the Japanese sporty sedan has the potential to be great value for money, not just in the North American market, but globally. However, the CVT must go if the Maxima is to reprise its sporty character. While the 2023 Nissan Maxima is partially a mystery, we would likely get more of the same, until the complete redesign comes out, in 2025.

Dim Angelov
Dim Angelov
Born in 1992, I come from a family of motoring enthusiasts. My passion for cars was awoken at the age of six, when I saw a Lamborghini Diablo SV in a magazine. After high school I earned a master’s degree in marketing and a Master of Arts in Media and Communications. Over the years, I’ve practiced and become skilled in precision driving and to date have test driven more than 250 cars across the globe. Over the years, I’ve picked up basic mechanical knowledge and have even taken part in the restoration of a 1964 Jaguar E-Type and an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint. Lately, I’ve taken a fancy to automotive photography, and while modern cars are my primary passion, I also have a love for Asian Martial Arts, swimming, war history, craft beer, historical weapons, and car restoration. In time, I plan my own classic car restoration and hope to earn my racing certificate, after which I expect to establish my own racing team.  Read full bio
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