The 2016 Nissan Maxima has it all.
Marriage is often about compromise: he wants to sit on a beach and you want to ski down a mountain, so you find a vacation that you both can enjoy. The 2016 Nissan Maxima reminded me of this; it envelops you in luxury, yet it zips around like a sports car and has paddle shifters so you can satisfy your urge to control the road; there is also a sport mode.
We tooled around Staten Island in this sporty sedan and were pleasantly surprised by the changes in topography and interesting neighborhoods we found. Most New Yorkers think of Staten Island, if they think of it at all, as a place to pass through, on the way to New Jersey or beyond. I literally hadn’t set foot in the borough in over 10 years.
Since the Maxima is Nissan’s flagship, we figured we had to check out Flagship Brewery, one of the craft breweries that has recently opened on the island. It’s a testament to how smooth the ride in the Maxima is that when we stopped at the brewery to fill a growler, we were able to drive home with an excellent craft beer without having it explode on the way. Sometimes when you fill a bottle with tap beer, the bouncing of the car causes the beer to foam up and erupt, but when we got home, we had a perfect growler of excellent local brew.
It isn’t just Staten Island that New Yorkers tend to ignore; many stay put in their neighborhoods; Upper East Siders never venture downtown, Queens is a foreign entity (except for the airports) and the Bronx is off the map (except for Yankee Stadium). We used the Maxima to drive to a friend’s new apartment, just three miles from our house, but in such a different area that we had no idea how to get there. The navigation system routed us there perfectly.
We also took the Nissan to Coney Island and were happy that the midsize sedan had floor mats; when we got back home, we could shake the sand out of the car. We had a couple of friends in the back, and brought beach chairs for four, blankets, bags stuffed with food and drinks – and we still had room enough in the trunk to stop by the Middle Eastern specialty store, Sahadi’s, on the way home, and load up on goodies.
I took the Brooklyn Queens Expressway a few times on my test drive and was impressed with the car’s acceleration. NYC drivers are not known for their patience or politeness and the BQE has notoriously short entrance ramps; if you don’t speed in quickly you can cause an accident, or at least invite a chorus of honks and cursing from other drivers on the road. I felt the Maxima let me merge smoothly and no one gave me a Bronx cheer.
The heated and cooled seats in the front were incredibly comfortable, and the contrast stitching looked sharp. The leather wrapped steering wheel was nice to hold; everything just felt luxe and high end. And the back seat passengers said they had plenty of leg and head room.
The cabin was quiet and we could enjoy the 11-speaker Bose audio system and Sirius XM radio.
Loaded with safety features
The Nissan Maxima has blind spot warning, with a light and audio if you try to change lanes with a car in the way, and rear cross traffic alert that does the same thing. A front collision warning lets you know if you are too close to the vehicle in front of you; it deploys emergency braking if a collision is imminent.
Tech glitches and successes
No matter how many times we tried, we could not pair my iPhone with the Maxima’s Bluetooth We had so many different people ride in the car with us, we attempted each phone, but still no success. There are only two USB ports, so if you are driving a car with a full load, you’ll have to take turns powering up.
The NissanConnect system features voice recognition with the navigation system, which worked smoothly. The eight inch color touchscreen was easy to use.
What I Loved
- Smooth ride
- Paddle shifters
- Luxury feel
- Lots of safety features
What You Need to Know
- Base price: $36,670; price for the model I drove, with sport mats and destination charges, $36,750
- Fuel economy: 22 miles per gallon in the city, 30 on the highway; 25 combined
- Takes premium gas
Note: Nissan provided the Maxima for a test drive; opinions and marriage enhancement are all my own.