It's been a rough few years for the regular passenger car market. About two-thirds of all vehicles sold in the last few years have been trucks and SUVs. Automakers have been cutting passenger cars from their product lists, but Nissan has decided to keep its sedans, at least for the time being.
There's a good reason to make that decision: Nissan has some of the best passenger cars on the market right now. The prime example is the 2019 Nissan Maxima. Among larger mid-size family sedans, the Maxima stands out for its luxury, performance, and good looks. Nissan has updated the Maxima this year with a fresh new exterior and interior design, and added key advanced safety and driver assistance features.
The standard engine for the Maxima is Nissan's proven 3.5-liter V6, now producing 300 horsepower and 261 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with Nissan's Xtronic continuously variable transmission to drive the front wheels. The combination will rocket the Maxima from 0-60 MPH in 5.9 seconds while returning 20 MPG in city driving and up to 30 MPG on the highway.
As a family car, the Maxima keeps focus on safety. Available advanced features include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, high beam assist and rear automatic braking. These features are included with all trims above the base S model. As you move up the trim ladder, Nissan adds more advanced features like a 360-degree camera system and road sign recognition.
Inside, the Maxima offers plenty of elbow and knee room. The seats are comfortable, and available with heat and ventilation. The outboard rear seats can also be heated, which will keep the whole family happy in the winter. If you get the Platinum Reserve package, the Rakuda leather on the seats is sumptuously soft and pleasant. One feature to call out is the power thigh support for the driver's seat. That's a great benefit for taller drivers.
The Maxima comes with a great tech package in the higher trims, including an 8.0-inch touchscreen system with support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Nissan also has one of the best onboard navigation systems in the business, and the whole thing responds to spoken voice commands.
On the road, the Maxima is as comfortable and capable as many European luxury sedans. The adaptive cruise control makes a long day's run up the freeway as easy as a short commute. The Maxima has a good smooth suspension, but the sport-oriented SR trim is a little firmer for the enthusiast driver.
If you're ready to give a mid-size sedan another chance, you really can't do better than the 2019 Nissan Maxima.
2019 Nissan Maxima Platinum Reserve
Base price: $33,950
Price as tested: $45,225
Type: Mid-size sedan
Engine: 3.5-liter V6 (300 hp, 261 lbs-ft)
Transmissions: Continuously Variable Transmission
EPA estimated mileage: 20/30
Overall length: 193 inches
Curb weight: 3,676 pounds
Final assembly: Smyrna, Tennessee