Many car buyers want two things – A strong V6 engine and no electronic hassles. The Nissan Maxima offers both.
We BestRide testers are the go-to experts among our friends and family. Those looking to replace an aging sedan they have long loved seem to always ask us two questions. First, “Can I get a V6?” Second, “Can I get one without all the annoying electronics?” The answer is a definite “Yes” if one considers the 2020 Nissan Maxima.
Powerful V6 Engines Are Endangered – Not Extinct
The Maxima comes only with a strong V6. We find many new smaller turbocharged engines work great in cars. However, sometimes after we finish evaluating a good new turbocharged car, a new tester then shows up with a V6 and we have that “aha!” moment. And we remember exactly how much better a good V6 can be in a sedan. The best analogy we can come up with is frozen yogurt. While you are eating it, you think, “Wow, this low-cal yogurt is delicious and better for me.” Then you have a lick of your friends Moosetracks full-fat ice cream and go, “What was I thinking!?” Modern V6 engines in sedans have zero lag, offer punchy acceleration in every real-world situation, and they get almost identical fuel economy to smaller turbocharged engines. In our testing of the Maxima, the average MPG display hovered around 28 MPG in mixed driving. And it felt fast and satisfying in every scenario. Toe the power pedal and away you go.
Annoying Safety Electronics – The Devil Is In The Details
During our week with the Maxima, the electronic safety nannies never once squawked. Not a single time did they give us a false positive alert and they were never part of the driving experience. They just quietly rode along waiting for us to do something dumb and dangerous, which we never did. Then the Maxima went away and was replaced by another vehicle model. On our first drive, it gave us a false forward collision warning. In the driveway. The difference was stark. One vehicle never stops seeing ghosts, the other stays vigilant, but is never annoying. Sadly, false-positive reporting is not part of the safety testing IIHS does. We wish there were better metrics we could share on the topic. For now, all we can do is highlight the models that don’t flash, buzz and vibrate false safety warnings at you. The good news is that for the most part, the false positives are trending down based on our overall testing.
Easy To Operate Infotainment
If you’re like us, you want your audio and nav systems to be simple to operate. If you need to access a system so say, change how long the interior lights stay on after you shut the car off, you want the menus to be intuitive so you don’t have to reach for a manual. The Maxima offers the most simple to operate infotainment in the business. Nissan didn’t take away any functionality. It is all there, it’s just well designed and easy to use. There is a CD player, and the audio system has a very user-friendly design. For example, setting the audio channel presets works the same way it worked in cars in the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s. You select your channel then press and hold a pre-set location arrayed under the display. Modern, but familiar is the theme.
Nissan Maxima – Never Annoying, Always Satisfying
We found the Maxima to be interesting because it was always easy to live with and never bugged us. The engine is powerful and satisfying, and the electronics stay out of the way. If you are looking for a sedan to replace an aging sedan from a simpler time, the 2020 Nissan Maxima should be at the top of your list.
2020 Nissan Maxima SL Fast Facts:
Price as Tested: $39,900
Base Price: $36,000
EPA Fuel Combined Economy Estimate, 24 MPG
Horsepower – 300 hp
Note: Vehicle tested was a media fleet 2019 model year car. Nissan has not changed the Maxima SL trim for 2020. Price shown is for the 2020 model year vehicle now on sale.