Open Road

A week in a rented 2016 Nissan Maxima

I recently rented a 2016 Nissan Maxima. Thanks to National Emerald Aisle, my Executive Membership, paired with the good people at Bishop International Airport, I paid for a midsize for a week and was triple-upgraded to the car in the fleet I wanted most.

As a member of a Nissan/ Infiniti family, the moment I saw the initial pictures of the 2016 Maxima, my jaw hit the floor. I thought to myself, wow, a 4-door Nissan I can get behind the wheel of! So, did the Maxima live up to my expectations? Read on, to find out.

My Maxima was an S version, and came in Deep Blue Pearl flavor, with a Charcoal cloth interior. Starting with a base MSRP of $33,345 including destination - the entry level price for the Maxima. The car, however, is not entry level at all. Considering the base price of a little over 33k, you get a lot of bang for your buck. The powerplant is a 3.5L V6, putting out 300-horsepower, which was unfortunately paired to a CVT. The CVT Nissan uses in the Maxima is far superior to some of their earlier CVTs which revved high, and got you nowhere, fast.

The car also comes with a 7" Navigation screen, which is standard, remote engine starter, power driver seat, and rear-view camera. It has a drive mode selector, which gives you Normal and Sport, and Sport firms up the suspension and steering, and gives you the feeling the transmission actually has gears to shift.

During the week I had the car, I got to drive it in rain, snow, and good weather; and it didn't disappoint at all. The steering is amazingly responsive, with almost zero lag - something I've never felt in a Japanese car, with the exception of the 370Z (although I haven't driven any of the supercars - yet).

When I first got behind the wheel of the Maxima, I had a hard time keeping it close to the speed limit. That experience continued through the week I had it.

The day after I picked it up, I hit the accelerator a little harder than I should have going around a corner, and had a little bit of oversteer, which was very quickly corrected thanks to the responsive steering wheel. I got to jet around town in my 4DSC to and from work, social gatherings, as well as a wedding, and on my way to the wedding, was disappointed to not find a coat hook in the car, which is something I'd expect from a car is a place to hang a jacket on the day of a meeting, or a day when you don't want to wear your suit everywhere you go.

In the early evening, while driving to the wedding, in a place that was unfamiliar to me, I was heading East as the sun was setting, and seeing the screen to program the navigation system became an impossible task, even on it's full brightness setting.

All in all, the Maxima is a great car, and I'm happy to see the direction that Nissan took with it. I would seriously consider buying or leasing one in the near future.

Related Video:

2016 Nissan Maxima Reveal | 2015 NYIAS | Autoblog Short Cuts

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