The mid-size sedan once ruled our nation’s highways. Now SUVs outsell them two to one. That didn’t stop Nissan from updating the Maxima.
The Maxima still has that low-slung, curvey body, making it stand out in an ever-shrinking sedan market. It looks long because it is long, with a wheelbase of more than 109 inches.
Our review Maxima is the top-of-the-line Platinum model, one of five trim levels. It also has the $1,100 Reserve package that includes special 19-inch wheels.
Since the first Maxima more than 30 years ago, the cockpit has always been driver-oriented and this one is, too. The Reserve package really dresses it up with diamond-quilted leather seats and a two-tone steering wheel. Most controls are canted toward the driver, and now more driver safety tech is standard.
The only transmission available is a continuously variable automatic that’s not as irritating as many CVTs. A compass is cleverly integrated into the speedometer. My only complaint inside is the gaudy-looking faceted bronze trim of the Reserve package.
There are sedans with more row two legroom, but overall, the Maxima is adequate. The trunk is huge and row two seatbacks can be folded to increase cargo space.
For many years, one of the Maxima’s features has always been a big, smooth V6, and it still is. The 3.5-liter engine sends 300 horsepower to the front wheels, but handling is pretty good. It’s more touring car than sports car, however.
So, for the 2019 Nissan Maxima Platinum, I say thumbs up to good power, a comfortable interior, and being different. Thumbs go down to the gaudy interior trim.
I averaged about 25 miles per gallon. The as-reviewed sticker $45,225.