A larger Maxima arrived in the summer wearing new American-designed sheet metal and powered by a stronger V-6 engine.
The front-wheel-drive Maxima is built from the same design as the Infiniti I30, the most popular model in Nissan's luxury division. The two cars share mechanical components but have different styling.
This year's longer wheelbase pays off in a larger interior, and the extra space is most noticeable in the rear seat, which has ample legroom and adequate headroom for six footers in the outboard positions. The center position is hard and cramped. A split rear seatback that folds for additional cargo space is a new standard feature.
Controls for the climate and stereo systems are large and well marked. The power front windows have new, one-touch up and down operation.
The wheelbase has grown 2 inches to 108 and overall length is up about an inch to 189. The previous Maxima and I30 shared much of their styling, but the only body panel the new models share is the roof.
Maxima's new styling, done at