For 2007, Nissan gave the Maxima a new grille, hood, bumper and headlights — in short, nearly everything in front of the A-pillars. The sheet metal made the car look much more menacing than the model it replaced, but its bark is worse than its bite. Competitors include premium sedans such as the Chrysler 300, Toyota Avalon and Volkswagen Passat. A Platinum Edition package of convenience features is added for 2008 on both SE and SL trim levels.
The Maxima is available in sporty 3.5 SE or premium 3.5 SL trim levels, both packing a 3.5-liter V-6.
Nissan's T-shaped grille adds a subtle indentation below the logo. The grille sits above a chunky air dam flanked by fog lights, each set in their own compartment. The headlights stretch farther back than before and include redesigned bezels. Side and rear details remain mostly unchanged.
The changes for 2007 extended the Maxima's length to 194.4 inches long, 0.9 inches longer than the previous version. It also gained 86 pounds in the 3.5 SL and 109 pounds gain in the 3.5 SE; both models top 3,500 pounds. Aerodynamics also suffered; the current Maxima's 0.30 coefficient of drag is nominally worse than the previous version's 0.28.
The 3.5 SL gets 17-inch wheels and xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights. Xenon lights are optional on the 3.5 SE, which includes standard 18-inch wheels and a rear spoiler.
The dashboard incorporates rotary climate controls and a conventional domed instrument panel. Standard equipment includes dual-zone automatic climate control, a power driver's seat and Nissan's SkyView roof, which incorporates a fixed glass pane running down the center of the cabin. The 3.5 SL adds a power passenger seat, leather upholstery and heated front seats. Options include a navigation system, heated rear seats and a conventional moonroof.
An available Platinum Edition package includes auto-dimming side mirrors, bi-xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity and a heated steering wheel.
With 103.6 cubic feet of volume, passenger compartment space on the Maxima ranks between the Passat (96.2) and the 300 (106.6). The Avalon beats all three, with 106.9 cubic feet of cabin volume.
Under the Hood
Nissan's 3.5-liter V-6 makes 255 horsepower and 252 pounds-feet of torque.
A continuously variable automatic transmission drives all models. Nissan says the CVT, which includes a sequential-shifting mode, is calibrated for quicker response than the previous five-speed automatic.
Four-wheel-disc antilock brakes are standard. Active front head restraints that reduce whiplash during rear impacts are also standard, as are side impact and side curtain airbags. An electronic stability system is optional.
Cars.com Expert Reviews
|Kelsey Mays||Cars.com National||October 18, 2007|
|Kelsey Mays||Cars.com National||August 14, 2007|
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