Related: 2016 Nissan Maxima Review
Nissan's upscale Maxima large sedan was redesigned for 2016 with a more flowing shape and aggressive stance. For 2017, the Maxima's most significant change is that Apple CarPlay is a new standard feature on all models, integrating iPhone apps for navigation, music and other functions with the car's audio system. The Maxima becomes the first Nissan model to offer CarPlay; none currently offer the related Android Auto system.
The Maxima also gets two new appearance packages. The Medallion Package available on the Platinum model includes a "premium" spoiler, 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, illuminated kick plates, interior accent lighting and exterior ground lighting. The Dynamic Package for the SV trim contains 18-inch alloys, illuminated kick plates and side rocker moldings.
The lineup is the same as last year's, with a base S model that starts at $33,395 (including the $835 destination charge) and higher-priced SV, SL, SR and Platinum models. The latter is $40,825 with destination, and no model has a long list of expensive options that can jack up the price. What you see on the standard equipment list is basically what you get.
All models come with a 300-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 that provides potent performance and a continuously variable automatic transmission that is a good match for the engine. Nissan calls the Maxima a four-door sports car and gives it a firmer, more athletic suspension than alternatives such as the Chevrolet Impala, Toyota Avalon or Hyundai Azera. However, with the sportiest Maxima, the SR, Nissan went too far with the suspension settings in the 2016 redesign and the result is a harsh ride that amplifies every bump.
The sedan's interior appointments are attractive and of high quality, but the low roof limits headroom for taller occupants, so this isn't the most spacious large sedan.
Overall, though, the Maxima offers a distinctive look, good performance and an ample array of features (including standard navigation) at prices that offer decent value. Most large sedans stress comfort and luxury, but the Maxima stands out with its focus on a driving experience with more attitude.