2019 Nissan Maxima

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$34,050

starting MSRP

2019 Nissan Maxima
2019 Nissan Maxima

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

The good:

  • Accelerator response
  • Standard V-6 power
  • Lush semi-aniline leather option
  • Front-seat comfort
  • Bold styling

The bad:

  • Front-seat width
  • Backseat room
  • Interior quality not up to luxury-brand rivals
  • Controlled but firm ride
  • Modest handling
  • Glitchy multimedia system

5 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2019 Nissan Maxima trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • Updated styling
  • More safety features
  • 3.5-liter V-6
  • Continuously variable automatic transmission
  • Available 360-degree cameras
  • Standard Apple CarPlay, Android Auto

2019 Nissan Maxima review: Our expert's take

By Kelsey Mays

The verdict: The 2019 Nissan Maxima has always appealed as more of a budget luxury sedan than a traditional full-sizer. As consumer interest in both groups wanes, however, so does the case for the Maxima.

Versus the competition: More of an alternative to the Acura TLX or Lexus ES than a traditional full-size sedan, the Maxima has aspects of driving fun and premium quality. But it can’t deliver the whole package in either area, leaving it few other legs to stand on.

The Maxima slots above the Altima to cap off Nissan’s sedan lineup. The automaker updated the Maxima for 2019 with styling changes and new safety options, which you can read more about here. Available in five trim levels, the 2019 model retains a standard 3.5-liter V-6 and continuously variable automatic transmission. Compare the trims here or go here to stack up the 2019 and 2018 models. We evaluated Maxima’s two top trims: the SR and the Platinum.

How It Drives

In an era of turbocharged engines and high-tech transmissions with instant torque and short-gear-ratio revving, the Maxima goes it old-school. A big, normally aspirated V-6 (300 horsepower, 261 pounds-feet of torque) doesn’t dole out the good stuff until 4,000 to 6,000 rpm, and the transmission exhibits relatively few of the simulated shift points that many of today’s CVTs throw in for effect. This seems like a formula that would underwhelm, but the Maxima delivers results with swift accelerator response. Press the gas, and the car leaps to attention; the high-revving punch comes moments later, and the climb up the tachometer is enjoyable enough. Most modern cars have some degree of accelerator lag, ranging from slight to borderline dangerous. The Maxima excels simply by not screwing up where so many other cars do.

The SR gets unique shock-absorber tuning, but in both the SR and Platinum we tested the suspension’s overall character is controlled but firm. Expect plenty of chop over sewer covers, as well as low-level highway turbulence on all but the smoothest pavement. The experience compares to the sport-tuned TLX A-Spec, also a firm-riding sedan, but Nissan should offer a comfort-oriented suspension choice.

Alternatives ranging from a regular TLX or Lexus ES to most mass-market full-size sedans, such as the Toyota Avalon, Chrysler 300 and Chevrolet Impala, ride more forgivingly, and the Maxima doesn’t justify its firmness with exceptional handling. The high-effort steering is precise enough, but the chassis does little to mask the car’s front-wheel-drive architecture. Progressive understeer makes its way into sweeping corners, salvaged only by deliberate lift-throttle or selective braking from the electronic stability system, both of which can slide the tail a bit to reorient the axis. Still, I miss the prior-generation Maxima (2009-2014), a car whose excellent dynamics belied its front-drive roots. The current generation feels less planted, and Nissan’s updates for 2019 don’t change that.

The Inside

Base trim levels have cloth upholstery, while other trims offer three grades of leather, culminating in semi-aniline cowhide. Included with the top-trim Maxima’s Platinum Reserve Package, the semi-aniline upholstery is rich stuff. Lavish padding with double-stitched surfaces down to arm level (and in some cases knee level) goes a long way toward evoking a legitimate luxury car. Alas, certain aspects don’t add up to luxury — or modernity, for that matter. The climate dials feel too clumsy for a premium car, and some controls suggest Nissan’s 2000s-era parts bin. There are cheaper plastics in scattered areas where luxury rivals have richer stuff. And Cars.com editors observed numerous problems with the 8-inch touchscreen in two test vehicles, including choppy, delayed images from the backup camera, faulty Bluetooth music streaming, and navigation maps freezing on Android Auto.

If the Maxima falls short of the luxury big leagues, it’s all the way down in junior varsity in terms of roominess. Editors found the front seats comfortable, but the center console fans out ahead of the cupholders to encroach on knee clearance even for average-sized drivers, let alone larger folks. An outcropping in the footwell limits passenger-side space. Backseat legroom is modest, and some adults may find the seat cushions too short. In cars with the panoramic moonroof (a feature that’s standard on two trim levels and available on a third), headroom is downright stingy. If you plan to drive adults in back with any frequency, the backseats in most large-sedan rivals leave the Maxima’s in the dust.

Features & Value

As of this writing, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has yet to post crash-test ratings for the 2019 Maxima; they’ll go here once the agency does. Pricing starts in the mid-$30,000s including destination and standard features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, power front seats, automatic emergency braking, and keyless access with push-button start. Higher trims can add the panoramic moonroof, 360-degree cameras, adaptive cruise control, and heated and cooled seats, among other features. Absent is Nissan’s ProPilot Assist suite of semi-autonomous features, which the Maxima’s 2019 refresh didn’t garner. That means lane-centering steering, a feature widely available elsewhere, remains missing here.

Pricing tops out with the near-$44,000 Platinum Reserve Package, a spread that puts the Maxima on par with a TLX or Avalon. Both alternatives are comfier cars with more technology — and better interior quality, in Acura’s case. Bargain shoppers can undercut the whole group with a lower trim of a traditional full-sizer like the Impala or Chrysler 300. Whether you aim for size, luxury or sportiness, the Maxima is either not quite there or well short. Its updates add some visual pizazz for 2019, and I’m philosophically in favor of Nissan offering the poor man’s (or woman’s) luxury sport sedan. But in the current model, the goods don’t add up. Given the decline in popularity for all sedans, I question if the mission remains worth it.

Cars.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

Photo of Kelsey Mays
Former Assistant Managing Editor-News Kelsey Mays likes quality, reliability, safety and practicality. But he also likes a fair price. Email Kelsey Mays

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.8
  • Interior design 4.9
  • Performance 4.8
  • Value for the money 4.7
  • Exterior styling 5.0
  • Reliability 4.6

Most recent consumer reviews

3.9

Good design inside and out

The redesign from last model is a big improvement especially with the interior. I just feel the gas milage should be better but overall a good car

4.6

Does Everything Well, Nothing Amazingly

I have owned a 2019 Nissan Maxima SL for a number of months now and I think that's enough time to know that I made a great purchase. The Nissan Maxima is what I'd call your "Jack of All Trades, Master of None" car, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Having driven a 2016 Dodge Challenger R/T and a 2016 Chevrolet Camaro 2SS, the Maxima isn't quite the rocket ship those two cars are, but it's certainly no slouch. The 3.5 V6 is very confident, and provides more than enough power for the Maxima, I'd almost go so far as to classify it as a "mini muscle car"; it's not going to blow the doors off a V8 or some turbo-charged competition, but make no mistake the car is quick, and the CVT Nissan has put in the Maxima is very quick to respond. The average driver who isn't necessarily looking for a rocket will be very impressed with what this car can do. What really won me over about the Maxima is the styling and the interior. Between this and a 2018 Ford Fusion Sport, despite the Fusion being the more powerful car, the Maxima's craftsmanship was in another league from the Ford. The interior is filled with soft-touch materials, nice aluminum themed accents, contrast stitching, and more. My only gripe is the use of gloss black plastic in the center console and by the touch-screen as it's a micro-scratch/dust magnet, but admittedly it does look classy. The interior is a genuinely nice place to be; the seats are incredibly comfortable. All in all, the Maxima provides a very competent package. Yes, there are cars that are more luxurious. There are cars that are faster. There are cars that look a little meaner, if one of those things in particular is a high priority. The Maxima does each one of them well, however, making the Maxima an excellent proposition if you want a car that offers some of everything; it's fairly luxurious, looks great on the outside, and offers enough thrills to inject some fun into your commute.

4.1

Luxury feel

This car has very good front legroom. It's styling is topnotch. It is fast! It has very good handling. The sound system is good. Test drive one.

See all 23 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Nissan Certified Select
New car program benefits
Bumper-to-bumper
36 months/36,000 miles
Corrosion
60 months/unlimited distance
Powertrain
60 months/60,000 miles
Roadside assistance
36 months/36,000 miles
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
Nissan and non-Nissan vehicles less than 10 years old and less than 100,000 miles. (Nissan vehicles less than 6 years from original new car in-service date must have more than 60,000 to qualify for Certified Select.)
Powertrain
6 months/6,000 miles from date of sale
Dealer certification required
84-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

Compare the competitors

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