model. 2019 Nissan Maxima Platinum Reserve
as equipped. $46,310 loaded
seat/style: four-door, five-pass sedan
engine. 3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve V6 engine
fuel economy. 20 city, 30 highway
The Maxima was fully redesigned in 2015 and this version is a modern refresh, with updated front and rear styling and a sharp interior. The Maxima is an engaging drive, with an appealing exhaust note from the 3.5-liter engine and the CVT the most satisfying version I’ve driven to date. It’s darn close to the “four-door sports car” Nissan claims.
The steering is taut with minimal play, and the Sport mode adds an extra level of engagement. The ride is comfortable, providing the right amount of road feel and noise in the quiet cabin without intruding.
The diamond-quilted seats standard in the Platinum Reserve trim are great-looking but the semi-aniline leather in rakuda tan is reminiscent of 70's Naugahyde.* The satin-bronze trim is cool now but may not age well. The controls and technology (including Android Auto and Apple Carplay) are blessedly simple and intuitive, a welcome change from competitors.
The seats were cooled and heated, but oddly the buzz from the fan was so loud, I thought it was an out-of-tune AM radio station, a wrinkle in an otherwise excellent cabin experience.
I like the Maxima, so if a sedan is your jam, you should check it out.
*fun fact: Naugahyde is named after Naugatuck, CT, where rubber was manufactured. Nothing is made in CT anymore, so this was awhile ago.