Nissan Maxima Test


The Nissan Maxima front-wheel drive sedan (Sefiro in Japan) debuted in 1994. The wagon modification appeared three years later. This spring in Geneva showed the second generation of this model (so far only a sedan). Available with 2.0 or 3.0 liter gasoline engines, an automatic four-speed or five-speed manual gearbox.


According to the European classification, "Nissan-Maxima" refers to the upper middle - E-class. However, the second generation of its framework, as they say, end-to-end - an elongated 150 mm sedan became the largest in its class, very close to the "major league" of executive limousines. Not only dimensions are related to the latter - the car was made even more comfortable, noticeably richer, significantly safer, slightly more powerful and somewhat more expensive.

Having kept the silhouette and general outlines almost unchanged, the new Maxima added respectability, the body lines became slimmer, chrome was added on emblems and facings. Thanks to the cleaner lens technology (literally, “clear lens”), the look of twice as powerful xenon headlights with smooth glass without a diffuser has become clearer. The new face is certainly recognizable, although its large front overhang and slightly slanted headlights subtly resemble KIA-Klarus. The bumpers are very functional, they endure a collision at speeds up to 8 km / h without any damage or damage to the body. Speaking of strength: body rigidity increased by 30%, and this affects not only safety, but also road behavior.

The wheelbase increased by 50 mm made it possible to widen the doorways, to make the interior, which was already rather big, more spacious - a tall passenger sits freely behind his legs, without touching the front seat with his knees. The width of the spacious sofa is enough for three, although the average is unlikely to be happy with the floor tunnel, unusually developed for the front-wheel drive car. In the niche of the armrest there is a ski hatch, and if there is not enough huge 520-liter luggage compartment for luggage (the volume is 18% more than the old model), you can fold the back of the seat in parts or completely.

Front - soft comfortable chairs with many electrical adjustments, a huge margin in height (about 100 mm with a height of 180 cm) and a little cramped front panel for leg space. A representative list of safety features: two front and two side airbags, active head restraints, pretensioners and force limiters on the belts. Interior trim - walnut plastic, fabric (SLX equipment) and velor (SE) gray or beige, leather for an extra charge. Of course - air conditioning or air conditioning, electric windows (with the function of "rebound") and heated outside mirrors, as well as automatic dimming of the inside. Thick side windows effectively dampen ultraviolet rays and reduce noise.

At the first moment, a black dip in the place of the instrument panel is puzzling - white scales and arrows appear only when the ignition is turned on. Moreover, depending on which of the two keys is inserted into the lock, not only individual chair adjustments will be restored, but also the audio system settings. The landing is quite convenient, and yet a couple of remarks: adjusting the length of the steering column would not hurt - low drivers, moving to the pedals, will rest on the steering wheel, and fully squeezing the clutch pedal with its huge stroke is not easy.

Under the hood of the new Maxima are the proven V-shaped “sixes” of the VQ series, short-stroke, with a volume of 2 or 3 liters. The first migrated from the previous model unchanged, the second received an improved intake and gas distribution with variable phases, which allowed, above all, to equalize the characteristic of the moment at medium speed. As a result, two hardly distinguishable-looking engines give the car completely different characters. “Maxima” with a two-liter engine and a manual gearbox - a comfortable sedan for “representative” driving, with a three-liter - a real “athlete”, capable of racing not just fast - very fast.

It is interesting that subjectively, especially at first, due to the excellent sound insulation, you do not realize this difference. Well, it rides a little more dynamically, but it’s just as easy, without bothering passengers with the roar of the engine, the screeching of tires, or the whistling of the wind. The numbers, meanwhile, indicate: to “hundreds”, a more powerful car accelerates in just 8 seconds (the rarest case when real performance is better than passport performance), and 180 km / h it picks up twice (!) Faster than a two-liter - for 27.3 s against 55, one. With an automatic transmission, the difference in dynamic performance is almost the same. By the way, the “machine” is pretty smart here - with a transformer locked in 4th gear to reduce appetite in cruising modes.

In forced modes, the suspension, which is modernized to achieve the “optimal balance between comfort and handling, ” neutralizes strong emotions. The fashion for an active lifestyle led to the fact that now the Nissan engineers found this balance much closer to handling, managing to not too far away from comfort. The variable-performance amplifier facilitates parking, but returns the steering wheel to a good information content with increasing speed. Brakes with larger discs are not prone to overheating even with repeated intensive deceleration, although a driver looking for thrills will most likely notice too high pedal sensitivity and low effort on it. In general, the reactions of the car turned out to be similar to the appearance: without frightening sports harshness, but at the same time distinct, accurate, quite energetic, which is important - well predicted.

In this segment of the market, the buyer is already not poor, but he still remembers the price of money - you need to convince him to pay from 30 to 40 thousand dollars - this is exactly the range of prices for a novelty in Russia (about 8% more than for the previous model). For rent, Nissan Maxima has good reason.

Nissan Maxima QX is almost an executive car at a business class price.

Photo by Vladimir TRUSOV

+ Well-predicted behavior on the road, energy-intensive suspension, accurate, informative steering wheel, good dynamics (with a 3-liter engine), rich standard equipment, large door openings, a very spacious interior, excellent sound insulation, a comfortable boot, a long warranty.

- Noticeable vertical accelerations on bumps, an overly sensitive brake pedal, a large stroke of the clutch pedal, invisible buttons for locking the doors from the outside, and the engine compartment that is not protected from below.

Nissan Maxima

with an engine of 2.0 l (in brackets - 3.0 l) and a manual gearbox