Home / News / 2018 Nissan Maxima Rental Review – Lowered Expectations

2018 Nissan Maxima Rental Review – Lowered Expectations

Has it unequivocally been five years given we rented and tested a prior Nissan Maxima? Well, as Natalie Merchant once pronounced about children, “At your age / in a fibre of days / a year is gone.” That less-than-maximum Max was, in my opinion anyway, a misfortune Maxima ever.

Is there anybody out there who approaching anything some-more than sameness from a stream Maxima, notwithstanding a in-your-face styling, notwithstanding that hugely evocative Super Bowl ad? we doubt it. The five-year opening between my final go-round with a vast Nissan sedan shrinks to nullity when compared to a three-decade opening that separates now and a introduction of a initial (and last) best automobile to bear this sold nameplate.

Here’s a good news: The new one’s improved than a aged one, and a one before that. It depends as a pleasing warn in a business that is increasingly bereft of such consolations. All we need to conclude this automobile is a correct perspective, that we’ll triangulate formed on dual chronological points: a first-generation Datsun 810 “Maxima”, and a Renault Laguna.


My bulletin for this sold let was sincerely stout. Two Fridays ago, we installed a Maxima with 4 Direzza Star Specs mounted to Enkei wheels, a trunk’s value of tools, a building jack, and an URB-E Pro GT electric scooter. Then we gathering it to NCM Motorsports Park to support my wife’s try to win a SCCA Time Trial eventuality being hold there on Saturday. (She took 2nd of 7 drivers, interjection for asking.) Then we incited and burnt behind home to squeeze my son, barter a automobile things for bike stuff, and conduct to Dayton for a BMX race. (He done his categorical and took 2nd, and we indeed won my category for a initial time in a unequivocally prolonged time, interjection again for asking.)

The sum stretch concerned in this 72-hour journey was somewhere in a operation of 1,100 miles.

This is what we indispensable out of a Nissan: comfort, quiet, and superb fuel economy. That’s what we got. The cabin was roughly Lexus-silent, a seats were honestly outstanding, and a Maxima averaged a self-reported 28.9 mpg (without bike rack) and 28.5 mpg (two bikes on an aged Rhode Gear rack).

All of this, practiced for era, was also loyal of Datsun’s aged 810 Maxima, that started out as an upscale trim turn on a full-sized (by Japanese standards) 810 sedan. It was a RWD four-door about a distance of a complicated Civic with a straight-six heart transplanted from a 280ZX — though it wasn’t even remotely sporty. Not like a 510 that had come before it. That was a BMW aspirant and an SCCA terror. The 810 was a Cressida-by-Nissan. Nothing more, zero less.

In a prolonged years given a 810 wandered off into a junkyards, a marketplace has motionless that upscale sedans need to be Autobahn-oriented in a demeanour of a Mercedes S-Class or BMW 3 Series. Lost in a pitiable zeal with that everybody from Cadillac to Genesis has depressed into line with that preference is a fact that a few companies, many of them French or Japanese, didn’t get a memo. The Renault Laguna was one of those cars. It’s a height relations of a Maxima, and it specialized in that vast tasteless comfiness that also tangible a Citroen C6 and a aged Peugeot 604.

If we wish to know a Maxima better, usually consider of it as a house-brand chronicle of a Renault Laguna. Any sportiness in a automobile is possibly small gingerbread or totally accidental. There’s a foolish flat-bottomed steering wheel; whoever suspicion of that should have clinging some-more courtesy to a fact that a switches on that circle are remarkably non-intuitive.

Those switches are arrange of counterpart images, though a cruise-control capacitate switch on a right side usually presses down instead of down and up. On a left, we change song marks by flipping a switch adult and down. The left-right buttons do other stuff. It will take we some-more than a space of a let duration to get used to them. The same is loyal for a journey control, that requires an peculiar ride suit to adjust a speed.

The whole automobile is filled with ergonomic oddities. The left-side HVAC doorknob occupies a mark where a volume doorknob should be. The volume doorknob is adult on a surge in an area that is vaporous from perspective by a wheel. The window switches are convex-edged for a front windows and concave-edged for a rears, though they’re mounted in a mark where your palm naturally falls to a back switches. The menu complement for a infotainment complement is softly baffling. Maybe it’s a French influence; if your Laguna had these foibles we would put it down to character.

Speaking of a HVAC: It’s been years given we sat in a new automobile that did so small surreptitious venting, and when we did it was a Chevy lorry from a prior generation. The Maxima can blow ice-cold atmosphere — and it does, right during your face. The elite methods of a “AUTO” environment are all remarkably indelicate, frosting or hot whichever partial of your face or physique is closest to a vents. It’s like Nissan hasn’t worried to keep adult with courtesy use in this area.

The styling, on a other hand, is as complicated as today’s headlines, and usually as moronic. The front grille, that appears to have a singular foolish sire tooth tangled in a center of an Audi trapezoid that unsuccessful quality-control inspections. The weird faux-glazing on a C-pillar. It’s not singular to Nissan, as we can see above. Maybe it’s a Landau padded vinyl quarter-roof trim of 2018. Except it looks worse. This thesis of nonessential complexity is steady inside a cabin, where groundless stitching battles with several opposite kinds of grey cosmetic and an over-generous assisting fake-brushed steel trim in a accumulation of shapes for your attention.

It’s a shame, really, since distinct a Avalon or a now-discontinued Azera a Max has a genuine disproportion in suit when compared to a Altima from that it sprang. It looks lower, wider, meaner. Shame that it’s been arrayed with so most aspect confusion. At slightest a case is scrupulously large, nonetheless a prolonged tubular arms of a case can squish your luggage if you’re not careful.

On a move, a true aged VQ-and-CVT multiple keeps we during slightest even with a crossovers. Nissan has given into renouned view and tuned a CVT to (poorly) impersonate a required transmission. Too bad it can’t censor a peculiar jumpy function a powertrain displays on a turnpike as we engage, afterwards relax, a throttle. A slight additional brushing of a pedal is accompanied by a 500 rpm burst and a surge via a physique that is afterwards steady in retreat as a CVT guesses during your subsequent move. I’m being rude here, since a boon for all this weirdness is, as formerly mentioned, some unequivocally plain fuel economy. Hell, in this day and age Nissan deserves a award for not saddling this vast honker of a sedan with an asthmatic 2.0-liter turbo four.

As supplied, this SV sedan though sunroof would cost we about $34k before all a unavoidable discounts. That’s a same cost Nissan charged 5 years ago for a automobile that didn’t hoop a basis scarcely as good as this one does. You can spend adult to 7 grand some-more for a accumulation of upscale trim packages both sporting and luxurious. Some of them come with a improved sound system. That would be a acquire upgrade; a stereo in a SV is not good.

Nissan expected thinks this competes with a Avalon. It doesn’t. No Avalon customer would worry to demeanour during this, since they’d be fearful of a trustworthiness and a looks. In truth, this is a left-field choice to an Accord 2.0T, a same approach that a Renault Laguna is a left-field choice to a BMW 3 Series overseas. The Nissan is quieter, substantially gets improved real-world mileage, and has some-more serviceable case space. Every other probable advantage would go to a Honda. Except, of course, for a fact that your Nissan play will work with your credit in a approach that a Honda play won’t.

If you’re now in an, ahem, rebuilding proviso of your life, we could do worse than this Maxima. It’s an alleviation over the new predecessors and it’s a unequivocally pleasing turnpike cruiser. Don’t design anything some-more than that, and we won’t be disappointed.

[Images: Jack Baruth/TTAC]

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