2021 Nissan Maxima

MSRP range: $36,990 - $42,220
(1)
MSRP$37,915
Edmunds suggests you pay$33,162
Dealer Price
3 for sale near you

2021 Nissan Maxima Review

  • Well-made, attractive cabin
  • Sharp handling for a midsize sedan
  • The back seat and trunk aren't very spacious
  • Overly firm ride quality in the SR trim
  • Compromised visibility
  • Dated infotainment system
  • Limited-production 40th Anniversary Edition
  • Streamlined trim level lineup
  • Part of the eighth Maxima generation introduced for 2015

Drivers with a penchant for performance are usually willing to make sacrifices for a sporty edge. The Nissan Maxima has long catered to this set by offering standard V6 power and sharper handling than the typical midsize sedan. With the 2021 Maxima, you get a 300-horsepower V6 plus lots of standard features. Even the base-trim Maxima comes with leather upholstery, for instance.

Unfortunately, the 2021 Maxima, which is part of the eight-generation car that debuted for 2015, has little else to distinguish itself. Fresher rivals, such as the Honda Accord, Kia K5 and Toyota Camry, offer similar performance potential with fewer compromises. They typically cost less, too. We generally suggest going with one of these rivals, but check out the categories of our Expert Rating to learn more about the Maxima's strengths and weaknesses.

EdmundsEdmunds' Expert Rating
Rated for you by America’s best test team
The Maxima offers an appealing bridge to luxury sedans with sporty handling, above-average performance and a classy interior. Yet despite its ample mass, this midsize sedan doesn't offer a lot of space for either passengers or things. Many rivals also deliver better tech and more features for less money.
The Maxima isn't quite the "four-door sports car" that Nissan says it is. It's not even really a sport sedan. But it is a sporty midsize sedan, with above-average handling and strong acceleration from a V6 engine. Oddly, the Maxima feels heavy at low speeds but lighter and more agile as speed increases.

This sensation largely comes down to the steering feel. In many cars it's the opposite — lighter at parking-lot speeds and heavier with at higher speeds. In turns and corners, the Maxima's dynamic limits are fairly low, but the car communicates well enough that drivers can be confident not to overstep them. Overall, this Nissan is a friendly and easy car to drive.
The Maxima's quiet cabin — a joint effort involving acoustic glass, ample sound-deadening materials and active noise cancellation — gives the sedan a premium feel out on the road. The ride is firm and controlled, and the suspension does well at absorbing bumps and road imperfections. (A firmer sport suspension is available for drivers willing to trade ride comfort for sharper handling.) Overall, the Maxima rides better than most midsize family sedans and more like an entry-level luxury car.

The Maxima's seats also straddle the line between sporty support and long-distance comfort. They'll keep you in place through fast corners but remain comfortable for long stretches.
The Maxima's interior looks great, the controls are easy to use, and the infotainment system's structure is logical. But there's a price to pay for the Maxima's sleek exterior design. Passenger space is limited, and the cabin feels small. Front passengers get decent headroom, but intrusions in the footwells and high armrests make things feel cramped.

Rear passengers endure even less legroom and headroom. And getting in and out of the Maxima, particularly for those in the rear seat, is more work than it should be. Visibility also leaves something to be desired, and the front corners of the car are hard to judge. Useful side mirrors and safety aids help for awareness.
Nissan's technology features are easy to use, but aside from up to two USB-C ports (in addition to two regular ones) and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, the infotainment feels dated and behind the curve. The stereo and touchscreen are adequate, especially if you like bass, but other midsize sedans cost less and offer more fully featured systems and better audio.

Most basic infotainment features can be controlled through voice command, but we found the system finicky about word choice and phrasing. Driver aids are also limited. Adaptive cruise control works well and can bring the car to a complete stop, but Nissan's innovative ProPilot package isn't offered.
Considering the Maxima's size, its overall cargo capacity is disappointing. The Maxima lags behind similarly sized cars in both small-item storage and trunk space, but the trunk has a wide and low opening, which makes for easy loading. Additional useful features include hooks for hanging shopping bags and in-trunk pull tabs to release the fold-down seats.

The Maxima has four clearly marked lower car-seat anchors across the back seat and sufficient space for most car seats. The downside is the sloping rear door opening that will require some parental contortions for access.
At 24 mpg combined (20 city/30 highway), the Maxima falls short of midsize competitors with upgraded engines. In our time with the car, we had trouble matching EPA numbers, falling short even of the city mpg estimate. The fact that 91 octane is recommended adds even more cost.
The Maxima tries to thread a line between a near-luxury car and one that delivers better-than-average performance. It doesn't quite succeed at either. Sure, the interior looks nice with a veneer of luxury and many touch points covered in soft or premium materials. It also offers a measure of sophisticated handling and performance, but nothing you can't get from another competitor for less money.
The Maxima manages to capture a sense of luxury and sportiness in an accessible package, even if it doesn't quite excel at either. It's a car designed to make the driver feel good. Largely it succeeds, even if it's far from the best value.

Which Maxima does Edmunds recommend?

Since one of the Maxima's few selling points is its sporty performance, we suggest the SR trim that comes with a stiffer suspension for sharper handling. You also get some comfort and safety features to help justify the added cost.

Nissan Maxima models

The 2021 Nissan Maxima is a midsize sedan that is offered in SV, SR and Platinum trims. Powering all Maxima models is a 3.5-liter V6 engine (300 horsepower, 261 lb-ft of torque) that is mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that drives the front wheels. Standard feature highlights include:

SV
The base SV trim starts you out with:

  • LED headlights
  • Keyless entry and ignition
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Leather upholstery
  • Heated front seats
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration
  • 8-inch touchscreen
  • Remote vehicle monitoring and control
  • Eight-speaker audio system
  • In-car Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Satellite radio
  • Standard advanced safety features include:
    • Frontal collision mitigation (warns you of an impending collision and applies the brakes in certain scenarios)
    • Adaptive cruise control (adjusts speed to maintain a constant distance between the vehicle and the car in front)
    • Blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert (warns you if a vehicle is in your blind spot during a lane change or while reversing)
    • Rear automatic braking (brakes if sensors detect an imminent collision with an object behind the vehicle)
    • Lane departure warning (alerts you if the vehicle begins to drift out of its lane)
    • Automatic high beams
    • Traffic sign reader
    • Drowsy driver monitor (issues an alert if sensors determine you are becoming fatigued)

SR
The sporty SR trim adds plenty of racy touches and a few convenience features such as:

  • Foglights
  • Sunroof
  • Sport-tuned suspension
  • Ventilated front seats
  • Driver-seat memory functions
  • Faux-suede seat upholstery elements
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Paddle shifters
  • 11-speaker Bose audio system
  • Additional safety features such as:
    • Front and rear parking sensors (alert you to obstacles that may not be visible in front of or behind the vehicle when parking)
    • Surround-view camera system (gives you a top-down view of the vehicle and its surroundings for tight parking situations)
    • Lane keeping assist (steers the vehicle back into its lane if it begins to drift over the lane marker)

Platinum
The top-of-the-line Platinum model goes without the SR's sport-tuned suspension and paddle shifters but adds:

  • Automatic wipers
  • Premium leather upholstery
  • Rear window sunshade

40th Anniversary package
The Platinum trim is eligible for this option that commemorates the Maxima's history with:

  • Two-tone paint
  • Unique interior and exterior trim
  • Premium leather upholstery
  • Heated rear seats

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2021 Nissan Maxima.

5 star reviews: 100%
4 star reviews: 0%
3 star reviews: 0%
2 star reviews: 0%
1 star reviews: 0%
Average user rating: 5.0 stars based on 1 total reviews

Trending topics in reviews

  • comfort
  • road noise
  • appearance
  • technology
  • safety

Most helpful consumer reviews

5 out of 5 stars, 40th anniversary 4DSC
Johnny A,
3.5 Platinum 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT)

Bought it primarily as an upgrade from my 2013 Maxima, which I loved. I was looking for the latest safety features and CarPlay compatibility. But the 40th anniversary package really makes it stand out! Quiet and comfortable, but plenty of power too especially in sport mode.

Write a review

See all 1 reviews


Features & Specs

3.5 SV 4dr Sedan features & specs
3.5 SV 4dr Sedan
3.5L 6cyl CVT
MSRP$36,990
MPG 20 city / 30 hwy
SeatingSeats 5
TransmissionContinuously variable-speed automatic
Horsepower300 hp @ 6400 rpm
See all for sale
3.5 Platinum 4dr Sedan features & specs
3.5 Platinum 4dr Sedan
3.5L 6cyl CVT
MSRP$42,220
MPG 20 city / 30 hwy
SeatingSeats 5
TransmissionContinuously variable-speed automatic
Horsepower300 hp @ 6400 rpm
See all for sale
3.5 SR 4dr Sedan features & specs
3.5 SR 4dr Sedan
3.5L 6cyl CVT
MSRP$42,150
MPG 20 city / 30 hwy
SeatingSeats 5
TransmissionContinuously variable-speed automatic
Horsepower300 hp @ 6400 rpm
See all for sale
See all 2021 Nissan Maxima features & specs
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Safety

Our experts’ favorite Maxima safety features:

Intelligent Forward Collision Warning
Warns the driver if a front collision is imminent.
Automatic Emergency Braking
Works with the Intelligent Forward Collision Warning system. Automatically applies the brakes to lessen the impact of a front collision.
Intelligent Around-View Monitor
Provides a 360-degree, top-down view of the Maxima to help when parking.

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.

Frontal Barrier Crash RatingRating
Overall5 / 5
Driver5 / 5
Passenger5 / 5
Side Crash RatingRating
OverallNot Rated
Side Barrier RatingRating
OverallNot Rated
DriverNot Rated
PassengerNot Rated
Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsRating
Front SeatNot Rated
Back SeatNot Rated
RolloverRating
Rollover5 / 5
Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
Risk Of Rollover9.5%

IIHS Rating

The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.

Side Impact Test
Good
Roof Strength Test
Good
Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
Good
IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
Moderate Overlap Front Test
Good

Nissan Maxima vs. the competition

Nissan Maxima vs. Kia Stinger

Nissan bills the Maxima as a four-door sports car, but the Kia Stinger actually delivers on that promise. With an available turbocharged V6 engine, rear- or all-wheel drive, and sharp handling, the Stinger is a must-see if you want performance from a sedan. The Maxima does as well as a front-wheel-drive sedan can be expected, but it falls short in terms of value and comfort. Read Edmunds' long-term road test of the Kia Stinger.

Compare Nissan Maxima & Kia Stinger features

Nissan Maxima vs. Kia K5

The Kia K5 is new in name, though in reality, it's the continuation of the retired Optima. Despite its rather humble beginnings, the K5 is a standout in the class, with aggressive styling, engaging driving dynamics and the kind of value that Kia is known for. The top-of-the-line K5 GT has a stout turbocharged four-cylinder that rivals the Maxima's V6 for power.

Compare Nissan Maxima & Kia K5 features

Nissan Maxima vs. Mazda 6

In many ways, the Mazda 6 represents what the Maxima could have been. Its sleek styling manages to turn heads and the sporty handling will elicit a smile in spirited driving, yet it costs quite a bit less than the Nissan. The advantages continue to build with the Mazda 6's more modern tech and comfortable seats.

Compare Nissan Maxima & Mazda 6 features

Related Maxima Articles

FAQ

Is the Nissan Maxima a good car?

The Edmunds experts tested the 2021 Maxima both on the road and at the track, giving it a 7.4 out of 10. You probably care about Nissan Maxima fuel economy, so it's important to know that the Maxima gets an EPA-estimated 24 mpg. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the Maxima has 14.3 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Nissan Maxima. Learn more

What's new in the 2021 Nissan Maxima?

According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2021 Nissan Maxima:

  • Limited-production 40th Anniversary Edition
  • Streamlined trim level lineup
  • Part of the eighth Maxima generation introduced for 2015
Learn more

Is the Nissan Maxima reliable?

To determine whether the Nissan Maxima is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the Maxima. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the Maxima's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

Is the 2021 Nissan Maxima a good car?

There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2021 Nissan Maxima is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2021 Maxima and gave it a 7.4 out of 10. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2021 Maxima is a good car for you. Learn more

How much should I pay for a 2021 Nissan Maxima?

The least-expensive 2021 Nissan Maxima is the 2021 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SV 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $36,990.

Other versions include:

  • 3.5 SV 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT) which starts at $36,990
  • 3.5 Platinum 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT) which starts at $42,220
  • 3.5 SR 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT) which starts at $42,150
Learn more

What are the different models of Nissan Maxima?

If you're interested in the Nissan Maxima, the next question is, which Maxima model is right for you? Maxima variants include 3.5 SV 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT), 3.5 Platinum 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT), and 3.5 SR 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT). For a full list of Maxima models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2021 Nissan Maxima

2021 Nissan Maxima Overview

The 2021 Nissan Maxima is offered in the following submodels: Maxima Sedan. Available styles include 3.5 SV 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT), 3.5 SR 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT), and 3.5 Platinum 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT).

What do people think of the 2021 Nissan Maxima?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2021 Nissan Maxima and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2021 Maxima 5.0 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2021 Maxima.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2021 Nissan Maxima and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2021 Maxima featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2021 Nissan Maxima?

2021 Nissan Maxima 3.5 Platinum 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT)

The 2021 Nissan Maxima 3.5 Platinum 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $43,145. The average price paid for a new 2021 Nissan Maxima 3.5 Platinum 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT) is trending $5,361 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $5,361 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $37,784.

The average savings for the 2021 Nissan Maxima 3.5 Platinum 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT) is 12.4% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 9 2021 Nissan Maxima 3.5 Platinum 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

2021 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SR 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT)

The 2021 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SR 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $43,075. The average price paid for a new 2021 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SR 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT) is trending $5,365 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $5,365 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $37,710.

The average savings for the 2021 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SR 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT) is 12.5% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 7 2021 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SR 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

2021 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SV 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT)

The 2021 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SV 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $37,915. The average price paid for a new 2021 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SV 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT) is trending $4,648 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $4,648 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $33,267.

The average savings for the 2021 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SV 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT) is 12.3% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 1 2021 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SV 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

Which 2021 Nissan Maximas are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2021 Nissan Maxima for sale near. There are currently 48 new 2021 Maximas listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $38,625 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2021 Nissan Maxima. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $5,189 on a used or CPO 2021 Maxima available from a dealership near you.

Can't find a new 2021 Nissan Maximas you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Nissan Maxima for sale - 7 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $13,134.

Find a new Nissan for sale - 10 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $19,597.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2021 Nissan Maxima?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Nissan lease specials