Week 2 of owning my 2016 Maxima Platinum and I'm very satisfied with my purchase. I'm 30 years old, no children, young(ish) professional with a long commute (30 miles one way). I originally started shopping the '16 Cadillac CTS, Jaguar XF, and Lincoln MKZ. I happened to see a Maxima on the road and it really stood out, so I read some online reviews and made my way to the dealership "just to look". Well, after driving the cars priced thousands more, I was seriously impressed with this car. I'll go through what's meaningful to me. Safety - what are grouped into "packages" on other vehicles with already high base prices are all standard on the Maxima Platinum and commuting in Chicago through dense traffic on busy expressways I find the extra set of watchful eyes on the road very reassuring. The blind spot monitor, front and rear sonar, forward emergency braking, smart cruise control, driver attention alert, around view monitor - these have all come in handy already in just these two short weeks and I'll probably not buy another car without this helpful tech. Interior - this is MILES beyond anything in the mainstream segment and rivals cars in classes above. The diamond quilted seats, hand stitched dashboard, diamond patterned wood trim, panoramic roof, heated and cooled seats, flat bottom sport steering wheel; all these features combine to make each driving experience feel special. The nav and infotainment system is awesome - the redundant controls with the i-drive like rotary wheel is convenient if you don't want to poke at a touchscreen and the navigation information can be swiped into the driver control cluster so you can keep your eyes on the road. Driving Experience - anyone who says CVT and sport sedan can't go together (and I was one of those individuals) haven't actually driven this car. The power is IMMEDIATE and instant on-demand. The system can keep the RPMs low in everyday driving to maximize fuel economy but push the sport mode button and things get moving fast. The ability of the CVT to give you that power instantaneously and then hold you in the power band is incredible and for merging onto highways at speed, it makes things a breeze. I never feel wanting for power even after driving the twin-turbo CTS which has 400+hp. Will this car cannibalize sales from the Infiniti Q50? Probably. Will it steal sales from cars in classes above? It just did for me. It's large and spacious, sporty without being pretentious and immature, elegantly appointed on the inside, and cheaper to insure. If you're looking for a full featured near-luxury (or luxury in my opinion) car with sporting aspirations that's not too fussy to be a good reliable daily driver, head down to your Nissan dealership. I drove one home that night and have been thrilled every time I drive it.
Update 8/9: After owning this car for a little over 7 months my initial impressions have not changed. I currently have a little over 7K miles and there are some noteworthy things I'd like to add. After a month or so of driving, I noticed that when in sport mode, the acceleration DRAMATICALLY improved (not that I had any concerns about it to begin with). I did some research, and found that some auto manufacturers add software that puts limitations on the engine during the break-in period. Not sure if this is something that Nissan does, but the throttle responsiveness and power from the engine abruptly improved a noticeable amount. The only time I have noticed the CVT is when in Sport mode during spirited driving, the transmission holds the revs as if anticipating another heavy throttle input. This results in some minor droning from the transmission, however this is never observed in everyday driving in Normal mode. Still amazed by the ability of the CVT to give you instantaneous power; merging and passing is easy and never requires planning. The forward emergency braking can be somewhat overzealous - when a car is slowing down to make a turn ahead of you and you keep going at speed anticipating it moving out of your way, I've had the car brake itself somewhat abruptly several times. It certainly is better than having an accident, however it can be obtrusive. When you hear the warning beeps, a gentle braking motion can prevent this (which I should probably have been doing anyway). Minor note - not a big deal, but I found a way to turn off the honks and beeps the car emits when you lock and unlock it. Kind of a nice feature, especially getting home late in a suburban area and not wanting to annoy the neighbors. Overall structural rigidity is impressive - no squeaks or rattles, no issues with the pano roof that other reviewers have mentioned (which are all covered under warranty anyway). Some minor recalls have been addressed, but so far zero issues and still one of the best vehicles I have ever owned.