The Maxima achieves similar acceleration times using two very different launch methods. With stability control on, there is zero wheelspin and very little delay leaving the line going from brake to full throttle. Turn the stability system off and power-brake briefly to 2,000 rpm and you'll induce a moderate amount of wheelspin at the line with more forward eagerness. Either method yields similar results, the latter possibly losing some power/speed toward the quarter-mile due to heat buildup (note the ambient temp). At full throttle, the CVT keeps the engine rpm hovering close to the rev limiter as it decreases the gearing ratios with climbing speeds. Ratios assigned to simulated gears are accessible using the paddle shifters or toggling Manual mode by pushing the gear selector left.
The Maxima's stopping ability is average for the class, with a relatively firm pedal and medium-short stroke. Stability under ABS is good, with minimal nosedive, and only a little steering wheel shake and chassis squirm. We also experienced mild but incrementally more brake fade with each passing run.
Skid pad: Road-holding grip in the Maxima SR isn't great with the all-season tires our test car was equipped with. Understeer is quite prominent, and the steering gets very light when the front tires begin to push wide. There is a brake-based electronic cornering aid (Active Trace Control) that doesn't appear to have much effect in this scenario. Slalom: Stability control is much more apparent and intrusive in dealing with quick directional transitions. The rear end of the Maxima can be provoked to step out of line, and stability control quickly prevents that from occurring, and significantly slows the car when understeer reaches a moderate level. Our quickest slalom time was achieved entering the cones well under the intervention threshold and carefully increasing our speed to the exit. The Active Trace Control could be felt helping in the directional changes here.