2017 Nissan Maxima Review

Pros & Cons

  • Well-made and attractive cabin rivals those of luxury-branded sedans
  • Easy-to-use tech controls
  • Abundant features for the money
  • Sharp driving dynamics for a midsize sedan
  • Backseat and trunk aren't very spacious
  • High price given the car's size and Nissan badge
  • All-wheel drive is not available
  • SR trim level's firm ride
List Price Range
$16,100 - $29,000

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

When you're shopping for your next car, you're often comparing neat groupings of models that, for the most part, line up with each other in terms of size, equipment, performance and price. Apples to apples, oranges to oranges, midsize sedan to midsize sedan. Sometimes, though, a car like the 2017 Nissan Maxima comes along that exists outside those neat groupings. It's a disruption to the order, and it presents an interesting -- albeit desirable -- dilemma for shoppers.

The 2017 Nissan Maxima's styling helps it stand out in the midsize sedan crowd.

You see, the Maxima has a price tag and feature set similar to those of a large sedan like the Toyota Avalon, but it's not as roomy on the inside. (It's not even as roomy as a midsize sedan like the Ford Fusion, either.) The Maxima's standard V6 engine offers similarly strong acceleration as the most powerful midsize sedan engines, but its athletic handling capabilities and refined driving experience are more evocative of entry-level luxury sedans like the Acura TLX. Yet those entry-luxury sedans obviously give you more brand cachet than the Maxima's humble Nissan badge, and they're also often offered with all-wheel drive and are frequently even sportier to drive.

So is the 2017 Nissan Maxima an oddball to ignore or an intriguing alternative to the status quo? If you go by traditional sales figures, most people go with the former. But we think the Maxima is worth taking a look. Apples to oranges, it's one of the more interesting and appealing midsize sedans out there.

Standard safety features on the 2017 Nissan Maxima include antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and a rearview camera. Standard on the SL and above are a blind-spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert, and a forward collision warning and mitigation system with automatic braking. (The forward collision warning and mitigation system is standard on all 2017.5 models.) The Platinum model also adds a 360-degree parking camera system with a moving object detection system that sounds a beep and gives video alerts on the center screen when even small objects are moving anywhere around the vehicle. The Platinum also includes a driver drowsiness monitor and NissanConnect, which includes automatic collision notification, remote starting, emergency calling and stolen vehicle locating.

In government crash tests, last year's Maxima earned an overall score of five stars (out of a possible five), with five stars for total front-impact safety and five stars for total side-impact safety. The Maxima also earned top scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, receiving a Good rating in the moderate- and small-overlap front-offset impact tests as well as a Good rating in the side impact, roof strength and seat/head restraint tests. The IIHS also tested the Maxima's forward collision mitigation system and awarded it a score of Superior.

In Edmunds brake testing, a Maxima Platinum with all-season tires stopped from 60 mph in 122 feet, which is slightly below average for sedans of this caliber.

Notably, we picked the 2017 Nissan Maxima as one of Edmunds' Best Used Cars.

2017 Nissan Maxima models

The 2017 Nissan Maxima is a five-passenger midsize sedan available in five trim levels: S, SV, SL, the sporty SR and the top-of-the-line Platinum.

Standard features of the base S model include 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglights, LED running lights, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, power front seats (eight-way driver and four-way passenger), cloth upholstery, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. Electronics features include a large gauge cluster display, an 8-inch touchscreen display, a navigation system, a rearview camera, Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay, two USB ports and an eight-speaker sound system with satellite radio, HD radio and a six-CD changer.

Maximas with the 2017.5 model year designation are also equipped with standard forward collision warning with automatic braking.

The SV model adds heated outside mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, leather upholstery, heated front seats and an upgraded driver seat with extendable thigh support and two-way power lumbar. The Dynamic package adds a "premium" rear spoiler, different 18-inch wheels and side sill extensions.

The SL model gets a panoramic sunroof, a heated steering wheel, ambient interior lighting, active noise cancellation, active engine sound enhancement, a premium 11-speaker Bose audio system and adaptive cruise control. It also adds several safety features (see Safety section below).

The sporty SR adds 19-inch wheels (with available summer performance tires), a sport-tuned suspension, paddle shifters that engage simulated gear ratios, Active Ride Control (uses the brakes to quell body motions over bumps), Active Trace Control (uses targeted braking to keep the vehicle on its intended path) and active engine braking that helps slow the car when heading aggressively into corners or approaching a stop. The SR also has LED headlights, heated and ventilated front seats, and upgraded leather upholstery with quilted simulated suede seat inserts and special interior trim. The SR does not have a panoramic sunroof, but it can be equipped with summer tires (packaged with a full-size spare tire) and the Midnight Edition package that includes a "sport" rear spoiler, a rear diffuser and gloss black wheels.

The Maxima's Platinum trim level comes standard with the panoramic sunroof. You can't get it on the SR, though.

To the SL's equipment roster, the Platinum adds the LED headlights, heated and ventilated front seats, a power-adjustable steering wheel, driver memory settings, premium diamond-quilted leather upholstery, automatic wipers, a power rear sunshade, a 360-degree parking camera system (with a moving object detection system) and a driver attention alert system. The Platinum also features NissanConnect (see Safety section for more information). The Medallion Edition package adds that "premium" rear spoiler, different 18-inch wheels, interior accent lighting and exterior ground lighting.

The 2017 Nissan Maxima is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 300 horsepower and 261 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) are standard.

In Edmunds testing, a Maxima Platinum sprinted from zero to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds, which is a few ticks quicker than average for a midsize sedan with a V6 or similarly powered engine. As for EPA-estimated fuel economy, expect 25 mpg combined (21 city/30 highway). Edmunds managed 28.1 mpg on the 116-mile Edmunds evaluation route, which is a strong showing.

Driving

Nissan has long suggested that the Maxima is a "four-door sports car." In our experience, the 2017 Maxima does feel rather sporty, with nicely controlled body motions and commendable grip around turns that equate to dynamic talents greater than the typical mid- or full-size sedan. However, the steering is oddly slow in parking lots and gets light as speeds rise (the opposite is true with most modern cars), and quick left-right transitions can flummox it. And although the sportier SR improves handling further, its firmer suspension essentially ruins what is a comfortable and controlled ride in all other trims. As a result, we would avoid the Maxima SR.

Hit the gas and the Maxima accelerates quickly, though it isn't really any quicker than other midsize sedans with upgrade engines.

The 3.5-liter V6 provides ready and willing power across the rev range, and it works well with the CVT, although torque steer (the feeling of the car pulling left or right as you accelerate) is noticeable during hard acceleration. As with other CVTs, the Maxima's transmission has no fixed gear ratios. However, Nissan has added seven simulated gear ratios that are used in certain instances to provide the feeling of a regular automatic transmission, minimizing the prolonged high-rpm droning that has given CVTs a bad reputation. We generally like the result, as the CVT does a pretty fair impression of a conventional automatic without giving up its edge in fuel economy.

Interior

The 2017 Maxima may not have the brand name of a luxury car, but it has the interior of one. Passengers are surrounded by quality materials, including soft-touch surfaces on most of the major touch points. Nissan's Zero Gravity seats are present as well. They're supportive, though we haven't found these to be as superbly comfortable as the ones in the Nissan Altima. One particularly thoughtful feature is the bin mounted forward of the shifter that contains two USB ports, space for all but the biggest phones on the market and a slot to mount a phone vertically so you can see messages as they pop up.

The Maxima's cabin is stylish, well made and comes with an easy-to-use touchscreen tech interface.

However, for 2017, Apple users probably won't need to. With the addition of standard Apple CarPlay, you can now control a basic selection of apps (including text messaging) through voice controls and the terrific, easy-to-use Nissan touchscreen that's bolstered by a handy, redundant knob controller similar to those found in many luxury-branded cars. Android Auto is unavailable, though.

In terms of space, front and rear legroom is acceptable, but the Maxima can't match the rear seat space of less expensive midsize sedans like the Ford Fusion or Honda Accord, let alone similarly priced sedans like the Toyota Avalon. Similarly, the Maxima's 14.3-cubic-foot trunk is smaller than those competitors as well. It is similar to many entry-level luxury sedans, however.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2017 Nissan Maxima.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Best sedan I've ever driven
Reese P,01/23/2017
Platinum 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT)
Incredible car for the price. Quiet and super comfortable. CVT transmission took a bit to get used to but car is fun to drive! UPDATE after 7 months ownership: The Maxima is in the "full size/large car" category along with Toyota Avalons, Kia Credenzas, Chevy Impalas, etc. The outside dimensions are about equivalent to those other cars, but the interior is at most the size of a midsize car. Having had an Avalon before my Maxima, it has been an adjustment to get used to the reduced cabin and trunk space. Fortunately, I knew when buying that I no longer needed such a big interior. In return for less space you get very thick doors which I believe is one reason the car rates so highly on safety. Such thick doors makes it a little hard to get into the vehicle. But once inside, the Maxima is beautiful, incredibly comfortable (except for people taller than about 5'11 in the back seats), super easy to use and understand. The interior (Platinum level) is nicer and better laid out than many cars I have been in costing tens of thousands of dollars more. I have never heard a better sound system in a car than the Bose sound system in my car. I am now used to the CVT; when "flooring it" the car simulates a regular transmission and with 300 hp has a few times scared me a bit with its pickup. I regularly get 33 mpg on the highway even at 75 mph. The Maxima Platinum is a luxury car with fun performance and very minor faults. By far the best sedan I have ever driven and an incredible car for the price I paid. UPDATE AFTER A YEAR OF OWNERSHIP: Still the best car I have ever owned. Heated steering wheel is an incredible luxury during winter and warms really fast. Entire car heats up very quickly.
Great car but strange problems
Derrick,08/10/2017
Platinum 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT)
I've owned the car for 6 months and the it has been in the shop for 4 months (and needs to go back). Filed a lemon law case with Nissan. Don't get me wrong I love the car - beautiful inside and out. But from day one the glass panoramic roof would pop and crack over bumps and turns... eventually the whole roof was replaced because they couldn't solve the problem. Now entire car rattles, pops and cracks. my roof isn't mounted correctly and is protruding in the back where the rear window meets it. When on the freeway the the car is extremely loud (like the window or sunroom are open) I believe it is due to the roof issues - because I don't recall this issue before the replacement of the roof. The rattling and popping is driving me insane - can't wait to get this replaced or my money back. this is my 4th Nissan in 20 years... huge fan of the brand - never had any issues with Armada, Altima and older Maxima. I have a feeling that I am in for a fight with the lemon law buy back!
Dream Empty Nester Cruiser- 2nd Udate for Jul 2020
Ted,01/15/2017
3.5 SL 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT)
Update: All I have to update about this car is that I still love it as much as when I first bought it in Dec. '17. Not one problem. Gas Mileage is still great, uses no oil or other fluids. Still the quietest car I've ever owned and I now have 45,000 miles on it. The only thing I have changed is oil, oil filter, and added just a bit of power steering fluid. This is one nice road and around-town car. Plenty of room for passengers. I've received more compliments on this car than any I have owned. Oh, did I say I run Reg grade gas? Premium- never.
Professional Critics: Stop saying the same things
Frank,02/12/2017
3.5 SL 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT)
You will notice the professionals who review cars say the same things over and over! Here is a different view to them where I agree and disagree. First, I love the Xtronic (CVT) Transmission. After driving the Maxima for a while, and then driving other cars with a regular transmission, I love the CVT!! It is smooth and sounds so much better - so relax "car pros" - you think you are sooooo smart to shake your head at the CVT, but I LIKE IT!! The interior is amazing and the looks suite me just fine. The handling is good, but I will agree with the pros that front wheel drive can be a negative for some (until you drive in the snow) - and all wheel drive would be nice as well (but would add cost). It is a FUN CAR TO DRIVE, so sorry "Pros," I am good with the 4DSC moniker. (so there!) Ok, here we are about 2 yeas later. Everything above is still true. It’s fast and fun. Still beautiful to look at. Love the Bordeaux Black color that they no longer offer. Not great in the snow so all wheel drive would be a nice option.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2017 Nissan Maxima features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    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 Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2017 Nissan Maxima

Used 2017 Nissan Maxima Overview

The Used 2017 Nissan Maxima is offered in the following submodels: Maxima Sedan. Available styles include 3.5 SL 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT), Platinum 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT), 3.5 S 4dr Sedan w/Prod. End 04/17 (3.5L 6cyl CVT), 3.5 SV 4dr Sedan w/Prod. End 04/17 (3.5L 6cyl CVT), 3.5 SR 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT), 3.5 S 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT), and 3.5 SV 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT).

What's a good price on a Used 2017 Nissan Maxima?

Price comparisons for Used 2017 Nissan Maxima trim styles:

  • The Used 2017 Nissan Maxima 3.5 S is priced between $16,100 and$26,000 with odometer readings between 15400 and73360 miles.
  • The Used 2017 Nissan Maxima Platinum is priced between $20,000 and$29,000 with odometer readings between 13616 and84127 miles.
  • The Used 2017 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SL is priced between $18,999 and$25,480 with odometer readings between 11201 and91225 miles.
  • The Used 2017 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SV is priced between $17,985 and$28,799 with odometer readings between 21100 and55186 miles.
  • The Used 2017 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SR is priced between $20,737 and$26,590 with odometer readings between 30585 and62613 miles.

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Which used 2017 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) 2017 Nissan Maxima for sale near. There are currently 109 used and CPO 2017 Maximas listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $16,100 and mileage as low as 11201 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned 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 Used 2017 Nissan Maxima.

Can't find a used 2017 Nissan Maximas you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Nissan Maxima for sale - 9 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $12,472.

Find a used Nissan for sale - 6 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $14,460.

Find a used certified pre-owned Nissan Maxima for sale - 9 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $20,534.

Find a used certified pre-owned Nissan for sale - 5 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $15,984.

Should I lease or buy a 2017 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.

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Check out Nissan Maxima lease specials