2018 Nissan Maxima Review
Which Maxima does Edmunds recommend?
Edmunds' Expert Review
- Well-made and attractive cabin rivals those of luxury-branded sedans
- Tech controls are easy to use
- Lots of features for the money
- Sharp handling for a midsize sedan
- Back seat 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
Overall rating7.3 / 10
The Maxima isn't like most other sedans you might be considering. It's sportier than the typical family sedan but is equipped and priced more like a large sedan. It could even be an option for an entry-level luxury car. As such, the Maxima is largely a niche offering, but one with undeniable appeal.
Nissan has long called the Maxima a "four-door sports car." Of course, the phrase is mostly marketing hype. But the Maxima handles pretty well when you're driving around turns and comes standard with a powerful V6 engine. There's even a sporty SR trim with unique suspension tuning and performance-oriented driver aids.
Given the Maxima's lengthy list of features, upscale interior appointments and all-around competence, it could be a solid alternative to luxury sedans such as the Acura TLX or Lincoln MKZ. The cabin is so decadently trimmed in the SR and Platinum levels, it outdoes even those cars at that price.
We will note that this year's crop of midsize sedans is pretty appealing. The redesigned Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, in particular, boast sportier styling and stronger performance than ever before. That might dilute the Maxima's appeal considering the Honda and Toyota are roomier and less expensive. But if you're looking for a sedan with equal parts sportiness and unpretentious luxury, the 2018 Nissan Maxima is certainly worth checking out.
Notably, we picked the 2018 Nissan Maxima as one of Edmunds' Best Used Cars.
2018 Nissan Maxima models
The 2018 Nissan Maxima sedan comes in five trim levels: the base S, midlevel SV, the slightly more expensive SL, sporty SR and the top-level Platinum.
Like all Maximas, the S is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine (300 horsepower, 261 pound-feet of torque) that drives the front wheels via a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).
Standard features include 18-inch wheels, LED daytime running lights, foglights, remote engine start, keyless entry and ignition, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone automatic climate control, adjustable driving modes, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, power-adjustable front seats (eight-way driver and four-way passenger), a 60/40-split rear seat, a navigation system, an 8-inch touchscreen, two USB ports, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, and an eight-speaker audio system with a CD player and satellite radio.
Standard safety systems include a rearview camera and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking.
The Maxima SV adds front and rear parking sensors, heated mirrors, heated front seats, leather upholstery, and an upgraded driver seat with extendable thigh support and two-way power lumbar adjustment. The SL doesn't cost much more, and its impressive list of extra features includes a dual-panel sunroof, active noise reduction, active engine sound enhancement, adaptive cruise control, a heated steering wheel, ambient interior lighting, a 12-speaker Bose premium audio system, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.
The SR adds performance enhancements to the SL, with 19-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, column-mounted paddle shifters, 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 panoramic sunroof is removed, but the SR does add a few luxury features, including LED headlights, ventilated front seats, and upgraded leather upholstery with quilted simulated suede seat inserts and special interior trim.
A rear spoiler and the Midnight Edition package (black-painted wheels and exterior styling elements, rear spoiler, an auto-dimming driver-side mirror, driver-seat memory settings and a 360-degree parking camera) are optional for the SR.
The top-trim Platinum does away with some of the SR's add-ons, though it retains the LED headlights and ventilated front seats. It then adds automatic wipers, an auto-dimming driver-side mirror, a 360-degree parking camera, a power-adjustable steering column, driver-seat memory settings, a six-way power passenger seat, upgraded leather upholstery and interior trim, a rear power sunshade and NissanConnect services (remote start, automatic collision notification, emergency calling and stolen vehicle location).
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2016 Nissan Maxima Platinum (3.5L V6 | CVT automatic | FWD).
NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Maxima has received some revisions, including newly standard driver aids and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Maxima.
|Overall||7.3 / 10|
Noise & vibration8.5
Ease of use9.5
Getting in/getting out6.5
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
Our experts like the Maxima models:
- 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 Rating5 out of 5 stars
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger4 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover5 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover9.5%
- Side Impact TestGood
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
Used 2018 Nissan Maxima Overview
The Used 2018 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 (3.5L 6cyl CVT), 3.5 SV 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT), and 3.5 SR 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT). Pre-owned Nissan Maxima models are available with a 3.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 300 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2018 Nissan Maxima comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: continuously variable-speed automatic. The Used 2018 Nissan Maxima comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a Used 2018 Nissan Maxima?
Price comparisons for Used 2018 Nissan Maxima trim styles:
- The Used 2018 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SL is priced between $20,999 and$35,998 with odometer readings between 3185 and98429 miles.
- The Used 2018 Nissan Maxima 3.5 S is priced between $23,499 and$30,590 with odometer readings between 8296 and64399 miles.
- The Used 2018 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SV is priced between $22,998 and$30,998 with odometer readings between 7818 and84649 miles.
- The Used 2018 Nissan Maxima Platinum is priced between $26,499 and$35,998 with odometer readings between 10784 and55996 miles.
- The Used 2018 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SR is priced between $24,999 and$29,998 with odometer readings between 32931 and79121 miles.
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Which used 2018 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) 2018 Nissan Maxima for sale near. There are currently 61 used and CPO 2018 Maximas listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $20,999 and mileage as low as 3185 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 2018 Nissan Maxima.
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Should I lease or buy a 2018 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.