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REVIVING THE SEDAN: NISSAN MAXIMA 2019

REVIVING THE SEDAN: NISSAN MAXIMA 2019
By: null

When the 2019 Nissan Maxima debuted at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, many were of the opinion that the Sedan market was a lost cause; well, this wasn’t the case for Nissan, who seemed to be reading from a different playbook. As other brands flee, Nissan is sticking around and this particular decision to renew the Maxima is worth praising. Nissan updated its Maxima sedan, which they dubbed “the four-door sports car,” for the 2019 model year with new styling and safety features. The 2019 model retains a standard 3.5-liter V-6 and continuously variable automatic transmission.

Maxima is well known and loved for its blend of size and sportiness, a feature that Nissan had reserved for the 2019 version.

The Maxima comes in three trim levels for 2019: S, SV and SR. All models from S and up include the NissanConnect infotainment system with an 8.0-inch touchscreen display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and Bluetooth. Automatic emergency braking is standard, as well, although the pedestrian detection element isn’t standard until the SR.

It has been a while since I’ve driven a Maxima, so when my team got a chance to test drive the 2019 version; we decided to spend a few days with a 2019 Nissan Maxima SR, the top-of-the-line trim level. My team arrived for the test drive where Maha, my colleague drove the car to Souq Sharq for an exclusive photoshoot.

EXTERIOR
My first impression of the Maxima was an attractive four-door midsize sedan with a long hood, and sloping roofline that meets a brief decklid. The V-motion grille is more prominent for the 2019 model and the bumpers and wheels, looked updated from the previous version. Our test car looked attractive and aggressive with an imposing front end, flowing side character lines, rear haunches, a floating roof and an improved spoiler. The Maxima has a fine front-end that features a bolder grille design and more assertive front fascia that work greatly to emphasize the body lines that run across the hood and along the sides of the car. A car enthusiast would clearly see why Nissan named this Sedan a four-door sports car; thanks to its angular details, wide hips and big, eye-grabbing face that make it look well-proportioned.

At the front of the Maxima are new LED headlamps, made to look bolder by accentuated boomerang look to the tail lights, and quad-exhaust tips integrated into the rear fascia to the general elegance of the 2019 Maxima. Another improvement I noticed on our test car was the new wheel designs one of which we were told are exclusive to the new top-end SR trim. Both were designed to look with contrasting paint to give the effect of thinner spokes. All these new features for the Nissan Maxima clearly show that Nissan is far from running out of ideas in improving this line of this elegant Sedan.

INTERIOR
Stepping inside the 2019 Maxima reveals a functional and attractive cabin and the Maxima reveals a cabin that’s a bit dated, but still plenty functional. The driver’s space is greatly designed to bring about a “cockpit-esque” feeling that most drivers crave for in modern cars. Everything around the dashboard and center console is placed perfectly for easy view. Another outstanding feature I noticed in the 2019 Maxima was the way the steering wheel is placed to sit front and center in the driver’s world making it delightful to hold, with perfect nests for your thumbs and a satisfying thickness to the rim.

The 2019 Nissan Maxima has what I would describe as a great luxury class of both front and rear seats. Base trim levels have cloth upholstery, while other trims offer three grades of leather, culminating in semi-aniline cowhide. Included with the top-trim Maxima’s Platinum Reserve Package, the semi-aniline upholstery is rich stuff such as lavish padding with double-stitched surfaces down to arm level, and in some cases knee level, to evoke a legitimate luxury car. The “Zero Gravity” seats in our test car felt comfortable and supportive and all the wrapped surfaces made the surroundings inside the car feel a notch above other Sedans I had driven in the past.

In terms of roominess, the front and rear seats of the 2019 Maxima are relatively comfortable, with center console fans out ahead of the cup holders. The headroom too is not that large but given the overall size of the midsize Sedan, I would say that Nissan have made it as comfortable as possible, with still a few inches of space left for an adult passenger. Overall, the upgrades done on the interior of this Maxima have worked to give the car a luxurious look to match its exterior sporty design.

 

TECHNOLOGY & SAFETY
Nissan is not a brand that goes small when it comes to tech. Actually, it would be almost impossible for me to describe every bit of technology used in the 2019 Nissan Maxima, but I will touch on a few that impressed me the most. Top on this list for me is an available active noise cancellation system that effectively reduces low-frequency sound in the cabin; while an active sound enhancement system pumps up the engine note inside, contributing further to the sporty features of the Maxima. This can be adjusted through the Bose sound system. NissanConnect with door-to-door navigation is also available and it now includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. In addition to this, I think I should mention that Maxima is one of the first vehicles I’ve seen with both USB-A and USB-C connections, which is a great investment for the future. Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant skills are also accessible.

The 2019 Maxima SR comes with a suite of advanced driver assistance features, including Intelligent Cruise Control, Lane Departure Intervention, High Beam Assist, and a new Intelligent Driver Alertness system (IDA) that is standard on all trim levels. The IDA alerts the driver when drowsy driving is detected. A handy Intelligent around View Monitor synthesizes a 360-degree view of the vehicle to aid parking and tight maneuvers. The Maxima has also added some new optional safety tech. Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 suite of active safety features is made up of forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, automatic high-beam headlights, rear automatic braking, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, and rear-cross-traffic alert.

Standard on every 2019 Maxima trim is the “rear door alert” feature that uses door logic rather than weight or other sensors. The feature works in such a way that when you open the rear door before making a trip and the Maxima notes that you probably put something back there, it waits for the rear door to open again after the trip. If it doesn’t, it triggers a chime sounds reminding you to check the back seat.

The NissanConnect system in the Maxima is controlled by either a responsive 8-inch touchscreen flanked by large, clearly-marked shortcut buttons, or a dial on the center console. The SR comes standard with navigation, a rocking 11-speaker Bose audio system and both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as mentioned earlier.

 

PERFORMANCE
Getting under the hood of the bold Nissan Maxima, there’s a 3.5-liter V6 engine (300 hp/261 lb-ft of torque) mated to an Xtronic continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) with front-wheel drive. Maxima Platinum weighs in at 3,676 lbs, which means that performance is enthusiastic, if not quite sporty – at least by my definition of the term. The engine puts out a healthy sound (enhanced by the sound system), and the CVT does a good job of emulating the feel of a traditional geared automatic. Nissan has been all-in on the CVT for years, and they’ve refined the Xtronic well. The big advantage of a CVT is improved fuel economy, since the engine can run at peak efficiency in all conditions. Maxima delivers a healthy 20 mpg city/30 mpg highway/24 mpg combined, though disappointingly Nissan recommends running Premium Unleaded gasoline, which mitigates the bottom-line savings a bit.

In an era of turbocharged engines and high-tech transmissions with instant torque and short-gear-ratio revving, the Maxima goes it old-school. A big, normally aspirated V-6 (300 horsepower, 261 pounds-feet of torque) doesn’t dole out the good stuff until 4,000 to 6,000 rpm, and the transmission exhibits relatively few of the simulated shift points that many of today’s CVTs throw in for effect. This seems like a formula that would underwhelm, but the Maxima delivers results with swift accelerator response. Press the gas, and the car leaps to attention; the high-revving punch comes moments later, and the climb up the tachometer is enjoyable enough. Most modern cars have some degree of accelerator lag, ranging from slight to borderline dangerous. The Maxima excels simply by not screwing up where so many other cars do.

From a personal point of view, I will say the Maxima SR is a fairly composed, thanks to a handful of handling improvements like stiffer shocks and springs, a thicker front antiroll bar and retuned stability electronics; the big sedan swiftly turns in and hangs on tight around corners with some initial body roll at entry. Credit also goes to the 19-inch Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric All-Season 245/40 tires, which aren’t the greatest in light snow, but grippy on clean pavement. Steering weight is heavy enough in the car’s Normal mode and brake muscle is on point to confidently scrub off speed.

 

TEST DRIVE
Now, to my favorite part, I get to share our hands on experience with the 2019 Nissan Maxima. However, before I get into details, I have to commend Nissan for coming out bold with this Sedan by reserving its traditional features that made it a popular sedan and still managing to give it a luxurious, modern and elegant touch for the millennials. Our time with the Maxima made me appreciate the smooth luxury of the sedan. To start with, rear-seat passengers are bound to appreciate the ease of entry and exit in the Maxima. The fine interiors and the sedan’s seductive design made it feel mature even to most of my team members who had never experienced a four door sedan before.

When it came to the actual test drive, the Maxima gave us a smooth and comfortable feel as it sped off the highway; a really luxurious feeling for a sedan of its caliber. Its short wheelbase delivers sharp handling, and the Maxima still feels balanced on the road. The gearbox transmission proves itself surprisingly responsive, rarely suffering from the elastic throttle response common to many cars. The front-wheel-drive worked just fine for us, defying what we had expected for a car with such a transmission. The car is pleasant to drive; it’s nimble and fast enough to get out of other cars’ way with ease, whether it’s the one doing the passing or diving out the way of faster traffic. Acceleration is smooth and easy, and there’s plenty of power for merging and passing. That said, the free-spinning nature of the V6 and CVT is another feature that made our ears happy.

 

CONCLUSION
My experience with the 2019 Nissan Maxima did a lot to convince me and the rest of the group that sedan is not dead – it is just waiting for its moment to shine again. With Nissan showing such enthusiasm in the market, it is evident that the Maxima is worth your time and money. Nissan deserves credit in the way it has upgraded this sedan into the elegant car that clearly stands out from its competitors.

For more details about the 2019 Nissan Maxima, contact the official Nissan dealers in Kuwait through ABDULMOHSEN ABDULAZIZ AL-BABTAIN CO. or call them at: 1804888

You can also visit their website www.nissankuwait.com for more information or check their Instagram account @nissankwt for regular updates.
Or simply visit their showroom and book a test-drive today!


FEATURING: MAHA BAQER @MAHABAQER92
BRAND: NISSAN MAXIMA @NISSANKWT
PHOTOGRAPHY: FASHION FLASHIT @FASHION_FLASHIT
DIRECTED BY: JAMEEL ARIF @JAMEELARIF
RETOUCHING: CPM STUDIOS

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