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Our View: 2017 Nissan Maxima
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By: Cars.com On: 07-13-2017 Model(s): Editor's note: This review was written in June 2015 about the 2016 Nissan Maxima, but little of substance has changed with this year's model. 2017 Nissan Maxima
Author Experience: Expert review

Editor's note: This review was written in June 2015 about the 2016 Nissan Maxima, but little of substance has changed with this year's model. To see what's new for 2017, click here, or check out a side-by-side comparison of the two model years here. 

The 2016 Maxima is offered in five trim levels — S, SV, SL, SR and Platinum — that determine the level of equipment; accessories are available, but there are no option packages. We drove an SL, which is priced at $37,715, and the $38,495 SR. That one is the most performance-focused model, with unique suspension bushings, springs, shocks, front stabilizer bar and chassis bracing, in addition to 19-inch alloy wheels with stickier Goodyear tires (prices include an $825 destination charge).

The Maxima brings Nissan's Energetic Flow design language to its sedan lineup (see the new- and prior-generation 2014 Maxima compared here). Signature cues include a plunging grille bordered by LED daytime running lights and gloss-black pillar finishes that give the roof a floating appearance — something Nissan says is inspired by a fighter jet's canopy. The front end is aggressive — the car looks menacing when you see it coming up on you in your rearview mirror — and also memorable. It's a design that demands a reaction, good or bad.

My reaction to the floating rear pillar was that I didn't especially care for it. The blacked-out front pillars are a subtle touch, but the treatment is jarring at the rear, where the roof drops to meet the body. Dark paint colors minimize the effect if you don't care for the design cue, either.

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