2018 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SL
2018 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SL welcome to our site find great offers on Nissan’s full line of reliable sedans, versatile crossovers, capable trucks and SUVs. With sufficient comfort to please a luxury buyer, enough athleticism to keep an avid driver engaged, and ample equipment to appeal to tech connoisseurs, the Nissan Maxima is a well-rounded full-frame sedan. Its sporty, aggressive lines make for visual punch and invite to attention.
The Maxima also makes a valuable asset, as many of its virtues are standard throughout the range — including touchscreen infotainment, in-dash navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and automated emergency braking. A powerful and fuel efficient V-6 is under the bonnet, and an optional, sport-tuned suspension turns the heat into corners without penalising the occupants when driving over rough roads. Compared to the other well-equipped limousines available in full size, the Maxima offers the most balanced blend of style, luxury and sport.
Nissan’s posh full-size sedan sees few changes for 2018, but chief among them is the addition of Android-Auto connect Apple CarPlay as standard equipment across the entire range. On SL, SR and Platinum trims there are now a few USB charging ports with backseat, a freshly gewärzte color palette now contains Carnelian red, and all maximas see a slight visual refreshment with the addition of black accents on the grid. Forward collision warning and automated emergency braking have been added as standard to 2017 models and are also available on 2018 Maximas as standard.
The Maxima is one of the fastest sedans in full size, and its V-6 engine sounds good when pushed hard. Unfortunately, it is paired with an infinitely variable automatic transmission (CVT), which affects the fun of fuel efficiency. Nissan has made no changes to the clumsy 3.5-liter V-6 engine for 2018, and the above-average performance of the Maxima on our test track should also be transferred unchanged.
We like to ride the Maxima, because it is a comfortable, buttoned sedan with a few tricks in the sleeve. The lifeless steering here is the big disappointment, because the rest of the chassis setup of the Maxima is more likely to be taking. The Maxima is fast and easy on the legs without stepping too far into the sport-sedan area. It offers a unique blend of comfort and athleticism, so we are not surprised that Nissan has made no changes to the powertrain, suspension or brakes for 2018.
We run our own fuel economy test to replicate how most people drive on the highway. Our process includes a 200 mile loop on Michigan’s I-94 highway. We maintain a GPS-approved 75 mph and use the cruise control as much as possible to mimic the way many drivers behave during long trips.
During our 200-mile test cycle for the fuel economy, we surpassed the EPA rating of the Maxima and achieved an impressive 32 mpg. The Kia Cadenza and the Toyota Avalon also have conservative highway ratings, as they each beat their EPA numbers by 3 mpg for 31 and 33 mpg respectively.
With its 18.0 gallon fuel tank, the Maxima should offer a motorway travel span of 580 miles, a longer trip than any of your tested classmates could take.
Goose bumps the gas to pull in the traffic, and the Maxima responds with gusto. It is a fast car, even with car and driver standards. On our test track he ran a 5.9 second run from zero to 60 km/h and finished the quarter mile in 14.4 seconds at 101 mph. The passing power is abundant in the maxima; In our 50-to 70-mph highway merger test, it managed a 3.8-second result, the best in the class.
2018 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SL
The maxima handles well for your size. The suspension is nicely muffled and so tight that it may be too stiff for class retention, especially in the SR trim level, which has readjusted springs, dampers and anti-roll bars. It is relatively quiet, but hard effects are felt by the suspension and heard in the cabin. The Maxima shows small body roles in aggressive curve maneuvers, and in our tests the Maxima SR has easily run over their rivals. Light and vague by default, the steering increases in the activation of the sport mode weighty, but does not provide any additional feedback from the road.
The braking power is above average for the segment, but the pedal feels spongy in depression, which does not arouse confidence. Once you’ve pressed through the Mush, the pedal companies, and in our tests, the Maxima brakes stopped it from 70 mph in just 168 feet.