By Asian Journal Auto Editor

2018-nissan-maximaThe Eighth-Generation Maxima, known as Nissans performance family sedan. For 2018 the Maxima comes off a 2017 revamp with an all new slink body and revised interior. Other improvements included thicker glass throughout the cabin, extra sound-deadening material and an active noise-cancelling system. Weight is down by 80 lb and power is up to 300 hp with a 15 per cent increase in fuel economy.

Most impressive is the 2018 Nissan Maxima’s fantastic looking new exterior body, with its wide, purposeful razor-edged curves and dynamic thrusting beltline and swooping roof. The roof seems to “float” from the body thanks to the use of thin blackout C-pillars at the rear. Add the signature “boomerang” design lights front and rear and the rippling tension of the body lines, and the Maxima looks stunning from all angles. The cabin is also all-new with the 2018 Nissan Maxima featuring a “command centre.” driver focused theme influenced by jet fighter aircraft.

2018 Nissan Maxima pic 2The Maxima is a front-engined with front-wheel-drive, and is powered by a 3.5-litre 24-valve DOHC V6 (300 hp, 261 lb/ft of torque) mated to a CVT with manual shift mode. There are four trim levels – SV, SL, SR, and Platinum as tested ($44,150).  The full load Platinum is more luxury-oriented and offers the softer suspension set up, smaller, tires, a power rear sunshade and wood trim model adds features like 360-degree Around View Monitor and premium climate-controlled seats with special quilted leather inserts. With the ambient lighting around the instrument panel and sporty design; what you get is a roomy cabin in all quarters both front and rear. The 2018 Nissan Maxima front dash is very stylish with the centre stack angled toward the driver with its HMI (human machine interface) eight-inch touchscreen and seven-inch main instrument cluster monitor. Like a smartphone or tablet, the centre touchscreen eliminates many buttons and switches from the dash uses pinch and swipe features to access information. It’s all very high tech!, the NissanConnect system allows you to stay plugged in in any way you wish. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included standard.

However, comfort and luxury still abound, the seats are well cushioned and relaxing and features such as heated steering wheel add to the ambience. Front and rear legroom and headroom is good and the Maxima remain a comfortable five seater. Rear cargo capacity: 14.3 cu ft.

On the road, the Maxima’s engine has a boost of 10 horsepower, for 300hp and 261 lb.-ft. of torque at just 4,400 rpm, making this a fast, powerful sedan with good acceleration. V6’s have some reputation for torque steer, that pull the car one side or the other on fast acceleration, but it’s pretty much eliminated from the Maxima, thanks to deft engineering. The Maxima’s XTRONIC continuously variable transmission (CVT) works exceptionally well thanks to the new engineering and uses a number of hi-tech sensors that measures lateral forces in acceleration, braking and speed to determine optimum shift points. CVT transmission have had a bad rap in the past for underperforming, but the Maxima’s is very good, offering smooth transitions and decent enough fuel economy. On the road, the Platinum is tuned for a mix of comfort and sport with a less harsh ride than the Maxima SR model. There is a driver-selectable “Sport” mode that quickens throttle response, increases steering weight and changes shift patterns that quickens throttle response, increases steering weight and changes shift patterns. Nissan fuel claims for the Platinum are: 11.1.9/7.8/9.6L/100 km (City/Highways and combined).

Not really a lot to complain about with the Maxima, An All-Wheel drive and a conventional transmission could sharpen up performance somewhat, but then that would encroach into Infiniti territory me thinks. In fact Nissan could easily market the car Maxima as an entry level Infiniti, by virtue of its equipment spec, superb interior and performance. It is certainly on par and exceeds some of the entry level European luxury brands. Highly recommended.

2018 Nissan Maxima Platinum sedan priced from $44,150. Price as tested $46,245.