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  • Tim Charlet
    Automotive Editor - December 20, 2017

    2018 Nissan Maxima OVERVIEW

    Entering its 36th year of production, the Nissan Maxima has evolved into one of the most balanced four-door sedans on the market today. Powered by a robust 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 300 horsepower and 261 pound-feet of torque, each of the Maxima’s five available trim levels are totally free of optional extras, simplifying the car-buying experience. Starting with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price of $33,905 (which includes an $885 destination charge), the 2018 Nissan Maxima’s aggressive body lines, interior comfort, and ample technology features offers new car buyers value across the board.

    What's New for 2018

    Currently in its eighth generation in the United States, the 2018 Nissan Maxima adds Android Auto to the Maxima’s base trim infotainment system, which currently includes Apple CarPlay. Automatic emergency braking and forward-collision warning have also been added to all trims, while dual, rear-seat USB charge ports have been added to the SL, SR, and Platinum for 2018.

    Choosing Your Nissan Maxima

    The 2018 Nissan Maxima is available in five trim levels – the base S, SV, SL, SR, and Platinum. All trim levels feature multiple standard upgrades, but except for the SR, none of them have added equipment packages. The only real options available are dealer-installed accessories.

    All Maxima’s are powered by the same robust 3.5-liter V6 engine, which produces 300 horsepower and 261 pound-feet of torque. A continuously variable transmission is standard and helps the Maxima return an EPA-estimated 21 miles per gallon city and 30 mpg highway for a 25-mpg combined rating. Each of the 2018 Nissan Maxima's also includes a navigation system.


    The entry-level Nissan Maxima is impressively packed with standard features often included in upgraded trim-levels of competitors. Starting at $33,905, the Maxima S features an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a voice-recognition system for navigation and audio controls, remote start, rear-view monitor, power front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and an eight-speaker audio system with added USB ports and auxiliary audio input jacks


    The difference from the base to the second trim level of the 2018 Nissan Maxima is minimal. Starting at $35,905, the 2018 Nissan Maxima SV adds significant interior upgrades.

    Leather upholstery with heated front seats presents a more premium environment. There's also a power lumbar function and thigh extension on the driver's side. The SV rides on upgraded 18-inch wheels, features LED lighting throughout the vehicle, and adds a driver’s thigh support. To be frank, that's a lot of driver-focused equipment for a small premium.


    For consumers looking to spice up their new Maxima with minimal cost, the SL is a good buy. Starting at $38.325, it adds an 11-speaker Bose surround audio system with two additional USB ports and a panoramic sunroof. There's also a slew of safety equipment, most notably adaptive cruise control and blind-spot warning with rear cross traffic alert system.

    Bose's popular active noise cancellation system is also included, and as is the case with the company's popular headphones, it excels at muting annoying frequencies common from the powertrain and road surface.


    If sporty handling and exterior appearance are features are important, the upgraded SR is the way to go. With an opening at $39,165, the 2018 Nissan Maxima SR is our best bang for the buck trim level.

    The SR comes will all the standard features of the SL (except the moonroof), but adds multiple sport-tuned suspension upgrades that produces a snappy, yet smooth ride. The SR rides on upgraded 19-inch wheels, includes leather-and-alcantara seat upholstery on the heated and cooled seats, paddle shifter, and LED headlights.


    While the SR is the sporty trim, the Platinum takes a more conservative approach, instead focusing on outright comfort. Like the SR, the Platinum begins with the SL trim and adds upgraded leather interior, a 360-degree rearview monitor, and a power tilt/telescoping steering column at a beginning price of $41,575. The Platinum also includes the SL’s moonroof, but adds rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a rear window power shade.

    CarsDirect Tip

    The 2018 Nissan Maxima is a balanced four-door crossover that can both appeal to sporty drivers and serves ably as a family sedan. While the lack of equipment packages might be a turn-off to some, the Maxima SL is a capable, reasonably priced package that comes with just the right amount of comfort for well under $40,000.

    Get your price on a Nissan Maxima>>

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