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2018 Nissan Maxima

Nissan Maxima OEM Exterior Photo
OEM Interior Primary
OEM Exterior
OEM Exterior
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Expert Rating

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

Select a Trim
Select a Trim
2018 3.5 S 4dr Sedan
most popular
Price:   -  From $33,420
2018 3.5 SV 4dr Sedan Price:   -  From $35,420
2018 3.5 SL 4dr Sedan Price:   -  From $37,840
2018 3.5 SR 4dr Sedan Price:   -  From $38,680
2018 3.5 Platinum 4dr Sedan Price:   -  From $41,090


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.

Nissan Maxima

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.

Nissan Maxima


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

Nissan Maxima


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.

Nissan Maxima


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.

Nissan Maxima


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.

Nissan Maxima


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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Automotive Editor
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Expert Review

Expert Rating

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

author image
Automotive Editor

Big sedans don’t quite have the control of the average family’s wallet as much as they did in pre-crossover days. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth your consideration, especially the 2018 Nissan Maxima. The Maxima is a unique breed in this class, as it delivers more sportiness than most but also lacks in family-hauling abilities. But does this combination add up to a sedan that’s worth buying? Keep reading to find out.

Best Value

While there are plenty of trim levels to choose from, the best value is the mid-range SL. It carries in the plethora of standard features from the S and SV trims and adds in a few more comfort bits like leather upholstery, heated seats, driver-side thigh extension, an 11-speaker Bose audio system, LED interior lights, and active noise cancellation.

In addition to its long line of standard features, the 2018 Maxima SL also has loads of standalone options, including rocker panel moldings, a rear diffuser, illuminated kick panels, a spoiler, and more. Though there are all these individual options, there are no optional packages to choose from.

  • Model: 2018 Nissan Maxima SL
  • Engine: 3.5-liter V6
  • Output: 300 hp / 261 lb-ft
  • Transmission:Continuously variable transmission
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive
  • MPG: 21 city / 30 hwy
  • Options: Carnelian Red ($395)
  • Base Price:$38,575 (including the $885 destination fee)
  • Best Value Price:$38,970


Nissan Maxima

The Maxima has long carried the “four-door sports car” moniker, and the 2018 version still carries that torch in some ways. Its 3.5-liter V6 engine is plenty powerful at 300 horsepower and 261 pound-feet of torque, and its suspension is tuned well for the corners for such a heavy car.

That said, that V6 is unrefined and requires a deep trip into the RPM band to milk all of its power. Not only do you have to go deep to get the most from this big sedan, but the continuously variable transmission keeps the revs screaming the whole way.


Nissan was daring in designing the Maxima, giving it a sporty look that’s not very common in its segment. There’s also plenty of room to show off all its curves and angles thanks to its 193-inch length.

With this unorthodox styling also comes the risk of pushing some buyers away, which the Maxima does plenty of. Inside, the cabin is surprisingly tight, as the center console eats up some space and the rear seats have an alarmingly tiny 34.2 inches of leg room.

The Best and Worst Things

The Maxima is about as safe as a large sedan gets. It comes standard with all the goodies, like six airbags, stability control, a rearview camera, and automatic emergency braking. This all adds up to an IIHS Top Safety Pick rating – it only missed the Top Safety Pick Plus designation due to the base headlights receiving a “Poor” rating.

While being inside the Maxima is safe, it's far from comfortable, especially considering the class it’s in. As a large sedan, the Maxima should push nearly 40 inches of rear leg room and have all the knee room in the world up front. Sadly, it lags way behind in these areas.

Right For? Wrong For?

Nissan Maxima

Empty nesters are the perfect Maxima buyers – especially those looking for that little bit of added pep its V6 delivers. Because they're free of kids, they can enjoy all the Maxima has to offer without worrying about how tight the back seats are.

Growing families often find themselves checking out large sedans, but this is one big four-door they should skip. As their kiddos reach pre-teen and teenage years, the Maxima’s rear seats will give them yet another reason to whine.

The Bottom Line

The 2018 Nissan Maxima, while not the standout it once was, still carries its four-door sports car badge confidently. That said, its closed-in cabin will have some buyers questioning whether or not they accidentally bought a true sports car.

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Specs & Features

Overall Crash Safety Rating
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
3.5L V-6 / 300 HP / 261 ft.lbs.
Xtronic 2-spd sequential shift control CVT w/OD
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Highway/Combined
21 / 30 / 25 Mpg
Passenger Capacity
Bumper to Bumper Warranty
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Mechanical Specs
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
3.5L V-6 / 300 HP / 261 ft.lbs.
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Hwy/Combined
21 / 30 / 25 Mpg
4-wheel Disc
Front Suspension
Rear Suspension
Independent Multi-link
Spare Tire And Wheel
Compact Steel
Fuel Tank
18.0 Gal.
Recommended Fuel Type
Premium Unleaded
Average Cost To Fill Tank
Dimensions & Capabilities
Maximum Cargo Volume
14.3 Cu.ft.
Passenger Volume
99 Cu.ft.
Exterior Length
192.8 "
Exterior Width
73.2 "
Exterior Height
56.5 "
Front Headroom
39.4 "
Rear Headroom
36.7 "
Front Legroom
45.0 "
Rear Legroom
34.2 "
Front Shoulder Room
56.7 "
Rear Shoulder Room
55.7 "
Front Hip Room
Rear Hip Room
Curb Weight
3,478 Lbs.
Wheel Base
109 "
Turning Radius
Exterior Features
Door Count
4 Doors
18.0 " Machined W/painted Accents Aluminum
Clearcoat Monotone / Pearlcoat Monotone / Metallic Monotone
Exterior Mirrors
Dual Power Remote
Grille Moldings
Black W/chrome Accents
Rear Spoiler
Stainless Steel With Chrome Tailpipe Finish
Interior Features
Passenger Capacity
Seat Trim
Front Seat Type
Heated Front Seats
Front Driver Seat Direction Controls
(8-way Power)
Front Passenger Seat Direction Controls
(4-way Power)
Front Armrests
(8-way Power)
Rear Armrests
Rear Seats
60-40 Bench
Radio & Infotainment
Siriusxm Am/fm/hd/satellite, Clock, Seek-scan
Radio Steering Wheel Controls
Apple Car Play
Android Auto
Bluetooth w/ Hands-Free Connectivity
Convenience Features
Steering Wheel Type
Telescopic Tilt Style
Climate Control
Automatic Air Conditioning
Cruise Control
With Steering Wheel Controls
Sun Roof
Rearview Mirror
Auto-dimming Day-night
One Touch Open Window
Driver And Passenger
Tinted Windows
Vanity Mirrors
Dual Illuminated
Remote Keyless Entry
Keyfob (all Doors)
Power Outlets
Safety Features
Overall Crash Safety Rating
Overall Front Crash Safety Rating
Overall Side Crash Safety Rating
Rollover Crash Safety Rating
Front Impact Airbags
Driver And Passenger
Driver Side Impact Airbags
Seat Mounted
Knee Airbag
Passenger Side Impact Airbag
Seat Mounted
Rear Side Airbag
Seatbelt Pretensioners
Anti-Lock Brakes
4-wheel Anti-lock Brakes (abs)
Forward Collision Warning
Blind Spot Sensor
Lane Departure Warning
Autonomous Cruise Control
Pedestrian Detection
Driver Attention Alert
Daytime Running Lights
Auto High Beams
Adaptive Headlights
Parking Sensors
Security Systems
Security System
Panic Alarm
Ignition Disable
Bumper To Bumper Months Miles
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Major Components Months
60 Months / 60,000 Miles
Included Maintenance Months
Roadside Assistance Months
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Corrosion Perforation
60 Months / Unlimited Miles
Accessories Months
36 Months / 36,000 Miles

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