The End Of The Line. While Nissan isn’t making any changes to the Maxima for the 2023 model year, there is some big news to share for the upcoming model year. 2023 will be the last for the Maxima – at least in its current state as a large sedan with a V6 engine.

We’re not that surprised to see Nissan discontinue the Maxima. Large sedans aren’t nearly as popular as they once were and a lot of automakers have decided to discontinue their respective options. Toyota is discontinuing the Avalon after 2022, Dodge will be discontinuing the Charger after 2023, and Chrysler is discontinuing the 300 after 2023. The segment is disappearing and Nissan doesn’t see a reason to stick around.

The Maxima, which arrived in 1984, has served as Nissan flagship sedan since its introduction. The nameplate hit its peak in the ‘90s with its sporty performance and premium cabin. Since then, the Maxima has failed to live up to its heyday and Nissan hasn’t helped, as the last redesign for the model arrived in 2016. With Nissan moving to electric vehicles, we expect the Maxima to return, but its class-leading days from the ‘90s probably won't return.

Sharp Performance Plus A Strong V6. With its standard 3.5-liter V6 engine, the Maxima is one of the quicker large sedans in the segment. While the Maxima can’t compete with American rivals that come with a V8 engine, it has lively performance for the class.

Thanks to the standard V6 engine, the Maxima can get to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds The engine also makes a great, throaty sound when it’s being pushed. With a rating of 300 horsepower and 261 pound-feet of torque, the engine provides plenty of performance for the average driver.

The Maxima is so much more than just a straight-line machine, as it offers spunky handling. The sedan has a relatively firm ride that brings buttoned-down handling. It isn’t the “four-door sports car” that Nissan claims it is, but it’s plenty enjoyable on a windy road.

While few will find an issue with the Maxima’s engine or handling capability, the continuously variable automatic transmission is sure to be a sore spot. The CVT doesn’t respond quickly to inputs, whether you use the shift paddles behind the steering wheel or the manual feature on the gear shifter. The CVT doesn’t offer the same level of refinement one would find with a traditional automatic transmission. We would’ve preferred to see Nissan use a nine-speed automatic transmission as it does on some of its other vehicles.

2022 Nissan Maxima Interior

Not Only Sporty, But Safe. Most of the time, consumers have to choose sportiness over safety. Thankfully, that’s not the case with the Maxima. The sedan earned a Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS for the 2022 model year and a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA for 2023.

In addition to its great crash-test scores, the Maxima also comes with a great list of standard safety features thanks to the Nissan Safety Shield 360 suite that comes standard. Standard safety features on the sedan include pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, forward and reverse automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, and more. Despite its age, the Maxima comes packed with all sorts of safety features.

Small On The Inside. The Maxima may be classified as a large sedan, but against its rivals, the sedan offers less interior space than most of its competitors. The sedan offers seating for up to five, but the rear seats are best left for kids or adults on short trips. In the back, the Maxima only offers 34.2 inches of rear legroom, which trails rivals like the Dodge Charger, Chrysler 300, and Toyota Avalon.

On top of having tight rear seats, the Maxima also has one of the smallest cargo capacities in the class. Its trunk only offers up to 14.3 cubic feet of cargo space, which is well behind its rivals.

The good thing about the Maxima’s cabin is that it has an upscale look and premium materials. Nissan also offers the sedan with plenty of high-end features, though you’ll find the nicest features on the range-topping Platinum trim. That model comes with maple wood trim, a rear-window power sunshade, heated rear seats, diamond-quilted upholstery, and a dual-panel panoramic moonroof.

Final Thoughts. With the 2023 Nissan Maxima managing to have a fine balance between being a sporty sedan and an upscale car, we’re certainly going to miss the vehicle. The Maxima is old and doesn’t have the most high-tech infotainment system, but it looks great, handles well, has a gutsy V6 engine, and comes with a premium cabin. There’s a lot to like here.

The Toyota Crown is the automaker’s replacement for the Avalon. It’s a lifted large sedan with an available hybrid powertrain, a high-quality interior, available all-wheel drive, and a high-tech infotainment system.

The Volkswagen Arteon is a stylish sedan with a generous cargo area, a punchy turbocharged engine, available all-wheel drive, and a classy interior.

Check prices for the 2023 Nissan Maxima »