When the Maxima debuted in the 80s, it was still under the Nissan/Datsun brand and was therefore known as the Datsun Maxima. This model replaced the Datsun 810 and had remnants of the Datsun/Nissan Bluebird. Nissan completely took over the brand by 1984; the Datsun brand was phased out, and by 1985, the Maxima became known as the Nissan Maxima. Five generations later, the Maxima had seen many transformations but were yet to see its biggest one yet. This was the time when Maxima would really take off with its designs and innovations. The present day Maxima models are much different from their earlier counterparts both in exterior and interior form. And while we love all the earlier models of the Maxima, there’s nothing like a more modern-looking vehicle. Here are the best Nissan Maxima Models that came out from the year 2000 until today.
2003 Nissan Maxima Titanium Edition
All fifth generation 2003 Maxima cars were special due to the fact that they were the last Japanese-built Maximas that made it into production. The special package Titanium edition just had the extra interior features and special wheels as well. This model had all the bells and whistles of the 2002 update, including a 3.5-liter VQ35DE engine that gave a 255 HP output. In addition to this, the car was equipped with a six-speed manual transmission with an option for a Torsen limited slip differential, a deluxe GPS navigation system, and plenty of other interior and exterior refinements. Drivers were treated to a capability of 0-60 within 6.0 seconds, a feat for a regular sedan during that time.
2004 Nissan Maxima SL
The luxury edition of this sixth generation update was not entirely devoid of the 2003 model’s features. You basically get the same engine with just a little bit better output (not drastic), but you do get a host of exterior and interior upgrades that makes this model more akin to what Maxima came out with in subsequent years. The SL model came standard with wood interior trim and 6-disc CD changer. The Bose speakers are definitely luxury as well as the leather seats. You also get the previously released HID headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, and rear independent suspension. All 2004 SL models came with a 5-speed automatic transmission, completely foregoing the 6-speed manual of the previous year’s edition.
2008 Nissan Maxima SE
The best update to this model was the improvement on fuel economy. By this year, Nissan was able to drop from 21MPG-City/28MPG-Highway to an impressive 19/25 because of the adaptation of EPA standards. This Nissan Maxima still had the same engine from previous models, but it also carried the CVT automatic transmission that was released just the previous year in 2007. The 2008 Maxima focused more on the balance between luxury and sport, featuring interior and exterior facelifts to reflect the sentiment. There was also a Platinum Edition released as a higher level than the standard SL. The convenience features of the Platinum Edition include an Intelligent Key system, a center console, heated front seats, and more.
2014 Nissan Maxima S
2008 was the first year that Nissan ever produced a value package with its flagship sedan, the Nissan Maxima S, but 2014 saw this model completely upgraded. The seventh generation vehicle has the revised VQ35DE engine that first came out in 2008. It’s capable of producing 290 HP and 261 lb-ft of torque. This model also still had the CVT with paddle shifting. Some other features include the HID Xenon headlights, rear spoiler, and fog lights among many others. This year also saw the release of two new exterior colors: the Gun Metallic and Midnight Garnet colors.
2015 Nissan Maxima
By the time this eighth generation was released, Nissan had fully embraced the sporty look with an athletic body redesign. The 2015 model was unveiled during the New York Auto Show that year. The aerospace-inspired interior is just another feature that this car had that’s starkly different from its predecessors. Still using the VQ35DE with slight improvements that allows it to produce up to 300 HP. This model is 82 lbs. lighter than older models and uses Nissan’s “Four-Door Sports Car” positioning, something that was used in the third generation models. This model also featured choices of 9 exterior colors and five trim options that were all developed in previous models: S, SV, SL, SR, and also the Platinum Edition.