Max­ima is sit­ting pretty

Stuck in traf­fic? You’ll be comfy in this, writes NEIL McDON­ALD

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Road Test Nissan Maxima -

ATELE­VI­SION ad­ver­tise­ment fea­tur­ing the new Nis­san Max­ima pro­vides us with an un­ex­pected slice of re­al­ity. The big six sedan is shown crawl­ing through peak-hour traf­fic, which, be hon­est, is where we spend most of our driv­ing time.

The ob­ject of the 30-sec­ond ad is to re­in­force the point that han­dling and per­for­mance are not the most im­por­tant cri­te­ria for peo­ple buy­ing a new car.

Ul­ti­mately though, if that was the case we’d all be wear­ing cardi­gans and driv­ing bland white bud­get cars. But Nis­san is send­ing a mes­sage that its car not only has the per­for­mance, but is a comfortable place to cope with the daily com­mute.

With the new­est Max­ima, Nis­san has broad­ened its ap­peal by adding a small­er­ca­pac­ity V6 to the line-up.

The en­try $33,990 2.5-litre V6 ST-L joins a larger 3.5-litre V6 avail­able in the $37,990 ST-S and range-top­ping $46,990 Ti.

Nis­san is clearly aim­ing the 2.5-litre at some of the four-cylin­der Ja­panese com­pe­ti­tion from Mazda, Honda and Toy­ota. The Max­ima, which shares its plat­form with the Mu­rano, has sharper looks in keep­ing with its re­fined me­chan­i­cal pack­age, but most peo­ple will be hard-pressed to no­tice the dif­fer­ence be­tween the old car and the new­comer.

Though the car sits on the same 2775mm wheel­base, it has grown be­tween 5mm and 15mm in length, is 15mm taller and has 30mm wider front and rear tracks.

The ST-L’s 2.5-litre V6, like the big­ger en­gine, is mated to a con­tin­u­ously vari­able X-tronic trans­mis­sion with six speeds. It de­vel­ops 134kW at 6000 revs and 228Nm at 4400 revs.

The larger V6, avail­able in the $37,990 ST-S and $46,990 Ti, has grown in power from 170kW to 185kW at 600 revs, but torque is down from 333Nm to 326Nm at 4400 revs.

Stan­dard kit on the ST-L in­cludes dual-zone cli­mate con­trol, front, side and cur­tain airbags, elec­tric front seats, multi-func­tion steer­ing wheel, a six-CD six-speaker stereo, push-but­ton start, 17-inch al­loys, xenon head­lights, LED tail­lights, sta­bil­ity con­trol and load-through ski-port but not split-fold rear seats.

The ST-S sports model adds a rear spoiler, ‘‘in­tel­li­gent’’ ig­ni­tion key, rear park­ing sen­sors and heated front seats.

The range-top­ping Ti has a rear spoiler, sun­roof, elec­tric seats with mem­ory, satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion with a large colour screen, Blue­tooth, rev­ers­ing cam­era and a DVD-ca­pa­ble high-end 11-speaker Bose sur­round-sound sys­tem.

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