Maxima is sitting pretty
Stuck in traffic? You’ll be comfy in this, writes NEIL McDONALD
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.