• Midcycle refresh with updated styling
  • Standard Rear Door Alert and Traffic Sign Recognition
  • Available with Nissan Safety Shield 360
  • New color: Sunset Drift ChromaFlair
  • Prices start at $33,950


While it’s understandable that the all-new 2019 Altima is capturing the bulk of today’s headlines, Nissan hasn’t forgotten about its Maxima. The driver-focused Maxima, only slightly longer and wider than the new Altima, has received a welcome midcycle refresh for 2019.

New styling  

The most prominent styling enhancements for the 2019 Nissan Maxima are a more prominent V-Motion grille and slimmer LED headlights, which are joined in back by new quad exhaust tips and LED taillights that have a “boomerang expression” when illuminated. Complementing these updates are new 18- and 19-inch alloy wheels, plus a striking new color: Sunset Drift Chromaflair.

Changes continue inside the 2019 Nissan Maxima. The SR and Platinum Reserve models both benefit from a charcoal-colored headliner and windshield pillars. Further upping the cool quotient on these two Maxima models are new diamond-quilted semi-aniline leather appointments like those seen on the Nissan GT-R with the Premium Interior Package.

Other significant interior tech updates include standard Rear Door Alert. Here’s how it works: If a rear door that has been opened prior to driving is not opened again at the end of the trip, the Maxima will beep its horn to warn people that something, possibly a child, may have been left in the rear seat. Additional new features include four standard USB ports (including two fast-charging Type C ports) and Door-to-Door Navigation, which is standard on all grades except the Maxima S.

Nissan Safety Shield 360

This suite of six advanced active safety and driver-assist technologies is available on the 5-seat 2019 Maxima. Besides automatic emergency braking (with pedestrian detection), a blind-spot warning system, and rear cross-traffic alert, Safety Shield 360 includes lane-departure warning, high-beam assist and rear automatic braking. Intelligent cruise control is available, too, along with traffic sign recognition. The new Maxima is also equipped with a driver-alert feature that sounds a chime if it detects drowsy driving.

Also: Get your first look at the new and redesigned cars of 2019

Proven engine and chassis

The front-engine/front-drive Maxima continues to be powered by a 3.5-liter VQ V6 engine that delivers 300 horsepower via an Xtronic transmission. While Xtronic is an efficiency-enhancing continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), it has been tuned to “shift” like a conventional automatic for a sporty, more natural feel when the driver is aggressive with the accelerator. It works well, but a chassis this good (with sport-tuned shock absorbers and anti-roll bars front and rear) deserves a conventional automatic with crisper shifts and more immediate response. Torque steer, a trait not uncommon in high-horsepower front-wheel-drive cars, does not rear its head in the 2019 Maxima, even under hard acceleration. 

How much does the 2019 Nissan Maxima cost?

The 2019 Nissan Maxima is available in five models, all well-equipped. The entry-level S model, with Apple CarPlay, starts at $33,950. The SV, with leather, begins at $35,960. Next up is the sunroof-equipped Maxima SL at $38,440, which is followed by the sport-tuned SR model at $39,530. The flagship Maxima, the Platinum, equipped with premium leather and a handy around-view monitor, starts at $41,440. Destination charges are extra, at $895.

Just two options are available. The Premium Package for the SR model includes a dual-panel panoramic moonroof, Safety Shield 360 and an around-view camera, while the Reserve Package on the Platinum model features exclusive 19-inch alloy wheels, heated rear seats and the diamond-quilted semi-aniline interior leather.

Competitors for the Maxima include the Acura TLX, Kia Stinger and Toyota Avalon.

2019 Car Reviews: First takes on new models

Final thoughts

With the recent debut of the significantly improved Altima, Nissan is wise to spur interest in its flagship sedan by giving the Maxima bolder styling, better connectivity and abundant new safety technologies. Will this succeed? We’ll see. But it’s clear to us that the 2019 Nissan Maxima has the power, refinement, technology and style to attract its own buyers. 

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