Getting its debut in New York, the new 2016 Nissan Maxima fulfilled a promise made two years ago when the automaker presented its "Sport Sedan Concept" at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. While toned down to meet reality, the striking midsize 4-door retains styling cues from the concept. Complementing the 2016 Maxima's distinctive looks are a redesigned platform and revised powertrain that contribute to this major overhaul of Nissan's flasgship sedan.

Intent on having the eighth generation Maxima serve as a halo vehicle showcasing design leadership, the visual transformation reflects an aggressive take on the company's evolving styling language, from its bold "V-motion" front fascia to its floating style C-pillar and distinctive LED-enhanced front/rear.  Available in S, SV, SL, range-topping Platinum and a new sporty SR trim, the 2016 Maxima is 2.2 inches longer and 1.3 inches lower than the current car and fills its flared fenders with 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 245/45 tires that upgrade to 19-inch wheels with 245/40 rubber on the SR. 

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Beneath its sleek skin, the 2016 Maxima has high-strength steel, which bumps torsional rigidity by 25 percent and contributes to an 82 pound drop in curb weight. This robust foundation anchors a retuned fully independent suspension that incorporates new monotube rear shocks while the new SR model gets tauter settings along with Active Ride Control and a new Performance Chassis Damper up front to quell high-frequency vibrations that accompany stiffer shock settings. 

More power and economy

The engine in the 2016 Maxima is a heavily reworked version of Nissan's award-winning VQ35. With over 60 percent new components, output of the revised 3.5-liter V6 has been bumped from 290 to 300 horsepower while fuel economy has been upped by 15 percent. Backed by a new Xtronic CVT automatic equipped with a Sport setting and new D-Step shift logic, the engine is projected to deliver 22 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway - a 4 mpg gain. To further establish its "4-door Sports Car" positioning, Nissan also fitted the 2016 Maxima with a Drive Mode Selector with Normal/Sport choices that adjust throttle response, transmission mapping, steering effort and Active Sound Enhancement that adds aural excitement when Sport mode is engaged.

The passenger cabin of the 2016 Maxima has a design inspired by the cockpit of a fighter jet while featuring upscale touches -- and premium touchpoints -- found in luxury sedans. The Maxima has driver-focused control functionality along with comfort/convenience features. In addition to dual-zone climate control, a full array of power assists and Bluetooth phone/streaming audio are standard on the not-so-base S model. Other items include Nissan's power-activated "Zero Gravity" front seats with new softer but more supportive bolstering, a multi-mode 7.0-inch Advanced Drive-Assist Display in the main instrument cluster, NissanConnect with standard navigation and an 8.0-inch touchscreen, SiriusXM/HD radio, keyless remote and cruise control.

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Moving up through the mono-spec Maxima model hierarchy adds leather in place of cloth upholstery, a Bose Premium Audio system with active noise cancellation, power assist for the tilt/telescope steering, heated/cooled seats, dual-panel moonroof, LED projector headlamps and enhanced Nissan Connect Services. Advanced safety touches on SL/SR models include Blind Spot Warning, Intelligent Cruise Control, Predictive Forward Collision Warning/Forward Emergency Braking and Rear Cross Traffic. Platinum models boast Moving Object Detection and Driver Attention Alert. The 2016 Nissan Maxima will be built at the automaker's assembly plant in Tennessee. Pricing will start at $33,235 when the car goes on sale this summer. 

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