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SAFETY | 7 out of 10
'Good,' frontal offset; 'good,' side impact; ‘marginal,’ rear impact; ‘acceptable,’ roof strength
Four stars overall; three stars frontal; five stars side
The Nissan Maxima ha a long list safety features, but it may not have meet all family shopper's needs. While the the 2014 Maxima hasn't yet been rated by the IIHS, last year's model's only received "acceptable" ratings for its roof strength.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives the car only three out of five stars for frontal impacts, though the Maxima receives five-star ratings in side impact and rollover tests.
Outward visibility is a strong point for the Maxima, despite the curvy exterior, and an available rearview monitor does provide additional help when parking.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave last year's Maxima top 'good' scores for frontal and side impact, but it still receives only a 'marginal' in the seat-based rear-impact category—indicating a much higher chance of whiplash than in other vehicles—and it rates only 'acceptable' in both the agency's new roof strength test and small overlap frontal test. The results aren't altogether so stellar from the federal government either. In federal NCAP testing, the Maxima has earned a lackluster three stars (out of five) for frontal impact, though it gets five-star side ratings.
Safety scores for the latest Maxima lag, with only "acceptable" ratings for roof-crush strength.