2022 Nissan Maxima

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2021
The Car Connection
2021
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director
November 30, 2021

Buying tip

The Maxima SV offers the best value, but the SR sedan doesn’t cost much more and gets a more interesting set of standard features.

features & specs

Platinum CVT
SR CVT
SV CVT
MPG
20 city / 30 hwy
MPG
20 city / 30 hwy
MPG
20 city / 30 hwy
MSRP
$42,550
MSRP
$42,400
MSRP
$37,240

The 2022 Nissan Maxima delivers good road manners and a sleek shape, but its energy gets sapped by its CVT.

What kind of car is the 2022 Nissan Maxima? What does it compare to?

With the Maxima, Nissan upgrades the Altima driving experience with a V-6 engine and more enthusiastic chassis tuning. It’s a competitor for cars like the Acura TLX, the Honda Accord, and the Toyota Camry. 

Is the 2022 Nissan Maxima a good car?

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It’s pretty and drives well enough, and crash-test scores are great. It earns a TCC Rating of 6.5 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What’s new for the 2022 Nissan Maxima?

The Maxima Platinum adds standard heated rear seats for 2022, but that’s all for changes. The Maxima still emerges from the tailoring ship differently from the related Nissan Altima; they share a cat-eyed look that uses black trim to make the roof appear to float, but the Maxima’s bulked-up fenders and wedgy stance set it apart from its cousin. Inside, the Maxima’s unexciting dash design has a large touchscreen that doesn’t swallow its ancillary controls, and fit and finish suits its price.

We wish the Maxima offered a different transmission. Its 300-hp V-6 has the right urges, but can’t satisfy us since it sends all the power to the front wheels through a CVT. The belt-and-pulley transmission takes its time to find the right power point, and keeps the Maxima working hard for its 0-60 mph times of about seven seconds. It drones and isn’t responsive, which undercuts the pleasantly quick steering and well-damped ride, even in the SR trim with its 19-inch wheels.

Four large adults can fit in the Maxima, but rear-seat head and leg room suffer compared to the Altima. Front-seat comfort is great, though, and all Maximas come with leather upholstery. The trunk’s smaller than average.

Both the NHTSA and the IIHS give the Maxima their highest crash-test ratings, and automatic emergency is standard on all models. A surround-view camera system is only offered on the Maxima Platinum.

How much does the 2022 Nissan Maxima cost?

It’s $38,215 for a Maxima SV with 18-inch wheels, leather upholstery, power front seats, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The $43,375 Maxima SR has more engaging suspension tuning and more responsive brakes for not much more. 

Where is the 2022 Nissan Maxima made?

It’s assembled in Smyrna, Tennessee.

7

2022 Nissan Maxima

Styling

Style carries the day for the Maxima.

Is the Nissan Maxima a good-looking car?

The bold outline of the Maxima works so well, it’s been adopted in the last two years by the Altima, Sentra, and Versa. The family resemblance has watered down the meaning of the flagship’s shape, but not its virtues. We give it a 7 here, with a couple of extra points for the body.

The Maxima wears a deep V-neck in the form of a grille flanked by LED accent lights, but that’s not its statement piece of design. Follow the muscular shape to its rear haunches and then up, and the black trim that splits the Maxima’s roofline into two visual pieces stands out. The roof appears to float; that visual trick gives it a sleeker look and something distinctive from the usual upturned C-pillar that pays homage to BMWs past and present. The Maxima has been with us for a while, but this keynote styling cue has kept it fresh.

The cockpit could use some of that evergreen feel. It has a flat-bottomed steering wheel and its fair share of metallic trim, but there’s a more dated look and feel here, one that’s wrapped in a reasonably high grade of materials. The Maxima fits an 8.0-inch touchscreen to its dash, and though it’s smaller than the touchscreens on newer rivals, the Maxima doesn’t bury key vehicle functions in its on-screen menus.

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2022 Nissan Maxima

Performance

The Maxima’s transmission is its built-in fun limiter.

The Maxima’s best thought of as a Nissan Altima with a CVT coupled to a V-6 instead of an inline-4. That sets the right expectations for performance. The Maxima’s ride and handling are better than its strong powertrain, and that earns a 7 here. 

How fast is the Nissan Maxima?

It’s quick, with an asterisk. The 300-hp 3.5-liter V-6 under its hood twists out 261 lb-ft. But it ships that copious power to the front wheels only, and does so through a CVT.  The pulley-and-belt transmission can’t keep up with rapid throttle changes, and doesn’t extract all the enthusiasm the V-6 has on tap. It smothers the zesty output and renders the powertrain noisy, though it still can accelerate to 60 mph in about seven seconds. The economy-car feel of the CVT can’t get entirely in the way of a good time. The Maxima SR has paddle shift controls that can place the CVT in one of eight preset transmission ratios, but can’t overcome its rubbery responses.

The power’s there, the transmission isn’t: do the Maxima’s ride and handling overrule that mixed verdict? We think so, but it’s the well-tuned ride that does so, not especially crisp steering. It’s quick to respond to changes in direction, but the ride in non-SR Maximas has good absorbency. The SR turns the knobs several notches in the direction of suspension stiffness and braking, but it’s borderline stiff—and for more than $43,000, other smaller and more nimble sport sedans will corner with the agility the Maxima can’t deliver. 

Is the Nissan Maxima 4WD?

The Maxima is front-wheel drive.

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6

2022 Nissan Maxima

Comfort & Quality

The trunk’s a size medium, but the Maxima’s seats will fit a size-large body.

The Maxima has a large-sedan footprint, and its cabin is sized like its cousin, the Nissan Altima. The seats will fit two adults in great comfort in front, but rear-seat room suffers from the styling and the trunk space is below average. It’s a 6 for comfort and utility.

Every Maxima has leather upholstery on its seats, and even in the base SV those seats have power adjustment and good grip for long-distance comfort. On the SR, Nissan beefs up the bolsters and swaps the leather for synthetic suede trim that hangs on to its passengers with even more tenacity in corners. 

In the back seat, the Maxima provides 34.2 inches of leg room, which is OK, but less head room than the Altima due to its sloping roof. Its rear seat has sculpted cushions to seat two people and a third for short trips, but it’s happier if two medium-sized people slip in back.

The 14.3 cubic feet of trunk space is less than on rival mid-size sedans—it’s the same size as the trunk in the Nissan Sentra compact sedan—but the Maxima has a high-quality interior that earns its nearly $40,000 price tag.

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8

2022 Nissan Maxima

Safety

The Maxima tops out crash-test ratings.

How safe is the Nissan Maxima?

It’s very safe, according to both of the major crash-test agencies. Its scores, along with standard automatic emergency braking, earn an 8 here.

The IIHS gives the Maxima its Top Safety Pick+ award, since it scores “Good” results in all crash tests and sports “Acceptable” headlights. The NHTSA gives it five stars in every rating it publishes. 

Every Maxima has automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, active lane control, and adaptive cruise control. The Platinum comes with a surround-view camera system, which should be available on other versions since it helps mitigate the Maxima’s limited rearward vision.

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7

2022 Nissan Maxima

Features

Buy the Maxima SR for the most entertaining value.

The Maxima costs nearly $40,000, so it’s no great value, and its warranty and options list are nothing special. We give it points above average for its infotainment system and standard equipment, for a 7 here.

The $38,215 Maxima SV has the features to draw interested premium-sedan shoppers. It has power front seats, leather upholstery, 18-inch wheels, navigation and an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Which Nissan Maxima should I buy?

We like the $43,375 Maxima SR with its stiffer sport suspension, more responsive brakes, 19-inch wheels, and black trim, if only because it fondly recalls the days of the Maxima “four-door sports car” hype.

How much is a fully loaded Nissan Maxima?

The Maxima Platinum costs $43,525. It comes with a surround-view camera system, Bose audio, heated and cooled leather front seats, a dual-pane sunroof, wood trim, and 19-inch wheels. 

Every Maxima carries a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty. 

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4

2022 Nissan Maxima

Fuel Economy

At 24 mpg combined, the Maxima’s fuel economy is OK.

Is the Nissan Maxima good on gas?

For its size and power, it’s fine, but other mid-sizers score higher EPA ratings thanks to lower-output engines or hybrid versions. The Maxima checks in at 20 mpg city, 30 highway, 24 combined, for a 4 here. Nissan recommends premium fuel.

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The Car Connection Consumer Review

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$37,240
MSRP based on SV CVT
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6.5
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 7
Performance 7
Comfort & Quality 6
Safety 8
Features 7
Fuel Economy 4
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2022 Nissan Maxima Pricing Insights

  • 2021 Maxima is stocked in small numbers; 2022s coming soon
  • Lease: From $339 per month for 36 months
  • Rebates: No special offers, which is unusual
  • Finance: From 0% APR for 36 months
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