2020 Nissan Maxima

#22
in Sedans
2020 MODEL
$34,250 - $42,780
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6.4

Overall Rating

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2020 Nissan Maxima Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: March 26, 2020
Aaron Smith's image

Aaron Smith

Automotive Journalist

Full-Size Sedans are now facing an identity crisis as the midsize sedans are intruding into their territory. The 2020 Nissan Maxima addresses this growing concern by adopting sporting intention. In fact, Nissan calls it a four-door sports car and its exterior styling is definitely exciting compared to the competitors.

A fly in the ointment is the CVT. Although it's genuinely impressive for a CVT in simulating an automatic, it can't deliver the power emanating from strong V6 to the wheels in an exciting fashion. And while the suspension and chassis make this car athletic for a luxury sedan, the steering lacks feel.

See detailed review »

Pros

Sporty exterior shell

All trims are feature-rich

Well designed and comfortable interiors

Upgraded infotainment system

Excellent handling

Cons

Low legroom in the rear seats

Smaller cargo space than some of its prime rivals

Stiff suspension of the SR trim

What's New?

Maxima’s suite of driver assistance features standard across all trims.


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$34250

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

drivetrain

FWD

engine type

displacement

213 cu.in.

horsepower

300 hp @ 6400 rpm

torque

261 lbs.-ft. @ 4400 rpm

transmission

7 speed auto shift manual

chassis

frame type

Unibody

suspension front

Independent front strut suspension w/anti-roll bar

suspension rear

Independent rear multi-link suspension w/anti-roll bar

brake rotors (f/r)

62.4/62.4

dimensions

wheelbase

109.3 in.

length

192.8 in.

width

73.2 in.

height

56.5 in.

curb weight

3559 lbs.

ground clearance

5.3 in.

capacity

passenger volume

98.5 cu ft.

cargo volume

14.3 cu ft.

payload capacity

1126 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

6.1 sec.

zero to 100 mph

6.5 sec.

standing ¼-mile

14.6 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

20/24/30 mpg

ev range

360 mi.

highway range

540 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

3 yr./ 36000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

powertrain warranty

5 yr. / 60000 mi.

corrosion warranty

5 yr. / unlimited

roadside assistance

3 yr./ 36000 mi.


Pictures

Exterior
Interior

Styles

 2020 Nissan Maxima in Brilliant Silver Metallic color  2020 Nissan Maxima in Carnelian Red color  2020 Nissan Maxima in Deep Blue Pearl color  2020 Nissan Maxima in Gun Metallic color
Brilliant Silver Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Engine And Performance

6.0

Fuel Economy

4.0

Interior

8.0

6.4

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2020 Nissan Maxima S

S

power
300 hp @ 6400 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (recommended)
mpg
24 combined

$34,250


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
S 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT) Starting at $34,250 MSRP (20/24/30) 300 hp @ 6400 rpm, 3.5 L, V-6, premium unleaded (recommended)
continuously variable-speed automatic front wheel drive 5

 2020 Nissan Maxima SV

SV

power
300 hp @ 6400 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (recommended)
mpg
24 combined

$36,450


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
SV 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT) Starting at $36,450 MSRP (20/24/30) 300 hp @ 6400 rpm, 3.5 L, V-6, premium unleaded (recommended)
continuously variable-speed automatic front wheel drive 5

 2020 Nissan Maxima SL

SL

power
300 hp @ 6400 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (recommended)
mpg
24 combined

$38,640


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
SL 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT) Starting at $38,640 MSRP (20/24/30) 300 hp @ 6400 rpm, 3.5 L, V-6, premium unleaded (recommended)
continuously variable-speed automatic front wheel drive 5

 2020 Nissan Maxima SR

SR

power
300 hp @ 6400 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (recommended)
mpg
24 combined

$41,450


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
SR 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT) Starting at $41,450 MSRP (20/24/30) 300 hp @ 6400 rpm, 3.5 L, V-6, premium unleaded (recommended)
continuously variable-speed automatic front wheel drive 5

 2020 Nissan Maxima Platinum

Platinum

power
300 hp @ 6400 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (recommended)
mpg
24 combined

$41,640


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Platinum 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT) Starting at $41,640 MSRP (20/24/30) 300 hp @ 6400 rpm, 3.5 L, V-6, premium unleaded (recommended)
continuously variable-speed automatic front wheel drive 5

 2020 Nissan Maxima Platinum Reserve

Platinum Reserve

power
300 hp @ 6400 rpm
fuel
Premium Unleaded
mpg
24 combined

$42,780


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Platinum Reserve 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl CVT) Starting at $42,780 MSRP (20/24/30) 300 hp @ 6400 rpm, 3.5L, V-6, Premium Unleaded
continuously variable-speed automatic front wheel drive 5

Expert Review

6.4

Overall Rating


The Maxima is an executive car which although does not carry the luxury moniker but provides features and performance similar to some of the high-end cars in the top market. There is a throaty 300 bhp 3.5L V6 to justify the sporty styling scooting this 3500-pound luxury block to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds. Speaking of luxury, while the base Nissan Maxima S comes loaded with equipment, higher trims have the cushy and supportive seats covered in diamond-quilted leather.

2019 Nissan Maxima Angular Front View
2019 Nissan Maxima Angular Rear View

 

6.0/10
Engine and Performance

 

4.0/10
Fuel Economy

 

8.0/10
Interior

 
 
 
 
 

2020 Nissan Maxima Features

The Nissan Maxima has the same powertrain throughout the range – a 3.5L V6 mated to a CVT delivering power to front wheels. Also, no optional package is available. While the base Maxima S ($33,270) gets plenty of equipment as standard, it has fabric interior that looks out of place in a full-size sedan.

Upgrading to Maxima SV gets you leather-clad interiors, heated front seats and more. While panoramic moonroof and 11-speaker Bose audio system is available from Maxima SL ($37,690) onwards, the Maxima SR gets sportier with a sports-tuned suspension and 19-inch wheels.

Trims

S

SV

SL

SR

PLATINUM

PLATINUM RESERVE

MSRP

$34,250

$36,450

$38,640

$41,450

$41,640

$42,780

KEY FEATURES

Drive Mode Selector with Sport and Normal modes

Intelligent Cruise Contro

Front and Rear Sonar System

Paddle shifters

19" Machine-finished aluminum-alloy wheels

19" Dark hyper silver aluminum-alloy wheels

 

18" Machine-finished aluminum-alloy wheels

Heated outside mirrors with LED turn signal indicators

Dual Panel Panoramic Moonroof with one-touch open/close

Sport-tuned suspension with retuned dampers, stiffer springs, and larger front stabilizer bar

Power-tilt/telescoping steering column

Heated rear seats

 

LED headlights with LED signature Daytime Running Lights

8-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar support

Adjustable ambient LED lighting

Intelligent Lane Intervention

Rain-sensing variable intermittent windshield wipers

Semi-aniline Leather-appointed seats with dynamic diamond-quilted leather inserts

 

Dual-Zone Automatic Temperature Control

Heated front seats

Front-passengerʼs seat powerlifter

19" Gloss black aluminum-alloy wheels

Rear-window power sunshade

Leather-wrapped steering wheel with contrast insert

 

Nissan Intelligent Key with Push Button Ignition

Leather-appointed seats

Heated steering wheel

LED fog lights

Climate-controlled front seats (heated and cooled)

“Satin Bronze ” faceted interior trim

 

8-way power driverʼs seat

Nissan Door to Door Navigation with Premium Traffic

Bose Premium Audio System with 11 speakers, including Centerpoint surround technology

Outside mirrors with reverse tilt-down feature

”Satin Birdseye Maple Wood ” faceted interior trim

Charcoal headliner 

 

4-way power front passengerʼs seat

 

Active Noise Cancellation

Memory System – driver’s seat and outside mirrors

NissanConnect Services powered by SiriusXM with complimentary trial access to 3-year Select and 6-month Premium Plus packages

 
 

NissanConnect 8" touch-screen display with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

   

Driver’s seat manual thigh support extension

   
       

Premium Ascot Leather-appointed seats with dynamic diamond-quilted Alcantara inserts

   

We Recommend 

Even the base Maxima S has enough equipment to satisfy you. But, we recommend upgrading to the Maxima SL that gets the panoramic moonroof and the gorgeous sounding 11-Speaker Bose Premium Audio System along with safety features like blind-spot warning and Adaptive Cruise Control.

2020 Nissan Maxima Engine and Performance

6.0/10

Considering that the powertrain remains the same throughout the trim levels, the performance remains almost similar too. We used the word ‘almost similar’ because the SR trim gets stiffer sports-tuned suspension that tightens the handling a bit. However, the Maxima remains a luxury sedan that can get entertaining when you want it to.

The Nissan Maxima gets a Naturally Aspirated 3.5 L Engine delivering a forceful 300 horsepower. That power is exclusively routed to the front wheels through a CVT simulating a 7-speed automatic. Although the CVT is impressive as far as CVTs go, it allows the engine to rev to maximum when the gas pedal is mashed to the metal producing an irritating rubber-band effect.

2020 Nissan Maxima Sedan Has a 3.5 L Naturally Aspirated V6 Engine

However, the CVT works flawlessly under moderate to less than full throttle conditions affording you generous and effortless acceleration. The strong engine can easily spin front wheels in a standing start but once at speed, things are well sorted. All these pretty much drive the point home – it’s closer to a 4-door grand tourer than a 4-door sports car.

Models

Nissan Maxima

Toyota Avalon

Chrysler 300

BMW 330i

MRSP

$ 34,250

$ 35,650

$ 36,395

$41,245

Engine

3.5 L Naturally Aspirated V6

3.5 L Naturally Aspirated V6

3.6L Naturally Aspirated V6

2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4

Transmission

CVT

8 Speed A/T

8 Speed A/T

8 Speed A/T

Horsepower(hp)

300 @6400rpm

301 @6600rpm

300 @6350rpm

255 @5000rpm

Torque (lb-ft)

261 @4400rpm

267 @4700rpm

264 @4800rpm

295 @1550rpm

The other cars in the field get close to the Nissan Maxima yet remain further. They all offer pretty much similar performance while the Maxima remains quickest.

Acceleration

The throaty V6 scoots this full-size barge to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds (fastest among the competition) and an addictive but refined scream will accompany you while your head is pushed deep in the thick diamond-quilted leather seats.

2020 Nissan Maxima Sedan 0-60 mph In just 5.7 sec

The quarter-mile is done in 14.3 seconds  quite good for a sedan with a V6 while the other cars in the field are slower in comparison but take around the same time when pitted against each other

Models

Nissan Maxima

Toyota Avalon

Chrysler 300

BMW 330i

0-60 mph (sec)

5.7

6

5.3

5.8

Quarter mile (sec)

14.3 

14.6

13.8 

14.7

Engine

3.5 L Naturally Aspirated V6

3.5 L Naturally Aspirated V6

3.6L Naturally Aspirated V6

2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4

Emission (Tons/Year of CO2 Emissions @ 15kMi/Year)

7.4

6.7

7.6

6.3

The sensible and reliable Toyota Avalon is also a boring choice taking 6 seconds for 0-60 mph run while the Chrysler 300 just takes 5.3 seconds to attain 60 mph. The Maxima’s 4-door sport sedan tag is justified when considering straight-line acceleration.

Braking Performnace

The Maxima has good braking while it does take a tad too long to come to a standstill, compared to the other cars in this field. Its front brakes measure 12.6 inches while the rear measure 12.1 inches and the car weigh 3478, not too light yet not too heavy. 

2020 Nissan Maxima Sedan Front Brake is 12.6 in.

Under the 60-0 mph brake test, the Maxima takes 125ft to come to a standstill, which is less than the average of cars of this segment. The brake bite is not the hardest to kick in the segment but does do its job well. 

Models

Nissan Maxima 

Toyota Avalon

Chrysler 300

BMW 330i

Brake Front (in.)

12.6

12

12.6

12.3

Brake Rear (in.)

12.1

11.1

12.6

11.4

Curb weight (lbs)

3564

3560

4013

3411

60-0 mph (ft)

120

115

109

113

The BMW 330i and the Toyota Avalon take around 115ft, a bit better than the Maxima yet below average. Chrysler had the lowest stopping distance in the pack at just 109 feet.

Ride and Handling

Maxima handles quite well when on the road while the steering is a tad too stiff and slow when slow-rolling the car. It responds to the input of the driver, steers with precision and drives very balanced. It hugs the corners when cornering and comfortable and agile while on the highway.

However, the steering is on the numb side and that dampens the experience. There is a Sport mode that weighs up the steering wheel considerably but it does little to change the amount of feedback that the steering offers. However, the torque steer is well controlled.

The Nissan Maxima suspension follows the overall theme of the car – supple with a dose of sportiness. The suspension takes care of bumps at low city speed or at highway speed with ease and body roll is far better controlled than the rivals. That said, rivals are more softly sprung and will impress you more if you prioritize rear seat comfort over dynamics

2020 Nissan Maxima Fuel Economy

4.0/10

The Nissan's powertrain is pretty fuel-efficient in its field; in the city, it gives 21 mpg while 30 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg combined. These numbers are better than the rest of the field, where the cars are quite similar in their efficiency but the Nissan performs just a tad better than the rest.

What is more satisfying to know is the Nissan uses a CVT transmission, which is not known to be fuel-friendly, yet have tweaked it to have drink fewer amounts of gas.

Models

Nissan Maxima

Toyota Avalon

Chrysler 300

BMW 330i

mpg (City)

20

22

19

26

mpg (Hwy)

30

32

30

36

mpg (combined)

24

26

23

30

Range (City/Hwy) 

360/540 Miles

319/464 Miles

352/555 Miles

406/562 Miles

Tank capacity (gallons)

18

14.5

18.5

15.6

These figures are similar to the Toyota Avalon. The Chrysler is the least fuel-efficient among the lot. The BMW 330i has the greatest combined fuel economy figure of 30 MPG .

2020 Nissan Maxima Interior

8.0/10

If you have any doubt about why to spend $30k plus on a Nissan, look at the interiors. Exquisite workmanship, an abundance of soft-touch materials, thick armrests and seats, and high-quality double stitching greet you. All these craftsmanship hides plenty of advanced technology including Premium Bose audio system. However, rear seats aren’t as spacious as the competitors.

As with everything else, the interior of the Maxima exudes luxury topped with sportiness. The athletic flat-bottom steering wheel is standard. Even in midrange SL trim, it’s draped in premium Ascot leather complete with fine double stitching. The 8-inch touchscreen is tilted towards the driver to highlight that this is a car meant to be driven.

2020 Nissan Maxima Sedan Front Seats

While lower-trim has metallic accents, the Maxima Limited gets mahogany wood accents. The 8-way power driver seats with memory system and manual thigh support extension ensure everyone can find a perfect driving position for relaxed highway cruising or apex hunting. The heated steering wheel and leather-clad gear knob ensure to give this cabin a feel-good factor. 

Models

Nissan Maxima

Toyota Avalon

Chrysler 300

BMW 330i

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front (head/ shoulder/leg)(inch)

39.4/56.7/45.0

37.4/57.8/42.1

38.6/59.5/41.8

38.7/56.0/42.0

Rear (head/ shoulder/leg)(inch)

36.7/56.7/34.2

37.5/57.1/40.3

37.9/57.7/40.1

37.6/56.0/35.2

However, the rear seats in the Nissan Maxima are not as roomy as the competitor and even some midsize sedans are better – further reinforcing that it’s made for the driver. The available power moonroof makes the rear seats feel considerably airier though.

2020 Nissan Maxima Sedan Rear Seats

Interior Features :

  • Dual-zone auto climate control
  • Remote engine start system
  • Tilt/telescopic steering column
  • Vehicle speed sensing and rain-sensing wipers
  • Adjustable LED ambient lighting
  • Rear window power sunshade 

Infotainment System

The big news for 2020 Nissan Maxima is the availability of Android Auto as standard (Apple CarPlay as standard already). Although lower trims get an average 8-speaker audio system, the excellent 11 speaker premium audio system is available from the midrange Maxima SL onwards. Bluetooth streaming is standard across the range as is the SiriusXM Satellite Radio.

2020 Nissan Maxima Sedan Infotainment Display

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also present in all the trims. Hence, you'll not have to worry about connecting your smartphone with the car. The S and SV trims come with a standard 8 speaker system. All the higher trims are equipped with a Bose premium 11 speaker system which includes Bose centre point 2 surround technology. 

Cargo Capacity

The Nissan Maxima trunk offers 14.3 cubic feet of luggage capacity – least among the competition. The Avalon and Chrysler provide 16 cubic feet of luggage capacity. Therefore you may have difficulties in storing your camping gear or other similar things.

Model

Nissan Maxima

Toyota Avalon

Chrysler 300

BMW 330i

Cargo space (cubic feet)

14.3

16.1

16.3

17

The BMW 330i again appears on top with a cargo space of 17 cubic feet followed by the Chrysler and the Toyota with a trunk capacity of 16.3 and 16.1 cubic feet respectively. 

2020 Nissan Maxima Sedan Interior
2020 Nissan Maxima Sedan Interior
2020 Nissan Maxima Sedan Interior
2020 Nissan Maxima Sedan Interior
2020 Nissan Maxima Sedan Interior
2020 Nissan Maxima Sedan Interior
2020 Nissan Maxima Sedan Interior
2020 Nissan Maxima Sedan Interior
2020 Nissan Maxima Sedan Interior
2020 Nissan Maxima Sedan Interior

2020 Nissan Maxima Exterior

Nissan has positioned the Maxima as a 4-Door Sports Car above the sedate Altima. Hence, Nissan has thrown all the lines, curves, and styling elements in the Maxima. The Nissan V-motion design philosophy starts with V-shaped chrome garnish on the grille flanked with purposeful looking.

2020 Nissan Maxima Sedan Front View

The bonnet is tightly sculpted with sharp crease lines and a really substantial bulge in the middle to hint at the hidden power. Maxima’s side profile is dominated by a sinuous line running through the centre of the door panel. The rear end gets a coupe-like sloping roof with the small trunk lid. Wraparound taillights complete the rear profile.

Model

Nissan Maxima

Toyota Avalon

Chrysler 300

BMW 330i

Curb weight (lbs)

3552

3560

4013

3582

Length (in)

192.8

195.9

198.6

185.7

Width (in)

73.2

72.8

75

71.9

Height (in)

56.5

56.5

58.5

56.8

Ground clearance (in)

5.3

5.3

5.3

5.7

Wheelbase (in)

115

113

120.2

103

The Nissan Maxima is light for a Full-Size Sedan at 3478 pounds. At 192.8 inches, it’s also the smallest. The low 56.5-inch height and 5.3 inches of ground clearance give it a sporty stance. However, the low 109.3 inches of wheelbase also hints at its comparatively cramped rear seats.

Exterior Features :

  • DRL LED headlamps
  • LED fog lamps
  • Quad tipped exhaust finishers
  • Sport Spoiler
  • Dual power outside mirrors
  • Auto-dimming drivers side outside mirrors
  • Dual panel one-touch panoramic moonroof
2020 Nissan Maxima Sedan Interior
2020 Nissan Maxima Sedan Interior
2020 Nissan Maxima Sedan Interior
2020 Nissan Maxima Sedan Interior
2020 Nissan Maxima Sedan Interior
2020 Nissan Maxima Sedan Interior
2020 Nissan Maxima Sedan Interior
2020 Nissan Maxima Sedan Interior
2020 Nissan Maxima Sedan Interior
2020 Nissan Maxima Sedan Interior

2020 Nissan Maxima Safety

Safety is one of the top priorities at Nissan. The engineers and the designers leave no stone unturned to ensure that all the cars are the safest they can be. Sturdy build quality along with an array of features that are equipped with all the Nissan cars ensure the safety of every passenger inside every Nissan cars running on the roads. 

IIHS CRASH TESTS

The 2020 Nissan Maxima performed extremely well in the IIHS crash tests. It was rated good in most of the categories and awarded the 2020 Top Safety Pick. 

Small overlap front driver side

Good

Small overlap front passenger side

Good

Moderate overlap front

Good

Side

Good

Roof strength

Good

Head restraints & seats

Good

Front crash prevention

Superior

Headlights

Acceptable/Moderate

Child seat anchors (LATCH)

Good

NHTSA CRASH TESTS

The Feds haven’t had the chance to bump the latest Maxima against the wall. We will surely update this space once they are done with the task. 

SAFETY FEATURES

  • Nissan advanced airbag system
  • ABS
  • Brake assist with Electronic Brake Force Distribution System
  • Vehicle Dynamic Control and Traction Control System
  • Zone Body Construction
  • LATCH-compatible rear seats

2020 Nissan Maxima Competition

Nissan Maxima vs Toyota Avalon

The Toyota Avalon, in essence, is the luxurious full-size sedan rendition of everything Toyota is known for – reliability, hassle-free ownership, great resale value, fuel efficiency and an overall easy to live with characteristics. It’s the bigger brother of Camry so the rear seat comfort is top class. However, most Toyotas are also boring and Avalon is no different. Looking for fun? Get the Maxima.

 

2020 Toyota Avalon Sedan

If space is your priority, Avalon is the car for you. On the other hand, Maxima is the sportier car of the two. Therefore, it ultimately boils down to your choice and preferences as both of these cars are excellent in their rights.

Nissan Maxima vs Chrysler 300

The Chrysler 300 Limited starts at $36,340 and is powered by a 3.6L V6 and 8-speed automatic transmission boasting a performance of 292 hp and a torque of 260 lb-ft. It comes with an optional V8 and is a quiet, comfortable family sedan which although may not boast as good looks as compared to the Nissan, it still is a decent alternative to it. 

2020 Chrysler 300 Sedan

Packed with a good performance, good drivability, big and spacious, the Chrysler can give the Nissan a good run for its money.

2020 Nissan Maxima Final Verdict

The interior uses top-drawer materials and feels it belongs to a more upscale car. The handling is tight and acceleration is effortless. However, if you are looking for a chauffeur-driven car, look elsewhere as the rear seats of the Maxima is cramped among the competitors. Speaking of competition, the Avalon is reliable and offers great comfort while the charger is all about 4-door muscle.

All-in-all, the Nissan Maxima is the car for you if your requirements are luxury, fun-to-drive characteristics, fuel efficiency and low cost of ownership combined with decent resale value. However, if you prioritize rear seat comfort, the Toyota Avalon and Chevrolet Impala will serve you better.