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The market has no shortage of options for folks looking for the right sedan. Considering how many makes and models are out there, choosing one of those options can be tricky. Toyota and Nissan are just two of the manufacturers which have inundated the market with sensible sedan options. So, given the option between the 2020 Nissan Maxima and the 2020 Toyota Avalon, which car should you buy?

Consumer Reports reviewed the 2020 Nissan Maxima and the 2020 Toyota Avalon

2020 Nissan Maxima:  Which Car Should You Buy?
2020 Nissan Maxima | Nissan

It’s no secret, the Nissan Maxima has failed to enthuse the reviewers at Consumer Reports. Even the newest iteration of Maxima didn’t live up to expectations. Consumer Reports (CR) willingly cedes that the Maxima is quick for a large sedan, handling the sprint to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds. However, CR is ultimately unimpressed with the Nissan. Granted, the Avalon took 8.3 seconds to get to 60 mph, but CR found the Avalon to be deceptively agile for a large sedan.

Did the Avalon handle better on the road than the Maxima?

2020 Nissan Maxima or 2020 Toyota Avalon: Which Car Should You Buy?
2020 Toyota Avalon | Toyota

The 2020 Toyota Avalon received top marks after road testing with CR. The Avalon has a comfortable, steady ride that transfers very few road imperfections to the occupants. The 2020 Nissan Maxima, however, has an inconsistent ride that is neither relaxing nor steady.

Additionally, the Maxima, which is often billed as a sports sedan, lacks any kind of sharp handling or agility. The Avalon, however, handles surprisingly well for a large sedan, all the while concealing body roll. Although the cars both posted a 53 mph speed through the CR accident avoidance course, the Maxima is reportedly more difficult to maneuver than the Avalon in parking situations.

Is the Nissan Maxima or the Toyota Avalon more reliable?

2020 Nissan Maxima or 2020 Toyota Avalon: Which Car Should You Buy?
2020 Nissan Maxima | Nissan

Although very little is available on the long-term reliability of the cars, both vehicles have recalls. The 2020 Nissan Maxima has a recall regarding rear window glass that may self-jettison. Conversely, the 2020 Toyota Avalon has recalls involving potentially failing fuel pumps and airbags, which are certainly a more concerning set of issues. Despite the recalls, the Avalon earns an overall reliability rating of 4 out of 5 from CR. There is no data available on the Nissan Maxima.

Is the Avalon more refined than the Maxima?

The Nissan Maxima is reportedly quiet and does an acceptable job of deleting road noise. However, the continuously variable transmission (CVT) and engine combination create a loud seemingly overworked noise when accelerating and shifting. Alternatively, the Toyota Avalon is a well-insulated environment, with little unwanted noise intruding into the cabin.

Consumer Reports recommends the 2020 Toyota Avalon

2020 Toyota Avalon: Which Car Should You Buy?
2020 Toyota Avalon | Toyota

Despite recalls and slower acceleration speeds, the 2020 Toyota Avalon earned a recommendation from Consumer Reports. The 2020 Nissan Maxima failed to earn a recommendation on the grounds of missing the mark in nearly every category. CR found the Nissan Maxima to be a poor luxury option, a poor sports sedan, and a poor family car. The Avalon, however, offers a comfortable ride, hybrid technology, and a plush experience that should put higher-tier luxury manufacturers on alert.


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