The 2022 Nissan Maxima ‘Still Falls Short,’ Says Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports is unimpressed with Nissan’s newest addition to the Maxima line of sporty luxury sedans. In fact, the Maxima received an overall score of 79, the lowest score in the segment of close rivals. The sedan fails as both a sporty four-door corner carver and a luxury prospect for customers in the market. Here is a look at how the 2022 Nissan Maxima still falls short of rivals like the Toyota Avalon and Chevrolet Impala.

The 2022 Nissan Maxima doesn’t perform quite as well as you might expect

2022 Nissan Maxima
2022 Nissan Maxima | Nissan

Nissan billed the new Maxima as a nimble and agile sporty luxury sedan capable of cornering with confidence. According to Consumer Reports, however, the handling was devoid of feedback. On top of the numb steering, the suspension lacks tunability, and body roll prevails when pushing the large sedan through corners.

The lack of steering sensation at cornering speeds is not the only issue Consumer Reportshad with the new Nissan Maxima. The big Nissan reportedly fights its driver to move in parking situations, creating a worse-of-both-worlds scenario. In addition to sluggish and unresponsive handling qualities, the Maxima’s ride left something to be desired. Testers reported feeling bumps and imperfections in the road frequently, a disappointment for a supposed luxury vehicle.

The Nissan Maxima offers a cramped driving position, a tight back seat, and hindered visibility

2022 Nissan Maxima interior is quilted seats and stitching
2022 Nissan Maxima Interior | Nissan

Consumer Reports found that, despite the overall size of the four-door sedan, some of the interior space was lacking. First, design quirks like the center console and antiquated foot control parking brake cramp the driving position. Next, the back seats, although available with optional heating, are tight considering the dimensions of the new Nissan Maxima.

The Nissan Maxima’s aggressive styling, which Consumer Reports calls “concept-car-like,” betrays the overall visibility. Nissan installed short windows in the new sides and rear of the new Maxima, further hindering visibility. In addition to the windows, angled A pillars also cut down on visibility.

The 2022 Nissan Maxima is too noisy for a luxury sedan

2022 Nissan Maxima has a user friendly control setup
2022 Nissan Maxima Interior | Nissan

For the 2022 Maxima model, Nissan used active noise cancellation technology as well as laminated glass to overcome road noise. Consumer Reports found that in spite of these technologies, road noise easily found its way into the cabin. In addition to road noise, the continuously variable transmission (CVT) lets the new Nissan Maxima’s V6 engine down. The CVT holds high RPMs while the engine works hard, usually during highway merging speeds. Consumer Reports was displeased with the sound made by the V6, calling it “unpolished.”

So what does the 2022 Nissan Maxima do well?

2022 Nissan Altima
2022 Nissan Maxima | Nissan

Consumer Reports didn’t find the Maxima to be a total lost cause. The Maxima is quick, using its 300 horsepower V6 to sprint to 60 mph in just 6.5 seconds. The torquey engine is, however, let down by the CVT’s sluggish operation. On top of that power, the Maxima reportedly performed well in the avoidance maneuver course.

Beyond performance, Maxima’s most redeeming qualities are in the interior and the user-friendly technology. Consumer Reports found the Platinum trim quilted seats to be comfortable and stylish, if not as adjustable as desired. Additionally, the infotainment system is near industry-leading and controls are ergonomic and easy to use.

The 2022 Maxima is not a viable alternative to the Toyota Avalon

Although the Maxima received Consumer Report’s recommended status, it is not a match for other cars in the segment. Maxima’s overall score of 79 is quite a bit lower than the comparable Toyota Avalon’s score of 90. Although the new cars cost about the same, Consumer Reports found even the Platinum trim Maxima isn’t worth the money.  

On top of value, the Avalon boasts a more comfortable and refined ride than the Maxima. The Avalon also has a more spacious cabin than the Nissan and a much higher owner satisfaction rate. Finally, the Avalon is available in a hybrid option, which can achieve a much more economical 42 mpg overall.

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