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The 2022 Nissan Maxima is… a little under the radar. Usually, when people want a Japanese sedan, they turn to Honda, or Toyota, not Nissan. But does that mean they should? After all, the Maxima was ranked as a top performer in J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study. But Nissan didn’t change much of anything for 2022. Should they have?

2022 Nissan Maxima specs

A front 3/4 shot of the new Nissan Maxima in grey
Nissan’s newest Maxima | Nissan

That single change isn’t much. The 2022 Nissan Maxima added standard heated rear seats to its top-tier Platinum trim. That trim, by the way, starts at $42,550. For that $42,000, you’re getting near-luxury sedan features for Volkswagen Arteon prices. That means a load of leather and wood, heated seats all around, a power rear sunshade, and rain-sensing wipers. Thankfully, that ever-present Nissan V6 makes an appearance here, with some solid power to boot.

Unfortunately, there’s only one transmission option across the range for the 2022 Nissan Maxima: a CVT automatic. It’s not a particularly sporty option, but it is smooth. Frankly, we’re not really sure why those giant paddles are there. They look like they’d be more at home in a Nissan GT-R than a Maxima. The lower trim levels also have some solid features, all of which are carried over from 2021.

Change isn’t always a bad thing.

The interior of the new Maxima
The Maxima’s interior stays current | Nissan

For example, standard driver assists like radar cruise and lane-departure warning systems are all present and accounted for. The same can be said about Carplay and Android Auto- practically a must in new cars. However, unlike models like the Dodge Charger, the Maxima only gets FWD, a letdown compared to its rear and all-wheel drive competition. The interior at any trim level is a huge bonus here, but we’d recommend jumping up to at least the SR trim, starting at $42,400 for the best experience.

Honestly, the lower SV trim (priced at $37,240) is a nice car, but the Nissan starts to show its weaknesses there. The interior isn’t as fleshed-out as other standard model trims, like that of the Arteon. Regardless of trim, the trunk is a bit small, a huge downside in a world of SUVs and crossovers. However, the seats do fold down across all trim levels.

Can the Maxima compete?

A silver 2022 Nissan Maxima shot in profile
The new Maxima | Nissan

All in all, the 2022 Nissan Maxima is a nice place to be. However, it does get hit hard by rivals like the Arteon. We’ve mentioned a few of the Arteon’s strengths above already, but the interior quality is where the VW wins out. It’s simply better than what Nissan is offering at the moment. The Toyota Avalon has been discontinued, which leaves the Arteon and the Maxima alone at the top of the segment.

The Maxima’s transmission is a serious weak point here, and we’re hoping the automatic transmission from the upcoming Nissan Z car makes its way into the rest of the lineup. If the VW is too rich for your blood, the Maxima is the car for you.


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