3 Things U.S. News Likes About the 2023 Nissan Maxima (And 2 It Doesn’t)

In the final year of the Nissan Maxima, the Japanese automaker hasn’t done much to improve its full-size offering. Apart from truncating the trim levels last year, the 2023 Nissan Maxima’s Platinum trim gains heated rear seats. U.S. News named the Maxima their 2022 Best Car for Teens in the $35,000 to $40,000 range. Luckily, for 2023, the sedan is back, boasting predicted reliability, star-studded crash safety ratings, and a luxurious interior.

There are three things, in particular, U.S. News likes about the 2023 Nissan Maxima, which is offset by its few faults. But first, the good news.

Reason to like #1: upscale cabin materials

The Maxima sits atop the Nissan sedan range and has the appointments to make it stand out. The top-of-the-line Platinum features diamond-quilled leather upholstery and other high-quality soft-touch materials gracing the steering wheel, shift knob, and door panels. Maple wood trim and highly-durable semi-aniline leather are also available. The base model SV still has leather across the cabin but no elegant seatback patterns.

Each trim level has the same eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system. U.S. News says competitors offer more “state-of-the-art” systems, but the Maxima’s “works just like it’s supposed to.” With the easy-to-use system, potential owners can opt for an 11-speaker Bose stereo or a voice recognition system.

Reason to like #2: lots of standard safety tech

In 2020, the Nissan Safety Shield 360 suite became standard. Therefore, the 2023 Maxima comes with adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, driver-attention monitoring, and forward-collision warning. But wait, there’s more. It also features automatic headlights, lane-departure warning, pedestrian detection, traffic-sign recognition, rear cross-traffic alert, and a rearview camera with parking sensors. Nissan also offers a Security Impact Sensor that chirps the horn when a small impact is detected. The $125 dealer-installed option also alerts the driver on engine startup if it happens while they are away. Another option from Nissan dealers is a dual-camera driver recorder. The camera can capture forward progress, but also inside the cabin, with a sensor that turns on when detecting a break-in.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded the 2023 Nissan Maxima a five-star safety rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has rated the Nissan Maxima a Top Safety Pick+ since 2019. While the IIHS didn’t test a 2023 Maxima, they used the same safety metrics for the carryover model. The Maxima also has extra Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) hardware to secure young ones in the back safely.

Reason to like #3: powerful V6 engine 

2023 Nissan Maxima
Nissan Maxima on the road | Nissan Motor Corporation, Official U.S. Newsroom

Nissan only offers the Maxima with a 3.5-liter V6 producing 300 horsepower and 261 pound-feet of torque. Car and Driver says it “moves the Maxima along with purpose.” Paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission, the powerplant propels the Maxima from zero to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds.

The EPA asserts that the 2023 Nissan Maxima will achieve a combined 24 mpg. Potential owners can expect 20 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. While the figures are relatively average for the segment, be aware that the Maxima only takes premium fuel.

Does the 2023 Nissan Maxima sound like a good buy yet? 

The 2023 Nissan Maxima presents potential owners with an Infiniti-quality interior, appropriate sportiness, and oodles of standard safety features. The base SV trim level begins at $38,140, a couple of thousand dollars above the segment average. Yet, the top-spec Platinum trim starts at $44,250, providing a budget-friendly MSRP for interior amenities, tech, safety, and performance. Regardless, the 2023 Nissan Maxima does have its downsides.

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Reason not to like #1: cramped trunk and rear seats

Even though Nissan says the Maxima’s interior has “limousine-like luxury,” that isn’t the case regarding space. With the sporty, swept-back roofline, rear-seat passenger room is sacrificed. Edmunds explains, “getting in and out of the Maxima, particularly for those in the rear seat, is more work than it should be.”

Not only is rear-seat space scant, but that carries into the truck. Nissan expresses that the Maxima’s 14.3 cubic feet is “deceptively spacious.” However, it’s far below what other competitors offer. For example, the Kia K5, a midsize car, offers 16 cubic feet. Nevertheless, the rear seats fold down in the Maxima to create more room for cargo.

Reason not to like #2: vague steering

Many reviewers have voiced their complaints over the lack of feedback the Maxima gives through the steering wheel. While the front-wheel drive Maxima is quite firm through the corners, the hydraulic-electric power steering leaves much to be desired. If potential owners can manage with ambiguous road feedback, they can enjoy a sedan that’s surprisingly nimble and satisfyingly quick.  

Is the 2023 Nissan Maxima a good selection for a large sedan? 

If potential buyers stick to fuel economy and cargo space as their top two priorities, the 2023 Nissan Maxima may not be the best selection. While Maxima has a large car price, its interior dimensions pit it against midsize offers, despite the diamond-quilled leather seats. Also, the Maxima hasn’t seen any significant updates since the 2016 redesign. So, those seeking innovative tech should look elsewhere.

However, the 2023 Nissan Maxima provides high quality that is worth the MSRP. Its sneaky sportiness is also likely to enthuse customers.