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The Nissan Maxima may be overshadowed by its luxury competitors, but it remains one of the most affordable large cars. Although it clears hurdles of lackluster headroom and a small trunk with its excellent features, there’s one that’s the best. Safety is a top priority for the 2020 Nissan Maxima. For potential buyers that are getting out on the road for the first time, it’s a welcome sight.

Superior crash safety ratings

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded the 2020 Nissan Maxima with its coveted Top Safety Pick+ rating. Starting in the 2019 model year Maxima, the front and side curtain airbags were enlarged, the IIHS says. Moreover, Nissan added knee airbags for the driver and front passenger and rear seat-mounted side torso airbags to improve protection in front and side impacts.

The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration was also impressed with the Maxima’s crash protection. The government agency gave the four-door sedan a five-star rating.

Nissan’s Safety Shield 360

To increase its competitive edge against its rivals, the 2020 Nissan Maxima gained a slew of standard safety features. Dubbed Nissan’s Safety Shield 360, nine other Nissan models got the package that year. In a press release, Nissan explained that the system would “help to reduce crashes, which may be attributable to driver inexperience.” Therefore, the Maxima is excellent for younger drivers worried about safety—or their parents. 

A nifty tire pressure monitoring system is also a delightful safety feature. While it tells the driver when the air pressure is low, it also indicates when the tires are filled up correctly.

The 2020 Nissan Maxima doesn’t include a lane-centering function but is comprehensive compared to its competitors. Every Maxima also has a rear door alert system designed to prevent owners from accidentally leaving something or someone important in the vehicle. Additionally, the subscription-based NissanConnect service provides extra safety. Features include automatic collision notification, emergency calling, and safe teen driver settings that will augment speed, geographic, and curfew boundaries.

What safety features do the 2020 Nissan Maxima trim levels have?

2020 Nissan Maxima
2020 Nissan Maxima | Nissan USA

The base Maxima S features automatic high-beam headlights, blind spot monitoring, driver attention monitoring, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection. The cheapest Nissan Maxima also includes lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and that ever-important rearview camera.

Nissan’s upper trim levels add even more safety and driver assistance tech. The Maxima SV gains adaptive cruise control and traffic sign recognition. The Maxima SL will have front and rear parking sensors. Maxima SRs gain a surround-view parking camera system, and the range-topping Platinum gets rain-sensing windshield wipers.

Is the 2020 Nissan Maxima a reliable car?

Regarding reliability, the 2020 Nissan Maxima has others in the segment licked. J.D. Power gives the Maxima a predicted reliability score of 89 out of 100. The mark puts the Maxima ahead of the Chevrolet Impala, Dodge Charger, and Toyota Avalon.

The Maxima may be reliable, but that doesn’t mean it’ll never need fixing up. Luckily, potential buyers can hedge their future repair bills. RepairPal asserts the 2020 Nissan Maxima has an average annual repair cost of $540, less than others in the segment. They explain that predicted repairs tend to be “more severe than average,” but major repairs occur less often.


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