Is the 2016 Nissan Maxima Reliable?

The 2023 model year marks the end of the Nissan Maxima’s 42-year production run. Though it used to be a popular sports sedan, its performance now lags behind several rivals. Nissan also offers more athletic alternatives, such as the new Z coupe. The Maxima might have lost its appeal over the years, but most used models are dependable. So, is the 2016 Nissan Maxima reliable?

Overview of the 2016 Nissan Maxima

A blue 2016 Nissan Maxima parked
2016 Nissan Maxima | Nissan

The 2016 Nissan Maxima saw a significant redesign. It introduced a slightly more potent and efficient version of its V6 engine. It makes 300 hp and 261 lb-ft of torque, paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). When Edmunds tested it, the 2016 Maxima reached 60 mph in 6.1 seconds.

The 2016 Nissan Maxima is front-wheel-drive-only and gets 25 mpg combined city/highway. It also weighs less than the outgoing model and rides lower to the ground. The SR trims boast sport suspension and larger 19-inch wheels (the standard 2016 Maxima came with 18-inch wheels).

Edmunds says the engine and transmission work harmoniously to provide smooth power delivery despite some torque steer. The site also praises the 2016 Maxima’s controlled body motions and accurate steering. Testers say the SR trim’s ride quality skews toward stiffer.

Edmunds was also impressed with the 2016 Nissan Maxima’s interior upgrades. It has high-quality materials, comfortable Zero Gravity seats, and an upscale infotainment interface. 

In addition, every trim has built-in navigation, and the SL model received new safety features for the 2016 model year. A fully loaded 2016 Maxima Platinum boasts the most safety equipment, including several anti-theft features.

The 2016 Nissan Maxima is a reliable car

J.D. Power gave the 2016 Nissan Maxima a near-perfect reliability score. It also earned impressive safety scores in every category the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tested, plus a perfect rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), U.S. News reports.

RepairPal gave the 2016 Nissan Maxima a slightly lower reliability score, but it’s still cheaper to maintain than most rivals. Owners pay only $540 on average for yearly maintenance and minor repairs. However, its likelihood of needing a major fix is slightly higher at 15%.

Also, remember that vehicles need more frequent repairs as they age. After the 100,000-mile mark, you’ll need to pay careful attention to some of your vehicle’s mechanical components. Timing belts and shocks can cost hundreds of dollars to replace, but doing so will help prevent major repairs down the road.

Watch out for these Maxima recalls

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The NHTSA shows eight active recalls for the 2016 Nissan Maxima. Most are for problems related to the anti-lock braking system (ABS), which could leak brake fluid inside the affected vehicles. Because the ABS actuator is located next to a circuit board, a fire could break out if leaks occurred. 

Nearly 392,000 vehicles were included in the biggest ABS recall, including Nissan Murano and Pathfinder as well as Maxima models. A much smaller group of Maxima units potentially had insufficient brake fluid. There’s also a recall concerning loose brake caliper bolts, but it affected only 119 vehicles. 

In addition, over 3 million Nissan Maxima sedans are under recall for potential faulty airbag sensors, which could prevent the airbags from deploying after a crash. Almost 47,000 Maxima models could also have a fuel system leak.

Fortunately, those issues can be fixed for free at local authorized Nissan dealerships. So if you plan to buy a used 2016 Nissan Maxima, check its vehicle history report to confirm it has received the proper service.