SUVs are slowly beating sedans in terms of popularity, but that doesn’t mean small cars have lost all demand. For many solo drivers or those with small families, a sedan suits their needs better than bigger cars. For those who need a little more space, there are a few different large sedans to choose from. Two of the most popular options are the Toyota Avalon and the Nissan Maxima.
The Toyota Avalon’s many talents
The Avalon has a powerful 301-hp engine that gives drivers plenty of power to suit their needs. It’s paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and comes with front-wheel drive. The motor is also very conservative on fuel, averaging 22 mpg on city commutes and 32 mpg on highway drives.
The cabin is built with quality materials with KBB even reporting that the highest trims could pass for luxury cars. The standard infotainment system also comes preloaded with essentials like Apple CarPlay, multiple USB ports, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. There’s plenty of cargo space in the back and the 60/40 split-folding seats make loading large items a simple task.
The Toyota Avalon has few weaknesses to speak of
None of the Toyota Avalon’s problems affect its performance, but they’re still worth mentioning. If you have an Android device, you won’t be able to sync it with the Avalon’s infotainment system. Some critics also found that the headroom can be tight for taller occupants, especially in the back row.
Another glaringly obvious flaw is the Toyota Avalon’s high price of admission. Base trims start at around $36,000, and the most expensive models can be over $42,000. However, given the fact that the Avalon is incredibly reliable, you can expect it to last for many years.
The perks of a Nissan Maxima
The engine inside the Nissan Maxima is nearly identical to the Toyota Avalon’s, but it has a CVT instead of a standard automatic. The Nissan Maxima also comes with front-wheel drive and gets good gas mileage. The Maxima also got a new safety suite as standard equipment for 2020.
The Maxima’s cabin is a little outdated, but Nissan’s famous Zero Gravity front seats are still just as comfortable as ever. The Maxima also comes with a lot of standard technology onboard, and the infotainment system is very user-friendly.
Where the Maxima falls short
Many critics have noted their dissatisfaction when it comes to the Maxima’s handling. The brake pads are too squishy, and there’s not enough feedback from the steering wheel. While it drives smoothly, the back seats feel firm and the transmission feels clunky at times.
The Nissan Maxima is also surprisingly lacking in cargo space for a large sedan. There are only 14 cubic feet behind the second row, which can’t even fold completely flat. Many testers also complained that there’s not enough headroom for taller passengers.
The choice is obvious
One thing about the Toyota Avalon that many critics praise is its agile handling. Many testers were also impressed with its suspension, which absorbs most bumps to give drivers a serene ride. Edmunds reported that the cabin is peacefully devoid of any rumblings from the engine.
Another advantage the Avalon has is its large cargo area. When you’re shopping for a large sedan, you usually want a car that can fit a lot of luggage inside. This combined with all the Toyota Avalon’s other excellent qualities makes it a far better value than the Nissan Maxima.