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The Maxima has a reputation as one of Nissan’s sportiest cars. It’s also one of the more reliable sedans, especially models manufactured after 2015. The automaker vastly improved the Maxima with a better interior, more standard features, and additional horsepower. However, no amount of upgrading can exclude a car from problems. If you drive a 2016 Nissan Maxima, you should know about a potential safety issue.

The 2016 Nissan Maxima could have a fuel leak risk

2016 Nissan Maxima problems
2016 Nissan Maxima | Nissan Motor Corporation

The 2016 Nissan Maxima earned an excellent overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The front driver side and front passenger side held up well against simulated crashes. However, the NHTSA noticed 20 ounces of fuel leaking from the driver’s side during the simulated rollover scenario. 

The incident occurred after the frontal barrier test was complete. Severe collisions often end in small fires, so this fuel leak could make the situation worse.

A few 2016 Nissan Maxima recalls concern a fire hazard

According to three recalls, a fire could start in certain 2016 Nissan Maxima models if left in park for too long. That’s because the brake fluid reservoir in affected vehicles can leak onto the circuit board. Cars with faulty fuel-sending units are also prone to brake fluid leakage after the impact of a collision. 

In some Nissan Maxima models, the O-ring on the ABS brake actuator might not have been installed correctly. If these rings wear out prematurely, the car won’t have the optimum brake fluid pressure for quick stops.

A relatively small number of 2016 Maxima models might also have loose mounting bolts on the front brake calipers. Due to an occupant classification system (OCS) error preventing the front-passenger airbags from working correctly, nearly 4 million Nissan vehicles were included in two recalls.

Is the 2016 model a good car?

Despite its recalls and potential fuel leaks, most 2016 Nissan Maxima models have no inherent problems. In fact, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded this car a Top Safety Pick+.

The 2016 Maxima packs a 300-hp V6 and a continuously variable transmission (CVT). It also gets an EPA-estimated 22/30 mpg city/highway. U.S. News says it provides good acceleration and a comfortable ride. The SR trim has a sportier suspension that might stiffen the ride quality, but it improves the handling. 

The 2016 Nissan Maxima has room for five occupants, though critics say the front seats are vastly more comfortable than the rear. Occupants ride in Nissan’s Zero Gravity seats, surrounded by premium soft-touch surfaces. Cloth seats are standard on the base model, but some higher trims offer premium leather upholstery. 

The front seats can also be optioned with heating and ventilation. And though the back seats are smaller and more basic in terms of support, they still accommodate most adults. 


Is the 2016 Nissan Maxima Reliable?

The trunk offers subpar accommodations for this segment, with 14 cubic feet of storage space. However, it also has a standard 60/40 split-folding rear seat to ease loading bulkier items.

In addition, the 2016 Nissan Maxima includes an intuitive infotainment system accessed through an 8.0-inch touchscreen. Users can also access selections via a control knob and smaller buttons for climate and audio settings. Standard features include Bluetooth, navigation, voice recognition, and two USB ports.

A fully loaded 2016 Nissan Maxima includes a top-of-the-line Bose sound system and a moonroof. The standard S model has no advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), but you can find several on the pricier trims.

Regardless of the safety features, check the recall status of any used Nissan Maxima before buying one.