Face-lifted sedan gets latest advanced safety suite
When Nissan introduced the current-generation Maxima for the 2016 model year, it reached deep into the nameplate’s history to resurrect the “4DSC” moniker (short for four-door sports car) for the car’s marketing efforts. First used in 1989 on the third-generation Maxima, the 4DSC label wasn’t accurate then and it wasn’t accurate in 2016, either. Still, we found the current model to be a comfortable and reasonably sporty midsize sedan. The refreshed 2019 Nissan Maxima has just debuted at the L.A. auto show, and surprisingly, all references to the 4DSC nickname were conspicuously absent from the press release. Though Nissan appears to be dialing back its use of the term, global design director Alfonso Albaisa once again called the Maxima a “four-door sports car” at the press conference. Eye rolling can now recommence.
Whatever Nissan’s marketing strategy is, the Maxima receives an updated look and new available equipment for 2019. Up front, Nissan enlarged the Maxima’s “V-motion” grille and subtly redesigned its boomerang-shaped headlights with new LED accents and standard LED main lamps. The front bumper has also been reshaped with new foglights and a chrome lip that underlines the mesh lower grille. The rear end has also been revised, receiving new taillights and an integrated quad-tip exhaust setup. SR models get a new sport rear spoiler, and wheels have been redesigned across the board, now including a set of 19-inch Hyper Silver rollers.
The 2019 Nissan Maxima also gets subtle revisions to its cabin, with more premium materials used on higher trim levels. SR models, for example, get orange accent stitching, “Dynamic Diamond” quilting, orange Alcantara accents, and Dark Satin chrome trim. Meanwhile, a new Platinum Reserve package delivers Satin Bronze interior trim, diamond-quilted Rakuda Tan semi-aniline leather upholstery, and a two-tone Rakuda Tan leather steering wheel insert. All 2019 Maximas come standard with Nissan’s Rear Door Alert (RDA), which reminds drivers when something (or someone) is left in the backseat.
Also available for 2019 is Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 suite of advanced safety features, which includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, automatic high beams, and rear automatic braking. Safety Shield 360 comes standard on Platinum and is included in the SR Premium package. Nissan’s Intelligent Driver Alertness (I-DA) system, which is designed to detect driver fatigue, is now standard on all models.
The Maxima is still offered with just one drivetrain choice, a 300-hp 3.5-liter V-6 that drives the front wheels via a CVT. Nissan makes no mention of any performance upgrades to the engine or chassis for this refresh, but if Nissan is beginning to pivot away from the 4DSC branding, maybe that’s just fine. With the top VC-Turbo engine in the 2019 Altima making 248 hp, the slightly larger and more premium Maxima is still left with enough margin to keep it at the top of Nissan’s sedan lineup—and it could remain in that spot without the 4DSC nomenclature if Nissan so chooses.
The 2019 Nissan Maxima goes on sale in mid-December 2018. Pricing should be announced closer to launch.