The Maxima is the flagship of the Nissan fleet and the 2012 incarnation continues to set the pace for the company’s sedans. It is, quite simply, a superb automobile.
This beautiful car combines sports sedan styling, a driver-oriented cockpit and superb comfort with an advanced drivetrain anchored by Nissan’s award-winning VQ series V-6 engine. It has a refreshed exterior for 2012, with a new front grille design, new rear combination lights and new 18-inch or 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. Two new exterior colors are available — Java Metallic and Dark Slate.
On the inside, the Maxima cabin is luxurious and roomy, and enhancements include a new meter cluster illumination color (white), new Dark Piano-hairline trim, a new Atlantic Cherrywood tone trim and a new Cafe Latte interior color. There’s also a new audio segment display and new audio/HVAC knob design.
Comfort and convenience features include a standard moonroof, eight-way power driver’s seat and a four-way power adjustable front passenger seat; dual-zone automatic temperature control, cruise control with illuminated steering wheel mounted controls, Nissan Intelligent Key with Push Button Ignition, power windows and door locks, AM/FM/CD6/MP3 audio system with eight speakers, Bluetooth Hands-Free Phone System and available USB connectivity.
A special Limited Edition Package has been added for 2012, bringing smoked headlights, High Intensity Discharge (HID) Xenon headlights, a compass in the rearview mirror, 18-inch aluminum-alloy Dark Hyper Silver colored wheels, a rear spoiler, dark satin chrome front grille, fog lights, outside mirrors with integrated turn signals and metallic trim on the center cluster, center console and door armrest grips.
The top-of-the-line Nissan is offered in two well-equipped models — Maxima 3.5 S and Maxima 3.5 SV, each powered by the 290-hp 3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve V-6 engine mated to an Xtronic CVT gearbox with manual and “Ds” (drive sport) modes, and available paddle shifters.
The Maxima has a dynamic look, with an aggressive stance and sporty proportions that balance the wheelbase and overall length, along with wide front and rear tracks. The look is accented by the 18-inch or available 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels — with new designs for 2012 — and low-profile performance tires.
Large wraparound L-shaped headlights add a unique dimension to the overall design, with the upturned headlight shape combining with the new grille design, large bumper opening and bulging hood to set the tone for the rest of the vehicle. At the rear, the taillight design has been refreshed for 2012 with a 12- LED L-shaped design and a pair of side marker bulbs for added visibility during night driving.
Pricing on the 2012 Nissan Maxima starts at $32,142 for the 3.5S and $35,120 for the 3.5 SV.
Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to <LetsTalkCars@aol.com>.