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Auto Review: Nissan Maxima '4-door Sports Car' gets some upgrades for 2018, starts at $33,270

G. Chambers Williams Iii, The News-Sentinel (Fort Wayne, Ind.) on

Published in Automotive News

Our Platinum model's seats were covered with premium cashmere Ascot leather, and the dash, upper door panels, armrests, center console and steering wheel were Ascot leather, with diamond-quilted Alcantara inserts. The front seats were heated and cooled, and we had LED interior accent lighting, an eight-way power driver's seat and a four-way power front passenger seat.

Also featured -- borrowed from the Altima -- are Nissan's Zero Gravity front seats with sport bolstering. The seats are softer and more comfortable than before, thanks to a new three-layer foam design. There is power lumbar support for the driver's seat, and a manual thigh-support extension for the driver as well.

The heated sport steering wheel has a flat bottom like you'd find on many sports cars, wrapped in the same Ascot leather as the seats, with an Alcantara insert.

There is a 60/40 split fold-down design for the rear seat to allow for extension of the trunk's capacity. The trunk has 14.3 cubic feet of cargo space.

The Platinum's standard NissanConnect audio system with navigation has an eight-inch color display with touch control and voice recognition. The system also includes satellite radio and SiriusXM Travel Link, streaming audio via Bluetooth, hands-free text messaging, and two front illuminated USB connection ports for compatible devices.

Those ports are under a small door at the front of the center console for easy access – they're not hidden in the storage bin like they are on a lot of other vehicles.

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The transmission shifted smoothly throughout the power band, and there was quite impressive acceleration from this drivetrain. It even came with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters to pace the car through a range of gears.

The CVT has a wider gear-ratio range for stronger acceleration from a standing start, and D-Step shifting logic that allows for rapid shifts at high throttle openings, Nissan says.

A Drive Mode Selector has Sport and Normal settings, which automatically adjust the throttle, transmission, steering and Active Sound Enhancement tuning.

In Sport mode, throttle response increases, the transmission alters its program for more-aggressive shifting, and more steering effort is required. The Active Sound Enhancement system sends more of the engine noise into the cabin.

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