When the new generation Maxima arrived, it came with the reworked VQ-series engine, which has more than 60 percent new parts compared with the previous generation. It also features some technology adapted from the Nissan GT-R supercar, such as sodium-filled valves.
The car also features the new "swipe to meter" feature, which allows the driver to swipe the navigation map from the center display to bring it up in the standard seven-inch driver-assist display in front of the driver in the middle of the instrument cluster.
For 2018, besides the Midnight Edition package, the factory options list is short and uncomplicated. The most-expensive item is the 18-inch wheels package for the SV, SL and Platinum models ($900). A black rear sport spoiler adds $430, or the premium body-color spoiler is available for $405. Illuminated kick plates ($375) are offered on all grades; so are splash guards ($200).
There are also some port-installed accessories available, including rocker panel moldings ($420), external ground lighting ($240) and an interior lighting package ($250). Pearl White exterior paint also costs $395 extra. Other colors for 2018 include Super Black, Brilliant Silver, Gun Metallic and Deep Blue Pearl.
Besides the cashmere, interior color choices include charcoal and camel.
The Maxima is a full-size sedan that competes against such stalwarts as the Toyota Avalon, Chevrolet Impala, Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger.
The cabin has been crafted to rival those of luxury vehicles. With the redesign, the Maxima was made 1.3 inches lower and 2.2 inches longer than the previous generation, which arrived for 2009.
We had plenty of room for our knees and legs both in the front and the rear, and three medium-size adults could sit fairly comfortably together on the rear bench seat. There is a pulldown armrest with dual cupholders for use when you're carrying just two people in the back seat.
Among other standard Maxima features are four-wheel power/vented antilock disc brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist, rearview monitor, active noise cancellation, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a HomeLink universal gate/garage opener.
The standard Intelligent Driver Alertness system monitors steering inputs and alerts the driver audibly and visually when drowsy/inattentive driving is detected. The Platinum also comes with rain-sensing wipers, along with memory for the driver's seat, outside mirrors and steering wheel.