Madison Life and Times Spring 2016 - Page 38

New for 2016, the Nissan Maxima sports a fresh look that makes it stand out on the road. Its body is bolder and more inventive than most four-door cars. CAR REVIEW | 2016 Nissan Maxima AIRBORNE for INTERIOR COMFORT With bold redesign, sporty Maxima pushes the envelope STORY BY DEREK PRICE SUBMITTED PHOTOS When Nissan designers wanted inspiration for the all-new Maxima, they knew one place to go: the Blue Angels’ Naval Air Station in Florida. Plenty of cars have named fighter jets as their muse through the years, but Nissan took it a step further by looking at where some of the most prestigious pilots in the world spend their working hours. The result? The Maxima’s interior is one of the best on the market, and that includes cars from luxury brands such as Lexus and BMW. Nissan’s interior designers really hit it out of the park. Not only does it get the obvious stuff right — putting all the controls within easy reach — but it adds some fighter-jet drama by angling the entire center stack toward the driver and lifting up the console higher than in most cars. You don’t sit in the new Maxima so much as you let the car wrap around you like a cocoon. It’s a cool feeling. Nissan is wild about the Maxima’s “four-door sports car” nickname, but I’m a skeptic. In a presidential debate, I’d have to say, “I’ve known sports cars. I’ve driven sports cars. And you, sir, are no sports car.” Still, it’s faster and more fun than most four- 38 MADISON door cars. It has a solid, almost German driving feel to it, taking a much more heavy-handed approach to its sports-car ambitions than, say, Mazda does with its light, nimble feeling Mazda6. Power from the Maxima’s 300-horsepower V6 feels spectacular despite being shoved through a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which I would normally consider a mortal sin in a sporty car. Nissan, though, seems to be making better CVTs with each new car it introduces, and that’s certainly the case with this one. While its first efforts