At Nissan, all eyes are on the vastly revamped 2019 Altima, currently trickling onto dealer lots with a revolutionary variable compression four-cylinder under some hoods and available all-wheel drive. A very different roll-out is underway north of the border.
All of the hubbub surrounding Nissan’s new midsizer doesn’t leave much oxygen in the room for the model’s slightly larger sibling, the Maxima. Confused in identity for about the past two decades, the Maxima doesn’t enter 2019 unchanged. There’s styling and content tweaks afoot, though you’ll have no trouble spotting the 2019 Maxima after its launch at the L.A. Auto Show next month.Â
The above photo depicts the refreshed 2019 model, making this one of the most low-key styling updates in recent memory â€” though the Toyota Sienna and Mitsubishi Outlander Sport deserve honorable mentions. See the 2018 model below for reference:
To Nissan’s credit, the revised lower front fascia does represent an improvement, boosting the model’s visual athleticism with decent-sized side scoops and the appearance of a larger lower air opening. Underscored by a strip of chrome, the rejigged maw is flanked by headlamps with revised LED strips.
Anything going on out back? Maybe, but whatever it is, Nissan isn’t showing. It wouldn’t be a big change, anyways.
Right now, all Nissan is willing to reveal about the latest iteration of its so-called “four-door sports car” is the model’s available Safety Shield 360 suite of safety and driver-assist features. Oh, and it goes on sale in December. Appearing for the 2016 model year, the current-generation Maxima offers drivers a single choice of powertrain: a 3.5-liter V6 making 300 hp and 261 lb-ft of torque, mated to a continuously variable transmission.
While Nissan’s branding attempt fell apart after reviewers got their hands on the not-so-scorching vehicle, buyers responded favorably to the eighth-gen model. Last year’s volume was the model’s highest since 2009. Amid the model’s sell-down and Nissan’s move away from sky-high incentives, Maxima sales are down 36.2 percent over the first nine months of 2018.