The 2020 Nissan Maxima is a sharp-looking, relatively fun sedan but a far cry from the “four-door sports car” of yore. In an era where sedans are less popular than ever, it doesn’t do quite enough to stand out.
The 2020 Maxima, sold in S, SV, SL, SR, and Platinum trims, earns a TCC Rating of 6.5 out of 10 overall. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
For 2020, the Maxima gets a tiny price bump but gains new standar safety features such as automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, and adaptive cruise control.
Review continues below
The Maxima puts styling first, especially with its recent refresh, and the result is a distinctive but undeniably handsome sedan. Dramatic character lines, a floating roof design, and big bright LED headlights make for a distinctive look, and the interior makes use of quilted faux suede, textured accents and a sporty flat-bottomed steering wheel to stand out from other sedans.
A 3.5-liter V-6 comes standard and makes 300 horsepower but is unfortunately tied to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) that sends power to the front wheels only. The smooth, powerful V-6 is a tried-and-true powerplant from the company’s stable, but it’s let down by an economy-car gearbox and no all-wheel-drive option. SR models add a bit of sporty handling to the mix, coming with beefier suspension, 19-inch wheels, and paddle shifters on the steering wheel that simulate actual gear shifts. This is a relatively fun sedan to drive, but not as fun as it could be.
Inside, the 2020 Maxima is comfortable for the two adults up front, but the rear seat is somewhat small, and the trunk isn’t as big as many large sedan competitors. This is more of a sportier mid-size option than a true full-size sedan like the Toyota Avalon or Kia Cadenza.
Base models come with 18-inch wheels, a touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, Bluetooth, and standard safety tech for just over $35,000. The sporty SR model rings in at over $42,000, with a panoramic roof, premium sound, and leather upholstery.